Awkward Silence is a new weekly column focusing on San Francisco stand-up comedy.
San Francisco is a hotbed for stand-up comedy. The city has been the launching point for some of the greatest names throughout the history of comedy - stars like Patton Oswalt, Robin Williams, and Dana Carvey were once unknown locals, taking the stage at open mics and showcases.
That local scene is still thriving today, featuring hundreds of talented up-and-comers and breeding tomorrow's comedy stars. This new weekly column will examine this rich local scene, starting start with a tip that might make your nights better: You can see great stand-up comedy every night of the week in this city - for under $10!
Here are some great places to start:
2nd Sundays at 7 p.m.
Actors Theatre of San Francisco - 855 Bush (at Taylor)
$10, with occasional deals for fans of the Facebook page
This monthly show is a fun, live take on the familiar late-night talk show format. Producer Natasha Muse and her co-host Ryan Cronin invite some of the best comics in the area to perform a short set plus an interview. The show begins with Natasha's opening monologue and is filled out with the musical stylings of the Mike Spiegelman Cacophonous Euphoria Band and surprises from Kelly the Stage Manager and Sign Master Brian Fields.
3rd Mondays at 9 p.m.
Club Deluxe - 1511 Haight (at Ashbury)
$10, Ladies free before 9 p.m.
Produced by Al Gonzales and hosted by comedians Juan Medina and Josef Anolin, this local showcase promises stellar acts every month. The cozy setting of Club Deluxe is great for late-night comedy, and the bar also offers delicious artisan pizza and famous freshly-squeezed cocktails - be sure to try the Monday-night favorite, the Greyhound!
Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
Milk Bar - 1840 Haight St. (at Stanyan)
Comics clamor to get booked on this weekly show, which features the best of the Bay Area and occasional national headliners. Milk Bar has the cool vibe of a '90s rock club, not a red-brick two-drink stand-up venue. Producer and host Eric Barry recognized the untapped potential of the space for comedy just a few months ago, and he's put on a fantastic show each week since.
Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
The Dark Room - 2263 Mission St. (at 18th)
$5, two-for-one admission available with "Business Dollars"
This weekly showcase, produced by the local comedy powerhouse The Business, is one of the best values to be found in the Bay Area. Bucky Sinister, Sean Keane, Alex Koll, and Chris Garcia produce and take turns hosting and performing with the top emerging comics from the Bay Area and around the country. Grab a burrito from across the street, and enjoy dinner and a show for just $10!
1st and 3rd Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
Murphy's Pub - 217 Kearny St (b/t Sutter and Bush)
This comedy troupe consisting of Ryan Cronin, Adam McLaughlin, and Joe Nguyen produce a bi-weekly show featuring local all-stars. The show's home in the long, narrow basement space of Murphy's Pub, along with the decidedly nerdy bent of the producers, gives the show its rare quirky energy.