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Journal / Nashville Guide

Nashville Comedy Festival Recap

Nashville is almost always fun, you know that. But did you know it is funny, too? Music City has a year-round comedy scene with standup, improv and sketch comedians telling jokes and making people laugh. Some of those acts can be a little bit hard to find, as they often perform at venues better known for music.

In what is billed as “Nashville’s Funniest Week,” comedians perform at venues across the city during the Nashville Comedy Festival, and you won’t have trouble finding them. For 10 days from April 12 through April 21, 2024, in honor of the festival’s 10th anniversary year, you’ll find comedy shows at Ryman Auditorium, James K. Polk Theater, F&M Bank Arena in Clarksville and elsewhere. Most nights there are multiple options for a show to attend, with tickets available in advance. Some of the best-known performers include Jeff Dunham, Deon Cole, Letterkenny and GRAMMY-winner Lewis Black. Some V.I.P. ticket options include meet-and-greets with the comics.

In addition to the traditional standup acts, The Lab at Zanies is a new project of Zanies and the Festival, The Lab at Zanies offers innovative and experimental acts. Tickets to these shows are less expensive than the better-known acts at big venues. There are even some $10 deals.

In general, most comedy shows (at the Nashville Comedy Festival and elsewhere) are phone-free experiences. Prepare to have your phone and camera locked away and just focus on having a good time.

Even if you miss the Nashville Comedy Festival, there are plenty of places to get good laughs on a visit to Music City. Check out one of these three.

Zanies: One of the biggest names in standup, Zanies attracts similarly big-name acts. You’ll know you are in the right place as you see the mural with recognizable comedy faces on the wall.

Third Coast Comedy Club: This small club in Marathon Village offers sketch, improv and standup. There are even opportunities for adults and kids to take improv classes.

NashTrash Tours: For nearly two hours you’ll roll through the city on the Big Pink Bus as the Jugg Sisters tell tales. Their humor is for grown-ups only. Tours routinely sell out, so book tickets in advance.