When the world is in as much of a mess as it is at the moment, with Teresa May in charge in Downing Street and Donald Trump strutting around the Oval Office like a slapped fanny, it seems the only way it can get worse is if Ming the Merciless manages to win the next General Election. So why not get yourself out to one of these places to take your mind off the end of the world by splitting your sides all over the place.
This Manchester institution began life down in Fallowfield, entertaining students with fantastic acts with the BBC exclaiming it as “The best comedy club in the country is also one of the cheapest”. Due to the fact that nobody seems to go out in Fallows much anymore, the comedy night has moved closer to the centre; now located in the aptly named The Pub/Zoo. It’s still providing excellent stand-up every Tuesday with professional comedians and newbies mixing seamlessly. The night has won a shed load of Chortle awards in the past and thankfully it is still a little bit manky and still funnier than a toddler falling on their face.
If you can manage to drag yourself away from monotone, [INSULT] Gary Barlow, you’d be stupid not to head down to Gorilla on the first Saturday of every month for their Group Therapy comedy night. The next one is on the 4th March and will feature Tim Key (Partridge’s mate Sidekick Simon in Mid Morning Matters), Sean (“One brilliant punchline after another”) McLoughlin and Phil Ellis (Winner of the 2014 Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards). As winner of Best Comedy Club in the 2015 CityLife Awards expect some quality comedy, a great selection of gin, and an abundance of exposed brick.
Frog and Bucket
If you are looking to have a laugh, cheap drinks, top scran and a dance then you cannot go wrong with the Frog and Bucket. Not only has it been going strong for over 20 years, it has managed to play host to many of the great comedians of our time, including Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay. Nowadays they have a massive range of nights on their calendar including the fantastic ‘Beat the Frog’ on Mondays and ‘Barrel of Laughs’ on Fridays and Saturdays.
Frog and Bucket
102 Oldham St, M4 1LJ
I’ve always been perplexed by the location of the Comedy Store. Most people caught telling a joke at someone else’s expense on Deansgate Locks ends up getting glassed in the neck by a bloke with a shit haircut – but this is where there is an exception. With regular nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as many one-off events, there’s sure to be plenty for everyone. On Sundays you can expect a wide range of nights including King Gong (anyone can try and beat the gong) and New Comedians (self-explanatory idiot).
The Comedy Store
Arches 3 and 4 Deansgate Locks, Whitworth Street West, M1 5LH
Salford Quays is already a place where you can have a bloody good laugh. Just one walk round the Lowry Outlet Mall is enough to make you giggle at the seemingly desperate attempt to classify it as a ‘mall’, and the Blue Peter garden is also laughably tiny compared to the one Les Ferdinand famously smashed up in the 80s. On top of this though, the Lowry Theatre has a packed calendar of comedians walking through their doors, and if you’ve ever seen Live at the Apollo on TV, you’re probably going to know them. Some personal upcoming highlights include Jamie McDonald (8th March), Richard Herring (19th March) and Omid Djalili (26th March).
Lowry Outlet, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ
The O2 Apollo
Always a top place to catch some of the more well-known comedians out there, the Apollo has a great line up for the coming months. This includes perpetual TV-hogger Jimmy Carr, Brent-ruiner Ricky Gervais and Sean ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ Lock. Their website also lists a performance by self-proclaimed fat bastard Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown in December. So if he manages to live that long on his diet of deep fried sausages and racism, then get yourself down there for some casual filth.
Stockport Rd, Manchester M12 6AP
Kings Arms, Salford
Last time I was in the Kings Arms was to watch a mate in a play in the theatre upstairs. His performance was surprisingly impressive, as was the pub. A proper boozer, you should expect plenty of lovely ales, frosty beers, decent pub grub and enough Scampi fries to make your breath smell like a mermaid’s gusset. On top of this they have a massive calendar of live music, theatre and comedy to keep you entertained – one of which is their monthly improv. night – Let’s See What Happens. Improv can be hit and miss every time you go; sometimes it’s brilliant and sometimes it’s breathtakingly bad – but for only £3 – it would be a shame not to find out!
11 Bloom St, Salford M3 6AN
Dead Cat Comedy @ Sandbar
On the 2nd Wednesday of every month, the Dead Cat Comedy Club take over Sandbar with a great indie comedy night featuring established, as well as newer acts. Coming up on the 8th March is Bobby Mair and Tom King – both of which you will probably recognise if you enjoy watching 8 Out of 10 Cats on Dave. I don’t have a clue why everyone is so obsessed with cats and comedy – perhaps it reminds them not to make a-paw-ling jokes. I’m here all week.
NQ staple Kosmonaut offer the chance to catch “A no-holds-barred sketch show unlike any other” in their Bargain Basement comedy night every first Monday of the month. Run by Gein’s Family Giftshop, a diverse quartet performing sketches and improvisation that will have you laughing into your craft ale. With the addition of the fantastic Hip Hop Chip Shop, offering award winning chippy grub – you’re sure to have a rib-tickling time.
Didsbury Comedy Club
That Didsbury lot have a lot to be happy about. Not only are house prices still mega high, but the price of prosecco and quinoa is dropping faster than they can say “a week in La Plagne”. I suppose it’s just the cherry on top that they also have a belting comedy night held at the Didsbury Cricket Club on the first Sunday of the month. By that reckoning the next one is on the 5th March; featuring Micky Bartlett, Raymond Mearns and Andrew Ryan for only 7 sheets – which leaves plenty of money left to get down to Waitrose and go mental.