Don’t be fooled by the name. The Ice House is a place that’s been warming audiences with laughter since it opened its doors in 1960. Once a folk music venue that featured comedians in between acts, the club transitioned to its all-comedy format under new owner Bob Fisher in 1978.
Now the oldest standup comedy club in the country “and probably the world,” according to Fisher, an Ohio native and graduate of San Francisco State University, the spot oozes with history. In fact, Fisher says one of the first artists he booked to perform there was Robin Williams.
Many other comedy legends have graced the stages of this fabled institution, including Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Lily Tomlin, and Ellen DeGeneres. Adorning the interior are photos of the comedians who have performed here, along with autographed messages from the likes of George Carlin, Billy Crystal, and Dana Carvey. There’s also a David Letterman contract and a congratulatory letter from Johnny Carson on display.
The main showroom seats 200, while a second stage plays to up to a crowd of 100. The venue offers dinner, drinks, and snacks. Patrons can sidle up to the bar and possibly rub elbows with veteran comics along with up-and-coming talent waiting to take the stage or having just finished a notable set.
So, if you’re looking for a memorable time in Pasadena and one you’ll certainly enjoy, The Ice House will warm you up.