Sketch Comedy Central Los Angeles
Los Angeles is home to a
shower of sketch comedy groups performing at various locations around
town. If you do not know already, sketch comedy consists of a series of
short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches," predominantly about
10 minutes in length. Such sketches are performed by a group of comedians
or comedic troupes on stage. Often sketches are first improvised by the
actors and written down based on the outcome of these improvisational
sessions; however, improvisation is not necessarily involved in all sketch
comedy. The ultimate goal of sketch comedy: sheer laughter! So with the
formal definition out of the way, let’s discover some sketch comedy happening
on an ongoing basis around Los Angeles.
Sketch Comedy cannot be considered fully discussed in Los Angeles without mentioning the Groundlings. The Groundlings began as the Gary Austin (formerly of San Franciso's "The Committee") Workshop in 1972 and has been a cornerstone of Sketch Comedy in Los Angeles ever since. As the improvisation classes became increasingly popular in the early 1970s, a core group of performers began to showcase their material at various spaces for invited audiences, including The White House and The Improv. The first performance by the newly incorporated non-profit organization known as The Groundlings was in 1974 at its most "permanent" temporary home, downstairs at Ralph Waite's Oxford Theatre in Hollywood (now the Met Theatre). The Groundlings claim many talented alum on the national comedy scene, including Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Julia Sweeney (whose now famous androgenous character Pat originated at The Groundlings), Jon Lovitz, Laraine Newman, Paul Ruebens (Pee Wee Herman was created at The Groundlings), Cassandra Peterson, Pat Morita and Edie Mclurg to name a few. Current crowd-pleasing, knee-slappin’ shows include Cookin’ with Gas, The Crazy Uncle Joe Show, Enter the Sunday and the Completely Different Late Show. Swing by the venue at 7307 Melrose Ave in Los Angeles to catch the latest rising stars in comedy.
If we are still discussing Sketch Comedy, we cannot forget to mention iO West Theater, formerly known as the "Improv Olympic West", the Los Angeles arm of the world-famous iO in Chicago. This institution in Sketch Comedy presents some of the best improvisation west of the Windy City. Charna Halpern founded the world famous ImprovOlympic Theatres (now iO) in Chicago and Hollywood, Charna’s theaters are the meccas of training in the art of improvisation and act as a recruiting stop for television shows like Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and MADtv, supplying both coasts with writers and performers. Illustrious alumni include Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live), Angela Kinsey and Kate Flannery (The Office), Neil Flynn (Scrubs, Mean Girls), Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit (30 Rock), David Koechner (Anchorman, Naked Trucker, SNL), Mike Meyers (SNL, Shrek, Austin Powers, Wayne’s World), Andy Dick (The Andy Dick Show, News Radio), Andy Richter (Late Night with Conan O’ Brien, Andy Richter Controls the Universe), Chris Farley (SNL, Tommy Boy, Black Sheep) to name a handful. They offer some of the best Sketch Comedy in town on a non-stop basis. You are guaranteed to see rising talent on the main stage on any given night. Latest offerings include the 313, Merchandise Productions, The Jon & Eddie Show, Alisha Gaddis, The Dollhouse, Wunna Weeks, Friday Night Write Club, Dr. God & The God Squad, Kind Stranger, The Lampshades, Robber Baron, Singles Bar, Losers, Red Bicyclette, I.D. Theft, Cream, Big Bennessy and the list goes on and on. iO West is located at iO West 6366 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.
Furthering the conversation, Westside Eclectic based in Santa Monica needs to be mentioned. They began in 2006 as an improv school and live comedy venue in Los Angeles and were named by Variety as a top spot to scout talent in LA, providing top-notch stand-up, sketch, and improv shows featuring some of the best players in L.A.’s comedy scene. Recent offerings include Kevin Garbee, Delta Force 3, Latchkey Kids, Vodka & Donuts, Pangea, Off the Wall, the infamous Punk House, the Be-Bop Heroin Hour, The Snoop-N-Bootsy Comedy ‘Splosion’, Waterbrains, Great Adventure Comedy Show, Transformers and many many more. The venue is located at 1323-A Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
So, if you are feeling a bit down, looking for something new to do or just need a laugh, an injection of Sketch Comedy at any of the venues above will surely provide the cure. And if the economy is the reason for your blues, not to worry, StubDog.com offers a caboodle of Sketch Comedy at half-price to all of these venues. Browse, Purchase, Live, Laugh and Enjoy.