Sometimes DC and its power players are unintentionally hilarious. This past Wednesday evening, however, at the 16th Annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest, politicos, media folk and other local “celebs” took to the stage to be purposefully funny. Some jokes triumphed, filling Connecticut Avenue’s cozy, underground Improv lounge with delighted laughter. Other jokes (and/or their delivery) flat-out bombed, instead filling the room with uncomfortable silences and forcing squirming spectators to squeeze their seatmate’s arm while slinking deeper into the darkness.
But alas, not everyone’s a born comedian, and I give those brave souls credit for stepping out into the Improv spotlight in this notoriously straight-laced town. In any case, the gathering under one roof of such an odd cast of characters—from “Joe the Plumber” to Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist—provided superb if surreal people watching. Only in DC. And despite recent accusations to the contrary, event organizers claim proceeds (individual ticket sales started at $200) go to a good cause (we hope so anyway, we really do). This year’s fundraiser is said to benefit the charity StandUp For Kids, and show producer Richard Siegel, likely none-too-pleased with recent press, did remind us umpteen times that this event was “for the kids.” Our fingers are crossed.