Manchester’s comedy circuit has been one of the most prolific, with many well known comedians starting out in the city. Jason Manford is Salford-born, and became inspired after watching the likes of Peter Kay, Eddie Izzard and Johnny Vegas perform at a local Manchester comedy club. John Bishop also has his first gig in the city, and Lee Mack, Ross Noble and Lucy Porter were all regulars at some point. Manchester’s comedy scene has always been exciting, as you never know which act could be the next big thing.
The city is dominated by two popular venues and various comedy clubs. The Frog and Bucket is one of Manchester’s oldest comedy clubs, stemming back to the 90’s. The Comedy Store is equally prominent, opening in 2000 as a purpose-built theatre-like stage to attract big talents. Though the city’s comedy programme is dominated by these two establishments, there are various other comedy clubs dotted around Manchester.
Most regular comedy nights take place around the weekend, promising long evenings of laughter and louting. But there’s also a handful that are designed to get you through the work week. After all, laughter is the best medicine, and Manchester’s comedy clubs bring no shortage of humour.
Frog and Bucket
At the top of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the Frog and Bucket comedy club is one of the best places to go for stand-up. It still has the cool, indie-underground feel from its glory days in the 1990’s. And the intimacy of the club only lends to its character. The Frog and Bucket has a standing capacity of 60, giving it a friendly and cosy vibe – even when the heckling starts.
Since opening, the club’s reputation has lead to more shows, and is generally open most nights of the week. The popular Beat the Frog occurs on Mondays, marking the perfect way to beat the Monday blues by passing judgment on newcomers to comedy. There’s also regular nights on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as special monthly events like the Laughing Cows female comedy night.
The Frog and Bucket is a solid staple of Manchester’s comedy clubs, with a history of launching today’s biggest comedians. You can even read about it in some of their autobiographies, like John Bishop’s, Peter Kay’s and Johnny Vegas’. You may even spot a few names from comedy royalty in the audience too, where Royle Family creator Caroline Aherne has been spotted there. It’s a great place to unwind with food and friends, and witness the region’s newbies and established acts light up the stage – or yell at the people on it.
Jason Mewes - Live
Thursday Night Live
Friday Barrel of Laughs
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The Comedy Store
The sister venue to the famed London comedy hotspot, The Comedy Store in Manchester sits beneath the arches on Deansgate Locks. It brings a totally different but equally impressive vibe to the Frog and Bucket, being much larger and theatrical. The venue seats up to 500 people, and has lots of a la carte dining and VIP packages to add on. Alongside the Frog and Bucket, it’s one of Manchester’s leading comedy clubs and continues to bring in great talent.
The Comedy Store’s regular nights include Stand Up Thursday, the Best In Stand Up each Friday and the monthly King Gong. The latter is a local favourite, where members of the public have their go at making people laugh. The audience then chooses the winner, who takes on the title of King Gong til next month. If you’re looking for something for kids, they also host a child-oriented comedy night on the third Saturday of the month.
For those in need of a truly great night out, The Comedy Store is a great place to start. It has a plenty of pizza, informal or formal dining and heaps of comic talent to offer. Visitors can’t sing its praises enough, always returning for more food, fun and frolics.
LADY BUNNY pig in a wig
Stand Up Thursdays
Stand Up Thursday - Three of the Finest Comedians Plus an Open Spot
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LOL Comedy Club at the Palace Theatre
If you’re in search of a Manchester comedy club that will really make you laugh out loud, you’ve found it. The Palace’s monthly event has seen some of the finest stand-up comedians take to its stage. Each time, three comics and MC Damion Larkin bring new material, for 3 hours of non-stop side-stitching and cheek-cramping. LOL Comedy Club always brings big names from TV, so you’ll likely notice guests from the likes of ‘Mock the Week’, ‘8 out of 10 cats’ and ‘Have I Got News for You’.
The club takes place in the Grade II listed theatre on Oxford Street. During the show, audience can enjoy its glamorous surroundings, and head to the bar in the two intervals. The show always gets rave reviews, which comes as no surprise given its reputation for hosting big names of comedy. It’s one of Manchester’s top comedy clubs, recommended by locals and visitors to the city alike.
Hot Water Comedy Club at Theatre Impossible
A newbie to Manchester’s comedy scene, the Hot Water Comedy Club is the latest addition in stand-up. It started in Liverpool in 2010 and quickly became successful, having to adopt new homes to cater to growing capacities. It expanded to Manchester in April 2019, now delivering fine comedy to Theatre Impossible on Peter Street. As a sell-out comedy club in Liverpool, chances are it’s going to take Manchester by storm.
Comedy Clubs Around Manchester
If you live outside the centre and don’t fancy the journey in, there’s lots of local comedy clubs around. Check out Chorlton Irish Club, Didsbury Comedy Club and The Heatons Comedy Evening at The Heatons Sports Club.