With the economy still in turmoil and many people worried about their jobs and livelihoods, a night out at the Comedy Store could be just the medicine.
It's scientifically proven that laughter reduces stress levels, boosts your immune system and protects your heart. So providing you don't down too many pints during the evening, a night out at the Comedy Store could be as beneficial as ten laps of the running track. Sort of.
London's Comedy Store first opened in 1979 in the days when the alternative comedy scene was just finding its feet.
The Comedy Store is where the likes of Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Alexei Sayle, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French cut their teeth. Others, including Ben Elton, Clive Anderson and Paul Merton were also regulars (in fact, Paul Merton still is).
There's nothing quite like a night out at a comedy venue. Most nights include a number of stand-ups, some you may have heard of, others whose names mean nothing. And that's the joy of it – the idea that you might 'discover' some fresh-faced new talent. Or the sadistic pleasure of seeing someone so awful that it actually turns out to be pretty funny, in a twisted kind of way....
You've more chance of seeing a below-par performance on King Gong night (a kind of open-mic event), where amateurs and wannabes (you can even have a go yourself if you think you've got what it takes) get up and give it a go before being hauled off by the Gongmeister if the audience look like they're about to sink into a deep depression. But occasionally such nights will produce real gems – this is how Alexei Sayle got started. King Gong night takes place on the last Monday of the month.
The Cutting Edge, a topical show taking apart the week's news, takes place every Tuesday.
Wednesdays and Sundays see the Comedy Store Players (Paul Merton, Phil Jupitus, Josie Lawrence, Stephen Frost and many more) take to the stage and show off their improv abilities.
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday is Best in Stand-Up comprising a compere and four top comedians.