Updated June 10, 2012
Houston has a very funny, diverse group of comedians. Just as diverse are the local open mics. Each comic goes to an open mic for different reasons, stage time, timing, work on new jokes, networking, hoping to be discovered and the main reason, to perform in front of an audience. The people determine if the comic is funny and what they may need to work on. Each comic wants to establish a fanbase. Open mics are a good way to start that. If you are a fan of comedy, I encourage you to attend any one of the venues below. The comics will truly appreciate it.
Houston Comedy Union Open Mic-1952 W. Gray
HCU and John Wessling host the open mic at Sherlocks in River Oaks. Sherlocks used to be the old Laff Stop. There are two rooms here. The front room has a bar, tables to eat at, and a small lounge area. The back room is where the magic happens. Dim lights and a bright stage. This is the most attended open mic in Houston with consistently over 45 local comics. For many people, this is the first stage they have ever gotten on. There have been times when the last comic went on stage at 1:55, just before closing time. The crowd can get rowdy at times. But when they are entertained, this is as close to a comedy club as you can get for an open mic. It is not uncommon to see a professional touring comic come thru here on a Monday. Sign-up is at 7:45 and the show starts at 8:30. Amateur comics get 4 minutes, pro comics get 6 minutes. Crazy drinks specials all night and they have a full menu.
*As of June 3rd, Sherlocks has closed and HCU has relocated to Baker St. Pub in Rice Village.
Te-House of Tea Open Mic(All arts)-1927 Fairview Street
Te is a small but intimate room. Most nights you will hear poetry, all different kinds of music and some comedy. The crowd is very engaging. Only a few comics go here. It is not your common comedy open mic atmosphere. Sign-up is at 8:30 and starts at 9. Of course, they have tea. No alcohol.
Tickle me Tuesdays at Uptown Hookah Bar-5706 Richmond Avenue
Hosted by Rich Williams, this place gets “bananas”! This is a great place to relax, kick back and enjoy some comedy. A wide variety of comics come thru here. From time to time Rich will have a guest host, but currently Ken Boyd is co-hosting with him. These guys keep the flow of the show smooth like dark chocolate! A DJ provides the musical intros for the comics. For Valentines Day, they had “Battle of the Sexes.” Uptown has comedy club feel at recession prices. Free admission, $3 drinks (till 9) $5 Patron shots and Margaritas all nite, discounted Hookahs, always ladies night and of course, Houston’s HOTTEST comics…Sign-up at 9, starts at 9:30
Bubbas on Washington-6225 Washington
Slade Ham host and says there are between 12-20 comics and the show usually lasts til midnight or one. Comics get to stretch their legs a bit, sometimes getting 8-10 mins or so (unless they totally suck or are first timers). He is pretty liberal with the light. And the quality of the crowd varies. It can be tough and chatty, but it can also be a totally kick ass room. It shifts throughout the night really. Regardless, it’s a really good workout room and there are always a lot of pros in house. Sign up is at 9:30 and the show starts sometime right after that. Any walk-ups just tag on at the end of the list.
Zanzibar-Music, Poetry and Comedy Open Mic-9003 Westhiemer
Canice Nnanna is the host. They welcome artist of all genre’s to be apart of the Apollo Night (Comedians, Singers, Poets, Rappers). Everybody gets free stage time. Its FREE admission, so bring your friends! *LADIES* Open Bar til’ 7pm $2 Drink Specials $4 Wing Basket! Front Row gets FREE DRINKS! Nice crowd, nice atmosphere, The Bartenders are your best friends! Couches and furniture are built in sections, so every seat feels like VIP. It’s a very nice intimate lounge. Apollo Night FAVORITES: the WINGS and Blue Adios! Sign up at 8:30 Contact info: ApolloNight2012 @gmail.com
Crazy Frogs II-1664 Fm 1960 Rd W
Crazy Frogs II the Suburban Hangout with the Redneck name, this venue features an open mic 3 Sundays out of the month with a Pro Show on the 4th Sunday, flat screens that display the names of the comics (if they pre-register), a phenomenal sound system, and a multicultural clientelle. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8:00 and admission is FREE (for now)…
HCU Power Hour and Comedy Showcase-1952 W. Gray
Sunday is a lot more laid back at Sherlocks than on a Monday. Always a great place to be. In an effort to increase stage time opportunities for upcoming comics in Houston, HCU has introduced the new Amateur POWER HOUR on Sunday nights from 9:30pm to 10:30pm, leading in to the regular HCU Sunday Pro Showcase from 10:30pm to midnight-ish. If you want to go up in the POWER HOUR, and you DO, get there around 9pm and write your name on the list…it’s JUST that easy. Spots are first come, first served.
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