The Underground Comedy Club Toronto
By Karen Lloyd

Hidden Gem

The Underground Comedy Club in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood is truly a well-kept secret. The club is located on the north side of Queen Street, just west of Broadview Avenue. At the door, you’ll be greeted by owner Joanne Baker and her whimsical collection of vintage posters, memorabilia, board games, house plants and some of Toronto’s hottest comedians. “It’s a fun little place,” says Joanne, describing the club as an extension of her quirky personality. “Sometimes I call this my live installation. It owns me.”

Most nights of the week, Joanne can be found at the back of her cozy speakeasy-style club, opening the stage or mingling with comedians before they take the mic. “Shows are passionate, clean, dirty and angry,” says Joanne, who guarantees you won’t leave without at least a giggle. “Sometimes the ranters are the best.”

The Underground Comedy Club serves refreshments, including tea and coffee, as well as light snacks to nibble on, or you can bring your own, says Joanne. But since most shows start at 9:30 pm, she says there’s plenty of time to grab a bite to eat before you get to the club.

Sometimes the ranters are the best. - Joanne Baker, owner
At the door, you’ll be greeted by owner Joanne Baker and her whimsical collection of vintage posters, memorabilia, board games, house plants and some of Toronto’s hottest comedians.

All Joking Aside

First timers can expect to feel overstimulated at The Underground Comedy Club. Joanne advises comedy club newbies to pay their inaugural visit any other night of the week but Saturday. “I put all the crazy stuff on Saturday night,” she laughs. That’s when you may stumble upon the hilarious Boyd Banks, or even a classy cabaret show. You never know what you’ll find, says Joanne. 

On Wednesdays, you can expect to hear from Toronto comedy regulars like Tim Steeves, K Trevor Wilson, Rob Pue, Sandra Battaglini and Mike Wilmot. Every third Thursday is ladies night with a lineup of all female comics. The Underground Comedy Club also caters to the medical marijuana community and strives to provide a respectful and welcoming atmosphere to all guests.

On Wednesdays, you can expect to hear from Toronto comedy regulars like Tim Steeves, K Trevor Wilson, Rob Pue, Sandra Battaglini and Mike Wilmot.

Just for Laughs

Joanne’s comedy career began in the late ’90s, when she waitressed in comedy clubs around Toronto. “Even though I hated my job, I loved going there because of the comics,” she says. What she really enjoyed was their humorous view of unpleasant or mundane life events, personal or otherwise.

“Everyone thinks they have it together, but they don’t, and somehow you don’t feel so alone anymore,” says Joanne, comparing The Underground Comedy Club to a workshop for broken toys. “Come in, see some comedy and leave whole again,” she says. “I like putting a smile on someone’s face.”

The Underground Comedy Club is located on the north side of Queen Street, just west of Broadview Avenue.
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