Grand Rapids is already Furniture City, Beer City and apparently sort of Hipster City, but did you know that we’re also a hotbed of hilarity? Outside of Laughfest and anything that happens at Dr. Grin’s, there is comedy in every corner of the city on almost any day of the week. Sit back, take notes and fill up that calendar. I hear laughing burns calories and makes attractive people more likely to accidentally bump into you on the sidewalk. I heard it from a scientist.

As it turns out, people stand up and do comedy a LOT in Grand Rapids. But there are also a few variety shows with SNL-esque sketch comedy, music, improv and more. And, most of it is FREE. Like. A joke is worth easily $13. Comedy is hard. Trust me. I’ve failed at it a lot. So free is a pretty good price. Monday is your best bet to catch the best variety of acts for zero dollars. So, be like me and pretend you don’t have a grown-up job to attend on Tuesday morning and go at it with reckless abandon.


Comedy at the Holiday Bar

A variety show including “Late Night GR”, Grand Rapids’ only late night talk show.


9 - 11 p.m.

Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater 

An experimental comedy variety show AND improv comedy workshop

$5 for entertainment AND play time

The show is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the workshop (which anyone can join) is from 8 - 9 p.m.

The Drunken Retort at Stella’s Lounge

A sign-up sheet open mic night featuring spoken word poetry, singer-songwriters and stand-up comedy (often by yours truly).


Doors at 8 p.m.

Sign up to perform as long as there are still spots on the list

First Mondays: Free Comedy at Rocky’s Bar & Grill 

(Every 1st Monday of the month)

Stand-Up Comedy

FREE SHOW (in case you didn’t see the word “free” in the name. I don’t know your life.)




Tip Top Comedy Tuesday at The Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill  

Stand-Up Comedy


9 p.m.

Eastown Clowns at Mulligan’s Pub

(Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month)

Stand-Up Comedy


Doors at 9 p.m.


Rainbow Variety Nights at Bob’s Brewery in The BOB  

From 7 - 10 p.m.

1st Wednesdays – The Rainbow Game Show

Form a team and play a variety of classic games and physical challenges

Win prizes!

2nd Wednesdays – Rainbow Variety Show

A variety show just like they used to do in the olden days. Only, nobody is related.

3rd Wednesdays – Monthly Funny Girls Comedy Show

A combination of sketch, stand-up, improv and more from the all-female (and fabulous) group, Funny Girls. (I hear there’s a really cool member of Funny Girls. We’ll call her K. Williams. No, no…that’s too obvious. How about Kaira W.? Anyway, I hear she’s really cool.)


Comedy Outlet Underground at J. Gardella’s Tavern

(Every 3rd Thursday of the month)

A comedy variety show featuring improv and sketch groups such as No Outlet Improv Troupe, Plant Parenthood, Funny Girls, Rapid Delivery Improv, SALT Improv and more!


Doors at 8:30 p.m.


Dr. Grins has two shows every Friday and Saturday night. You can check out their schedule here.

Other than that, there's nothing, really. Seems like it’d be a nightmare to do comedy downtown on the weekend. You know, what with all the young whippersnappers consuming alcohol and wandering around with their loud mouths and all.


Sunday Night Funnies at the Riverfront Hotel’s Landing Lounge

Stand-Up Comedy featuring some of the best in the west.

FREE SHOW (with a two-drink minimum)

8:30 p.m.

Funny Girls Presents: Open Mic Night at The Fuse Box (120 S Division #227) 

(3rd Sunday of the month)

The ONLY open mic night in GR that’s openly BYOB (that means bring your own beer, in case you’ve never been to a party before)

Come try out some comedy in a casual setting and see what Funny Girls have been working on while you’re at it.

7:30 p.m.

Donations are welcome (encouraged – don’t be a jerk)

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