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Looking for laughs? Home to the largest comedy festival in Europe, a great selection of comedy clubs and nights, and of course its residents with their wonderful sense of humour, it should come as no surprise that Glasgow has produced comedy geniuses such as Billy Connolly, Kevin Bridges and Susan Calman. So whether you’re laughing with the locals at your favourite comedy club or taking in a famous comedian at one of the world’s busiest indoor arenas, you'll be laughing the night away in Glasgow.
Glaswegians are known across the world for their sharp sense of humour and self-deprecating banter. Humour is rooted in the city’s history – from the working class shipyards to the modern day creative scene – comedy has always been part of the city’s story.
A great place to find out about Glasgow’s love affair with comedy and entertainment is the world’s oldest surviving music hall, the Britannia Panopticon. The city’s workers of the day would cram in to be entertained at the multiple daily shows. You can find out more about the amazing history of the building, its performers (comedy legend Stan Laurel made his stage debut at just 16-years-old in 1906!) and its rowdy audiences at weekly tours and shows.
It was 50 years later, that a 16-year-old Billy Connolly started working in the city’s infamous shipyards. And it was here that the godfather of alternative comedy honed his humour.
"I consider myself a citizen of the world, but I was born and raised in Glasgow - it is where my first children were born, where I learned to play the banjo, where I served my apprenticeship as a welder and where I first performed in public. My heart beats to the rhythm of Glasgow - it is in my blood."
The tradition of the city producing great comics continues to this day, with Kevin Bridges, Janey Godley, Limmy and Frankie Boyle current examples of comedians shaped by the city that bred them.
Glaswegians don’t take themselves too seriously and that is both audible and visible throughout the city - you'll experience the lively and infectious Glasgow banter everywhere, from cafes to cabs.
Glasgow is home to the biggest comedy festival in Europe - the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival. A comedy takeover of the city happens each March, with the festival putting on around 470 shows at 50 venues over 18 days attracting a stellar line-up with household names, rising stars, local talent and the cream of international humour.
Many comedians choose to come to Glasgow to cut their teeth in comedy and try out new sets as they know there’s no audience like a Glasgow audience! You may be able to catch some of these comedians in other UK cities, but what is unique to Glasgow is the audiences and subsequent electricity and elevated level of such live shows.
"I love Glasgow. A Glasgow crowd is fantastic as well, they're just so up for a laugh."
Glasgow has the venues, performers and audiences to support a thriving comedy scene. Whether you want to see newcomers or famous faces performing in basement bars, intimate comedy clubs, city theatres or world leading arenas – you’ll be able to find a comedy night to suit your taste in Glasgow.
Home to one of the leading comedy venues in the UK – The Stand is a famous basement club in the west, offering entertainment seven days a week.
Tuesday night is comedy night at Blackfriars – a real ale pub in the stylish Merchant City, which carries on the age old tradition of running a basement bar to support music and comedy.
Billed as Glasgow’s oldest comedy club, The State Bar, located in the city's main nightlife district of Sauchiehall Street, runs a popular weekly comedy night every Saturday in the intimate basement bar.
The SSE Hydro is the place to catch the big names – in 2017 alone, Peter Kay, Russell Howard, Micky Flanagan and John Bishop performed in this top global arena.
The city's newest and biggest comedy club is the Rotunda Comedy Club where you can enjoy a two-hour show every Friday and Saturday night, dine in one of the venue's four restaurants and then enjoy cocktails until the wee small hours.