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San Francisco is no stranger to comedy. Robin Williams, Margaret Cho and Dana Carvey all started with humble beginnings in the San Francisco comedy scene. Open mic nights are one of the best ways to see new talent and get a good laugh or grumble. Here are some of the best open mic comedy shows in San Francisco that will get you laughing without the expensive cover charge.

The Basement
222 Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 742-7222

The Basement is an intimate venue in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. It currently hosts open mic comedy nights on Thursdays. “Where the Funny Things Are” opens the stage to regulars as well as newbies, creating a diverse comedy set. Check the calendar regularly to note any changes to the schedule.

Club OMG
43 Sixth St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 896-6473

Club OMG is a popular gay bar that hosts a comedy open mic night weekly. Sign ups for the open mic start at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover charge and well drinks are two for one. Check the calendar regularly as dates for the comedy night change throughout the month.

Doc’s Lab
124 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 649-6191

Doc’s Lab features up and coming Bay Area comics as well as a special guests. The hosts vary and you must contact the venue in advance to perform. Typically comedy open mic lasts for three hours. The venue is intimate and has the feel of an underground comedy club.

1122 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 861-3663

Brainwash is part laundromat, part cafe with an open mic a few nights a week. Content for open mics are typically not reserved for comedy only, but most open mics will have some stand up. There are exclusive comedy open mics as well as comedy showcases, just check the calendar in advance. The comedy can be hit or miss but there is no cover charge and there are some gems in there.

Melt Cafe
700 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 392-9290

Melt has a weekly open mic night where comedy, music and poetry flow. They have also hosted a mic comedy showcase in the past, check the events section for up to date schedules. The cafe itself has a European vibe and does not charge a cover charge. Like most open mics, comedy has its high and lows but there is a lot of variety.

Mutiny Radio Gallery
2781 21st St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 341-1199

Mutiny Radio makes for a cheap date night with a free comedy open mic and low cost brew. They also host a comedy showcase where you need to purchase tickets in advance. If you want to hear comedy from the comfort of your home, streaming is also available. It broadcasts and hosts comedy but is also a platform for theater, interviews and activists among others.

SF Eagle
398 12th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

SF Eagle is a gay biker bar that hosts comedy open mic nights a few nights a month. Sign up to be on stage at 5:30 p.m. if you’re there to perform and show up 30 minutes later to watch the comedy. It is located in the SOMA district and there are often drink specials for the open mic. The scene is Folsom street fair meets comedy club.