The top 10: Comedy clubs around the world

1. THE COMEDY STORE, LOS ANGELES

Co-founded in 1972 by Mitzi Shore, this club on LA's infamous Sunset Strip has hosted an array of comedians who became stars, including David Letterman, Roseanne Barr, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. It's still a great place to spot both established and upcoming comics. The entry fee gets you a long bill of performers, each doing a snappy set, so there is plenty of bang for your buck (even considering the long-standing compulsory "two drink minimum"). There is a second outlet down the coast at La Jolla. See thecomedystore.com

2. UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE THEATRE, NEW YORK

This comedy venue in the Chelsea district has a rolling calendar of improvisational and sketch comedy sessions. You're likely to spot stars and writers from such renowned TV sketch shows as Saturday Night Live on stage here. For improv fun, attend the weekly Cage Match series on Thursday nights. There is another UCBT branch in the East Village, and two more in LA. See ucbtheatre.com

3. COMEDY NEST, MONTREAL

As Montreal hosts one of the world's biggest comedy festivals, the annual Just for Laughs, it's not surprising it should have some great comedy venues. One of the best is Comedy Nest, featuring line-ups of seasoned comedians performing in a cabaret-style venue each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. See comedynest.com

4. PICCADILLY COMEDY CLUB, LONDON

London has its own well-regarded Comedy Store, but for a very British comedy experience this central club above a pub is well worth a visit. Its curated line-ups intersperse comic stars with talented up-and-comers, and entry is priced at an affordable $16. See piccadillycomedy.co.uk

5. THE STAND, EDINBURGH

The Scottish capital has a strong association with live comedy via its annual hosting of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and this comedy club continues the gags once the festival is over. The Stand presents live stand-up comedy nightly, delivered by both local and international performers in its purpose-built venue in the city's New Town. There are also branches in Glasgow and Newcastle. See thestand.co.uk

6. COMEDY CELLAR, DUBLIN

As is true of all the best Dublin pubs, the International Bar is referred to in James Joyce's Ulysses. Since 1988 the classic 19th-century pub has also been home to this regular comedy night, the launch pad for many successful Irish comedians. If you want to discover what the gift of the gab is about, start here. See international-bar.com/comedy

7. THE COMIC'S LOUNGE, MELBOURNE

Melbourne has long been a hotbed of comedy; not only does the Melbourne International Comedy Festival occupy multiple venues in autumn, but there are regular comedy nights across the city year-round. One of the best places to catch the gags is this comedy club in north Melbourne. On stage nightly are a hand-picked repertoire of performers, from newcomers to seasoned professionals. See thecomicslounge.com.au

8. THE CLASSIC, AUCKLAND

Our neighbours across the Tasman would have to be a funny lot, considering such Kiwi-born successes as satirist John Clarke and musical comedians the Flight of the Conchords. The Classic is Auckland's only full-time comedy venue, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017 with a diverse calendar of amusing performers in a central location. See comedy.co.nz

9. CAPE TOWN COMEDY CLUB, CAPE TOWN

This South African comedy outfit has an enviable venue, housed within a historic pumphouse on the city's waterfront. With a portfolio of comedians drawn from the nation's diverse communities, along with visiting international performers, it's a great place to get a distinctly African slant on what makes us laugh. See capetowncomedy.com

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10. COMEDY MASALA, SINGAPORE

The supposedly uptight island state may not seem an obvious stop on the laughter circuit, but since 2010 this weekly comedy night founded by Pakistani stand-up comedian Umar Rana has featured upcoming locals to great success. Masala alumni have gone on to success in international tours, so this is the place to spot Asian comic talents on the rise. See comedymasala.com

Tim Richards visited The Comedy Store as a guest of Visit West Hollywood.

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