The best spots for stand-up comedy in the City Beautiful | Guide for Newcomers | Orlando

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What if instead of tuning out on Netflix tonight you stuck your lucky butt out to catch some live comedy? No matter what day of the week, there’s a show going on and laughs are guaranteed. There are more than 20 comedy mics and showcases in Orlando. Here are our favourites.

Orlando Improv

Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive

The Improv is Orlando’s gold standard for comedy, and the big touring acts drop by regularly. But that’s not all. As Joe Censabella’s recent Best of Orlando show proved, local talent draws audiences and delivers the fun, too. Fatfish Blue, the adjacent bar, has an open mic hosted by Carmen Vallone every Thursday night. It’s free and it’s a vibe.

Bonkerz at the Twisted Root Burger

7:30 p.m. every Saturday
4270 Aloma Avenue, Winter Park

Touring acts and the crème de la crème of local talent perform at this Winter Park eatery on Saturday nights, and the venison burgers aren’t the only tempting offerings. With Orlando comedians like Ken Miller, Lisa Roddavis, Vince Taylor and Rob Smiles on deck, it’s always a hilarious good time.

Harry Buffalo

9 p.m. every Monday

129 W. Church of St.

Monday night’s open mic at the Harry Buffalo originated at the Other Bar on Wall Street and moved to its last location during the pandemic. The mic has been successful for well over a decade, attracting both new and established comedians, but don’t expect polished sets. Extremely offbeat, you’ll find comedians trying out new material on the creaky stage of this gritty sports bar. True stand-up fans will enjoy the diffused energy of performers honing their craft.

Fucking sandwich at Bull & Bush

9 p.m. first and third Saturday

2408 E. Robinson St.

Ten years on, this bi-weekly event is the flag-bearer of local comedy shows. Host Ross McCoy is a constant presence on Saturdays, filling the house and luring Orlando’s finest comedians into the British pub with his world-class hosting skills. If legacy is any indication, some of the comedians you now entertain at The Shit Sandwich are destined for national stardom. (Just ask Preacher Lawson.) Watch them gather momentum here. Come early if you want a seat.

The Copper Rocket

10 p.m. every Thursday

106 Lake Avenue, Maitland

Fast becoming a regular on the comedy circuit, Copper Rocket offers a late night of fun with groups of comedians gathering at tables inside and out on the patio, eagerly waiting to get on the mic. If you want to mingle with emerging talent, this is the place. It’s Matt Perez’s mic, but he shares emcee responsibilities with a number of comedians, so the tone changes a little each week – in a good way. Of all the local open mics, this one feels the most like a showcase and enjoys an audience of dedicated regulars.

Joking aside in the Night Shade Lounge

9 p.m. first and third Tuesday

536 W. Church of St.

After a short hiatus, Wil Milz is back with his bi-weekly showcase at this excellent Orlando bar. Although Tuesday is a bit early in the week, the show makes for a great date night or meeting up with friends. Spleen’s big personality is a draw — the comedian is known for his controversial opinions and for attracting great comedic talent to share the stage.

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