Melbourne Open Mic—Melbourne Venues

Posted on 19 May 2011

If you want to get into stand-up, you have to observe other performers, you have to practise, you have to trial your material, and you have to build up an audience. As such you need to spend time at as many different venues as possible.

Below is a list of Melbourne venues with my comments. I will continue to maintain this list, if people keep me informed as to the different rooms that are presenting comedy. Please correct me, if any of the details are wrong. THIS PAGE IS REGULARLY UPDATED!

With Open Mic

99 Problems
Dive Bar
31 Johnston St, Collingwood
Free entry for comedians
First Thursday of the month 9pm

Get in early for a spot. Open mic people are given 10-15 minutes to strut their stuff.

Bad Ass Open Mic Comedy
Station 59
59 Church St, Richmond
Wednesdays 8-11pm

Black Frames
Willow Bar
222 High St, Northcote
4th Thursday of the month 8pm

Outstanding alternative comedy. They emphasize wit. They need to get to know you before giving you a five minute spot. So visit the venue a couple times.

“Blah Blah” Comedy Club
690-692 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
Wednesdays 8:30pm

Brew HaHa Comedy
Gertrude’s Brown Couch
30 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
1st Thursday of every month

This doesn’t appear to be open mic, but may be open to requests to try out material.

The Butterfly Club
204 Bank St, South Melbourne

If your comedy is of a musical/theatrical/cabaret nature, you need to audition a full hour act to secure a booking. They may be drawing primarily from the Cabaret Festival and the cabaret course these days. Call and ask.

Checkpoint Charlie Comedy
Eurotrash
18 Corrs Lane, Melbourne
Wednesdays 8pm

Comed-oke
Melbourne International Backpackers
450 Elizabeth St (cnr Franklin St), Melbourne
Tuesdays 9pm

Speak to Jamie about getting a five minute spot.

Dave O’Neil’s Comedy Funhouse
The Grandview Hotel
Cnr Heidelberg Rd & Station St, Fairfield
Wednesdays 8pm

He says he’s interested in supporting new talent.

Comedy at Spleen Bar
Spleen Bar
41 Bourke St, Melbourne
Mondays 8:30pm

This place caters to a broad sense of humour. They need to get to know you before giving you a five minute spot.

Comedy at Syn
Syn Bar
Level 1/163 Russell St, Melbourne
Tuesdays 8pm

These guys largely draw from the Workshop at the Comic’s Lounge for the newbies.

The Comedy Gallery
The Customs House Hotel
161 Nelson Place, Williamstown
Wednesdays 9:00pm Free entry

Comic’s Lounge
26 Errol St, North Melbourne
Sun-Sat 8:30pm
Comic Workshop Tuesday 6-8pm
Young Guns Comedy Tuesday 8-10pm

Turn up for the workshop and show people your stuff. If they like you, they will give you a spot in Young Guns Comedy.

Death Star Comedy
Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets
80 Smith St, Collingwood
Wednesdays 8pm

Some great people turn up here. The venue is superb for an up and comer. I don’t know what their policy is for getting some time at the mic.

Dog’s Comedy
Dancing Dog Cafe
42a Albert St, Footscray
Thursdays 7:30pm

Run by the delightful Armando who helped with a few additions to this list. So, yes, he’s supportive of new comedy. Speak with him about getting a five minute spot.

Felix Bar Comedy
Felix Bar
11 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Open Mic Tuesdays from 29th May

Laugh Upstairs Live Comedy
Exford Hotel
199 Russell St (cnr Lt Bourke St), Melbourne
Thursdays 8:30pm

Speak to Ged about getting a five minute spot.

Moonee Ponds On-q Club
690 Mount Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
Wednesdays 8:30pm

Open Mic Night
The Dan
225 Canning St, Carlton
Tuesdays 8:30pm

This isn’t just for comedians. Musicians and spoken word artists will be performing as well. Don’t let that dissuade you. I found mixed mic nights VERY helpful in developing my material. More of them exist and you get a more diverse audience.

The Showcase
Monastery
1 Church St, Richmond
Thursdays 8:00pm, Free entry

For gig enquiries e-mail: micahda@gmail.com

Softbelly Comedy
Softbelly Bar & Lounge
367 Little Bourke St, CBD
Wednesdays 7:30pm

Sublime Sunday Comedy
On Top Bar
483 North Rd, Ormond
2nd & 4th Sundays each month 3:30pm, Free entry

Contact beforehand and request a spot.

Willow Tales
Willow Bar
222 High St, Northcote
2nd Tuesday of the month 8pm

This is one of my very favourite venues. They are strictly looking for stories and storytellers. The stories don’t have to be funny, though many are. The organisers need to get to know you before giving you a five minute spot.

Melbourne Fringe Festival

This is a good place to take a splash in the performance puddle before going on to other festivals. A number of people organise group performances with a few newbies and a few well-known comedians in one night. You can also put on your own solo show. You get a lot of support, it’s not as costly as other festivals, and you get a better idea of how things work without losing a stack of money.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Nothing is keeping you from jumping straight into the Melbourne Comedy Festival, but the competition is brutal and running a show is costly. You are much better off establishing yourself elsewhere first, and bringing your reputation with you. Take at least a year to prepare your material and your marketing BEFORE signing up.


For the Pros

These last aren’t open to newcomers, but they are important places for watching and learning from established comedians.

The Big HOO-HAA! (impro)
Portland Hotel
115-127 Russell St, Melbourne
Thursdays 8:00pm, $10-$14 entry

Comedy at the Manhattan
Manhattan Hotel
Cnr Heatherdale & Canterbury Rds, Ringwood
Thursdays

Comedy Club
Knox Ozone
425 Burwood Hwy, Wantirna South
Saturdays

Impro Melbourne TheatreSports
The Space
5 Carlton St, Prahran
Sundays 7:30pm

Local Laughs
The Local Taphouse
184 Carlisle St, St Kilda East
Mondays 8:30pm

Janet McLeod runs this room. She is one of the big movers and shakers of the Melbourne comedy scene. Go-go-go to see some of the best comedy in town and learn.

Shits ‘n’ Giggles
The Lounge
243 Swanston St, Melbourne
Tuesdays 8:30pm, Free entry

Last Laugh at The Comedy Club
Athenaeum Theatre
188 Collins St, Melbourne
Fri-Sat

The Shelf
Toff in Town
2nd Floor, Curtin House, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne
Mondays 7:30pm

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


21 responses to Melbourne Open Mic—Melbourne Venues

  • armando says:

    Katherine – where have you been! Now -if I may – you have left out some fabulous rooms that comics (new and seasoned) go to. Exford Hotel, Cnr Russell and Little Bourke – every Thursday 8:30pm – run by Ged – lovely man, see him for a gig. MIB (Melbourne International Backpackers) Cnr of Elizabeth and Franklin – every Tuesday 9:00pm – run by jamie another exceptionally nice man – AND a new room DOG’S COMEDY at 42a ALbert Street, Footscray (only 5km from Melbourne) Every Thursday at 7:30pm – run by me and my casual friends. Would love to be included should you think us worthy. Till we meet in person, keep well and stay Excited! Sincerely, armando

  • Katherine says:

    Your wonderful suggestions have been added to the list! Thank you.

    I will see about getting your way soon. If you can believe it, I’m currently working on a live-action comedy computer game.

    Peace,

    Katherine

  • armando says:

    Hey Katherine – yes there’s more – As I understand ETs is no more, SYN is about to be reincarnated as: Less Intellectual Comedy plays a Red Violin @ Red Violin – Every Tuesday starting 7 June 8:30pm – they have a Facebook page – not too sure on how to get gigs – try Shane Hill. Good will to all, armando – PS – Comedy Computer Game – really?…Good luck we need an app for that!

  • John Prendeville says:

    Thanks a million for the info. I’m from Ireland and done comedy for seven years and want to get a start over here but was at a loss as to where to begin. This is a God-send.

  • Mark Conway says:

    Hi Katherine,

    Great work with the list. I run Checkpoint Charlie with Mike Nayna. If anyone is keen for a set they can come down and see us on Wednesday nights (entry and all drinks just $5!) or e-mail us on checkpointcharliecomedy@gmail.com

    All info on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CheckpointCharlieComedy

    Cheers,

    Mark Conway

    • Katherine says:

      Hey Mark,

      I’m feeling a little slack with the blog lately. One more week of filming for the computer game and I’m back sharing what insights I have into comedy.

      Thank you so much for helping keep this list current. I will probably give it a permanent link on the front page of my blog.

      Peace,

      Katherine

  • Mark Conway says:

    Oh and we’re also on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CheckpointC #cheapplug

  • Con Kalamaras says:

    Hi There,
    Im a musician who also does comedy, Im looking for like minded comedians to develop a caberet/stand up music project- covering many Taboo subjects in comedy & song… any suggestions on finding the right people?
    cheers
    Con

    • Katherine says:

      You’re in the right place. Whenever I need talent for a project, I start hanging out at open mics and amateur theatre productions and recruit. You just have to be brave enough to ask people if they want to collaborate with you.

  • Lloyd Nunn says:

    Katherine

    Just found your page. Great stuff. Just to let you know that Felix Bar Comedy is now at 11 Fitzroy Street as we have moved. We are also starting an open mic comedy night every Tuesday from 29th May. All comers accepted and anything goes. We have no idea what is going to happen but hopefully it will be a laugh.

    Cheers

    Lloyd

  • Theboytree says:

    Thanks a bunch, I want to get myself about in the comedy thang since emigrating a few months ago, this was perfick! Cheers.

  • Matt says:

    Hi Katherine was wondering if you could do an updated list of this as I’m interested in giving this ago but alot of these no longer run there comedy night.

    Thanks,

    Matt.

    • Katherine says:

      Keeping track of open mic venues is an on-going endeavour. I don’t always have the time to keep this current, but do my best. The best time to update will be after the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Around that time certain venues close and others open. Though, I know many people are looking for practise before the event.

      Your best bet is to track down Melbourne Comedy Rooms Hub on Facebook. They dynamically keep everyone informed as to available gigs.

      Peace,
      Katherine

  • Amanda Goode says:

    Thanks for this list Katherine,
    I found it super helpful and such a time-saver.
    Cheers

  • Alanta says:

    Allo, I believe Soft Belly comedy club is no longer – now called Five Burroughs- having moved to 68 Hardware Lane, though at the same time 🙂

  • Tom says:

    Hi Katherine,
    I’m not sure if you’re still updating this, but a good one to list would be Situation Comedy 8pm every Monday at the Barleycorn Hotel 177 Johnston street Collingwood. It is a pretty local scene and often features many of the same comedians you will see at many other venues on this list, but there is always room for newbies or comics not from the area. Also, a podcast is recorded each week after the show and put on iTunes a couple of days later.
    Regards,
    Tom

    • Katherine says:

      I do update this on occasion. It gets a bit difficult between Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival. Shall see what I can do in the nearish future.

      Cheers!

  • Jim says:

    Amazingly helpful and detailed list! Thanks heaps, Katherine. Much appreciation from a soon-to-be open-miker 🙂

  • Mark says:

    Hi Katherine I would just like to ask if you know how to get into the comics lounge workshop on a tuesday? I am looking to do my first gig ever and very scared.

    Thanks
    Mark

    • Katherine says:

      Hello Mark,

      The Comics Lounge Workshop is a friendly place. You just turn up and introduce yourself to people. You will have to pay a small fee to get in, last I checked, but it is nominal.

      Best of luck on the gig! Whether you do well or not that first time, you will certainly learn. You will be a little less nervous if you make the effort about learning and enjoying yourself.

      Peace,

      Katherine

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