Hello, citizen. Are you interested in experiencing all that is humiliating and terrible about this slow, meaningless trudge toward death we call human existence? Well move over, eight bajillion pages of Dostoyevsky crying about Russian stuff (blah blah blah), because COMEDY OPEN MIC conveys all that shit and in an hour and a half of easily digested three-minute misery-nuggets. But it is not so simple as this. You might have heard that comedy open mics are terrible, and you might be correct. But what you might not understand is that comedy open mics are terrible and GREAT. Great because they are terrible and great because they are great. Open mics are where crusty old established comics go to work out new material (great/terrible), where first-timers go to figure out whether or not they're funny (ohhh, terrible!), and where homeless people go to yell about invisible cats (FUCKING GREAT).

I am slightly addicted to comedy open mics, and it appears that other people are, too, because all the ones I've been to lately have been packed. There are so many comics that bunches of them get turned away. Crowds are responsive and smart. Whiskey is delicious. If you want to dunk a toe into the world of open mics, as a performer or an observer, here are some ones I enjoy:

Comedy Underground Open Mic

Mondays, 8:30 pm, $5, all ages.

Cult of 8, "An Open Mic for the Pros"

Comedy Underground, first three Sundays of every month, 8:30 pm, $10, all ages.

Laughs Comedy Spot Open Mic

Laughs Kirkland, Tuesdays, 8:30 pm, free, 21+.

People's Republic of Komedy Open Mic

People's Republic Kafe, Fridays, 8 pm, free, all ages.

Triumph and Tragedy

The Crescent, Tuesdays, 7 pm, free, 21+.recommended