East Tennessee and Knoxville Comedy Open-Mics
Interested in performing at a comedy open mic in Knoxville or elsewhere in East Tennessee? Here’s a handy guide for local and visiting comedians when planning to hit one of the great comedy open mics in the Scruffy City or other East Tennessee locations.
Most of the locations and shows listed below are purely comedy open mics. However, a few (designated as “variety” open mics) are open mics open to multiple performing artists, including musicians, poets, writers, dancers, comics, etc. As comedy and variety open mics come and go, you should remember to check with the show runner and/or venue to get the latest information on dates, times, content restrictions, set lengths, etc. The information provided here is current at the time it was posted.
865 AREA CODE – OPEN MICS
The Upstairs Underground Comedy Show is the longest-running weekly comedy open mic in East Tennessee. If you are interested in performing, let show runner Boston McCown know via that week’s Facebook event page. This does not guarantee you a spot, but does allow the host to estimate participation levels and set length times for the show. Unless he has responded directly to you, there are no guarantees. Show up for performance by 7:30 pm and check in with Boston regarding the sign-up procedures. The venue is 21+ only. Preferential treatment for sign-ups is given to out-of-town comedians when possible. The number of overall spots is limited. Comics will get a maximum of six minutes to perform. All set length times, sign up lists, etc., are subject to the host’s discretion.
This Tuesday night open mic is located at the legendary Longbranch Saloon, the oldest live entertainment venue on the popular UT campus nightlife district known as The Strip. This is a show-up, go-up open mic. Spots are limited to a maximum 12 performers. Set length is 7 minutes with a light at 6 minutes. Comics should arrive early to claim a spot. Doors open at 8:30 pm. The show begins at 9 pm. The venue sells beer and does allow BYOB on wine bottles and liquor pints for a corkage fee. Contact John Miller or visit the show’s weekly Facebook event page for additional information. The venue is 18+. There is no cover charge.
This is a variety-style open mic for performers of all types, including music, poetry, and comedy. Participants should check in with host DJ Von before the show to secure a spot on the line-up.
Fourth and Gill Friday is in the upstairs bar of Sassy Ann’s, a cool old Victorian home converted into a bar in the artsy and historic 4th and Gill neighborhood just north of downtown Knoxville. Jake James runs this show. The show has a show-up, go-up format, but the number of spots are limited. Open mic spots are five minutes in length. Comics wishing to perform need to be at the venue by 8:30 pm. There are a limited number (up to three usually) of feature spots available with 10 minute set lengths. Feature spots are assigned in advance by the show’s host. Spots on this show fill up quickly. Comics are advised to arrive early to claim a spot. Contact Jake James or visit the show’s weekly Facebook event page for additional information. The venue is 21+.
Fort Sanders Yacht Club Open Mic
Weekly – Variety Mic
Show Runner: Ian Messersmith
Venue: Fort Sanders Yacht Club, 721 17th St., 37916
Performer Check-in Time: 8:30 pm.
Show Time: 9 pm.
This open mic is held on the first and third Monday of each month. The show is located at Boogaloos Sports Bar and Restaurant, a tiki bar-themed restaurant in Sevierville, Tennessee, the gateway to the Smoky Mountains. This is the only comedy open mic in the Smokies- the most visited national park in the nation and a tourist area that attracts more than 10 million visitors annually. It is a booked open mic, limited to 10 spots. Six slots are assigned at seven minutes each with four featured spots (Soul Surfers) performing 12-minute slots. Contact the show runner, Aaron Chasteen, for open mic spots and booking information. The venue is 18+.
423 AREA CODE – OPEN MICS
ComedyFight! is not your typical open mic. Each week twelve comics take the stage. The first ten comics of the evening will perform a standard open mic set of 7 minutes. Two comics will be chosen to participate in the ComedyFight! by performing sets based on topics chosen by the host and the “Wheel of Hack Premises.” The audience and host will vote for a winning comic. The winning comic will get to close out the show with a 10 minute set. The winning comic is also automatically entered into a bracket-style comedy tournament for a later date where further fame and glory await. Sign-ups are at 9:30 pm on the night of the show. The show begins at 10 pm. Rules as described above are subject to change. Please contact the show host to confirm any updates or changes.
This open mic is held twice on month on Wednesdays (but can sometimes move to other dates if main event scheduling requires). To request a spot, you will need to complete the open mic contact form provided on the Comedy Catch’s website. Show runner Luke Marter will then coordinate participation dates and times with you. You may also want to check with the Comedy Catch open mic’s Facebook page for schedule updates and other special announcements regarding the open mic. The mic typically hosts 10-12 comics performing 5 minute sets each. Participating comics are given four free passes to provide to friends to attend the show (although other minimum purchase rules would still apply). Set times and inclusion on the show is at the discretion of the show runner. The club may also choose to reward the night’s best comic(s) with a chance to perform a guest spot at an upcoming Sunday show (this is not a guaranteed reward at each open mic, but at the discretion of the club).
This weekly open mic is limited to 15 spots. Out-of-towners should contact the show’s runners, Ben Dalby or Ryan Darling, for a spot. Set times vary based on skill and experience at the discretion of the show runners.
Comics can sign up for this weekly open mic at 7:30 pm on the night of the show. The host is Jared Nipper.