The only three places you will ever need to know about when you’re looking for great comedy in Manchester
The Comedy Store
The London-based Comedy Store swung open its Deansgate Locks doors back in 2000. Arguably the grandest of our lineup, the venue boasts a 500-seat theatre, a generous public bar and dining area as well as all the VIP packages you could need to make your comedic experience that bit more grand. The Comedy Store pride themselves on staging top-quality shows, including the best names in the business, while at the same time encouraging and showcasing fresh talent.
The Best in Stand Up runs every Friday and Saturday night; other events include King Gong, where punters can try their hand at comedy—at the mercy of the public—and Lip Syncin’ Battle, which, stemming from the popular US show, allows comics, celebrity guests, and the public to battle it out to become the best Lip Sync in the city.
The Frog and Bucket
Manchester’s first and longest-running comedy club, it has been the place to go for a good laugh since 1993, where it started off as a small city centre pub. Situated on the end of Oldham Street, many famous faces have appeared within its walls. For example, Peter Kay, Johnny Vegas, John Bishop, and Sarah Millican have all graced its stage, many of whom started on the Frog’s historical amateur night: Beat the Frog.
A young John Bishop went in as a punter to watch an open mic night and exited by getting on stage and telling the one joke he had. Other nights include Laughing Cows, which is an all-female line-up of comics and has helped the likes of Jo Brand launch their careers. Finally, Barrel of Laughs, which features three comics and a late night disco after the show, courtesy of the DJ, is well worth attending.
Pub/Zoo is two venues in one. The pub half of the building, which sits between Sidney Street and Grosvenor Street, emanates the traditional boozer approach, holding up to 280 people. Complete with a decent selection of beer and a varied menu that includes classic pub-grub, salads, vegetarian options, all-day breakfasts and, of course, roast dinners on a Sunday, you can see why it’s so popular with students.
The ‘Zoo’ holds up to 80 people, making it a cosy affair for the comedy and club events that it holds. The most popular event is the multi award-winning stand up comedy night, XS Malarkey, which runs every Tuesday. Starting back in 1997, Pub/Zoo put all of their efforts into supporting those at the beginning of their comedy careers, laying claim to names such as Jason Manford and Alan Carr, who began their careers there.