Welcome to Your Comedy Layover...

Washington D.C. may not be a city that embraces comedy with open arms, but you knew that already. That is why you found us. Here you can get information, interviews and insights on the best local stand-up, improv and sketch comedy this city has to offer... 4 Now. You can reach us at dccomedy4now(at)gmail.com. LET'S DO THIS, DC!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Spy a Lie!

hey there party people,

i just wanted to put an end to the rumors on the bottom lefthand side of this page that i'm "lovin 4 now" People magazine's 2007 sexiest man alive matt damon.

argument 1) he's married to a baby's mama. and they have civil rights to that baby!
argument 2) no.

i'm sure you're a nice guy, mr. damon, but i don't know you like that.
photo courtesy of Flickr and mamaa wolff

also the rationalization was "because i'm a girl." don't even get me started. i am mclovin 4 now the right to free speech.

i am mchatin 4 now side columns expressing blatant lies about people's personal innermost feelings.

i also still mchate littering.

i also mchate how after a funny movie comes out that is called superbad, people by the name of me can't stop mclovin on it by mcquotin it and mcmakin jokes related to it. also, mcfor the mcrecord, i mchaven't actually mcseen the mcmovie.

but since my real opinions apparently have no place on this blog, here's valuable information that you can actually use. new open mic starting december 3rd. that's right! MONDAY.

Where: SPY LOUNGE in Adams Morgan, DC.
Who: Tyler Richardson and Eli Sairs
Arrival time for comics is 7:30, show runs from 8 to 10. Sign-up is on premises.
For more info you can e-mail devohaven (at) gmail.com.
the website's pretty hip but don't let it scare you.

finally, local life and comic impresario brandon ivey wrote and photographed this exposé on his recent travels. it's awesome. just like brandon ivey.
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4 Now: Open Mic @ Chief Ike's on Sunday this week!

Hey Guys, just want to remind you that our usual Monday Night Open Mic is on Sunday at 8:30 this week instead of Monday. Everything else about the show is the same. We will be back on Mondays next week and every week after that.

Let's Do This, DC!

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WIT's "Seasonal Disorder": Kicks off TONIGHT!

Happy Friday everyone! In fact, "Happy last Friday before the Holidays begin their non-stop assault to ruin every quiet moment you might have during your day!" Taking a cigarette break? There is some guy dressed as Santa shaking a goddamn bell on the corner. Want to finish those end of the year reviews? The receptionist is too busy putting sleigh bells around the front desk to notice!

The fine folks at Washington Improv Theater feel your pain. Because, the Holidays are coming.....for ALL of us!

[Hit the jump for show listings!]

WIT's Winter Run: Seasonal Disorder

Nov. 30th - Dec. 30th

WIT's Seasonal Disorder
"A decidedly NOT warm and fuzzy take on Christmas merriment" -Washington Post Style

Friday and Saturday Nights@ 8pm, $12

Caveat's Forgotten Holiday's w/ Jinx!
Every holiday season we are met with stressful obligations, gift-giving dilemmas and traditions we don't understand, but feel compelled to accommodate. Caveat asks the question, "What if every holiday was just as important?"

Fridays@ 9:30pm, $12

Jackie's Working Overtime w/ Season Six
So, are you enjoying your time off this holiday season to celebrate with friends and family? Must be nice. Jackie, however, is Workin' Overtime. Someone has to do it.

Saturdays@ 9:30pm, $12

WIT's Reindeer Games
A special late-night bring-your-own-grog event featuring guest players from all of Washington Improv Theater's troupes.

Saturdays (12.15-12.30)@ 11:00pm $5 Cash at Door, BYOB

All shows are at the Source Theater on 1835 14th Street NW. This will be WIT's new home for 2008!

For more information and to purchase tickets head to Washingtion Improv Theater's Website. Read more!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


DO IT!!!

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This house is sold! BANG! BANG!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nick Turner: Joke Killer

When Jason branded me a joke killer a couple of months ago, I thought it was a bunch of hogwash kept in a large vat of hooey. I have been proved wrong every day since. I have a tendency to crush jokes everywhere, in an effort to remain the only funny person in any room I enter. It works for me, but occasionally nice, well meaning comedians get caught up in my whirl of joke killing and I end up hurting good people. When we sent out an email about the start of our new Monday night open mic, many people responded with requests to do the show. One man, however, unexpectedly bore the brunt of my wrath and it just so happened to be, hands down, the nicest dude in the DC Comedy scene. I couldn't feel worse about it so I decided to make things right by posting this email thread I had with one Haywood Turnipseed Jr. (I guess that is his real name.)

[The picture above is the only one I could find of someone named Haywood.]

From Haywood: Is there sign-up prior to the show? Or is it 1st come, 1st serve. Thanks for the info too.

Haywood Turnipseed, Jr.
Perfectly nice email question. What a sweetheart this man is.

From me: Just come on down. First come, may turn into a lottery but we'll see.
Starting off perfectly cordial. At this point I am sober and not breathing fire.

Haywood: Thanks again; I''m not going to be able to make this week, obviously, with the late email and all. Any-who, I'll be down next week for sure, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.
Here is where the problems begin. I thought he was giving me shit because i took too long to get back to him. Not the case. He emailed this to me during our show. That's what was obvious. To everyone but me.

Me: wow...sorry we offended you...
see you next week, obviously...
What a dick! Are you kidding me? Who raised me?! What an embarrassment I am to the comedy community and world at large. Also, very drunk at this point and will no longer be answering emails in this state. I might has well have been clubbing baby seals on stage at the Improv. Go fuck yourself, me.

Haywood: I'm sorry; I wasn't offended; I was trying to be funny. My own email, that I myself sent to you, was late...... I think the Good Lord comment confused everything. I'll be more straight forward in emails sent in the future.
The Future:
I was happy to receive the invite but I was not able to attend; I hope that I offended no one by my own faith, in my own humor. Sometimes I am the only one to understand myself; obviously. ... Please find no offenses in this email, as I am just learning how to bring my comedy all together. Also, am I still allowed to come out next week?
Haywood (just a normal guy w/feelings...obviously)
Are you kidding me?! Oh my god, I want to crawl into the jaws of a lion. I am clearly in an email war with a Southern Gentleman/superhero. My good sirs, I am going to hell in a handbasket full of sweet tea. Haywood, "I do declare" you the nicest man on earth.
Me: I'm an asshole.

People, if you see Haywood around the scene, tip your hat and apologize to him on my behalf. And if you have a show, put him on it. I'm going to do my best to get him to do mine. This one's for you, Haywood.

Read more!

Monday, November 26, 2007

DC Comedy Spotlight: Jermaine Fowler

Jermaine Fowler is one of DC's youngest comics, but don't let that fool you. At the age of 19, Jermaine has already performed at pretty much every spot in the city; DCAC in Adam's Morgan, 9:55 Comedy Club, The Laughing Lizard, Riot Act Comedy Club, Cafe Rendezvous, Chief Ike's, The Hyatt in Bethesda, Firehouse Grill, and Wiseacres. Just recently, Jermaine crushed it and placed 1st at the DC Improv's November 2007 Comedy Showcase. Kid is on fire, son!

I asked him what he thinks about getting his start in the DC Area:
"What I like about being in this area is that there are so many bad crowds. Learning how to handle an inattentive audience and control hecklers will toughen you for the future. I feel the more you bomb onstage the stronger you'll write and perform in front of better crowds. That's in itself is an advantage."

Check out some of Jermaine's videos below and make sure to catch him this Friday, Nov 30th at the Howard University Comedy Showcase @ The Cramton Auditorium.
[updated with interview]

Jermaine Fowler @ Hollywood Improv

bonus video: Jermaine @ Wisearces Comedy Club, VA

Jermaine Fowler Interview

*When did you realize that you wanted to do comedy?

After watching Eddie Murphy Raw I started writing jokes. I kept them for a while before actually going onstage months later. The jokes sucked.

*Who were some of your earliest influences?

Bruce, Pryor, Murphy, and Chappelle were and still are my influences. Out of all of them I still look up to Chappelle. Now, CK, O'Neal, Burr, and Mulaney are my favorite working comics. What captivated me about them is what they find funny is what I find funny. Almost like the same sense of humor.

*Where did you first perform?

My first performance wasn't at a comedy club. It was at a Talent Show at my high school. I didn't get through my first joke because the panel of female judges didn't like my jokes about periods. Go figure.

*What was your first paid gig?

At the Hyatt. It was me and Doug Powell who were on the show. I miss Doug. Anyway, I did pretty well, and Curt slipped me a twenty, but I wasted it on Jerry Subs and Pizza.

*Do you prefer to write on or off stage?

offstage. I do most of my jokes in front of a mirror because you have nobody to make you have seconds thoughts about them. Just you, a reflection, and a dirty sink. I prefer to ad-libbing onstage because it exercises your wit.

*Do you enjoy the process of writing?

Hell yea! I love writing. I feel more comfortable doing a joke that has been written. I'm not that comfortable to just wing it onstage,yet.

*What about performing live do you enjoy?

Making drunk strangers laugh. Making a heckler look incredibly stupid so he can go back and think twice before trying to be funny in front his friends. When I started I wanted to convey a message, but I wasn't funny. I think as soon as you find what's funny about you the message will come out naturally. When you have that passionate moment onstage about something that pisses you off. And then when people laugh you wonder, "Why the hell are they laughing. I'm serious!" It's just a good feeling when you're not trying to be funny and people laugh anyway.

*What's hacky to you?

A fucker who steals and is unoriginal. Sometimes I hate audiences more than the hack. Some people are just stupid. Oh well.

*What is your day job?

I Temp. Mostly, I write jokes all day . I rarely work.

*Were your parents supportive of you doing comedy?

My father told me I can't do comedy because he doesn't want me coming home at different times of night. He kicked me out the house months after I graduated high school. My mother, I can't say. My girlfriend and her mother at the time told me to go back to college and quit comedy. My grand-mother is always behind me though. I love her. She's the coolest. Everyday if she does something stupid she'll tell me, "Don't be telling people about that when you get onstage, okay?"

*Where do you plan on moving next?

New York, son! It's the mecca of stand-up. I thought LA, but I like riding subways for some reason.

*How do you feel about the comedy scene in DC?

It's ok, but you have to respect where you start. Nobody respects someone who trashes where their from. If that's the case you should move and stop crying. So many talented people came from this area, but the thing is they never stayed here. It's a good place to start. There are so many original writers and performers here, too. I'd change the amount of venues and some of the people who book them. BLAGHT!
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Hey, comics in the back...Shut the Fuck Up!!!

This past Saturday night I noticed something that has become increasingly annoying to me: comics talking in the back of the room. I can cut people
slack when it is an open mic or a large room where the whispers don't carry. We've all been guilty in that scenario. Unlike Saturday however, at an open mic there aren't normally cameras recording for television. Was this Lettermen or Leno? Most certainly not, but it was a TV spot for Comcast OnDemand. Is it a big deal? Probably not, but it's still nice to think that your material will be seen and heard by people watching TV. Treat it with some sort of respect, people.

So, why did a handful of comics run their fucking mouth during the whole fucking show? Maybe I've got sensitive ears and it was just loud to me. Wait, no it wasn't because other comics complained about it! Most every comic stood in the back, directly behind or next to the camera. What would make a person think, "This is the perfect place to whisper loudly about complete bullshit and distract people from enjoy a comic who I FUCKING KNOW!" If you want to talk, step outside. It is not only rude to the comics, but to the audience as well. It was jaw dropping to see a group of comics not give a fuck about the fact the cameras were rolling. More disturbing though is that noone really said anything. I was hosting the show and remembered "sooshing" people twice, but to no avail.

Did I want to watch every comic that was on the show that night? No. Did I have to because I was hosting it? Yes. I know how boring it is to watch the same comic do the same set over and over again. That's why if I don't have to stand in the back, I leave. I go talk to other people who are bored. I don't stand in the back and fucking talk. Why? Because I'm not rude and actually give a shit about other peoples performance...even if I don't like it.

And one more thing about the showcase: I was fucking amazing. Read more!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Headshot? They should call it no shot! Ha Ha Ha ughhhhhhh.

Disclaimer: My writing and grammar has not improved since the last blog. However, I am still awesome.

Headshots are a vital piece of every performers press kit. I could write some solid detailed advice about headshots but why re-invent the wheel when you can click here for that info. Besides I'm only writing this blog so that I can make fun of the headshots below. So let's get started and I'll throw some of my own helpful advice in along the way.

Rule 1. Have Fun!
Sure Ranger Frank may be saying "Don't hire me. I am clearly unstable" with this headshot but I guarantee you he had a fun time in that photo shoot!

2. Think it through
Maybe head shots aren't for you if you're ugly. Listen. Now of course not everybody looks like Brad Pitt but you've got to work with what you've got. CAMMAN! Use some common sense and look in a mirror.

3. Does your headshot match your material?
There's two parts to this one. First, if your wife is in your headshot...get another headshot with just you. Why would you do that? Second, if you going to keep a headshot that has both you and your wife in it...don't do 45 minutes of material on banging German teens while on business trips. The audience won't respect you.

4. Don't try to be too clever.
You're not impressing people with your ability to grow your hair. Keep it simple jackass and just use one picture.

5. Black & white or color?
It really doesn't matter if your headshot is in black & white or color if you look like you touch children.

6. Dress appropriately.
I can't really knock this guy. He looks like every DJ at every wedding I have ever been to. If that is the look this guy is going for...then he nailed it! He is throwing a little something extra in there too. SASS!

Shhh. Dj Robbie Rob is about to tear the roof off this place with a back to back mix of Real McCoy. Oh, it's not just "Another Night"...it's THE night. "Run Away"...

No seriously. Run away.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Comcast Showcase @ The DC Improv Comedy Lounge

Comcast brings its Comcastic Comedy Showcase back to the DC Improv's Comedy Lounge on November 24th @ 8:00pm. The first showcase was a awesome night of local, stand-up comedy and Saturday promises to be just as amazing.

The show will feature 11 of the best local working comics the greater DC metro area has to offer. Here is the line-up(in order from most fuckable [sorry Chris]): Mike Way, Jimmy Merritt, Freddi Vernell, Jared Stern, Tim Miller, Sean Gabbert, Matt Kazam, Jon Mumma, Justin Schlelgel, Joe Deeley, and Chris White. The showcase is hosted by Jay Hastings and he shouldn't suck. There are just a few tickets remaining for a lovely, intimate evening of great local comedy. Come out and check it out. Read more!

Happy Thanksgiving, DC!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

DC Improv Showcase Show

Tonight is the DC Improv's local talent showcase show. This is a monthly showcase, and tonights show is hosted by Ryan Conner. Tonights line-up is:


There will also be two guest sets at the end of the show from two previous showcase winners: Bryson Turner & Jake Young

This is what the future of DC comedy looks like, so come out and support the laughs (yep, that's the gayest thing I've ever typed). Read more!

Monday, November 19, 2007

DC Comedy Spotlight: The Big Honkin'

Good Morning True-Believers of DC Comedy,

This weekend I did some extra work for the newest The Big Honkin' production. For those unfamiliar with these guys, they are the creators of the Jesus Christ Supercop short films and more recently, the Channel 102 dominating Defenders of Stan. Austin Bragg and Hunter Christy both went to JMU with WIT's Mike Bass, who has appeared in many of their projects. 4 Now they are based out of Northern VA.

It is just too great of a show to not check it out from the beginning. Enjoy!

Read more!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tales from the Road: Bar None!

Disclaimer: My spelling and grammar is atrocious. I also like to use ellipsis A LOT. I'm bad at word play and thinking of titles that are creative. I almost named this one Chicken and Corn and it has nothing to with chicken or corn. But you'll have to deal with it. I'm an ICON and I wear Valour.

I had a one nighter last night at a bar in Baltimore. Bar gigs usually go two ways. "Painfully awful" and "only slightly awful". There are a few reasons for this and the one that tends to be the number one reason is that no one in the bar seems to to ever know that a show is going to be happening.

However, this was not the case last night because there was nobody there to not know that a show was going on. I got to the bar around 8:20 for the 9:00pm show and walked into the following scene.

(The bar had less people than this.)

That's a slight exaggeration. There were a group of 5 people gathered around a pool table. The bathrooms were right by the pool tables so as I was in the bathroom I could overhear one of the guys at the pool table saying "I just love alcohol" over and over. I was only in the bathroom for a couple of minutes. In that time the guy said that phrase 12 times. I love alcohol too, but when you proclaim your love for it out loud 12 times in a span of two minutes you probably have a problem with alcohol.

I had a couple of Poon Nation Fan club members show up so while I was entertaining them I looked over my shoulder to see the Booker/headliner having a heated argument with the bar manager. I excused myself from the discussion on how great I am and walked over to find out:


Apparently that was one minor detail that the bar overlooked and the Booker forgot to follow up on.

So we discussed our options:

(A bullhorn was actually discussed and quickly tossed out as an option because nobody has bullhorns.)

The lack of sound system overshadowed (and rightly so) the fact that by 9pm only a handful of people had showed up to see the show so the bar management decided that it would be "best" to cancel the show.

I still got paid which is rare for when shows like these get cancelled. So this bar gig will be filed under "only slightly awful". I have a make up date in January. I hope they have a sound system.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Philadelphia Improv Festival '07 Recap

Last weekend I performed with the Washington Improv Theater troupe Jackie at the Philadelphia Improv Festival . I went two years ago as a member of Season Six (where Stuart and I had the pleasure of meeting Philly's worst-whore-woman-beast of a bartender). This year marked PHIF's 3rd anniversary and it has already grown alot since it began. In fact, Philadelphia is very similar to DC's improv scene. It has a small community, in which there are just a handful of groups on the forefront. The main being the Philly Improv Theater, whose members created and produced the festival. Philadelphia's improv influences do travel far as groups from New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and LA all came to the city to perform.

What you get at the PHIF is a close group of fellow improvisers and a pretty good mix of talent, all of whom are eager to try something fun in front of a new crowd. Some of the troupes I enjoyed the most were The Gunshow (NYC), who did a fantastic long-form show involving a father trying to tell his son about sex as he is being hauled of to jail and 30,000kHz of Sound (NYC), a BAT show done completely in the dark. Unfortunately, there was also the "hahah poop!" induced shows that left me looking for the exit. But hey, that is what you get a an improv festival right? Overall, you get the sense that the PHIF is making quick strides to become something one everyone on the east coast looks forward to by sticking to their guns and inviting strong, long form based shows year after year.

Jackie had a great show, as did the other troupes from Washington Improv Theater; 161, Caveat and iMusical. Jackie's show actually marks the last performance of Zack Phillips in WIT. Zack has been incredibly instrumental in making Jackie and WIT what it is today and I am sad to see him go. Too bad he is just too damn talented. I need more dull friends, so they will never leave me! Zack, I wish you luck buddy.

iMusical actually closed out the festival Saturday night with one of their more silly performances, which included Jordan Hirsch singing to heart-broken parent Shawn Westfall about how "raising a hand to your child" was the fast way to gain back your child's respect. I loved it and I plan on using that advice when I have children. And yes, I will be singing as I do it.

Weird. How did Jay get in here?

Anyways a big thanks to Matt, Rick, Nathan and Alli for putting up the festival and inviting WIT again to join them. Philadelphia is like DC's sister city. I know there are incredibly talented improv comedians in both towns and it is up to people like WIT and the Philly Improv Theater to continue making sure people know about them.

Philadelphia Comedy: 4 Now? See you guys in 2008. Read more!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

4 Now: Open Mic! Begins Nov. 19th!

It is our pleasure to announce that DCC4N will begin hosting an open mic every Monday night at Chief Ike's in Adam's Morgan.

That is right: comedy is back on Monday nights starting Nov. 19th!

Chief Ike's is "an un-fancy, kitsch-ily appointed hot spot for the young and fun" (AOL City Guide) and is no stranger to hosting live acts. We believe this is the perfect place to get the DC Comedy Community excited about Monday nights again.

When: Monday Nights @ 8:30pm
Where: Chief Ike's Mambo Room @ 1723 Columbia Road NW, Washington DC
phone @ (202) 332-2211

Any questions regarding the show? Contact us at dccomedy4now@gmail.com.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Welcome DCC4N's newest contributer!

Our newest addition to the DCC4N family needs no introduction really. His unique brand of comedy has become somewhat of a staple here in Washington, D.C. He's performed numerous times at such clubs as the DC Improv and Baltimore's Comedy Factory, but that doesn't mean he is full of himself. He will still perform at the local Arby's (free sandwiches) and your kid's birthday party (or Bar Mitz-vah). Bottom Line: He is an born entertainer and he is guaranteed to give you a perspective of the DC Comedy scene you have yet to experience.

Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome..... Larry Poon.

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Boomer Sooner!!! ( A Tornado of Jokes)

This past weekend was one for the Books. I had a show in Norman, Oklahoma and had a reunion with 5 of my closest friends on the face of the Earth. Needless to say that I don't remember a lot of it, but thanks to photos I have memories. I won't talk about my reunion, but I'll blog about the show. Here we go...

I was nervous to perform in Oklahoma. Not because I didn't have faith in my material, but because I didn't have any faith in my material in that time zone. I know my jokes kill in Washington, DC and South Carolina, but was clueless as to whatSooners might find funny. I arrived in Norman on Thursday afternoon and until showtime on Friday night my performance weighed on me like a bag of doubt.

The Deli was the name of the venue that I played. I was opening up the band Galapagous, which my friend plays the keys for. The Deli isn't the most lavish of venues, but it's got heart and sometimes that's all you need. This was the first comedy show that this venue had ever had, and no one really knew howcomedy shows worked. So, I made sure that I had someone to bring me up and lay down some rules like "don't talk" and "pay attention" and "no cell phones". My friend "Crazy" Steve Baptist has a way with words so I asked him to bring me up. This is I got brought up: "If this guyaint ' funny...8-Balls for everyone!!!" That was the last thing out of his mouth. Do you know how much pressure you're under to be funny when the prize for your failure is free cocaine? I almost wanted me to fail just for the free blow. The street value of that 8-Ball would be more than what I got paid. (if you know the value of goodcocaine, then you know I didn't get paid much.)

I took the stage and talked about the free cocaine, the band for allowing me to open for them, and the lovely audience that came out early to hear live local stand-up comedy. That's the best feeling when people come out to support you, and they have never heard of you before. That's cool. I started off strong and kept it up the entire show. These people are in the middle of the plains and a lot of them have never even been to a live stand-up show before. It's an odd feeling to take someones live comedy cherry from them. Norman, Oklahoma I hope you enjoyed your virginity while you had it.

Everything was great up until my last joke. I started it and that's when this one guy felt it was time to inform me that I was Not Funny. He shouted out 3 times, so I took him up on his offer for conversation. He wanted me to know that he didn't want to say what he said, but felt he had to say it. I asked him why he didn't want to speak his mind in the middle of my show, and he responded with "causeI's tryin ' to be nice and didn't want to cause a problem." To which I responded, "and you are aware that that is exactly what you're doing now, right Sir?" I got a huge applause from the crowd, and finished my joke to laughter.

After the show I am taken aside by a guy who really enjoyed my show. I'm pretty sure he did because he kept shaking and holding my hand as he mumbled. He was Native American and loved me. He invited me to his house for a drum circle. I'm not making that part up. He invited me to beat on his tom tom's. So, just as Shakes to Much Hands was talking to me, the Heckler walks up to me. "Hey, you shouldn't make fun of god!" I reply, "I wasn't making fun of god, I was talking about people using god to advertise, especially Christians." Then he says, "You need to respect god, or you'll likely to your ass kicked!" I brushed him off and let it go, but Shakes to Much Hands didn't. He assured me in a mumble that he'd kick his ass long before he got to me. I like Native Americans. Why do ignorant Christians automatically turn to violence when they feel that their values are attacked? Becauseopenin' a big ol ' can of whoop ass is just what Christ would do. The main reason I'm not a Christian is because I don't want that guy on my team. If I had to go to Heaven and be surrounded by all of those people and NOT commit a sin against them, I'd go crazy.

This is how the rest of my trip went:
Read more!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Maria Bamford: Too funny for soap?

I just came across this hilarious tidbit about Maria Bamford's Dad running a campaign against the use of soap. His substitute for soap? A block of wood. Unfortunately, I think he's still pro-showering.
As you may have read on this blog, Ms. Bamford is currently DCC4N contributer Jason's crush du jour. Will this have any impact on his feelings? Word on the street is that he likes his ladies smelling good. This is the most Page Six-like post I have ever written. And it feels gross. But not gross enough for soap. Read more!

YouTube Monday: "That is Not Funny" Edition

...They'll say, "you can't joke about rape. Rape's not funny." I say, "fuck you, I think it's hilarious. How do you like that?" I can prove to you that rape is funny. Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. See! Hey, why do you think they call him "Porky," eh? I know what you're going to say. "Elmer was asking for it. Elmer was coming on to Porky. Porky couldn't help himself, he got a hard- on, he got horny, he lost control, he went out of his mind." ~George Carlin

Like most things regarding comedy & language (and life in general) Mr. Carlin is right. It all depends on how you construct the joke. What the exaggeration is. Because every joke needs one exaggeration. Every joke needs one thing to be way out of proportion. Want more proof?

Here is a great sketch by NYC's Derrick.

Bonus video: Hot new shades! by Jon Lajoe Read more!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reminder: Big Show tonight @ 18th & Red

The Bomb Shelter @ "18th & Red" get's written up by THE ONION'S A.V. CLUB tonight!

The show will include the comic styles of:
Seaton Smith, Kojo Mante, John McBride, Aparna Nancherla, Bryson Turner, and Erin Jackson.

Please, come show your support for local comedy and give the AV Club a big "HELL YES!"

WHERE: 18th & Red (In Adams Morgan across from The Diner)
WHEN: 9:00pm (starts promptly)
Read more!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Get MORTIFIED tonight @ HR-57

What is worse than sharing your deepest highschool secrets with complete strangers? What would be worse than if a bunch of people you didn't know start pouring thorough your journal, poems and sketches revealing what they already knew: you are a total dork.

What is worse than that? WAIT....what is FUNNIER than that?

Get Mortified answers that question by bringing their unique show tonight to HR-57. From their website:

Ripped from the pages of real life... Mortified is a comic excavation of adolescent artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more) as shared by their original authors before total strangers...After all, where else can you hear grown men and women confront their past with firsthand tales of their... first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Bon Jovi?

Wow, this sounds great. Please check them out tonight:

WHERE: HR-57 1610 14th Street NW, 20009
WHEN: 7:30 pm
HOW MUCH: $15 at door, $12 adv. Read more!

Differences between DC and NY Part 2: Hanging out.

So I've mentioned some differences between these two fair cities before when i talked about getting paid for standup or even when I talked about getting all pouty about a lack of available stagetime. Well this one is sillier.
I noticed that comics here tend to get to shows really early and hang out for an hour or more before the show. But when the show is over, whoever is still around immediately bolts. However, in NY, you'll be lucky if all of the performers have shown up by the time the show was scheduled to start, because you know the audience hasn't. And after the show, it's time to get drunk and hang. Boy do I miss that. Basically I'm saying that I want to get drunk, and not alone. Come on people. Does this city not hang out late night?!
Now I realize that one reason is because in NY I'm mainly talking about shows that have already booked the comedians. Therefore, no one is getting there early, hoping to get a spot. DC unfortunately is severly lackng in these types of shows so pretty much every show you're going to is an open mic, with an extremely long list of comedians performing. Probably another reason is that NY is a night owl friendly town. Where in DC, if you haven't hopped on the metro by midnight, your shit out of luck and are sleeping on park bench.
ANyway, blah blah blah, if you see me at a show, and are wondering if I want to get drunk and bullshit for a couple of hours afterward...I do. Ask me. I'm jonesing, son! Read more!

The Onion's A.V. Club checks out The Bomb Shelter this Thursday!

The Bomb Shelter @ "18th & Red" get's written up by THE ONION'S A.V. CLUB this Thursday, November 8th!!!

The Bomb Shelter is pleased to inform everyone that our showcase was selected to be written up by The Onion's A.V. Club. They'll be reviewing live, local comedy in The District. PLEASE COME SUPPORT THIS SHOW!!! This will be a great line-up of local comics.

The show will include:
Seaton Smith, Kojo Mante, John McBride, Aparna Nancherla, Bryson Turner, and Erin Jackson.

John McBride and Jay are the two guys who run the room, and we would really appreciate the support. This is a huge thing to be featured in The Onion and I'd love for 18th & Red to be packed out with fellow comedians and our friends. We think it's great that the Comedy Newspaper in DC is going to review a locally run comedy show by local comedians. If you are able to come out and support the show we would be very greatful, and you'd be greatful because it's going to be a great show.

WHERE: 18th & Red (In Adams Morgan across from The Diner)
WHEN: 9:00pm (starts promptly)
Read more!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Who Put Her on the Guest List?

So the club comedy ladder to success roughly works like thees.

You start out as an MC (i.e., host).

Den if yer good enough and have enoff material, you kin be a feature.

And one day if you survive "the game," you can hustle your way into a headliner spot.

That begs (or maybe panhandles) the question, where does the elusive guest set fit in?

Well, I'll tell you what. A guest star on a TV program is usually a movie star who has lowered their standards for a small chunk of time for the purpose of prostituting themselves and their career on a small gray screen as opposed to a ginormous silver one. But still, the point is, people still get excited! People watch! People coo! People ooh! whaddhya mean movie star on da tee-vee?! just tell me when and what channel!

By contrast, a comedy guest set is not quite as glamorous if you don't have the name recognition to back it up. Don't get me wrong. It's still impressive to be on the same bill as working comedians, but a guest set is also a timefiller and unless you're a special unannounced drop-in whose last name rhymes with Crosby or Steinmeld…it will probably be a tiny taste of amateurs gone wild (I only speak for my own act, so keep your panties bundlefree)!

So I had a guest set last night at the DC Improv. Thankful? Extremely so and other suckity-uppers. How did it go?! The guest set itself was fun. I had a good time! I made people expel puffs of air in guttural bursts. I left no premise unturned (this is a blatant exaggeration). I think I lost them a bit at the end, but you know, you're supposed to get the audience crimping for more professionalism. That's yer job and yer place in the entertainment social hierarchy.

is this thing on?
photo courtesy of Flickr and hiddedevries

But the weird part was what happened after the set. Y'see, how you feel about your comedy can be kind of superficial sometimes. And as much as I want to say I'm not dependent on external praise, well, that's just exactly it y'see, I'm dependent on external praise. That's part of the reason many (if not most) stand up comedians do comedy.

Sometimes I value a set by how I feel I did. But it's easier to be like Well, so-and-so said I'm awesome, and so-and-so is important and holds power. Thereby, I can feel good about myself until this high runs out, and I need to go back to my dealer (i.e., another show).

Or more realistically, Well, so-and-so didn't even talk to me, and so-and-so is important and holds power. Thereby, nothing I do is or has ever been of any consequence so I need to go home, write another angst poem, and put on more black eyeliner immediately!

Here was the guest set fallout, boyeee:

The headliner wasn't even aware I did a set. And fine. Why should he know or care?

But it was sad when I told him "I liked your stuff" and he looked at me like "that's nice. Why should I care?" And I was thinking "Well, you shouldn't really care."

But I think he sensed the desperation in my eyes because he was like "Are you a comic?" And I said "Meep. Yes."

"Are you local?"


"Did you go up?"


"How was it?"

"Oh, fun! The audience was a little weird though, you were right." (he called them weird! Not me! I was calling back to his set!)

"Yeah well, that's the kind of people I bring in."

*half turns around and walks away*

Awesome! Really glad we talked! Thanks for the advice! Has anybody perchance seen my sandhole?

The feature act was kinder in acknowledgement, and said "G'job, sweetheart!" with a medium-firm handshake. I liked everything except the 'sweetheart' tag. It's one thing if a male comedian would have gotten the exact same praise but somehow adding the 'sweetheart' to the end was like candy-necklacing the whole gesture. To candy-necklace is a verb I just made up that means 'trying to sweeten something up but creating the opposite effect.' Like if you put a candy necklace on a mean person…not only does it fail to make him or her sweeter, it grates at you even more that such a vile person is wearing a candy necklace.

Finally, the peanut gallery of postshow appraisal (which refers to the audience coming up to you after a show) can often flavor an otherwise blasé night savory and rich. The weird thing is I got no feedback from any women. Sometimes women don't like female comics, or maybe I didn't "speak" to any of them. I mentioned my period once. I don't get it.

Oh wait, I just remembered. I did get a smile from an Asian girl. But I don't know if that was intentional or if I was just in her line of sight and she was one of those always-smiles-to-prevent-any-and-all-possible-confrontations types. But here were my other earnings (I identify by race for my own useless purposes. It's not of any importance or weight so lay off!):

**old white man who said "nice work" in a very serious fashion (I like that I have a fan contingent in the old man department but the fact that he gave me this compliment while half-frowning makes me feel iffy about that whole thing. Like it was community service or something.)

**middle-aged white man who said I did great (he leaned across a circle of people to say this which upped the self-esteem boost a little higher than usual…he went out of his way!)

**tall buff black man who shook my hand and said he enjoyed the show (he could have said that to all of the performers but I choose to believe he decided to shake my hand and praise me to my face on behalf of the entire lineup plus he was so tall I was really tickled he even looked down to acknowledge me – my head came up to about his kneecaps).

**small asian man with distinctive ears (nodded rapidly and said "I really liked your stuff" AND shook my hand. I wanted to lie down after this compliment. It was powerful.)

**youngish white man with unidentifiable accent who was pretty effusive in his praise of me but said it the way you would say it to someone who needed their spirits raised (but was also a loud heckler at the end of the show which made me a little doubtful about whether his praise should even count or not), and then he tried to tell me a joke that I didn't understand at all hence rendering the social interaction a failure overall.

In conclusion, the night was a success!!! And earlier that day, I got to cuddle a puppy, and she was so excited about it, she peed on my foot!

a giddy attack of self-esteem
photo courtesy of Flickr and nouveau
Read more!

You Tube Monday: Round 1 Fight! Edition

What ever happened to our favorite characters from arguably the greatest fighting game of all time? Well, the extremely well done web series entitled "Street Fighter: The Later Years" answers that question in hilarious fashion. I am a big fan. Here is the first episode to whet your whistle. Check out all the episodes out at collegehumor.com

From one of our favorite NYC sketch groups and regular guest of the DC Comedy Fest, this next clip comes from Elephant Larry.

"There will be no fire balls in this dojo!"

And finally I have a clip that has also been on the internet for a while, but I cannot help but go back to every two weeks or so. Now with the Street Fighter music overlayed, it will definitely be in my "ignore work" playlist for a bit longer.

Baby gets KO'ed, yo! Read more!

Everyone Give Up! The Dream is DEAD!

Well, it finally happened, folks. The earth opened up and swallowed H-wood, forever ruining the lives we once thought possible. So anyway, you, young kid skipping out on his bio lab to go to that open mic at Topaz, go back to class. And you, guy who is neglecting his girlfriend on date night by doing some time at the Laughing Lizard, buy some flowers and go have sex with your girl instead. Why? because there will never be any jobs for you!

I had previously assumed that this would be the biggest thing to ever happen on November 5th. I was wrong. I will now forever associate this day with the day that the hearts and souls of everyone I know desperately hoping to become a writer or performer were dashed on the rocks. The day that temporary and unemployed workers actually started to look for real work. It is a sad day my friends. Goodbye forever. Read more!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

DC Comedy Football League

For the past two Saturdays several of DC's finest comics have been getting together for a friendly game of backyard football. We have a wide range of skill level, ranging from talented to fat. I've never played football with a bunch of comics, but it's refreshing to play with a bunch of people whose attitude is, "I don't give a shit". It's way better than the competitive assholes who will make you re-play a down if they think someone step out of bounds on play. We play two-hand touch because we are comics, and that means that the majority of us do not have health insurance. If you're interested in playing, allow me to run down the players and their skill level as I see it.

JAY HASTINGS: Fucking Amazing!
JOHN MCBRIDE: A lot of heart at QB, but scouting reports have his 40 too high.
JASON SAENZ: He blocks like a brick wall. Good hands too, but nervous in front of cheerleaders.
KOJO MANTE: Tall, fast, good hands, and friendly...but he's a ball hog and lazy.
LARRY POON: Would like to throw the ball more, and not run as much.
JASON WEEMS: He's quick and gives 100% every play. His speed comes from living in Baltimore.
BRYSON TURNER: He is the white Anthony Gonzalez. Good for team spirit.
NICK TURNER: Would like the ball more. Slow...but good hands! He's a Gemini.
RANDOM GUY ON A BIKE (DRE): I think he played some Junior College ball. But he couldn't stay from gambling. Great vertical!
ZARN: Fast, good looking, great looking, well dressed, and a smile that would melt your heart.

Well, that's the run down of the people whose name I can remember. Every Saturday we'll be playing on the baseball field in Adams Morgan. You should could out and play with us if you're not scared. Read more!

Ian Bagg wants to know..."What do you do?"

Jay and I went to see Ian Bagg last night at the DC Improv and unfortunately, since we were in the absolute last row, we were unable to inform Mr. Bagg of our occupations. But that didn't stop him from asking every. single. other. member. of. the. audience. that. question.

What do you do?

Bagg relied so much on crowd work that I think we saw maybe ten minutes of actual material. Now I'm not saying I disliked his set as I enjoyed the material he had and was extremely impressed at some of the places he was able to go from the audience participation aspect of the show. The best part of the night had Bagg doing almost ten minutes straight of improvised material after a member of the audience volunteered that he had only one testicle.

The improv is fine (especially since the show occurred at the Improv) but why oh why did 95% of it have to come after Bagg asked his favorite question of all time, "What do you do?"

Sample Dialogue from last's night's show:
"Hey ma'am. Yes you, the lesbian with all of the tattoos, what do you do? Oh you're a lesbian, right on. Hey you sir, What do you do? Oh you work in the Navy. huh? Sounds like a lazy job. Bet you'd be late for war if you had that lesbian on your boat. You three, what do y'all do? You work for a non-profit? You think you're better than everyone else? You sir, what do you do? Too late, moving on. This table, what do y'all do? We'll just have to guess, cannot wait for response. The back section! What do you do? Everyone in the audience...WHAT DO YOU DO!? What do you do, what do you do, does not compute, what do you do, malfunctioning, what do you do!!!!!?

It was at that point that Bagg's circiut board shorted out and the show was over. But that didn't stop Jay and I from asking each other what we did for the next hour straight. Despite that one glaring annoyance, the show was pretty good, and you wouldn't be doing yourself a disservice by checking him out tonight or tomorrow. For more info, check out DC Improv's homepage. Read more!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Eat our DUST!

We are currently changing the format of our blog, so don't freak out if you see some wierd stuff on the site for the next few days (other than Jay's posts).


DCC4N Construction Crew Read more!

Open Mic Over Population

Anyone else think it’s time for some more comics to start their own rooms? If last nights bread line of an Open Mic proved anything, it’s that John McBride does way too much for the DC Comedy Scene and countless comics ride his coattails. He runs Rendezvous every Wednesday night with NO help, and he co-operates The Bomb Shelter with me every Thursday. Other comics in the community that run their own rooms and help provide Life for a fledgling, near death open mic scene in this town are: Tyler Sonnichsen with the Laughing Lizard (which is Bi-Weekly and a great room), Lance Smith has Bistro Europa on Sundays, and of course The Godfather Curt Shakelford runs his rooms. I know that there are other comics in the area that put on shows in the outskirts of the DC Metro Area like Jim Pate with Brittnay’s or one of the shows in Columbia, Maryland. However, where the hell are the weekly shows to perform in DC? Wednesday is The Vous and Thursday is a showcase show. Monday’s are fucking DEAD. Tuesday are DEAD, but I have heard that Café Japone might be opening back up. However, I was there on Tuesday and the owner was trying to make people pay $15 dollars to watch a fucking open mic. Friday night...DEAD again. Then Saturday if you’re lucky you can get up at Tyler’s Laughing Lizard.

Why don’t more comics take action and try to do something for themselves. Fuck the community, do it for your own stage time. Be greedy…I am. Find a space, create a show, and make time for yourself and for your friends and for good comics. I don’t understand why people sit on their ass and wait for shows to pop up. Go find a place! Last night at TheVous there were almost 30 FUCKING COMICS! So, instead of comics getting 5 - 10 mins, everyone got 2 MINS!!! I know I really got a lot out of reading joke premises out of my notebook. The ecosystem that is the open mic scene is so out of balance. In nature when a population explodes, and the environment can no longer sustain that population…you know what happens? It fucking dies. So are there any comics out there who will take action and start a new environment to sustain us? Cause if not we can just treat it like overpopulated deer, and start shooting the weaker, slower, can't detect camouflage comics (Jon Mumma would have a field day!). There are a handful of us who have rooms and try to produce quality shows, and it's really fucking hard.

“Go and do likewise gents. Otherwise, I have no sympathy for you.”
Blake – “Glen Gary, Glen Ross” Read more!

Robert Goulet Dead at Age 73

From NYTimes.com:

Robert Goulet, who marshaled his dark good looks and thundering baritone voice to play a dashing Lancelot in the original “Camelot” in 1960, then went on to a wide-ranging career as a singer and actor, winning a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy, died today [Tuesday morning]. He was 73.

The singer died in a Los Angeles hospital while awaiting a lung transplant, a Goulet spokesman said in an e-mail, according to the Associated Press.

Who didn't love this man? I didn't know much about his career, but God, if I had a voice like his I could melt iron and panties simultaneously. What an icon. I loved his recent peanut commerical where he is crawling on the ceiling like Spiderman in a turtleneck, but what I love the most was what I found recently: his failed TV pilot, "Acting Sheriff". Got to love the purple sports jacket. The man could wear anything!

Rest in Peace, Goulet!

Read more!