- Reporters Desk
By Lyn Jensen
Whether or not you’ve got summertime blues, you can look for some summertime laughs (along with food and drink) at the Laugh Factory in Long Beach.
It books many of the same acts that play the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, but the shorter drive will allow you to save on this summer’s high-priced gasoline.
“The Laugh Factory Long Beach is unique from other comedy clubs in that it shares the same comedian roster as the world-famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood,” explains the venue’s General Manager Ivy Schember, “All bookings are done through the corporate office in Hollywood and guests at the Laugh Factory Long Beach are treated with the same high-caliber line-up.”
Since opening in 2008, Long Beach’s Laugh Factory has become a major feature of the Pike—in close proximity to many of the city’s other top attractions. With a seating capacity of 670, the venue bears the distinction of being America’s largest comedy club.
Jason Stuart is one comic who appears fairly regularly, most recently on the bill “Jason Stuart and Friends,” on May 28 and June 25. In his standard routine, which he says he’s been honing for 30 years—along with an acting career—he talks about being gay and Jewish.
One of his signature lines is, “Any straight people here… If you let us marry each other, we’ll stop marrying you!”
He says it’s just based on things that happen to him.
“First thing people say is, ‘Be yourself,’” he said. “Being gay and Jewish is part of what I am.”
He looks to return with the “Jason Stuart and Friends” bill on the last Wednesday in August and perhaps in subsequent months.
“It’ll have a gay slant, but a new comic and a straight comic, too, and it’ll have a talk-show feel because I’ll interview them,” he predicts.
Also appearing on the May 28 bill was Gloria Bigelow, one of this season’s Last Comic Standing contestants. Two others featured were Robbie Carlysle, a fresh gay Jewish comic, and Jennie McNulty, who also plays women’s tackle football for the California Quakes. The June 25 bill included Dana Eagle, Jill-Michele Melean, Paul Elia, and Brad Loekle.
When planning a visit to the Laugh Factory, it’s advisable to check www.laughfactory.com for information, including video clips of the featured comics, to help find a show to your taste.
The Long Beach club is open Wednesday through Sunday.
“Each night we have an 8 p.m. showcase but on Friday and Saturday night we have a 10 p.m. showcase as well,” Schember added.
Friday and Saturday usually features what the venue bills as, “the hottest comedians in the country.” A “Class Clowns” show, which takes place every first, second and third Wednesday. Thursdays is billed as, “Naughty.”
A night at the Laugh Factory is a night to splurge. Admission is usually $20 for general and $30 for VIP Priority.
“We do offer special pricing and discounted tickets online,” advises Schember, along with other discounts for Costco members and Red Cross blood donors. “There are some nights we offer college discounts or other promotions and the best way to find out is to call.”
She also suggests following Laugh Factory on social media for other possible discounts.
Food and drink are also offered during all shows. Club’s wait staff cheerfully enforces a two-drink minimum.
“The most popular drink on our menu right now is the “Chuckle Pucker” which is a light, fruity, martini-like cocktail,” Schember recommends.
Menu options range between full dinners and light snacks, priced fairly competitively. Schember recommends the spinach dip, made fresh each night. Desserts include chocolate mousse and cheesecake.
Don’t forget the cost of parking. The Laugh Factory offers front-door valet service for $6. If you use the Pike parking structure, remember to ask to have your ticket validated.
Our Laugh Factory is at 151 S. Pine Ave. in Long Beach, in the midst of the Pike entertainment complex along Shoreline Drive.
Details: (562) 495-2844; www.laughfactory.com