There’s so much to do in Las Vegas between hitting the tables and machines inside one of the fabulous casinos.
The popularity of standup comedy comes and goes. A decade ago there were venues for standup comedy popping up anywhere casinos could stick a microphone.
Even the Dueling Pianos bar inside Paris Las Vegas turned into a standup comedy club for national touring comedians at one point. Yes, comedians would share a stage with a piano or two. This made for fun banter that most cities didn’t experience.
Over the years touring comedians were thriving nationwide. However, Las Vegas shows started to dwindle as crowds chose other entertainment options. The dueling piano bar/comedy club is now Monte Cristo Cigar Bar.
The popularity of standup comedy reversed course a few years ago. This was one of the first forms of entertainment to return after the Covid-19 pandemic and its popularity around the country continues to grow.
Las Vegas is still a unique comedy market since there are so many entertainment options. Comedy clubs and other venues hosting comedians around town are as busy as ever.
Large comedy shows in Las Vegas are different from other cities. While a comedian can play in stadiums and arenas in other cities, they often choose to play in smaller theaters for multiple nights in Las Vegas. The smaller environments can make for a better experience for those in attendance.
Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and Tom Segura shun the larger venues for multi-night appearances at the Chelsea Theater at The Cosmopolitan. Sebastian Maniscalco has a residency at the Encore Theater inside Wynn instead of visiting Las Vegas to play an arena show.
He even recorded his most recent Netflix schedule at the Las Vegas casino.
Altogether, Las Vegas has a wide variety of standup comedy venues. Beyond the large theater shows there are comedy clubs located inside and outside of Las Vegas casinos.
Las Vegas casinos hosting big standup comedy shows
There are a handful of Las Vegas casinos that host large standup comedy shows in theaters and even arenas. These shows have a capacity from 2,000 to 12,000 or more.
Some of the theaters are also home to standup comedy residencies and limited engagements throughout the year.
The Mirage has been the home of standup comedy residencies for years. New owners, Hard Rock International, have kept the regular comedy shows while planning changes to the property.
Center Stage Comedy at The Mirage usually hosts just one or two shows at a time for comedians who may not be touring. These shows can be special events unique to Las Vegas.
There are some, like Jim Jefferies, who announce limited engagements all at once. George Lopez, Brad Williams, Jimmy Carr, Ronny Chieng, and Whitney Cummings all have shows booked for The Mirage this year.
Adding entertainment options is a large part of The Venetian’s ongoing property-wide makeover. While music residencies get most of the press, the casino has been hosting standup comedy shows at The Venetian Theater.
David Spade and Nikki Glaser will continue to perform together throughout the year. Mike Epps will also return to The Venetian for at least a handful of shows this year.
There will likely be more standup comedy shows announced throughout the year.
Wynn Las Vegas
The Encore Theater inside Wynn has standup comedy residencies along with hosting national touring comedians. In addition to Sebastian Maniscalco, Wynn is home to Nate Bargatze and Jim Gaffigan when they’re in Las Vegas.
This year Russle Peters is planning his first three-night limited engagement at Wynn while Heather McMahan is making a stop on her national tour.
More casinos with big standup comedy shows
There are always big standup comedians touring. Las Vegas has so many venues that there are often comedians making a traditional tour stop at one of these casino venues.
The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan often hosts touring comedians for multi-night engagements. Matt Rife has three shows scheduled this year. Meanwhile, Hasan Minaj has just a single show.
Dolby Theater at Park MGM, Grand Garden Arena at MGM Grand, and Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay each have occasional appearances from comedians.
Las Vegas comedy clubs
Las Vegas standup comedy is more than just big shows with famous names. There are a handful of traditional comedy clubs in Las Vegas.
These 200-500 capacity venues are where most touring comedians earn their stripes. Comedy clubs host new and veteran touring and local comedians. The best comedy shows I’ve seen have all been inside these venues.
I’ve seen Dave Chappelle, John Mulaney, and more in comedy clubs with just a few hundred people. I have such great memories of these shows.
The intimate environment in comedy clubs creates a connection that isn’t possible in larger venues. Another key difference with comedy clubs is that ticket prices are often lower than the big theater and arena shows.
- Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand
- Comedy Cellar at Rio
- Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at The Linq
- LA Comedy Club at The Strat
- The Laugh Factory at the Tropicana
In addition to these smaller, more intimate comedy clubs inside or next to casinos there are always a few around town. Right now Wiseguys in the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas is the non-casino hot spot.
Wiseguys hosts everyone from open-mic local comedians to movie stars like Pauly Shore.