Laugh Out Loud, photo courtesy of Brenden Wolfe, March 2012

What happens when you have a non-partying college town like Provo? You’ve got thousands of people in Utah Valley looking for other ways to have fun, so they turn to things like game nights, dollar theaters, pie shakes and comedy shows. Down in Happy Valley, there are some pretty hilarious (and family friendly) stand-up, sketch and improv comedy shows. Watch this for a taste: 

That’s a clip from BYUtv’s “Studio C,” a sketch comedy show quickly gaining popularity. The cast is made up of people who met at Brigham Young University’s comedy club Divine Comedy. Sketches are about everything from driver’s ed to dubstep and lobster bisque and shoulder angels. Season three is being taped right now and will begin airing in October. For now, you can watch full episodes online and check out the show’s Facebook page.

Divine Comedy is a comedy troupe that has been going for almost 20 years now. Each BYU semester, Divine Comedy has a “best of” show and two regular shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The sketch-comedy shows are packed so I’d recommend getting there early—people start waiting in line an hour and a half early. Warning: the comedians will be throwing glow sticks and candy at you. 

Humor U is an award-winning, stand-up comedy club made up of more than a dozen BYU students and alumni. Stephen Jones, who you might recognize from this New Spice commercial spoof, got his big start with Humor U. The fall lineup includes shows Sept. 13–14, Oct. 18–19 and Dec. 6–7. Shows are in the Maeser Auditorium on BYU Campus (321 MSRB), and the $5 tickets can be purchased at the door or beforehand at the Wilkinson Center information desk.

ComedySportz in downtown Provo (36 West Center St.) is an improv competition between two teams of improv comedians, arbitrated by a “referee.” The teams perform different scenes and songs based on suggestions from the audience. My favorite scene is one where they can use only words and phrases found in volunteer audience members’ cell phones. Shows are every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., and variety nights are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays. These shows often sell out, so plan ahead. Reservations can be made by calling 801-377-9700 or purchasing tickets online here

Laugh Out Loud is student club at Brigham Young University. The improv comedy group performs shows about once a month on BYU campus (214 Crabtree Building). Their shows are family friendly, and each show is different from the rest. Christian Schmutz, the club’s president, said everyone is also welcome to go to and participate in the club’s weekly practices on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. for a fun way to release stress and to get a good laugh. Tickets are $3 in advance, $5 at the door or $3 if you’re in costume. More info about tickets and a show’s specific theme (usually something like superheroes or aliens and UFOs) can be found at the information desk in the Wilkinson Center at BYU or by calling 801-422-4313.

Where do you think is the best place to get a good laugh in Utah Valley? Share your thoughts and favorite sketches in the comments below.