DIY Improvisational Comedy - FREE

Whether to stretch improvisational comedy muscles you’ve already flexed before or to first discover the magic of yes-and in relationships, come to the Free Open Improv Wednesday.

Every other week, members of Sketch Marks comedy lead all comers in a friendly, exhilarating session of making up brief scenes live on stage, based on time-tested techniques and the wits of everyone involved.

The next Free Open Improv is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Arcade Theatre in the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. It’s the home of Milwaukee Comedy.

Most street parking is free after 6 p.m. But there’s also convenient parking in the Grand Avenue Mall.

Save the Dates: Free Open Improv every other Wednesday!


Your Guide to the 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival

comedy fest-tallYou like to laugh, and we have all the laughs you need (plus a few extra just to be safe). There is plenty of info out there (like this post from Milwaukee Record) on the comedy taking the stage in the 9th Milwaukee Comedy Festival. So to give you some info on all the little stuff, here is your official Guide to the 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival! We tackle the BIG questions like: is there parking? (yes, and FREE!) and is there a bar? (yes, but not free). Keep reading if you want more info than that. We’ll start this out nice and easy: The 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival will take place at Next Act Theatre (255 S. Water St. in Walker’s Point).

What are the shows like?

Every show is different and features a variety of live comedy including stand up, improv and sketch comedy. There are nine different shows featuring dozens of the best comedy acts from across the continent! Expect to see some of the best comedians around, many of them appearing on television and touring across the country. Shows are for those 18+ (except the Teen Comedy Show!). Seating is General Admission for all shows. Each show requires a separate ticket or an All Access Pass to enter. We suggest purchasing tickets ahead of time as shows often sell out (Ticket info is below).jimbo The official Kick Off Event is Wednesday, August 6th starting at 7pm. Then we jump right into another 8 shows Thursday, August 7th at 6pm and end with the Teen Comedy Show on Sunday, Aug. 10th at 2pm.  You can see the complete line up right here.

Food and Drinks

Food will be provided by some fantastic food vendors this year: American Euros, Hard Wood Cafe and Pete’s Pops! Yum! There is full bar service at Next Act Theatre. This years comedy festival is fortunate to partner with Sprecher Brewery and Great Lakes Distillery! We will feature delicious beer and soda from Sprecher, and mixing cocktails with GLD spirits. mcftickets


If you plan indulge in comedy like you do for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to grab an All Access Pass. There is less indigestion, and there are some great perks (like a cool lanyard and picking your seat before anyone else!). It saves you a few bucks too, $50 to get into 9 different shows: that’s les than $6 a show! Word on the street is there is a limited number, so grab one while you can. If your interested in seeing shows ala carte, Single Tickets are only $15 if you buy them now, or you can wait and pay $20 day of the show. You can also buy tickets by calling the Next Act Theatre box office at 414-278-0765 or visiting them at 255 S. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53204.

Parking and DirectionsNext Act

Next Act Theatre is located in Historic Walkers Point, right by the new 88.9 Radio Milwaukee studio. The Milwaukee Comedy Festival offers Free Parking available via the adjacent parking lot next to Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St., as well as plenty of street parking that is free! Don’t forget about the great restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the area. Here is a map!

Looking for even more info? Check out the official Milwaukee Comedy Website:

How to Promote Your Comedy Show

Here at Milwaukee Comedy, we spend a lot of time putting on great comedy shows, but figuring out the best way to tell our fans about the fun is the real challenge.

It can be difficult to promote your own comedy show, but with a little motivation and this simple advice, you can learn How to Promote Your Comedy Show!

How to Promote a Comedy Show

It’s all about getting more fans in the seats!

1. Create a unique graphic or use a photo and include all the important event info including Name, date, and time of show, the location, ticket price and some way to get more information (Like a website or phone number).

  • Use your graphic when posting on social networks and on show posters or flyers.  It helps create an identity people remember when your image is consistant.

2. Write a short description of the show that includes more important information, like what audiences should expect, the performers involved, directions to the venue, etc. This description should be used with the graphic when creating event pages on Facebook or other social networks.

3. Use Social media to promote the event, starting a few weeks ahead of time. You can Tweet a few times a week, Post ticket link and event links on Facebook, or talk about your show on Tumblr. Include the graphic and imformation you created in steps 1 and 2. 

  • Be sure to make every post unique and engaging. Don't just repeat the show information over and over.  Here is one to get you started:  “Don’t just sit there, check out some Stand Up!” 

4. Post to online event calendars.  There are hundreds of places online to post your show information. Use local event calenders and other online event sites. Include as much information as you can and include the show poster image and information on tickets and location. Start with our Comedy Event Calendar.

Audience Laughing

  • Here are some examples of places you can add your event online right here in Milwaukee:,,, and

5. Think of creative ways to promote your show. Your audience has hundreds of other entertainment options every month. Make your show stand out.

  • If you have trouble filling the seats, sometimes you have to think outside the box. It's a comedy show, right? So try using humor.  Don't just tell people it's happening, get people excited about your comedy show!  

Seven Easy Tips for First Time Open Mic Comedians

Trying out your stand up comedy skills for the first time can be down right terrifying.  Focus on doing your best and having some fun, and take a look at these Seven Easy Tips for First Time Open Mic Comedians.

7 Tips for Open Mics

1)   Prepare yourself—write some jokes, locate an open mic, and tell your friends to come enjoy some laughs.

2)   Sign up—locate the sign up sheet and put your name down. Here’s a couple quick side-tips:

  • Remember the name above yours
  • Ask who the host of the show will be
  • Introduce yourself and tell the host it’s your first time doing comedy (if you’ve got a unique name—help them learn it).

3)   Rules—Ask the host about the amount of stage time each comedian gets to be on stage and how to know when you’re supposed to be done.

  • Each comedian is given an allotted amount of stage time. Comedians are given a ‘light’ this indicates the comedian on stage has less than a minute to finish their jokes.
  • Acknowledge ‘the light’ by giving a subtle signal to the host.

4)   More rules—ask the host if there are any language or content restrictions (it’s rare, but some establishments do ask performers to reduce explicit language and content).

5)   Before and after your set—remain respectful to other the performers and enjoy the show.

6)   After the show—hang out and introduce yourself to other performers.

7)   The last piece of advice will be—throw away your nerves and enjoy your experience!


Now check out Milwaukee Open Mic's list!


  • Tickets Tickets Buy Tickets for upcoming Milwaukee Comedy Events!
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  • Retro Comedy Show Retro Comedy Show A night of new comedy based on old ideas! Standup, improv and a surprise retro 70's, 80's or 90's sitcom live on stage.
  • Variety Hour Happy Hour Variety Hour Happy Hour An all new variety comedy show with live music, special guests and plenty of comedy acts!
  • Featured Comedy Featured Comedy There are plenty of high-quality comedy shows and performers. Here are our favorites!