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What is the oldest Comedy Club in the UK?

Updated: Jan 17

Comedy Store London Sign

The United Kingdom, particularly London, has a rich history of comedy that dates back centuries. The capital city is home to numerous comedy clubs that have played host to some of the world's most famous comedians. But among these many establishments, which one holds the title as the oldest comedy club in the UK? Let's take a journey through time and explore this iconic piece of British comedic history.

The Birthplace of Stand-Up Comedy: The Comedy Store

Established in 1979, The Comedy Store in London is widely recognized as the oldest comedy club in the UK. It was founded by Don Ward and Peter Rosengard, who were inspired by The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. This legendary venue is often credited as the birthplace of alternative stand-up comedy in Britain.

Located on Oxendon Street, just off Piccadilly Circus, The Comedy Store quickly became a hub for comedians and comedy enthusiasts alike. It has nurtured countless talents over its four decades of existence and continues to be a beacon for emerging comedians today.

The Legacy of The Comedy Store

The impact of The Comedy Store on British comedy cannot be overstated. In its early days, it was a platform for then-unknown comedians who would later become household names. Comedic legends such as Alexei Sayle, Paul Merton, French & Saunders, and Rik Mayall all graced its stage during their formative years.

Moreover, it was at The Comedy Store where alternative comedy found its footing. This style of comedy – characterized by its departure from mainstream humour and often tackling political or social issues – became popular during the 1980s and continues to influence British humour today.

Comedy Clubs in London: More than Just Laughter

While The Comedy Store holds the title as the oldest comedy club in the UK, there are many other noteworthy comedy clubs in London that deserve recognition too. These venues not only provide laughter but also contribute significantly to London's vibrant cultural scene.

Lets not forget all the hundreds of grassroots comedy clubs like Comedy in Your Eye, that is giving the future stars of the comedy circuit the chance to hone their skills on stage.

The Comedy Store: A Testament to British Humour

The existence and continued success of these long-standing institutions are testaments to Britain's love for humour and satire. They serve as platforms where both established comedians can experiment with new material while budding talents can hone their craft before an appreciative audience.

In conclusion, while there are numerous renowned comedy clubs across London today - each with their unique charm - it is The Comedy Store that stands out as being not only one of the most influential but also proudly holding the title as being the oldest comedy club in Britain.

Whether you're a local or visiting from abroad looking for some laughs after a long day exploring London’s sights or simply want to immerse yourself into British culture - make sure you add visiting one (or more) of these iconic venues onto your itinerary! You won’t regret experiencing first-hand why these venues continue to be at heart beat of Britain's thriving comedic scene!


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