At some point, you’ve watched a stand-up comedian perform and thought to yourself, “I can do that.” And you can. Right now. Like, quit your job and go do it.
The DFW area has more spots to perform stand-up than ever before, and the opportunities are growing. Although Dallas might not be known as a comedy town, some of the comics you see on TV or in movies started a quick drive away from you at local comedy open mics. So if your No. 1 wish is to perform stand-up, and you really can’t think of another, more productive wish, here are some places to go to.
This list obviously doesn’t cover all of the open mics to attend, but it provides a starting point. In no particular order, here are some of the area's best stand-up comedy open mics.
Dallas Comedy House
Deep Ellum has had some good years and years when everything was boarded up like a ghost town, but during it all, the Dallas Comedy House has been there providing laughs. Celebrating its ninth year, Dallas Comedy House has grown to a new location offering two rooms of comedy Tuesday nights for zero charge. Email ahead of time to sign up for the stand-up open mic, where you will get up to five minutes to perform, or try your hand at the improvisational comedy room one door over. Dallas Comedy House also teaches comedy classes, so sign up for one if you think a few pointers will help before jumping in.
8 p.m. Tuesdays at 3025 Main St.; email email@example.com to sign up
Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub Dallas
You’ve decided to go to the Angelika in Mockingbird Station, and after looking at all the foreign movies playing, it’s clear you’ve made a huge mistake. Take 10 steps to the right of the box office, and you’re at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub in Dallas. It opened almost 10 years ago and has provided one of the best open mics in Dallas by having the largest collection of local rising comics and surprise performances from national touring headliners. A collection of local comedians hosts the event, and each aspiring stand-up receives four minutes to perform. Show up early to sign up for the open mic list; stay late for the drink specials that make you forget where you parked.
8 p.m. Wednesdays at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, hyenascomedynightclub.com/dallas
Backdoor Comedy Club
Home to the longest-running open mic in Dallas, the Backdoor Comedy Club has been an institution for multiple generations of comedians. The club is in the DoubleTree hotel, so after you perform your best three minutes, you can live out your comedy superstar fantasies of trashing a hotel room. It’s not recommended, but you know what your credit card can handle. It’s best to call in advance to sign up for this mic as it’s booked weeks in advance. A word of advice, the Backdoor Comedy Club is a clean-material room, so save your F-words and S-words for another comedy club. Also, just don’t say the C-word. If you aren't performing, it's $7 admission, plus a two-item minimum.
8:30 p.m. Thursdays at 8250 N. Central Expressway, backdoorcomedy.com
One of the more recent open mics on the list is also proving to be one of the most popular. The Arlington Improv started a weekly open mic four years ago to provide a stage for new comedians, and it’s continued to grow by both comic and audience demand. Spots to perform book in advance, so to reserve a spot, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the next available time. If you’ve ever wanted to step on the Improv stage without getting tackled by security, this is your chance. Black Dog Pizza is inside the club, so get there early to grab a bite before you go up. The club is so nice and the comics are so good, you’ll almost forget you’re in Arlington.
7 p.m. Wednesdays at 309 Curtis Mathes Way, No.147, Arlington, improvarlington.com
Hyena’s Fort Worth
The destination spot for stand-up comedy in Fort Worth has always been Hyena’s Comedy Night Club in downtown Fort Worth. Hyena’s has been the only place to see national headliners and sometimes Dustin Diamond. The hidden gem of the club is the weekly Thursday night open mic, showcasing the best comedians Fort Worth has to offer. There is such a high level of talent and original voice from the comics who show up that’s it’s worth the drive from Dallas to see the rising crop of performers.
10 p.m. Thursdays at 425 Commerce St., Fort Worth, hyenascomedynightclub.com/fort-worth
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Noble Rey Brewing
Probably the newest mic on the list, this is also one of the most unusual. In the Noble Rey brewery, Wes Corwin hosts a weekly stand-up open mic that’s growing larger by the week. Noble Rey has also started hosting showcases for comedians to do longer sets, so for a comic in training, this is a great place to work on those new jokes you’re not ready for the comedy clubs to see. Even if your set tanks, you’re surrounded by beer, and that has to count for something.
7 p.m. Thursdays at 2636 Farrington St., noblereybrewing.com
The Bearded Monk
If weeknights aren’t the best, check out The Bearded Monk in Denton. Every Sunday, an open mic is run out of this shop that specializes in craft beer. While Denton has traditionally been known for its music, it also has a comedy scene on the rise, and this is one of many open mics that local comedians use to sharpen their skills.
7 p.m. Sundays at 122 E. McKinney St., Denton, beardedmonk.com