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Laugh Out Loud At Chennai's Weekly Stand Up Comedy Scenes & Open Mic Nights

Yes, there is a stand-up comedy scene in Chennai. I’ve been doing comedy for close to three years now, which means the comedy scene has been around for longer than that. There are open mics happening through the week, and ticketed shows on weekends. So, if you’re still waiting to be introduced to the stand-up scene in the city, here’s a quick list of places you can check out in Chennai. There are atleast four open mics that happen every week and they are at the heart of any comedy circuit. The number of open mics a week are an indicator of how active the scene is. The open mic isn’t just for experienced comedians to perform, it’s also where people try stand-up for the first time. The best thing about the open mics in Chennai — the venues don’t serve alcohol, and sober laughs are the best way to start. 

Mad Bean is open from 10 am to 10 pm, and usually, hosts office goers in the area who are looking for a quick chill-pill after hours. The café shares the compound with a veterinary clinic {Heart2Heart Veterinary Hospital} and is a little hard to spot. The open mic happens here every Monday between 8 and 9 pm. The menu has coffees from eight different countries, along with the usual hot and cold kinds. They also serve wraps and rolls, pizzas, noodle bowls, and Thai curries. For the fitness freaks who count calories, there are a few salads you can try out.

Urban Desi House powered by the Indian Youth Café is right off Old Mahabalipuram Road, lovingly known as the IT Corridor of Chennai. This is a relatively new venue for open mics, and attracts techies from the nearest tech park. There’s a young vibe about this place, and they encourage all sorts of artistic activities. So, if you’re a singer, photographer, painter, comedian, or any kind of artist, you can get in touch with them to exhibit your talent. The menu is economically priced, and if you like listening to some dank Punjabi tunes while waiting for your food, this is the place to be. The open mic happens on the first floor, and the boys and girls from the hostels next door go up to their terrace to peep in on the show. 

Café Central is home to Tanglish Comedy’s open mic. Tanglish Comedy is the newest group in the stand-up circuit in Chennai, and they’ve recently completed a year doing shows and open mics in the city. Café Central has a cozy ground floor {where the open mic happens} and a spacious first floor. Their cuisine is a mix of burgers, wings, fries, waffles, shakes, chai-coffee, and Indian meals. If you’re someone who calculates GST before ordering your food, they’ve also got Maggi under the section on the menu called Mummy Ka Magical Maggie. In the same section, they have an item named Sausage Party. I leave that to your imagination.

The first regular open mics in Chennai started in Ashvita Bistro back in 2014, run by BBC {Burma Bazaar Conspiracy}. Though BBC isn’t active anymore, the open mic is back at Ashvita after a two year hiatus, thanks to Evam Standup Tamasha. Since August 2016, the open mic has been happening here every Thursday. This is the only open mic that requires people to register in advance. They have an entry fee of 100 bucks for the audience, but that’s fully redeemable when you order food and drinks. Ashvita Bistro serves pastas, Thai curry, burgers, fries, and fried starters. They’ve also got pizzas, and their monster shakes can feed an army. 


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