Top-flight comedy clubs have popped up across the nation, and comic Amy Schumer, whose Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer premieres April 30, says some clubs stand out. The layout, the staff and the type of crowd all help make for a memorable show.
Denver Comedy Works - Denver
Schumer recorded an album at this downtown Larimer Square club, and particularly likes the crowds. "Denver has a good class of people. They're smart and they're excited." The room itself is large with low ceilings, but still feels intimate. And the staff knows how to produce a show, Schumer says. 303-595-3637; comedyworks.com
Gotham Comedy Club - New York
Schumer has a weak spot for this Manhattan club, where she became established as a comedian. "Gotham actually grew me. It's the first place I ever got on stage. It's the first that headlined me," she says. Other hometown favorites include Comedy Cellar, where she performs frequently, and a new discovery, Levity Live in nearby Nyack, N.Y. "It's huge and beautiful and looks like a TV taping set." 212-367-9000; gothamcomedyclub.com
Punchline - San Francisco
Schumer knows that audiences will get her jokes at this Bay Area club. "Smart people live in San Francisco, so the crowds are always really bright. My punch lines are really understated, so you have to listen," she says. The club also has a nostalgic atmosphere. "You can feel the comedians who have been there before," she says. 415-397-7573; punchlinecomedyclub.com
Stand Up Live - Phoenix
This new downtown club has great energy, Schumer says. "People are hungry for comedy there. It's a partying culture." The room is designed with a theater-style stage but has comedy club seating, which she says is a perfect combination. "It's nice to have this feeling of a real show, but have it be sort of lower stakes than you would at a huge theater." 480-719-6100; standuplive.com
Cap City Comedy Club - Austin
Brainy, partying crowds make the Texas capital a great place to perform, Schumer says. "People are smart and paying attention," she says. "The shows are so successful there." Plus, given all the other entertainment options people have in the city, it's clear the audience wants to be there for the show, she says. 512-467-2333; capcitycomedy.com
Rooster T. Feathers - Sunnyvale, Calif.
Schumer likes the laid-back, kitschy style at this club, where instead of a greenroom, performers sit outside in lawn chairs while they wait their turn on stage. "It feels like you're performing at your eccentric uncle's house," she says. "It's off-the-beaten path, and when people come there, they're really coming to see you on purpose," she says. 408-736-0921; roostertfeathers.com
Hollywood Improv - Los Angeles
This Melrose Avenue club attracts big-name entertainers, but Schumer says that only motivates her more. "I think there are strong harder-working comedians in New York than in L.A. I can go up and kill. I feel very successful there," she says. "That's a room where famous, famous people will perform." 323-651-2583; hollywood.improv.com
Acme Comedy Company - Minneapolis
Though Schumer has never performed at this club in the city's Warehouse District, she has caught shows there, and is impressed with the venue. "People there are so smart and quick. Comedians absolutely rave about this club. It looks like a great room to perform in." 612-338-6393; acmecomedycompany.com
Punchline - Atlanta
Comics can always feel the energy at this club, Schumer says. "They're so ready to party on the weekends. I always get heckled there, but the staff is so nice." She says the wood-paneled room feels timeless. "It's like going to your aunt's house who hasn't updated the carpeting since the 1980s." 404-252-5233; punchline.com
The Comedy Attic - Bloomington, Ind.
Schumer was surprised by the atmosphere at this club located in the hometown of Indiana University. "It's the Midwest, but they're nobody's fool. The people are smart, and I love the culture there, and the restaurants and the bars. It's kind of a happening city," she says.
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