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There are two types of people in the world: those who can garner laughs as easy as breathing by making a joke out of anything or anyone, and those who think they're funny by exploiting the hell out of a lame knock, knock joke. The ability to make people laugh is possessed by few. And some of these genuinely funny people go as far as doing it for a living.
It's not easy being a comedian, especially when you're performing for Miami's tough crowds. You have to be willing to accept that awkward "crickets chirping" feeling if you suck (or worse). You also have to start your career by taking the mic anywhere you can.
Miami audiences, on the other hand, have several tried-and-true funny spots to get their giggles. From traditional clubs to unexpected haunts, hit up one of these five comedy venues.
6. Mustache Ride Comedy Show
Local comics converge on Lester's once every month to test their new material in an intimate environment. But that doesn't mean they're all holding hands and singing Kumbaya. There's plenty of edge to homegrown talent like regulars Dominic Perenzin, Forrest Shaw, and host Irene Morales. The next edition goes down Wednesday, August 8.
8 p.m., 2519 NW Second Ave., Miami, 305-456-1784
5. Sweat Records Casa De Ha-Ha
Indie record store by day, house of comedy by night. It's not the most obvious choice to catch a standup act, but they must be doing something right. The independent standup comedy showcase has been making a riot every second Tuesday of the month since 2008. Hosted by comedian Daniel Reskin, "Casa de Ha-Ha" sets the stage for well-known local comedians like John Vargas and John Wynn. You can catch Sweat's next comedy night on August 14.
Price: No cover
9 p.m., 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami, 786-693-9309, sweatrecordsmiami.com
4. Comedy Night at Elwoods Gastropub
For a night of foul language and sexually explicit tales, Elwoods delivers to serious fans of comedy. Local funnyman Forrest Shaw takes the lead on some of South Florida's best comedians. You can get your laughs at Elwoods every first and third Tuesday of the month. Comedy Nights are sponsored by Samuel Adams, which means you can get two beers for $8.
Price: No cover
7:30 p.m. 188 NE Third Ave., Miami, 305-358-5222, elwoodsgastropub.com
3. Comedy Night at The Museum at Miami Science Museum
Don't be fooled by the location. MiaSci's state-of-the-art theatre is probably where some of the loudest laughs are heard in Miami. Comedy Night at The Museum is presented by the comics behind the Have-Nots--a power house comedy group with a mission to produce comedy with a purpose. Line-ups run the gamut from funny guy Johnny Trabs to local comedienne Jessica Gross to Miami's favorite Cuban puppet, Pepe Billete. Next up, Clyde Gordon brings his drolls to the stage on August 11.
Price: General admission, $15; VIP, $20
8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., 3280 South Miami Ave., Miami, 305-646-4200, havenotscomedy.com
2. Just the Funny Theatre
For the improv seekers, Just the Funny Theatre is where jokes and gags are made up on the spot by a seasoned troupe of comedians and talented sketch groups. If you're a fan of SNL and Whose Line is It Any Way, The Big Show held every first Friday and Saturday of the month is the next best thing. And if you think you've got what it takes to make people laugh, you can test that (probably incorrect) theory by taking one of their comedy classes.
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Price: $10, $8 online
9 p.m., 3119 Coral Way Coral Gables, 305-693-8669, justthefunny.com
1. Miami Improv
They say laughter is the best medicine. If that's the case, then Miami Improv can cure all ailments. With improv, sketch, and stand-up shows seven nights a week, Miami Improv is the go-to-place for the best gut-busting action, featuring both local talent and national touring acts. Recent acts have included Carlos Mencia, Mike Epps, Eddie Griffin, and Jackass's biggest jackass, Steve-O. And every performance comes with access to a full bar and food menu. Just try not to spit a piece of chicken wing on your date while you're laughing your ass off.
Price: $15 and up
3390 Mary St. Coconut Grove, 305-441-8200, miamiimprov.com