The agony and the ecstasy of the comedy open mike cannot be

The agony and the ecstasy of the comedy open mike cannot be matched. To be perfectly honest, in order to enjoy one of these nights—or take part in one—you need to find a little ecstasy in your agony. Because there is a lot of agony. But not all open mikes are the same. Here’s a night-by-night guide.

SUNDAY With a dearth of date-nighters, Punchline Sundays generally turns into a clubhouse atmosphere, with comics trying out a lot of new material. Head back later in the week for Punchline Tuesdays and Fridays. 235 Broadway E., 322-5781, 8:30 p.m. sign-up, 9 p.m. show. No cover. 21 and over.

MONDAY If you search “Seattle comedy open mike,” the Comedy Underground’s Monday Madness Open Mic is at the top of the list. This means that you will see a lot of sweat-palmed newcomers delivering the first flaccid jokes of their careers. But given the Underground’s reputation as the longest-running club in the city, you are just as likely to see big-time headliners pop in for three minutes of heaven. 109 S. Washington St., 628-0303, 8 p.m. $6. 18 and over.

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It is a warped kind of crowd that gathers in the Rendezvous’ Grotto for The Magic Hat, a hybrid open mike hosted and curated by the delightfully strange Emmett Montgomery, who books about half the night’s acts and chooses the other half via lottery. 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823, 7 p.m. $5. 21 and over.

Comics looking to test their mettle against a tough crowd will often find it at The Local 907’s Open Mic, where the clientele is happy to ignore your lame jokes to focus on their friends and drinks. 907 S. Third St., Renton, 425-255-2511. 8 p.m. No cover. 21 and over.

A new addition to the comedy landscape, Comedy Crater plays in the classic divey atmosphere of the Blue Moon to an audience of regulars (who would be there with or without the comedy). 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116, 7:30 p.m. sign-up, 8 p.m. show. No cover. 21 and over.

TUESDAY Parlor Live ups the ante with its Game of Jokes Open Mic/Comic Search, in which comics vie weekly for a spot in a showcase, as well as a bimonthly cash prize. 1522 Sixth Ave., 602-1441, 6:30 p.m. sign-up, 7:30 p.m. show. No cover. 21 and over.

The area’s only female-focused open mike, Comedy Womb disallows misogyny, racism, homophobia, and hate—a stance that not only makes the crowd more comfortable, but also challenges comedians to not rely on othering. Half the slots in the evening’s two shows are women only, but men are welcome to fill the others. 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823, 7 & 9 p.m. $5. 21 and over.

WEDNESDAY A bit of a groaner in the past, Open Mic Wednesdays at Laughs Comedy Spot have improved dramatically in the past six months with the addition of emcee Skippy Sprinkles.12099 124th Ave. N.E., Kirkland, 425-823-6306, 8 p.m. No cover. 18 and over.

The controlled environment at the ascendant Tacoma Comedy Club makes its Open-Mic Night one of the area’s best. Interested comics have to e-mail in advance; the club then curates its list based on its keen sense of humor. 933 Market St., Tacoma, 253-282-7203, 8 p.m. No cover. 18 and over.

THURSDAY If you were filming an indie flick about a young, hopeful comic, the stage at Dexter and Hayes Public House—where The Basement Comedy Open Mic happens—would be the perfect setting. 1628 Dexter Ave. N., 283-7786, 9:30 p.m. No cover. 21 and over.

FRIDAY The former home of the People’s Republic of Komedy (and Koffee), Scratch Deli has carried the torch for late PRoK runner Tristan Devin by playing host to Seattle’s alternative comic scene. The Scratch Deli Open Mic is a pivotal part of that, encouraging young comics—this is the only all-ages gig on this list—to fill the Tristan Devin Theatre with new ways to make people laugh. 1718 12th Ave., 257-4554, 7:30 p.m. No cover. All ages.

Check out “After Dark: A Guide to Seattle Nightlife” for the rest of our late-night suggestions.