Survive that MWC (Mid Week Crisis) with Some Hump Day Happiness

There is beyond enough to do on the weekends in Los Angeles, but for those who are looking to get in some hump day action to hold them over until the weekend, consider squeezing in a laugh at one of the many comedy clubs that LA has to offer. It’s the perfect concoction of goofiness, greasy bar food and cocktails, all topped with an early curfew. It’s basically like sitting on your couch watching “live” tv (so no excuses for you lazies). Next time you are having a “Mid Week Crisis” because you can’t TGIF, check out one of the following comedy clubs.

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HAHA Cafe- North Hollywood

WORK OUT WEDNESDAYS

4712 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 508-4995

The HaHa has recently moved locations down the street to 4712 Lankershim Blvd. I have been going here for years, and I have NEVER had a bad experience. That saying, you get what you expect; it is a small venue with bar food and a small stage, but every now and then every single member of the Wayans bros family will get up on stage and put on a 3 hour set for the 15 person audience. At the Haha you get anyone from movie writers, to TV personas, and lots of comedians from Last Comic Standing. Wednesdays are “Work Out Wednesdays”, where there are usually 5 comedians, and 3 out of those 5 are fabulous, the other 2 aren’t horrible enough to make you cringe from embarrassment (most of the time).  Ask to get on their email or text list and you will be frequently contacted with great ticket deals.

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Westside Comedy

THE BEAR SUPPLY @8PM & LIP SERVICE @10PM

1323-A 3rd St Promenade (A stands for Alley)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-0850

Located in the alley adjacent to the third street promenade (I am sure most patrons get lost just trying to figure out where 1323 “A” is located), is a small comedy theater opened by a group of UMASS grads in 2009. With a long list of celebrity drop ins, this comedy theater is special for hosting a wide variety of comedy related events from stand up classes, to open mic nights, and critically acclaimed solo comedian shows (Dana Carvey will be performing July 26th).  On Wednesdays they offer more improv based sets called The Bear Supply (which begins at 8PM) and Lip Service (which begins at 10PM). With 30 beers on tap and a “no drink limit”, this theater gets some pretty big names for being located in an alley way behind a Johnny Rockets.

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The Comedy Store

8433 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069

If you love Whitney Cummings and Bobby Lee (which I do), then this is your spot. They are regulars, and when I say regulars, I mean that they are there performing or hanging out on any given  night. Sammy Shore was the original owner, and the his wife Mitzi took over the joint, and she recognized that female comedians don’t get the same stage time and respect as male comedians, so she opened up a special room called “The Belly Room” for the women to perform. The spot is now run by Mitzi’s children, and this is where you find the A-list stand ups. I am always a little star struck when I go here. Every Wednesday is a different show, so be sure to check the calendar.

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Flappers

102 E Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 845-9721

Though this one is a little off the grid for us Valley or West Side peeps, it is definitely something to make a night of. They alternate their Wednesday shows with Whacked Out Wednesday and Hump Day Nasty Show (always featuring a different host). There are plenty of restaurants in the area to get dinner and see a show, in fact Barney’s Beanery is right next door. Grab a drink at Barney’s and then head over to Flappers. Flappers is very active with the NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) and college community, and is continually on tour across the US at different campuses. They even have special family, all ages welcomed events called Two Milk Minimum, so if you are looking for a comedy show appropriate for all ages, then this is your spot!

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Upright Citizens Brigade

5919 Franklin Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 908-8702

It all began here for some of your favorite TV personas and comedians like Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Ed Helms… the list goes on and on.  This theater has been rolling out our generations top comics for years now. Setting the bar in terms of what is culturally relevant, one of my personal fave shows is their Wednesday Facebook night, where 2 random people in the audience are selected to display their Facebook page on screen where the comics of the night riff off of the person’s posts and photos (show starts at 9:30). The line is long to get in, but tickets are cheap and so worth it. I recommend Sushi Stop next door for dinner, as it is cheap and good quality (and by cheap I mean like $3 for spicy tuna rolls). There is also a few very nice bars next door to grab a drink after (or before- get there early to make sure you get good seats and tix).

Like I said, anytime I am in one of those  mid-week, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life, who-am-I, moods, I like to go to a comedy show, and I always leave re-calibrated and ready to roll the following day!

The Rise and Fall of the Valley Bar Scene

I have been super happy about the new generation of lounges, bars and cool hang outs that have started to repopulate the boulevard- mainly in Sherman Oaks. Murphs, The One Up, The Woodman, Tipple and Brine, Tunnel Bar, Bow & Truss, to name a few. Actually all of these places are WONDERFUL, but as gastropubs only.

The Problem

What happened to the grungy, out all night, meeting fun people, going to a house after party, valley scene? For the most parts, these bars close down by 1am, sometimes even midnight. I talked to a manager at one of the spots who said that as soon as they have hit their goal profit for a night, or have had a good night- they close.

I get it, it eliminates the late night drunks and shenanigans that come with that (cops, puke, fights, yelling), but come one guys, what about the people?? Who remembers Smiles? That place was as close to Anything Goes as you could get… no wonder it got shut down.

The Pros

– A more mature crowd- less drunk idiots and creepers

– Delicious and well made food and drinks

-Parking that is more convenient than over the hill

-A slew of bars near each other for hopping

-GAMES! Most places feature games, either board games like at Bow & Truss, actual arcade games like at The One Up, or pool tables at Brickyard in North Hollywood

The Cons

-These places are catered to already formed groups, it seems harder to meet new people. Most bars are not set up for cross mingling and feature secluded tables or couches

-Early closing time- Most people don’t leave their house until 10 or 11 so that doesn’t give much time.

-Every bar is the same- same hipster look and same vibe (the majority)

-No dancing… forget about it- head to Skinnys for that

So boo hoo… now we have to settle for good drinks, and good food- and an early night. These hipster bars and speak easy’s that used to be a dime a dozen a few years ago now seem to be the norm. I guess we will have to get our kicks elsewhere- but I am also not 21 any more, so maybe I should just accept a more mature atmosphere and good conversation over a Moscow Mule and a Grass Fed Beef Slider Trio.

[PS This does not put an end my continual quest to find the best night adventures LA and the valley have to offer]