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Laugh Out Loud

If Laughter Is Best Medicine, St. Louis Has What The Doctor Ordered

It is said that laughter is the best medicine. These two should know: Victor Hugo lived to be 83; Milton Berle 93.

Arguably one of the greatest writers of all time, and author of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” and “Les Misérables,” Victor Hugo, stated, “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”  

And Milton Berle, affectionately known as "Uncle Miltie" and “Mr. Television,” whose Tuesday night television show was so beloved, it caused store owners to put up signs: "Closed tonight to watch Milton Berle," said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”

Victor's and Milton's careers spanned 60 and 80 years, respectively. And their words on laughter are particularly relevant still for Missourians who face January temperatures between 19 and 30 degrees F.

So why not take that “instant vacation” and “drive the winter from [your] face” with a trip to a local comedy club? St. Louis and St. Charles Counties have plenty to offer by way of laughing and even improvising the way through Midwestern storms.

Other St. Louis comedy clubs have come and gone over the years, but the St. Louis Funny Bone continues to endure in the St. Louis area as a locals’ favorite.

With two locations now at Westport Plaza and the Streets of St. Charles, the traditional comedy clubs harken back to the days of modern American stand-up comedy, when entertainers became major stars wisecracking and cracking wise directly to the audience from in front of a curtain or before the ubiquitous "brick wall."

January’s lineup at the Funny Bone will include Eddie Gossling, Tim Convy, John Caparulo and Brian Beaudoin. And on Open Mic nights, local pros and amateurs take the stage to polish their material in front of a live audience. The family-owned club hosts both local and nationally touring comedians.

Helium Comedy Club-St. Louis, located at the St. Louis Galleria Mall, is a contemporary entertainment venue that boasts “stadium-sized talent” in an “intimate theater on a weekly basis.”

Per Helium Comedy Studios information, “For a modest ticket price, patrons enjoy live standup comedy and other performance art from a nationally accredited act, no more than 60 feet away.” Shows comprise an opener, a feature and a headliner with national entertainment credits.

Featured in January at the Helium Comedy Club are Ginger Billy, Darryl Charles, Teachers Gone Bad, Majah Hype, Faizon Love, Gateway City Roast League, Matt McCusker, Dustin Nickerson, Arnez J and Liza Treyger.

Helium also holds Open Mic Nights on select nights to both new talent and seasoned comics.

Helium offers Stand-Up Comedy 101, wherein participants can learn the basics of stand-up comedy, mold topics into an original routine through a weekly on-stage performance workshop, translate ideas into a crafted act, experiment with elements of improv and acting and hone joke-crafting skills.  

​The Improv Shop in St. Louis resides in a two-theater venue in The Grove and includes two stages, a green room, an outdoor patio, indoor lounging, a full bar and custom murals.

The venue offers shows in a variety of formats, including improvisation, sketch and others. Tickets can be purchased in advance through each individual show page or at the theater on show nights.

Up-and-coming comedians and improvisers of all experience levels can take classes at the Improv Shop or form a team themselves, practice and watch for opportunities at the theater, such as Cagematch, House Team Night, So Fake, The Menagerie, One Four Fives and Student Showcase. Participants build confidence and friendships and have the opportunity to play in a series of live. Workshops are also offered; many featuring guest instructors, who tackle subjects ranging from screenwriting to music.

The Improv Shop also offers private shows and workshops outside of its walls. // 314.469.6692 // 314.727.1260 // 314.652.2200

  • Melissa Villaseñor at the Helium Comedy Club
  • DC Curray at Helium Comedy Club
  • Michael Yo at Funny Bone St Louis

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” ~Milton Berle, American actor and comedian whose entertainment career spanned eight-plus decades.