Comedy in Berlin

The English language comedy scene is as much an inevitability as it is an anomaly


Berlin's comedy scene has grown in recent years to a point where there are comedy events on pretty much every night of the week.  The scene is as diverse as Berlin itself, with everything from open-mic to open air, improvised comedy groups to stand up comedians.  To wrap our heads around it we caught up with Josh and Noah Telson from the popular piffle! radio show which records live once a month at Vagabund Brauerei, a great craft brewery in Wedding.  

After filming an interview with them I then had the pleasurable task of visiting each of the venues and watching some comedy.  I must admit being a little skeptical... could a city made up predominantly of non-English speakers have a deep enough talent pool or would the shows be more miss than hit.  Well, it is my pleasure to report that the Berlin English comedy scene exceeded my wildest expectations and then some.  Even the open mic nights, which i have dreaded attending in the past, had some hilarious moments along with a generally high giggle quotient.  

Check out our video for Josh and Noah's top 5 Comedy in Berlin tips and read on for an article Noah wrote us about the comedy scene in Berlin.  At the end of his article we have put together a list of regular comedy events on in Berlin...

Comedy… in Berlin… in English…

When I moved to Berlin in 2010 the last thing I expected was to be performing comedy several nights a week, in English no less. Even more unexpected, was the massive undercurrent of people actually wanting to come out and see comedy. Comedy in all forms; from polished stand-up and improv to sketch and panel shows. Back then, the scene was comprised of only a handful of stand-ups and improvisers who found audiences predominantly at the Kookaburra Comedy Club and two, now defunct, bars (Joe’s and SIN) that laid the early bedrock for what is now a bustling scene. Of course, with such a small core, ingratiating myself into it was relatively easy. I auditioned for ComedySportz and made a few people laugh. I was on stage performing for paying audiences way too soon. 

English language comedy in Berlin is a product of the most devoted and hardworking undisciplined, unemployed, clueless people in the city. Expats and native Germans alike. None of us were very well connected to the scenes in London and New York City and we had little idea of what the “scene” was supposed to be; only that we had a strong desire to amuse and a penchant for complaining. It took the serendipitous move of some seriously talented and equally jaded people to Berlin for it to reach a certain critical mass. Within 2 years, English Comedy in Berlin had begun to make waves with weekly open mic shows, We Are Not Gemüsed and Buzz Club to bookend already established shows. It even had a website! Today, there are multiple shows every night in almost every neighborhood. The community of comedians is well over 40 and routinely showcases established comedians from out of town. What’s more; our comedians are being showcased elsewhere.

Josh and Noah from piffle!

The English language comedy scene is as much an inevitability as it is an anomaly.  In a city of full English speakers observing daily absurdities, it’s no wonder they flock to comedy shows to experience their peers exorcizing some serious Berlin demons. There’s comfort in numbers. Just come to an open mic and witness first time comics struggle through their material in front of the most forgiving and supportive audience. The scene, in fact, has a strong track record for self-recruitment; so many of us got started at Buzz Club. It’s precisely this openness and freedom (lack of discipline?) that allows us to be bold and explorative with our comedy. Nowhere else in this world would I even conjure up the idea to call myself a “comedian.” Nowhere else in this world would I ever dream of establishing a long form improv group with some of my best friends. And nowhere else in this world would I ever dream of starting a radio variety gameshow with my brother. But consistently full audiences at so many shows is proof for this growing scene that there’s an upward trajectory and, for us, we’re all happy to go on this ride. Join us! - 

Noah Telson 2014

Recording the Piffle! radioshow

Regular English Comedy events in Berlin

We have done everything in our power to make sure everything is as accurate and up to date.  If you think there is a great show that we have neglected, or a show has changed their times or venue, please get in contact with us via email, twitter, or facebook.

Monday:

International Comedy Showcase

  • When: Every second last Monday of the month at 8pm
  • What:  An English comedy event featuring international and local comedians
  • Where:  English Theater Berlin (Fidicinstraße 40, 10965 Berlin)

Monday Night Mics

  • When:  Every Monday night at 8pm
  • What:  Open Mic Comedy
  • Where:  Zatopek Bar, Neukölln (Niemetzstraße 24, 12055 Berlin)

Tuesday:

We are not Gemüsed:  Comedy Open Mic

  • When: Every Tuesday at 8pm
  • What:  Open mic event hosted by Paul Salamone and Caroline Clifford
  • Where: Sameheads in Neukölln (Richardstraße 10, 12043 Berlin)

Comedy Sportz at the Kookaburra

  • When:  Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 8.30pm
  • What:   Improvised comedy
  • Where:  Kookaburra Comedy Club (Schönhauser Allee 184, 10119 Berlin)

English Comedy Night

  • When: Every first Monday of the month at 8pm
  • What:  Stand up comedy
  • Where: Kookaburra Comedy Club (Schönhauser Allee 184, 10119 Berlin)

Wednesday:

piffle! A radio show for Nonsense

  • When:  Every second last Wednesday of the month
  • What:  A live radio show with guests, music and plenty of laughs hosted by Josh and Noah Telson
  • Where:  Vagabund Brauerei in Wedding (Antwerpenerstr. 3, 13353 Berlin)

The Petri Dish

  • When:  Every first and third Wednesday at 9pm
  • What:  Open Mic Comedy
  • Where:  T Berlin in Kreuzberg (Fidicinstraße 38, 10965 Berlin)

Thursday:

Baumhaus Comedy Open Air

  • When: Every second and last Thursday of the month from 6pm
  • What: An open air event which combines music, street food, an awesome outdoor location (with undercover area) and of course, some cracking comedy!  Hosted by Dharmander Singh
  • Where:  Griessmühle in Neukölln (Sonnenallee 221, 12059 Berlin)

The Fishbowl Comedy Showcase

  • When:  Every first and third Thursday of the month at 8pm
  • What:  Stand up comedy
  • Where:  1820 Club in Mitte (Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 41, 10178 Berlin)

Friday:

Comedy Sportz in Kreuzberg

  • When:  Every first and third Friday of the month at 8.30pm
  • What:  Improvised comedy
  • Where:  T Berlin (Fidicinstraße 38, 10965 Berlin)

Off the Cuff

  • When:  Every second Friday of the month at 8.30pm
  • What:  Improvised stand up comedy 
  • Where:  T Berlin (Fidicinstraße 38, 10965 Berlin)

Night Show Berlin with Daniel Stern

  • When:  Every last Friday of the Month at 8.30pm
  • What:  Live night show (in the style of the TV night show)
  • Where: T Berlin (Fidicinstraße 38, 10965 Berlin)

Adorable Creatures

  • When:  Every Friday at 8.15pm (from August 29)
  • What:  Minimalistic, fast-paced standup comedy open mic
  • Where:  Salon Tippel in Neukölln (Schudomastraße 45, 12055 Berlin)

Saturday

Comedy auf Deuglish

  • When: Every third Saturday of the Month at 9pm
  • What:  Stand up comedy in German and English
  • Where:  Vetomat in Friedrichshain (Scharnweberstraße 35, 10247 Berlin)
     

Sunday

Toast!

  • When: Every Sunday night at 9pm
  • What:  A mixture of music comedy and vaudeville
  • Where:  Lagari in Neukölln (Pflügerstraße 19, 12047 Berlin)

Teepeeland Stands Up

  • When: Every last Sunday of the Month from 7pm
  • What:  Open air stand up comedy
  • Where:  Teepeeland in Mitte (Schillingbrücke 3, 10243 Berlin) 
All about the laughs