Comedians in Hampton Roads all come together at night for the same reason: to make people laugh.
While the local comedy scene isn’t quite underground, it is a small community that is easy to get to know… with the help of this handy guide.
To start this comedy tour let’s first go to the Push Comedy Theater. The Push Comedy Theater in Norfolk is the quintessential improvisation theater. There are improv shows throughout the week, classes on improv, stand up, and sketch writing, and even summer camp programs for kids and teens.
The Pushers have been in the city for over 10 years and has become a staple of not only the comedy scene, but the city of Norfolk itself. The Norfolk Comedy Festival is held at the Push in late summer/early fall.
There is other improv in the area besides the Push. None are theaters, but improv shows still go on at different venues. On Wednesday at the Greenbrier Cinema Café there is an improv open mic jam. Technically anyone can sign up, though most who perform have done it before; to sign up contact Dan Ellison. He is a comedy veteran, being in the game for over 25 years, traveled over 2000 miles around the country, and has competed in the World Series of Comedy! He is known as the Educated Redneck, check out his website sometime. Dan is the man to contact for many comedy shows in the area.
There is an improv troupe in Hampton Roads. Plan B improv puts on shows around Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Plan B shows are professional, hilarious, and enjoyable to watch.
There are three stand up comedy clubs in the Hampton Roads area. The first is the Virginia Beach Funny Bone. It is a part of the well known chain of clubs. The Funny Bone brings in recognizable comics many have seen on television or movies. The headliners are always relatively big names; features are most of the time up-and-coming talent from larger cities; and hosts are always locals.
On the other side of the water in Newport News is Cozzy Comedy Club, which is the longest running comedy club in the state of Virginia! That claim is true! The club is celebrating their 25th year. They don’t draw as many well known names compared with the Funny Bone, but occasionally it still offers veterans of the profession and up-and-comers worth seeing.
Up the road from Newport News in the far away land of Williamsburg there is the Comedy Club of Williamsburg; what else would it be called? The Club is in the Double Tree and only goes on Fridays and Saturday. Like Cozzy’s there are not as many well known performers at this club either, however, the comics are still funny as can be. Features are sometimes locals and hosts are always locals.
Now, you want to perform stand up, how can you do so? There are plenty of open mics throughout the week. On Mondays at 9 there is an open mic at Pinboys. The place sounds like a bowling alley because it is. Don’t worry, the mic does not go on in the middle of games, it is in the bar. The place smells like smoke, but that comes with being in a bowling alley; also smoking is allowed at the bar.
On Tuesdays, later, around 10:15-30ish or whenever trivia is finished there is an open mic at the Norfolk Taphouse. It is probably one of the most unpredictable shows in the area. You never quite know what audience is going to show up or what comedians are going to do.
On Thursday Cozzy’s has their famous Thursday open mic. Sign up is 8-8:30, show starts at 9. It is hosted by the coolest cat in the area, Sid Bridge. It is a great open mic. At the Virginia Beach Cinema Café there is stand up open mic. This is the one you contact Dan about.
There is a later show which is also newish at the Starz Lounge in Virginia Beach; it goes from 11pm-1am. It’s run by a guy named K-Sizzle, so you know it’s going to be good! Friday and Saturdays are regular comedy shows, then on Sundays Cozzy has what is called the Sunday Funnies. It is not an open mic, but a workshop show for somewhat well-established comedians trying out new jokes.
Pop Up & Seasonal Shows
There are always shows that pop up. Every first Tuesday of the month the Virginia Beach Funny Bone holds its clash of the comics. The winner gets $100. The more a comedian wins each month the more work the comedian can get. Eventually they will become your weekend host and that’s paid work. If you’re interested in performing sign up through the website.
Every first Thursday of the month at the Blufrog Bar and Grill in Chesapeake there is also another comedic competition. Comedians compete for a money prize and, depending on how many raffle tickets are bought, first and second place can bring home cash. It is a fun show ran by a guy who sounds like he is a Motown singer, Isaac Fields.
There are seasonal type shows also. During the semester at Old Dominion University the school has a stand up show that takes place every Friday at 6-8pm. The location varies, but for the past year it has taken place in the Kaufman building. It is done by the college’s stand up club, but many local comedians do time there as well. The club does not have enough members to do the entire show themselves. If you attend ODU and are interested find Stand up Monarchs and they will gladly accept you.
And that is everything!! I know this was super long, but it just proves how much comedy actually goes on in this area.
Writer’s note: Comedy nights tend to come and go. I suggest you check with the venue’s social media before heading out.