Nick Karvounis

Comedy In San Diego: NBC's Last Comic Standing & Nightly Laughs

Comedy In San Diego

There’s something to laugh about in San Diego

When it comes to comedy, San Diego keeps them rolling in the aisles. From up-and-coming local talent to established A-list TV stars, comedy clubs across the city offer guests classic stand-up comedy in traditional and non-traditional venues. Whether you’re hoping to see your favorite sit-com star in person or catch an improve troupe create on-the-spot sketches, there’s something funny waiting for you in San Diego.

Comedy In San Diego – Last Comic Standing

You”ve seen them on TV, you voted for them; now see them live on stage! Enjoy an evening of great stand-up comedy featuring the hilarious finalists from NBC”s hit show Last Comic Standing. Catch these five rising stars as they ignite the stage with the jokes and laughter that made them the finalists in America”s funniest show. Comic legends Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and SNL alum Norm Macdonald presided over the weekly telecast, shared their expert advice, and poked fun at the contestants. See what made the judges choose these five finalists as they take the stage in San Diego.

Comedy In San DiegoLocation: Historic Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Date: Friday, Nov 27 – 7PM

American Comedy Company

Locally owned and operated, this A-list comedy club and restaurant features nationally known stand-up comedians including superstars like Drew Carey, Gabriel Iglesias, Adam Carolla and Marlon Wayans.  Don’t let the location fool you – a simple marque entrance leads underground to a cavernous venue with an awesome vibe. With a traditional stage setup, every seat in the house has a great view of the performer. Grab a burger, nachos—or even a salad—and enjoy some side-splitting comedy.

Comedy In San DiegoLocation: 818 B 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Date & Time: nightly – check online schedule
More Info: American Comedy Club

Mad House Comedy Club

Funny goes to new heights at the Mad House Comedy Club – literally. High atop downtown’s Horton Plaza shopping epicenter, touring comedians and local stars dish out the zingers. Comics hot off their appearances on The Tonight Show, MTV, HBO and Comedy Central make appearances at this unique roof-top casino online club.  With an extensive menu custom created by Chef Gabriel Egea, the food gives the comedy a run for its money. For the really unexpected, check out Open Mic Night. No cover. No drink minimum. No promises! Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s awful, sometimes, it’s so terrible – it’s hilarious!

Comedy In San DiegoLocation: 502 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
Date & Time: nightly – check online schedule
More Info:  Mad House Comedy Club

The Comedy Store (La Jolla)

Taking a cue from the original location in Hollywood, The Comedy Store in the village of La Jolla doesn’t hold back when it comes to booking top name talent and cutting-edge comedy. Dan Cummins, Eleanor Kerrigan, The Veterans of Comedy and even Pauly Shore are upcoming headliners at the club. Founder Mitzi Shore originally opened The Comedy Store in Pacific Beach as a vacation gig for the comics she booked.  In 1977, the club moved to its current location in La Jolla and the laughs have endured for nearly 40 years!

Comedy In San DiegoLocation: 916 Pearl Street, San Diego, CA 92037
Date & Time: nightly – check online schedule
More Info: The Comedy Store

National Comedy Theatre (NCT)

For more than two decades, the improv comics at National Comedy Theatre have been making people laugh with their unique sketch comedy. Each show is completely different as the story and jokes are inspired by audience suggestions. Be careful what you wish for because these incredibly witty comedians will turn your comments into a story line—and a punchline.  If you’re feeling the funny bone tickling inside you, you can also sign up for an improv class and launch your way to stardom right here in San Diego!

Comedy In San DiegoLocation: 3717 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103
Date & Time: nightly – check online schedule
More Info:  National Comedy Theatre

The Comedy Palace

If you’re looking for more up-and-coming stars and some variety, check out The Comedy Palace in the San Diego neighborhood of Kearny Mesa.  Catch a back-room magic show on Saturday nights with Nicholas Gentry or one of many promotional nights including Freakin’ Funny Females and Pulp Pinup-A Comedy Burlesque Show. From headliners to open-mic night, there’s always a joke waiting for you at the palace.

Comedy In San DiegoLocation: 8878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92123
Date & Time: nightly – check online schedule
More Info:  The Comedy Palace

Nick Karvounis

Catch SNL Alum Darrell Hammond Exclusively in San Diego Through March 8th

Darrell Hammond at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego

Fans of comedian Darrell Hammond know him from his long-running gig at Saturday Night Live impersonating some of the world’s most notable people including Bill Clinton, Sean Connery, Donald Trump and even Reverend Jesse Jackson. But through March 8th, a darker more intense side of Hammond can be seen in the world premiere of his one-man show The Darrell Hammond Project at The La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego.

Take a Journey Through Darrel Hammond’s Life

Darrell Hammond at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego

Photos courtesy Jim Carmody/La Jolla Playhouse

Over the course of 90 minutes, Hammond takes audiences on a journey beyond the headlines, beyond the lights, and into a world of depression, anxiety, and mistrust. He tells the story of his childhood, relationship with his father and mother, and his encounters with more than 40 psychologists who couldn’t find the source of his problems. Through a series of revelations over the years, he – and the audience – begin to unravel the stories and characters behind his rise from despair to legendary comic.

Darrell Hammond at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego

Photos courtesy Jim Carmody/La Jolla Playhouse

Although the story is serious and disturbing at times, Hammond interweaves his comedic impressions throughout the show, and brings levity and happiness at just the right moment. For fans, the chance to hear the stories behind the voices and enjoy some of their favorite impersonations live, this show provides just the right balance for a memorable experience.

Darrell Hammond at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego

Photos courtesy Jim Carmody/La Jolla Playhouse

La Jolla Playhouse is a gem in San Diego that every visitor to the area should experience. The Tony Award-winning venue is known as one of the great regional theaters which develops unique productions destined for Broadway. Previous hits include Jersey Boys, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife.

The Darrell Hammond Project

Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: Through March 8, 2015
> Find out more about The Darrell Hammond Project

Darrell Hammond can also be seen on February 15, 2015, during the 3-hour 40th Anniversary Saturday Night Live TV special.

Nick Karvounis

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 14 – 17, 2014

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

Your friends will be green with envy when you tell them you’re heading to San Diego this weekend.  With so many great attractions and events, there’s something for everyone; you won’t need the luck of the Irish to have a good time.  Check out these top things to do in San Diego during this festive weekend!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown San Diego

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a fan favorite!

There’s a party and then there’s a party on St. Patrick’s Day.  Celebrate with friends across the region at some of San Diego’s annual events including Irish 4 A Day – St. Paddy’s Eve Party Hop, shamROCK Gaslamp Block Party, St. Patrick’s Day at the Glass Door, St. Patrick’s Beer Train Tour, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.  Read more on our St. Patrick’s Day blog.

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day in San Diego

Kids — and adults — will have a hair-raising day at Balboa Park.

This one’s for the kids – and adults too!  This week-long festival takes place at various locations throughout the region. On Sunday, March 16th, enjoy Balboa Park STEAM Family Day, where more than two dozen institutions in the park gather to present park-wide events. Enjoy hands-on activities, crafts, a butterfly release, storytelling and much more.

Where: Balboa Park
When: Sunday, March 16,
Cost: Children 12 & under free with paid adult admission
>Read more about the schedule of events at Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

SUPERSEAL and SEAL Sprint Triathlons

Coronado Island is host to the SUPERSEAL triathlon

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

This one’s for the athletes… and the dreamers.  There’s no more spectacular setting than Coronado Island for an intense triathlon competition.  The course was designed by Navy SEALs who train on the island, so expect a rigorous race.  The SUPERSEAL consists of a 1,500-meter swin, 40K bike ride, and 10k run.  For the less-adventurous, the SEAL course is shorter with 500-meter swim in Silver Strand State Beach Bay, 20k bike ride, and 6k run.  Whatever you choose, good luck!

Where: 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Cost: $100 – $245
>Read more about the triathlon on Coronado Island

Bike Tour through scenic Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs two-wheeled bike tour!

It’s a flat terrain course, but still a challenging 80-mile ride in Borrego Springs!

We’ll start with a caveat on this… the terrain is mostly flat.  But you still have to be in shape for this spectacular scenic bike ride through Borrego Springs.  Choose from 27, 40, 67, or 80-mile paved road courses while enjoying the beautiful mountains in the distance.  Don’t miss the landmark prehistoric metal sculptures too!

Where: Borrego Springs High School, 2281 Diegueno Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $49
>Read more about this great two-wheeled Tour of Borrego

Art Above San Diego

Porto Vista Hotel hosts the annual Art Above San Diego fair

Enjoy a spectacular view at sunset during this elevated art fair!

This event at the Porto Vista Hotel literally elevates your art collection.  Enjoy a breathtaking view of San Diego’s Big Bay during sunset while sipping champagne on the rooftop terrace.  This open-air contemporary art fair features works from San Diego’s local emerging artists and galleries.

Where: Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $5-$10 donations requested
>Explore more about the Art Above San Diego fair

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Nick Karvounis

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 4-9, 2014

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

The rain storms have passed and San Diego is back to its fabulous winter weather – sunny with a chance of perfect!  Check out some great things to do this week:

Fat Tuesday: San Diego Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

It’s a carnival atmosphere in the Gaslamp during Mardi Gras

Those who think only NOLA knows how to celebrate Fat Tuesday have clearly never been to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for Mardi Gras. The biggest block party of the year features 22 city blocks with 3 main stages and 3 satellite stages, a DJ appearance by Snoopadelic, and a parade for more than 30,000 revelers.

Where: Market Street & 5th Avenue, San Diego 92101
When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Cost: $35-75
>Find out more about the San Diego Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration

A Side-Splitting Night of Comedy with TJ Miller

He’s been named one of Variety’s “Top 10 comics to watch”, and that’s for a good reason.  His unique delivery of jokes and perspective on current affairs will leave you rolling in the aisles. Aside from a genuinely funny persona, his comedy is smart and on-the-edge.  You may recognize him from various TV and film appearances including Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carrell, and Rock of Ages opposite Tom Cruise!  Watch him in the Moto X “Lazy Phone” commercial above for a quick laugh!

Where: The American Comedy Company, 818 B 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Thursday, March 6 – Saturday March 8, 2014
Cost: $24
>Read more about TJ Miller and American Comedy Company

Run with the Best: 3rd Annual San Diego Half-Marathon

san diego half marathon

Have you been training? It’s half-marathon time!

Grab your runnin’ shoes and enjoy the scenic beauty of San Diego along this 13.1 mile course though the city. This fantastic course begins at Petco Park under the Omni San Diego Hotel Sky Brige and winds throughout America’s Finest City. Enjoy spectacular views of San Diego Bay, Liberty Station, neighborhoods including Mission Hills and Hillcrest, and a final downhill stretch along Balboa Park. And what better way to finish than a block party at the historic Gaslamp Quarter! You can also participate in less rigorous events including the 2-person relay (you and a partner complete the race together) and a 5k for all ages.

Where: Varies – Runners, see your final registration instructions for meeting points.
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cost: 5k – $45; Relay – $80; Half Marathon – $109
>Find out more about the San Diego Half Marathon

9th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Full Bloom

japanese friendship garden cherry blossom

Enjoy the sights and smells of cherry blossoms this weekend.

Winter may not officially end until March 19th, but in San Diego, the colors of spring bloom earlier than most parts of the country. Be part of the Japanese tradition of hanami, which means “enjoying the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms.”  For the eighth year, the Japanese Friendship Garden invites guests to stroll along the picturesque paths featuring more than 150 cherry trees. Cultural performances, samples from the Sapporo Beer Garden, authentic Japanese street food, and activities for the entire family round out a memorable day in Balboa Park.

Where: Balboa Park, 2215 Pan American Way E, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cost: $6 adults; $5 Seniors, Military, Students; Kids under 6 free
>Find out more about the 9th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

San Diego Opera Presents a Masked Ball

San Diego Opera 2014

Get some culture: the San Diego Opera puts on a terrific show.

If you don’t speak Italian, that’s just fine.  Supertitles are projected in English above the stage for a complete translation during the show. Plus, the music alone is worth the price of admission. Giuseppe Verdi’s A Masked Ball is the story of friendship, love, jealousy and cold-blooded murder – all told through spectacular sets, award-winning music, and of course, legendary operatic ballads. With an all-star cast of world-renowned opera singers, the San Diego Opera production is sure to leave you cheering Bravo!

Where: San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 8-16, 2014
Cost: $35 – $225
>Read more about the San Diego Opera’s production of A Masked Ball

La Jolla Music Society Presents SIRO-A, an Interactive Hi-Tech Performance

Siro-A San Diego

You’ll have to see SIRO-A to understand…

It’s hard to compare this unique act to anything else on the planet. To say that they are Japan’s answer to the out-of-this-world vaudeville troupe, Blue Man Group, might be a close start. Fusing visual effects, mime, dance, puppetry, and a rockin’ electro soundtrack, SIRO-A is a collaborative show from six talented performers who interact with technology like you’ve never seen before.  Lasers, animation, and video projection are just some of the enhancements you’ll see when the lights go down this Sunday!

Where: La Jolla Music Society, 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cost: $27 – $67
>Read more about the innovative group SIRO-A

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar