My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

It’s not easy charming the pants off people, especially if your date is on Valentine’s Day. Expectations are high, tension mounts and even the best laid plans can deflate hopeful hearts.

Truth is, being charming takes work. Choosing the right outfit, practicing witty repartee (or at least not putting your foot in your mouth). But above all, you’ll want to show your date your amazing GSOH.

Our tip? Take the pressure off, leave the jokes to the professionals, swerve the traditional candlelight supper and cheesy violin music and take your date to one of Liverpool’s top comedy clubs, after all, everybody loves a good laugh.

Here’s five of Liverpool’s best comedy venues, where genuine LOL’s are all but guaranteed:

HOT WATER COMEDY CLUB

From top to bottom, comedians Paul Smith, Joe Sutherland and Phil Chapman
From top to bottom, comedians Paul Smith, Joe Sutherland and Phil Chapman

Pulling no punches, Hot Water bills itself as ‘Liverpool’s funniest comedy club’ and they might have a point. Ranked as the no 2 Liverpool theatre and concert venue on TripAdvisor, Hot Water is hot stuff, attracting top international comedy talent from far and wide.

They couldn’t contain their laughter to a single venue, instead they put on four different shows across the week, spread across five alternating venues, including West Kirkby Social Club, Hoylake Social Club, The Gladstone Theatre and The Crown Hotel.

This Valentine’s Day they’re live at Lime Street’s Holiday Inn and they’ve booked comic brilliance in the form of resident compère and ‘ginger king of comedy’ Paul Smith. We’ve witnessed Paul in action a few times and we can tell you he’s a master of audience interaction, making set-piece jokes from the most weird and random crowd suggestions. (Just don’t sit at the front).

Paul will be presenting the fearless and funny Phil Chapman and the borderline offensive, but bitingly self-confident Joe Sutherland.

For more information and to book visit hotwatercomedy.co.uk

COMEDY CENTRAL

Top left: Steve Bugeja. Top right: Lou Conran. Bottom left: Alyson Smith. Bottom right: Dailiso Chaponda.
Top left: Steve Bugeja. Top right: Lou Conran. Bottom left: Alyson Smith. Bottom right: Dailiso Chaponda.

Never ones to be easily outdone, Comedy Central have awarded themselves the title of ‘Liverpool’s most sophisticated comedy club’ – so that’s Roy Chubby Brown off the guest-list.

A date in a 19th century basement vault might not sound like the most romantic location, but Comedy Central have decked out the place with some real love, bringing Liverpool a Berlin cabaret style venue in Baby Blue’s basement in the Albert Dock. And you know that means? No natural light, which for some of us is a good thing, who doesn’t a little more seductive in a dimly lit establishment?

Comedy Central’s special Valentine’s Day event, features a selection of today’s finest funny men and women. Actress turned improv comedienne Lou Conran (‘Jo Brand Through the Cakehole’ and ‘The Borrowers’) will compère, warming up the crowd for writer / comedian Daliso Chaponda. Daliso is a once aspirational reverend, who’s now known for playing filthy (but very funny) sets in seedy strip clubs.

Sharing the crowd’s affections will be 2013 BBC Radio New Comedy Award winner Steve Bugeja, who’ll be turning his terrifying social nightmares into assured comedy gold. Steve will split supporting duties with Canadian teacher turned comic, Alyson Smith, described as ‘sassy, smart and in-your-face’, a perfect match for Liverpool audiences.

For more information and to book visit liverpoolcomedycentral.co.uk

LIVERPOOL COMEDY CELLAR

From l-r: Compere Brendan Riley, Adam Staunton and Patrick Monahan.
From l-r: Compere Brendan Riley and Adam Staunton.

Voted the ‘Best Venue in Liverpool’ by The Guardian, Liverpool Comedy Cellar see themselves as Liverpool’s ‘newest and coolest’ comedy venue’ and they’re not joking.

Based exclusively at The Magnet on Hardman Street, three doors down from The Philharmonic Pub, Comedy Cellar have hooked up with two nearby restaurants, Bistro Jaques and Frederik’s to bring you dinner and a show at a very decent price.

This is a great choice for those of us who are likely to have trouble getting a baby-sitter come Valentine’s Day, as Comedy Cellar are feeling the love on Saturday 13 February 2016 instead.

Liverpool’s own Brendan Riley is, as ever, charged with MC duties. Irreverent, inventive and most importantly hilarious, Brendan’s anecdotes and gags are inspired and worth the price of admission alone, the man doesn’t so much warm the crowd up as set them on fire.

Brendan will hand over the stage to fellow Scouse funny-man, Adam Staunton, who has been busy ably supporting the John Bishop, Phil Nichol, Rob Rousse, Jack Whitehall and Sarah Millican, but we like him better.

Patrick Monahan will round things off with his special brand of engaging and genuinely enlightening humour, that seems to garner genuine affection from the crowd. Patrick doesn’t need to shock or be outrageous to win us all over, he prefers to command the stage with just his natural wit and charm, and, well, tonnes of great jokes too.

For more information and to book visit liverpoolcomedycellar.com

LAUGHTERHOUSE

Top left: Compere Chris Cairns. Top right: Gavin Webster. Bottom Left: Neil Fitzmaurice. Botton Right: Justin Moorhouse.
Top: Neil Fitzmaurice. Botton: Justin Moorhouse.

Liverpool’s ever-popular Laughterhouse has been selling out it’s venues for more than a decade now, and doing a stand-up job.

Never afraid to raise a few expectations, Laughterhouse describe their evenings as ‘the most powerful and exciting event possible’, so, that’s good then.

Offering ‘comedy in its purest form’, Laughterhouse have two permanent venues in Liverpool city centre. The first is a specially constructed theatre beneath ‘The Slaughter House’ pub on Fenwick Street. The second is a 200-seat purpose built, beautifully refurbished auditorium beneath Popbox on Mathew Street, in the former Eric’s Club building.

Their Matthew Street venue welcomes the Valentines crowd this year, led by compere Chris Cairns. Hecklers beware, crowd pleaser Chris has a reputation for handling the toughest of rooms with razor sharp, wince inducing put-downs and cutting come-back remarks.

Chris will give up the spotlight to a trio of terrific comedians. Kicking things off is the quirky and imaginative Justin Moorhouse. Remember the fella from ‘Phoenix Nights’ with the permanent tiger face paint? That was Justin. Lazily described as ‘a male Jo Brand, but funnier’, Justin exudes a likeable energy that could raise the dead.

Two-time British Comedy Award Winner and ‘Peep Show’ star Neil Fitzmaurice will take over Chris’s reigns. Liverpool audiences will probably know Neil best from his blisteringly funny performance of Liverpool FC, manager Rafael Benitez, in the comedy feature film ’15 Minutes that Shook the World’.

Last but not least, controversial comedian Gavin Webster will deliver bold, provocative comedy that is sure to shock and perhaps appal, but the audience will love him for it. Gavin has performed at every major comedy venue across the UK and supported (some would even say outshone) Lee Evans, Jack Dee and Phil Jupitus on tour.

For more information and to book visit laughterhousecomedy.com

So there you have it. Fall head over heels with Liverpool’s comedy clubs this Valentine’s Day. Our punch-line? Romance may come and go but there’s always a lot of love for a good laugh in Liverpool.

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