Great Toronto comedy clubs with improv classes

Maybe you were the class clown in school or the one always cracking up your friends. If you think you’ve got a serious funny bone, put your money where your mouth is by signing up for improv classes. These comedy places can help whip you into shape.

Comedy Bar

945 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1L5

It’s one of the comfiest, most laidback comedy clubs in the city, with absolutely no pretensions and a rotating list of comedy nights each month. The only rule is to show up with a willing attitude because once you walk in through the door, anything goes. Quality of improv runs from just-getting-started to genuinely brilliant, so you’ll have a lot of people to teach you. Check out their Friday night shows first to get an idea of what to expect.

Bad Dog Theatre Corp

875 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 0A2

They have workshops for all levels of skill and confidence, whether you’ve never stood in front of a mic before or you’re fine-tuning a skill years in the making. The main focus at all classes is just having fun, so you’ll never feel put on the spot or pressured to step hugely out of your comfort zone. The biggest benefit of taking classes here is the history: Bad Dog is home to the longest continuously running improv show in Toronto.

The Second City

388 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2G3

The list of Second City alumni is almost too big to count, as it includes names such as Joan Rivers, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas and so many more. Heck, even Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey are tied to Second City. Reading over this roster can be intimidating when signing up for improv classes, but it’s also incredibly inspiring to work in one of the best and most well-known comedic environments in the world.

Black Swan Tavern

154 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N1

Want to get funny without a long-term commitment? A drop-in class is perfect, especially when you can enjoy a pint of beer after your efforts. The Danforth’s Black Swan pub has some of the best beers on tap, which is definitely the kind of carrot you want dangling in front of your nose before or after a performance. Classes are 90 minutes long every Saturday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Humber College

110 Carrier Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9W 5R1

At one time, the notion of formal education to help you be funnier was a laughable notion, but today, nobody blinks an eye. Humber teaches you the finer points of timing, bantering with the crowd, how to source material and what to do when you freeze up, as well as how to turn these skills into cold, hard cash. Instead of just performing for your classmates, you’ll be onstage at Yuk Yuk’s at 7:30 p. m. on Tuesdays for Amateur Nights.

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