Comedy in DC

Comedy in D.C.: Brad Ryan and Ralph Cooper’s Awesome Thursdays

awesomethursday - bradandralph

I was in the part of town that has Chinese letters beside English ones hanging with Brad Ryan and Ralph Cooper who are the founders of Awesome Thursdays at the R.F.D. in Chinatown. We had a good chat on a Saturday afternoon in the Chinatown Coffee Company and were lucky to be at a table. It took me about twenty minutes to snag one. While I stalked the area I noticed one girl sitting alone with her purse placed on the chair beside her. At first I thought she didn’t want to get her bag dirty, but then in walks this guy who heads right to her. She looks up. “It’s nice to meet you in person!” He tells her. It was a successful online date. Beautiful. I sat alone for a couple minutes and then in walks two dudes who come to my table. Another successful online date. Um… anyway, let’s learn about Ralph and Brad. Continue reading
Comedy in DC, The Daily Feed

Comedy in DC: Cool Dudes Hanging Out

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The comedy show for cool dudes is back, and as we have already established, you are a cool dude, in the unisex, non-gendered sense of the word, so it seems this comedy show is for you.

On Friday night, 7 PM at the Velvet Lounge on U Street, 5 measly bucks gets you an evening of comedy hosted by Hillary Buckholtz, and featuring Tim Miller, Kyle Martin, and Michael Foody, all hilarious.

Headlining this cornucopia of hilarity will be Team Submarine, a duo from New York (video above), who describe their comedic style as “grown men throwing things at each other while words come out of their mouths.” So, you know, maybe sit in the back.

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: Seaton Smith

Seaton standing up

I had the very fortunate opportunity to cruise with Seaton Smith, 29, on Sunday Jan. 30, on his way to do a show over at High Topps in Timonium, MD. We chatted the whole way on the road, which was good, because I didn’t really know the guy and he had no idea who I was, but somehow we were in the same vehicle together. People should get in strangers’ cars more often. I had a blast. I was able to learn a lot about him and caught him at a time when he just changed his career two weeks prior to that day to be a full time comedian. He quoted Bob Dylan about how success is about doing what you want to do in between waking up and going to sleep. “The past two weeks have been the most successful of my life.” Continue reading

Comedy in DC, Entertainment, Night Life

Comedy in DC: Chris Barylick

Chris Barylick yellow

Chris Barylick, founder of the Geek Comedy Tour, met up with me at the very crowded Tynan coffee house in Columbia Heights this past weekend. We were fortunate to find two seats by the coffee machine. For a minute we stared at this knitting club that was hanging out right next to us. That was the first knitting club I have ever seen. It looked like they were having fun, but come on! I don’t get how people can just plant themselves at a coffeshop for hours and hours like it’s their den and think that it’s cool.

Anyway, Chris, 33, is from Providence, Rhode Island and moved to DC in 1996 and has been performing stand up for the past six years. Additionally, he runs an open mic at the Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon, VA every Monday. The first time I met Chris was at his open mic there. The weather that night was a little brutal, but a lot of comics showed up to do their thing. Chris announced the lineup of comics that were going to perform and then we moved down to the basement.  Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: Brian Kerns

Brian Kerns Black and White 1

It was a cold Saturday evening in DC for me while Brian Kerns was chatting me up on the phone from the cozy climate in the city of Angels. This working comedian grew up in Manassas, Virginia and  has the longest commute to get to his job. Most comedians that live in the area take a trip on the metro to get to the club, but this comic hops on an airplane and goes to the comedy clubs in Los Angeles. Whenever he heads west he leaves behind his wife and spends half the year away from her. “She let me quit my day job to pursue comedy full time. If I didn’t have her belief in me and I didn’t have her behind me and saying ‘You can do this’ then there would be no way that I could be doing this right now.”

Brian is a huge fan of the comedy scene in the DMV and thinks it is a great place for comics to hone their skills, but told me that if you want to become famous, you have to put yourself where the agents are. One difference he has noticed performing in L.A. as opposed to D.C. are the people in the seats watching. He said DC has better crowds where people are there to see comedy whereas “In L.A. and N.Y. you do open mics with angry comics looking at their notebooks.” Continue reading

Comedy in DC, Night Life, The Daily Feed

Comedy in DC: Awesome Thursdays Open Mic

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Danilo.Lewis|Fotography’

Comedy is great for your wellbeing and you can get a healthy dose over at R.F.D., 801 Seventh St., in Chinatown where they are throwing Awseome Thursdays starting at 8:00 PM sharp. Ralph Cooper and  and Brad Ryan will host the free event and there is no drink minimum, so enjoy the cold water if you don’t have any cash. How do you have internet and no cash?

Anyway, let some comics chisel the ice off your heart and let the bar’s vast beer selection fill your tummy as you immerse yourself in some true DC culture.

Comedy in DC, Entertainment, Night Life, Petworth

Comedy in DC: Wayne Manigo

Wayne Manigo

Two huge speakers were blasting at me and Wayne Manigo as we chatted at the bar in Ras Restaurant on Tuesday evening while the snow started sticking to the streets. It was Wayne Man’s Comedy open mic night at the restaurant and it did not seem like anyone was going to make it.  This DC comic was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and has been a Washingtonian for nine years. He was your every day working man until  he was laid off one day, which was not funny, but the  job loss helped him to discover comedy. At the time he was plotting his next move he said to himself, “This is the perfect opportunity to see if I can be funny.” Wayne worked with a friend that was already doing stand up to write some jokes and performed for the first time at the Palace of Wonders, Red Palace now, on H Street. He said to me that after his performance people said, “Hey, you don’t suck.” He has been stepping into the spotlight for two years strong since he found his ability to make people’s abdominal muscles contract. Continue reading

Comedy in DC, The Daily Feed

Local comic participates in Guinness Record attempt.

Brian Kerns Headshot

Former area comic Brian Kerns will be stepping into the spotlight at Magooby’s Joke House in Timonium on Jan. 20 from 2:00 PM till 3:00,  one of the 81 hours of comedy that the club needs in its attempt to. break the Guinness World Record for the longest comedy show ever. The event kicks off Jan. 17 at 2:30 PM, and the club must maintain a minimum of 10 audience members at all times in order for the record to be valid.

The usual two-item minimum has been lifted for this event, and you can show up at any time during the 81 hours and donate whatever you can at the door. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Special Olympics Maryland. You can find more information at the Magooby’s website.

Comedy in DC, Night Life, Petworth

Comedy in DC: You, Me, Them, Everybody with Brandon Wetherbee

Image courtesy Brandon Wetherbee

I spent my sixth day of 2011 at the Looking Glass Lounge in Petworth, sitting in a foldy chair in front of Brandon Wetherbee, 28, the host and creator of the You, Me, Them, Everybody Talk Show, a live-recorded podcast. Brandon is from Chicago, and has lived in DC for two months. The show is like watching a late night talk show with the ability to grab a drink.

Wetherbee was set up at the back of the bar and his station consisted of a mini laptop computer on top of a table with a switchboard and microphone. Before the show, Brandon made sure to let the patrons know what is in store at the back of the room, by walking to each table and introducing himself. His guests sat next to his left  with their own device to speak into. An old rolling suitcase sitting at Weatherbee’s feet looked like a suspicious package, but was actually what Wetherbee used to transport his gear. The setting was very intimate, but even so, it was a bit difficult to hear his guests speak. You really can’t tell the bar is loud when you hear the podcast, but I sat in the front and had to lean in to drown out the conversation happening right behind me. Continue reading

Comedy in DC, The Daily Feed

RagnaROCK – Comedy, Music, Theater, Epicness

There’s a special kind of magic that happens when three dudes get drunk one night and decide that what their town really needs is an entertainment apocalypse.

At least, I am assuming that copious alcohol consumption was involved in the conception of RagnaROCK, the latest production from the minds of Tyler Sonnichsen, Evan Valentine, and Christopher Brooks.

I’m not saying this as a bad thing, not at all. It just seems that taking some comedy (Valentine, Sonnichsen, and Jake Young), some hip-hop (City Lights, featuring Brooks and Maurice Lowe), and deciding that what that show really needs is a performance of a song-sketch about the Norse God Thor being banished from Valhalla to an East Coast city and trying to fit in with the locals… well, I’m just saying that might require the addition of some kind of intoxicant.

Did I mention that this will be the first time “THOR!!!” will be performed in 2 years? Well, now you know.

As a fan of Sonnichsen and Young generally, of course, I think you should check this out. Really, don’t miss “THOR!!!’s” triumphant return.

The show will be performed on Friday and Saturday nights next week, January 14-15, at the DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan. Tickets are $10.

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: Reggie Melbrough

I spent a rainy Sunday afternoon at the Columbia Heights Coffee House chatting with Reggie Melbrough, because he is a DC comic you need to know about. He grew up in Boise, Idaho and moved to the nation’s capital in March of 2007. He teaches U.S. History by day, but at night, or at least four to five nights of the week, he is on the streets seeking to help the rigid and stiff everyday man with his stand up comedy, because “Everyone deserves to laugh.”

Melbrough got the idea of performing standup comedy after his grandmother died. “I had an inkling to try it, but didn’t know how to do it,” he says, so he wrote down three pages of random stories and thoughts and sent it to a friend who was already performing. The friend told him, “You have about three minutes of material here.” Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Holiday Leftovers

Marion Barry

While covering the mayoral inauguration on Sunday, Tom snapped this photo of Ward 8 Council Member and Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry. We think it’s begging for a caption. Some ideas to get you started from our Flickr friends:

“What, you mean I have to pay those taxes AGAIN this year?”

“Obama makes it to the White House, and here I am waiting in line for Sbarro. Stupid past decisions.”

Hit us up with your suggestions in the comments. Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Therapeutic Wikipedia Vandalism

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘nevermindtheend’

The Post’s Dan Steinberg brings us this screenshot of some kicking-them-when-they’re-down-style vandalism to the Redskins’ Wikipedia entry. The comparison of the Redskins’ on-field performance to certain sex acts has been repeatedly wiped out by automatic Wikipedia processes designed to thwart just such types of editing, and the IP address responsible for the edits, belonging to Comcast in Michigan, has been blocked from further edits, but it got me thinking about the cathartic value of slamming somebody on their Wikipedia page. DC is such a target-rich environment, full of high-profile types who have pissed off no small number of tech savvy users.

Without endorsing the sexist and homophobic nature of the slurs posted to the Redskins page, I have to admire the effort the vandal put into it. The most the Washington Nationals’ entry gets is the occasional assertion that they’re not a very good baseball team. Albert Haynesworth at least manages to get a fairly steady stream of vitriol- the editors there are constantly reverting little insults out of his entry. Continue reading

Comedy in DC

More art Congressional Republicans should censor while they’re at it

Photo courtesy of
‘The Darwin Sisters, Censored’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

No doubt you’ve heard by now that some Congressional Republicans have been making a fuss over a Portrait Gallery exhibition that deals with gay and lesbian identity in the arts. One installation has been removed already, and no word yet if additional works will be taken down from the exhibit.

I know that our good and patriotic elected representatives, having solved all other problems facing the United States in these times of global strife and economic upheaval, will be anxious to root out any other lurking homosexual undertones in our publicly-funded art while using our plentiful surplus tax dollars to promote good old-fashioned American values, like censorship, for example.  So allow me to make a few suggestions about dirty, offensive works of public art that should have their funding examined right away. Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Ask We Love DC: Drama in the workplace

Photo courtesy of
’11/18/09: Just Breathe’
courtesy of ‘@heylovedc’

Dear We Love DC,

I’ve gotten myself into quite a pickle. It started out well enough. I married a great guy. He’s successful in his career; I’m successful in mine. We’re popular in our community and active on the charitable scene. We even started a really lucrative business together as a second career. But then it all fell apart. Someone who is clearly jealous of our success called the feds about our side job- it’s all a big misunderstanding, of course, but in the process of it all someone may have overheard me talking to my husband about placing some money in my undergarments. I mean, what woman hasn’t used her brassiere as a spare pocket from time to time? But now all anyone on the Internet can talk about is how I was “hiding evidence” and “stashing bribes” and all that. Meanwhile, I’m trying to demonstrate my innocence over here. How can I ever get my reputation back?

-My Cup Runneth Over in Maryland

Dear MCRO,   Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: Memorial Edition

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courtesy of ‘Danilo.Lewis|Fotography’

I frequently joke about how dysfunctional and antisocial a lot of standup comedians are. It’s an incredibly isolating medium; Steve Martin says, “Doing comedy alone onstage is the ego’s last stand.” Developing an art form that is almost universally performed solo, where success is determined entirely by whether roomful after roomful of strangers laugh, takes a particular kind of personality that is simultaneously indifferent to company but thrives on approval. That comedians tend to spend time with other comedians isn’t just an accident of who their coworkers are; it’s a community made up of people who get it.

So when local open mic regular Shane Artim died unexpectedly in August, the local comedy community was pretty shaken. The comedians who frequent the Eleventh Street Lounge open mic in Clarendon are holding their showcase in Artim’s memory next Thursday, November 11th, at 8:30PM. The show is free, but the organizers will be accepting donations in Artim’s memory for his alma mater, Temple University. Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Extra-Moderate: Proposed Signs for the Rally to Restore Sanity

Comic courtesy of and copyright by xkcd, posted with permission.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s this rally-for-people-who-hate-rallies coming up. It might be a pretty big deal.

But it occurred to me to ask… if people get fired up about a rally for moderates, doesn’t that then make them, by definition, less moderate? And what happens when a comedian becomes a media figure who then becomes a political figure? And what if I don’t care about any of these questions and I just want to mock the hell out of protesters who prevent low income people from getting to their downtown jobs in the name of helping the poor? Or protesters dressed as colonials whose signs demand that we “READ THE CONSTITUION?” What if I’m moderate as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore? If it doesn’t mean I have to miss too much work? Because seriously, I have a job to do.

Protest signs, y’all. (Which, of course, will be immediately cleaned up and thrown away after the rally, because our mamas raised us right.) Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: “Dog Days” Cliche Edition

Photo courtesy of
‘today is the best day of Tchotchke’s life!’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’

As August drags its hot, sticky self over the area like a dog licking something inappropriate in front of company, we start to think about the return of fall and the comedy scene is perking up a bit too.

This Friday, catch Seaton Smith: A Moment in Black Hipstery at the Warehouse Theater. He’s recording the show for a DVD, so this is a great opportunity to catch him on a night where he’s bringing his A material instead of working out new jokes at an open mic. The show starts at 8, and tickets are $5. Definitely worth your time and 5-spot.

Speaking of Seaton Smith, he spoke last month at TedxPennQuarter on “Reinventing the Black Comedian.” I caught it on the live stream, and if you’re like my friend Brittany who isn’t really into standup except as a sort of anthropological observation, I recommend you check it out after the jump. Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: This F-ing Hipster

This month seems to be the month of late comedy promotion. In theory, there’s a showcase at the Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon on the 8th, but all the usual suspects there are quiet. There’s comedy tomorrow night at Mr. Smith’s in Georgetown, but you know, Georgetown after work.

The fun thing coming up on the calendar is actually 3 Chord Comedy at the Velvet Lounge on Friday the 9th. Again. Because I’m consistently impressed with the headliners Eli books for this show. July’s 3 Chord show features: Jimmy Meritt, Jake Young , Tyler Sonnichsen, and Eli Sairs, which already makes it pretty much Tiff’s Dream Lineup of Locals Who Don’t Perform Much Locally Anymore, but the headliner is Joe Mande, who has been on VH1 and Comedy Central and HuffingtonPost comedy, but is probably most famous to you, dear reader, as the Look At This Fucking Hipster Guy.  I understand Mande is pretty excited about bringing the funny to DC, and that it’s a pretty different experience from the blog/book, so I recommend that you check it out.   Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Comedy in DC: The Headliners

Now that summer is well and truly upon us, and the college crowds that sustain small, local comedy shows have packed up their dorms and off-campus apartments to head home, I thought it was time to point out some notable national headliners coming through the Improv and the Warner in the next few months. (There are probably notable headliners coming through the Arlington Drafthouse as well, but they don’t post their schedule several months in advance so that people can plan. *ahem*)

Alonzo Bodden is at the DC Improv this weekend. You’ve seen him on Last Comic Standing, and he’s come through the Arlington Drafthouse before (where he was completely hilarious), but this time he’s doing a full 4-night trip through the Improv. Matt Kazam will be appearing with him, so that’s a bonus. Continue reading