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!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, DC!!

We hear[Grammar King!] at DCC4N would like to thank everyone who reads our blog for making 2007 a incredible year. Never had we though[GK!] that things would take off as they have, but more importantly we are just happy to see comedians, of all sorts, coming together in this city.

Here is to a even better 2008 for everyone!!

Check back next week for announcemets regarding...



More SHOWS!
More ROOMS!
and more great local, DC COMEDY!!




Also, don't forget about DCC4N's New Year Bustin' "Clash of the Titans".
Friday Jan. 4th @ 8pm
DC Improv Comedy Lounge!

Read more!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"He knows if you've been sleeping......"

Merry & Happy Christmahanukwanzakah,

I hope everyone had a wonderful respective holiday of choice these past few weeks. I know I had a wonderful Christmas back home. I now have quite the sweater collection. Also, this X-mas marked somewhat of a momentous occasion for the family. My little brother, Christopher, found out that Santa does not exist. I remember when I was a child it was my neighborhood friend Alex that told me Santa wasn't real, along with where I really came from (not a cabbage patch, mom) and what a girl's hoohaa looks like (put your hands together, separate the middle fingers and place them inside my hands.....ewwww!) My folks told Chris and I think it was proper for them to pop the bubble they perpetuated throughout his life. But, it did make we wonder how Christian families can justify lying to their children about Santa, but then say other things just as supernatural and unexplained, are true.

[Hit the jump! What are you, a Grinch?]



"Chris, you know that man we told you that lives in the North Pole with elves, rides around on flying reindeer, slides down peoples' chimneys and give gifts to every good boy and girl in the world all in one night? He is not real."

"Santa doesn't exist?"

"Yeah, Chris. I think you are old enough now to know."

"But, what about the man who was born of a virgin birth, can walk on water and cured the sick and blind, was killed but rose from the grave three days later and will come at the end of time to take all the good boys and girls to heaven?"

"Oh, Jesus? Yes, he is still very much a real person."

"Mom, I kinda wish Santa was still real, too."
Read more!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Best Interview Ever: John Mulaney


Yesterday I got to catch zee hilarious Ted Alexandro at the DC Improv. But not just Ted Alexandro. Let's talk about what happened before Ted Alexandro. Three very IMPORTANT very FUNNY people. MC Dawan Owens. YAYYYYYYY. Guest set local Hampton. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY. And the feature who this post is about...John Mulaney! YAYYYYYYYYY.

John Mulaney actually is an 04 Georgetown alum so he's local, which makes him more relatable somehow. And secondly, he's a rising star! Here's an interview. He's very good. The end.


[Hit the jump for the best interview John has ever done!]




This picture is courtesy of Mr. Mulaney's MySpace profile, which you should check out.

If you have a chance to check him out tonight at the Improv, do it. Or watch VH1's "Best Week Ever" because he's on there too. He is also the kid on your milk carton.

INTERVIEW (questions courtesy of Larry Poon)

1. What is your margin of trial and error before you toss a new joke that doesn't appear to be working?

I really don't have any set number of times I will try something before I discard it. It all depends on what the joke is. If I really like a joke I will try it at least 5 or 6 times even if it is greeted with utter indifference from the audience. The thing is, I perform just about every night so I put stuff on-stage that is not fully formed and work stuff out in the middle of a set so it isn't always that I have this new completely constructed joke and I go "test" it. I will however toss a reference or a tag after only a couple of times: once it is clear that nobody remembers the episode of Living Single I am comparing something to, I am happy to toss it.

2. When you're not on the road you are constantly on stage in and around NY. How were you able to immerse yourself in the comedy scene there? And what's the best way for a comic from DC (for example) to break into the alt comedy rooms in NY?

I would advise people to just go to the shows they are interested in and hang around and literally get to know the people who book them. I used to book a show at a place called Rififi and people would email me having never come to see the show, basically like "You got a comedy show, I'm the bomb you gotta have me." It is a lot easier to ignore someone until they are in your face and you get to know them. At the same time keep trying to get on-stage anywhere in NY at any time to work on jokes. That is obviously what is most important. If you have a good tape and the people running a show know your face and have spoken with you it is a lot easier to get them to watch your stuff and from that, a lot easier to be put on the line-up.

3. How do you handle heckling?

Well, heckling can mean a lot of things. I think a lot of people picture heckling as a joke not going well, and some loud man yelling "you suck!" That is not all that common from what I have seen. Mainly what you get is people talking to their friends during the show or people trying to have a dialogue with you from their seat. Like, some people will talk to you while you are performing and really think that they are adding to the show in some way. I don't know, sometimes I ignore it, and sometimes I indulge it, it depends. If I think I can move past a comment in the crowd without acknowledging it I often will because I don't have the experience to know that "yes, by talking to the crowd I will still keep the show entertaining for the audience."

4. What was your worse experience with a heckler?

I don't have a great heckling story. Mainly the worst shows I can remember are the ones where I go up all slap happy and am greeted with a blizzard of indifference. Then I am on-stage slowly wondering why people don't like the sound of my voice. And then I finish and walk off.

5. How do you balance trying out new jokes/material with the desire to give people a good show?

It is a delicate balance that I am still trying to figure out. I always think though, that if I have one new thing that I am excited about and at least 10-12 minutes to do other stuff that I know works, it is a very good idea to put the new thing in because it will keep me sharper. Like knowing a new joke is coming up keeps me more in the moment for stuff I have already worked out. I really try and find a way to make every set a little different, eve if it is just to keep me on my toes.

6. How has your material changed over time?

I am not sure, it was always kind of like how it is now, I think I have gotten more confident in the mind-set, "I really think this is funny so I am going to tell you."

7. Have you googled yourself and what was the weirdest thing that popped up that was associated with your name?

The woman who had an open letter to me telling me to get off Best Week Ever and threatening to kick me in the testicles.

8. Do you realize that the wikipedia entry for John Mulaney has you listed currently as a co-defendant in the trial of OJ Simpson for the alleged armed robbery of memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Good, good. I have never touched that page. People just keep adding things. It is fun to watch.
Read more!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DCC4N presents "Clash of the Titans" on January 4th!

On Friday, January 4th, the stars of DC Comedy come out for their first show at The DC Improv combining the best in standup and improv comedy.

Lineup includes stand-up from:
LARRY POON (winner of 2007's "Funniest Person in Baltimore,")
NICK TURNER (superstar from NYC and [little-seen] National Commercials)
JAY HASTINGS (Comcast On Demand)
APARNA NANCHERLA (Finalist in NBC's "Standup for Diversity," member of WIT's "Jinx")


And Long-Form Improv from:
SUPER BEST f/ Tyler Korba, Mike Bass, Brian Coleman (Finalist of WIT's F.I.S.T. Tournament '06)
UP w/ THE JOHNSONS f/ Dave Johnson, Mikael Johnson, Jason Saenz-Johnson


And hosted by the inimitable JASON SAENZ (member of WIT's "Jackie" and "Reindeer Games")


What: DC Comedy:4Now Presents: "Clash of the Titans"
When: Friday, January 4th @ 8:00pm
Where: The DC Improv Comedy Lounge
Cost: $10 at the door or go to Symfonee.com


For more information please email dccomedy4now@gmail.com

Read more!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Main Event Interview: Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro will be making his way back to the DC Improv, December 18th - 22nd. We here at DC Comedy: 4 Now thought that it would be a fantastic idea to speak with Ted and pick his brain about his beginings in comedy, writing, alternative venues, and his comedy influences. Don't forget to check out Ted while he's at the DC Improv all this week. Let's read this DC!

[Hit the jump for Ted's interview!]



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

In college I was in a sketch comedy show and a couple of sketches that I wrote made it into the show. It was a real revelation for me that something I wrote could make an audience laugh and that was the seminal moment for my comedy career. From there I did a two man act with a friend of mine and later went solo. So I basically kept whittling down until it was just me up there.

*Who were some of your earliest influences?

My parents had a few comedy albums in their collection and they had good taste, so I was fortunate enough to be exposed to Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Flip Wilson from an early age. These were some of the first comedians who I was drawn to but my early influences were actually not professional comedians, just really funny people- family or friends- who I enjoyed being around. Laughter and making people laugh was important to me even as a kid.


-What about them captivated you?

I was captivated by comedians because, when you listen to those old comedy albums, you get a real sense of the power of the comedian. There is such a specific and powerful relationship between comedian and audience, and it was like listening in on another world, an adult world that seemed to be a lot of fun.
As for the ordinary funny people in my life, the thing about them that captivated me was their sense of fun and how humor made everyday life a lot of fun. When I was a kid, so many adults seemed miserable to me but the people who were joking around had a lightness to their spirit and seemed happier. That definitely made an impression on me. I didn't want the fun to stop when I became an adult.


*Where did you first perform?

The first time I ever performed comedy was at a local church talent show. Not the best comedy environment when there are priests and nuns scattered among the crowd but from what I remember it was adequate. I didn't totally bomb, which was enough to make me want to do it again.


*What was your first paid gig?

-How long had you been doing stand-up at that point?


My first paid gig was after I had been performing for about a year. I got hired to open up for Marc Price who played Skippy on "Family Ties". He actually didn't show up so some other guy headlined but it was still exciting for me. I had loads of friends and family there. Whether they had come out to see Skippy or me, I don't know. But they were there and it was great to join the ranks of the professionals.


*Do you prefer to write on or off stage?

I definitely do almost all of my writing off stage. I spend a couple of hours a day writing, usually about four or five days a week when I'm disciplined. I need that time to come up with ideas that would not occur to me off the cuff. Sitting down and writing enables me to go beyond the first or second idea, beyond the obvious to something better. I will tweak ideas or change lines on stage but for the most part my material is written off stage.


*Do you enjoy the process of writing?

I love writing. It can be maddening and frustrating at times- I've heard it compared to the birthing process. You struggle and kick and scream but if a funny joke comes into the world, it is worth it. I love that the writing side is solitary and quiet and then you take ideas that were hatched in solitude and bring them to the masses in a noisy club or theater. It's really quite bizarre.

*As a veteran comic who can play at any club he chooses, what merit is there to performing at alternative venues like Riffi?

I enjoy performing in as many types of venues and in front of as many different types of crowds as possible. I think it makes me a better, more well rounded comedian. Smaller alternative rooms like Rififi give me a chance to explore some ideas or longer bits that I might be reluctant to do in a mainstream club. And the cool thing is, sometimes after I develop an idea in an alternative room I find that I actually can do it in mainstream clubs, too. A lot of the barriers that comics put up in their own minds regarding what material works where, and I've been guilty of it, are actually just impediments to growing as a performer. I don't necessarily change what I do drastically from club to club. I do make slight adjustments, but you're basically presenting yourself- that is the foundation and that remains constant.



*You were instrumental in starting the New York Comedians CoalitionI haven't heard anything about the "comic's union" in over a year, did you guys accomplish your mission or are there more injustices to fight.


The NY Comedians Coalition is still alive and well. We raised the pay for comedians and accomplished the bigger goal of unifying the community of comics in NY and reminding them of the power of a unified voice.
The Coalition was not simply about money, it was about comedians having a voice and having a community of support, and that is still alive and well. We haven't assembled of late but if an issue came about that needed to be addressed we could assemble three hundred comedians pretty quickly.

*What about performing live do you enjoy?

I love making people laugh. There is something unique and beautiful about the relationship between a comedian and the audience. There's nothing else like it in any other field of the arts. I also enjoy testing myself, trying to grow and evolve as a person and a performer, which go hand in hand.


-Do you ever want to convey a message?

Any message that is conveyed is incidental and secondary to making people laugh. Every joke I do stays in the act because it's funny, not because it conveys a message. That said, I write about things that are on my mind and things that interest me so there is an inherent point of view but I never want that to get in the way of funny.


*What's hacky to you?

Hacky to me is lazy, unoriginal comedy that has me walking out of the room within ten seconds. It doesn't have to be a joke that I've heard verbatim; it could be a premise or a topic that has been mined a million times in the same way. It's that "Okay, here we go" feeling, where you know exactly what's coming.


*What is your day job?

I don't have a day job. I used to be an elementary school music teacher when I first graduated college in '94 but I left teaching about eight or nine years ago when comedy started paying the bills.


*Were your parents supportive of you doing comedy?

Yes, my parents have always been incredibly supportive, which I'm so appreciative of. They come to my shows a few times a year and they did even in the early days. I think my Dad thinks he's my manager. He's always thinking of ways to get me gigs and he carries around a tape of my Letterman set, just in case he runs into a TV executive.
Read more!

Bar None! Part 2...I'm sensing a recurring theme, Larry!


Disclaimer: I ate 3 pounds of bacon this morning. That's not the disclaimer. The disclaimer is please excuse the lack of grammar and utter disregard for proper spelling while reading this. I can't help it. I eat a lot of bacon and sometimes it affects the way I think.

Last week I had the good fortune to do another amazing bar gig. Now I've said before that bar gigs can go one of two ways: amazingly awful or please let my car hit a barrier on the way home awful.


The show was in the banquet hall of a bar in Baltimore that we will call the Kingdom of Fun for the sake of protecting the innocent. Actually the venue wasn't bad at all. The room was nice. The sound system wasn't bad. The clientele were attentive and appreciative. So you're probably thinking Larry, what was the problem then? There were 9 people there. Nine people in a banquet room that holds about 80. If you have nine people and they're all laughing it still doesn't feel like you're doing well. In fact it doesn't even feel like you're doing a show. It feels more like a relaxed work meeting and you're making everybody laugh by poking fun at Steve from logistics.

[Hit the jump people! Rednecks inside!]


After the show a guy came up to me to offer advice on how I should end a few jokes. Luckily the 9 PBR's this guy had during the show really cleared his head so that the creativity could flow easily. He basically told me to end a joke that I do with a racial slur. The joke is about horoscopes. It doesn't even involve people.

(Thanks for the tip Bad Teeth guy)

I'm going to give this show an amazingly awful rating because I didn't have an urge to drive into a concrete barrier on the way home. Sure I left the Kingdom of Fun questioning what I'm doing, but I can't lie and say that I didn't somehow have fun. It's one of those shows that while you're doing it you are saying to yourself "this is awful, but I'm liking it" and then you immediately ask yourself "Am I retarded?"

By the way...with Christmas on the way pick yourself a gift that keeps giving this holiday season. The Larry Poon Doormat. The description says it all.


"Poonified" Doormat --- $39.99 "Some pompous douchebags may also be selling doormats, but none of their doormats have the heavenly vision of Larry Poon smiling up at them while they wipe the dog shit off their feet. This is most likely your only chance to run your shoes, sandals, flip-flops, or your bare genitalia on Larry Poon's face, so take advantage of this item while it's in stock!!" Read more!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

DC Comedians: Send us your videos!


Hey team, tired of toiling away at your craft without the slightest bit of recognition? Wish that you could be a part of our DC Comedy Spotlight Mondays? Well then send us your videos, son! We are trying to highlight as many brilliant District-dwelling comedians as possible but we need to be made aware of your finished products. We're looking for filmed sketches, short films, animated films, even videos of live performances. It just needs to be made by someone who lives in the area and be funny and we will be more than happy to show it to the world! (Or at least the 4,000 people that read this blog) Let's do this, DC!

Send us your videos, comments, questions, and no suggestions to dccomedy4now(at)gmail.com

Read more!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reindeer Games: This Saturday Night @ Source


Life at Santa's workshop is not all merriment and good tidings. While Santa checks and re-checks his list, others do all the real work around the North Pole. Hear their stories as an array of holiday creatures share their experiences of the year's biggest holiday and life with the Fat Man.

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

CAST
Mike Bass
Jaime Fearer
Dan Hodapp
Mikael Johnson
Justin Purvis
Jason Saenz
Stuart Scotten
and SPECIAL GUESTS!

REINDEER GAMES

WIT'S SEASONAL DISORDER 2007
$5 | SA 12.15 - 12.29 | 11:00PM
Source | 1835 14 St NW
Cash-only tickets available at the door from 10:45

Read more!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

WIT's Jackie Gets Respect, too! The Express Gives it...

You should already know about the incredibly popular show "Seasonal Disorder" that Washington Improv Theater is putting on at the Source Theater this month. The Blade and The Metro Weekly already have great things to say about it. But, what you may not know is that Seasonal Disorder is just one of the many hilarious and innovative improv shows being performed at this time. One of WIT's oldest troupes, Jackie, is getting some great praise of their new show "Working Overtime" by The Washington Post's Express.

The article features WIT member Molly Murchie's account of what Jackie is doing to surprise audiences this time around; a deep, character driven show about the stress of working during the holidays. Audiences are loving it!

You know how these old periodicals work! Grab yourself a copy before next Wednesday! Great things are happening for comedy in this town and hopefully this (and today's Onion article) will get more people out to see everything D.C. comedy has to offer.

We have the article. Click to enlarge!













[Hit the JUMP for information on Jackie's showtimes!]



JACKIE'S WORKIN' OVERTIME
Upcoming Performances
WIT'S SEASONAL DISORDER 2007
$12 | SA 12.1 - 12.29 | 9:30PM
Source | 1835 14 St NW
Buy Tickets Now!

Read more!

DC Comedy Gets Respect! The Onion Gives It...


Previously this blog reported the Onion AV Club was to come to The Bomb Shelter for research for "some kind of article." All we knew was that the show was packed and John McBride gave the longest interview of his life (he gets interviewed a lot). So with bated breath we waited to see what would become of The Bomb Shelter's brush with fame. Well it came today in the form of a a sweeping, half page article (In this business, a half page article IS "sweeping") mentioning more than a few shows and more quotes from superstars Seaton Smith and Erin Jackson and even mentions this blog and our very own Mr. Jay Hastings.

We have yet to find the article online but make sure to pick a copy before next Wednesday when it forever vanishes into the ether. Hopefully this article will put a few more people into the seats and give a boost to what truly is a dynamic, talented scene that is ready for a little more exposure. Let's do this, DC!

We have the article! Click to enlarge

Thanks to Suemedha Sood for shining the light! Read more!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

DC Comedy Spotlights: Updated with Interviews


We have updated the past DC Comedy Spotlights with interviews from Justin Schlegel, Jon Mumma and Jermaine Fowler. Please go back and check out what they have to say on comedy in Washington DC. To that affect, all future DC Comedy Spotlights will have interviews, along the comedian's videos and upcoming gigs.

Justin Schlegel Interview
Jon Mumma Interview
Jermaine Fowler Interview

Thanks,
DCC4N
Read more!

Monday, December 10, 2007

DC Comedy Spotlight: Justin Schlegel

Justin Schlegel is one of the very few comics in DC/MD that can say "Yes, I am a professional comedian." In a town that continually asks "what have you done for me lately?" Justin has learned to take every opprotunity he can get. That type of fierce attitude has made him a familar face in DC's sketch, stand-up, radio and television (as the new local Toyota commerical spokesman) arenas. He has also has worked with Brian Regan, Lisa Lampanelli, Kathleen Madigan and Dave Attell. After you see him you won't be able to shake his image out of your brain. Justin is an animal.

[Updated with interview. Click the jump!]


Justin has just finished up a lengthy tour of Yuk Yuk Comedy Clubs in Canada this summer and continues to travel all over the country. When he is in town you can catch him performed at various DC spots such as; The Laughing Lizard, Riot Act Comedy Club[now closed], Cafe Rendezvous, Cafe Soho, The Hyatt in Bethesda, Wiseacres, Baltimore Comedy Factory, Arlington Cinema Draft House, The Comedy Spot, The DC Improv and almost any open mic that pops up.

This Thursday, Dec. 13th, Justin will be performing at the Arlington Cinema DraftHouse w/ Jon Mumma and Jay Hastings.
7:30pm
$10

Then you can catch them again at the Baltimore Comedy Factory Dec. 28th-29th.


Don't miss your opprotunity to see one of DC's most outrageous comedians before another city sweeps him away!



Bonus Video: Deadwood Pancakes

Justin Schlegel Interview:

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

I have always known that I wanted to make people laugh. Making people laugh (at work, at school, at home) always provided me with an instant sense of "This person laughing accepts and likes me", and thats a feeling that is hard to not want constantly. I realized I wanted to make a LIFE of it while I was working in radio. I worked for various radio stations for a few years (even shared a station with a one Larry Poon!), and after awhile I began to write comedy for some morning shows. After seeing how bad it was butchered to meet the standards and practices of the station is was to be broadcast on, I started just writing for myself, found some open mics, and let is slowly spiral outward until I was making enough money to get by on.

*Who were some of your earliest influences?

Some of my earliest comedic influences make NO sense when I write them down, but here goes...

JON CLEESE and SAM KINISON.


*What about them captivated you?

I loved the dry, backhanded, sarcastic wit of Jon Cleese, and all his Python troupe-mates. He was SO sharp, and so cunning with his humor, but at the same time, he was so willing to completely act like an ass and be dumb (see "Silly Walk" as an example). I think every "Alternative Comic" out there wants to be like Jon Cleese, but they take themselves way too seriously to do so. That's what Cleese did right, he never took himself seriously.

Kinison had an impact on me because it just seemed SO grown up to me, and SO violently over the top. This guy put on a spectacle, that regardless of what you felt about his material (which was VERY confrontational), you HAD to pay attention to and find entertaining. He blended the best parts of anger, humor, and rock-n-roll into one balls to the wall event with every show, and whether or not you were laughing, you DAMN sure were entertained.


*Where did you first perform?

Fraziers on the Avenue in Hamden, Baltimore. It's a greasy little hipster shit box that has no real sound system, and ZERO interest in ever doing comedy again.

*What was your first paid gig?

July 10, 2004. Jillians at Arundel Mills. I hosted for Sean Joxe, and Doug Powell.


*Do you prefer to write on or off stage?

I just like to write, it doesn't matter where. If I come up with something in my car, i'll jot it down. If I riff on stage, and it hits, i'll write it down. My problem is, ideas don't come all that naturally to me, so I write much less than I wish I did.

*Do you enjoy the process of writing?

I hate it. I get so frustrated by it. I see guys cranking out joke after joke, week after week, show after show, and I get jealous (a major problem of mine), and very frustrated. When something good DOES come up in my mind, I am very excited, and can't wait to get it out, but sadly, that is a rare occurance.
*What about performing live do you enjoy?


*Do you ever want to convey a message?

Never, I want to entertain. If you want to convey a message, write a book.

*What's hacky to you?

I'm not going to go into specifics about material, because as long as it's original, i'm for it. I do think that comics can have some hacky habits though, such as:

-Giving YOURSELF a nickname. I'd rather laugh at someone named Esther Gumpleman, that be tortured with shit material by "Mac Money dat Joke Masta".
-Calling YOURSELF "controversial". Ever notice how ACTUAL controversial comics, never intended to be?
-Calling a 3 show run a "tour". You're not Springsteen ass-hat.

...and fucking guitar acts. Unless you're Doug Powell, put down the 6-string, and tell a fucking joke.


*What is your day job?

Comedian full time. And JUST fucking barely.


*Where do you plan on moving next?

Some days LA, some days NYC, other days happy where i'm at. I'm too all over the place mentally to say for sure. San Fran sures looks nice.

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

Some days i'm very proud to be apart of it. I'm recently a transplant to this area, having just moved from a comedically barren Baltimore City. Though only 45 minutes apart, its meant the world to be closer to friends, open mics, and opportunities that just weren't available up north. There is a lot of great young talent around here that I want to see do well, and that DESERVES to do well. Other days i'm frustrated that the area has too many comics, not enough venues, and some of the venues that we do have are run by people that either FAILED at comedy (making them a shit judge of whats good and bad, and put a chip on their now power-hungry shoulders), or have no idea what makes a comedy show entertaining. (Hosts having 90 shit newbies ruin what could be a good show, and then begging you, the feature or headliner, to "Kick up the energy! I need you to save the show!").

*What would you change?

I'd want people in comedy around here to take a step back, and ask themselves, "Am I in this for the long haul? Am I going to do what it takes to make it OUTSIDE of DC?" ala Rory Scovel, Ryan Conner, Jared Stern, and Danny Rouhier. I see some funny people around here that are REMARKABLY talented, but will forever be making people laugh at open mics, freebie shows, and local one-nighters because they don't have the drive and hustle to move past this primordial ooze. DC is .0001% of what is out there that needs to be seen and conquered, and if you're just going to swim in the shallow waters of the open mic scene your whole "career", get out of the pool, because there are other people that need to do some laps. I'd rather see you support local comedy, that use up stage time at an open mic just to prepare yourself for another open mic...

*Who would you most like to kill, and bury the body of in a shallow grave in the desert?

Dimitri Martin. He's a hipster, pretentious, too-cool-for-the-room douche bag that is a white head on the rectum of comedy.
Read more!

Friday, December 7, 2007

WIT's Biggest Opening Weekend Ever!

A Carol from Caveat

A Kiss from 161's "Seasonal Disorder"
[photos courtesy of Katie Jett]


Did you miss it?


If so, don't worry. Washington Improv Theater still has 4 more weekends of wassailing and merriment, with 6 new & fantastic shows! Jackie's "Workin' Overtime", Caveat's "Forgotten Holidays", Jinx's "Best 2007 Ever", Season Six and the late-night Reindeer Games. Tickets are selling out fast so don't miss your opprotunity to see this Holiday Season's most outrageous and orginal shows.

"Seasonal Disorder" is irreverently funny, sometimes exhilarating, often groan-inducing, but never boring." The Blade

Buy Tickets Now!
Read more!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Poonanza V: This Saturday @ The Warehouse Theater


Dear DC,

Times are tough. But your city isn't filled with all deplorable people. Some are good. Some are better than good. Some are way before their time! Visionaries! One such man is your very own Larry Poon, who has been producing a show that features characters, sketch, and musical wackiness and has been changing the face of DC comedy for over 4 mind-blowing runs! I am talking about Poonanza. It's what I look forward to every year. It gets my mind off all the lead-painted toys I have to deliver.

So take your friends, loved ones and anyone else you can think of who understands that nice isn't always right. Shit, sometimes naughty is the way I like it, too!

Sincerely,
Santa


What: Poonanza V
Where: Warehouse Theater on 7th Street
When: Saturday, December 8th @ 10pm
How much: $7 tickets.
Show is close to selling out so email LarryPoon1@yahoo.com to reserve yours!


Bonus Gifts:
Poonanza V Trailer
Larry Poon Song
Writer's Meeting Poonanza 3

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Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's other, other sitcom

Ok I'm usually not that out of the loop when it comes to pop culture but I had no idea of this failed pilot that aired before "The Office." It's called "The Golden Years" and I haven't even watched it yet because I'm at work but I'm just ecstatic about it's existence.. Thanks to the always awesome Jesse Thorne of the brilliant podcast, "The Sound of Young America" for finding this.

The Golden Years:
Hit the jump to watch parts 2 and 3.

Part II
Part III
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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Curt! Hey, Curt! Hello?! Mr. Shackelford?!!!!


Curt! I've been sending you emails! Why haven't you returned my emails? Curt, I need you! You are the godfather of DC comedy so if I don't have your ear I got nothing! Nothing! I'm on my knees over here! My knees! I know you read this blog, Curt.
Curt, I'm gonna come at you like a man. Look, dude, i got a dream, and that dream involves you emailing me back once. Just to tell me that you're alright. I worry about you, Curt(If that is your real name). I know this comedy life is lived in the fast lane and there are a lot of temptations. But you are better than that, so put whatever is keeping you from returning emails down, and pick up your laptop and holla at ya boy! Just in case you really haven't gotten my emails, here are some that I have sent you over the last few weeks:

Hey Curt, this is Nick, I'm Rory's friend who did the Hyatt back in August. I'd like to come do Topaz on Thursday if there is still time open. Also I would love to come back to the Hyatt any time you have an open slot. Thanks Curt, Nick



Hey Curt, I just wanted to make sure that this was the correct email address. Let me know, Nick

Hey curt. still trying to get a hold of you, seeing if I can do one of
your shows. Let me know, or at least let me know if you hate me and want me to die so i don't have to keep sending you emails. Thanks
Curt, PEACEnick

Curt! I've been shot! I need your help! I'm dying over here!
Auuuugghhhh!! Please, this is probably the last email I will ever be able to write...tell my mom that i love her, tell my dad that he sucks at backgammon, and tell my dog...that he died 8 years ago. Curt!
HEEELP!!!

Curt, that is all I can do and I can't do no more. Is this the end of the road for the tumultuous twosome? Will nick ever get a date or will he wallow in obscurity forever? Tune in next week to read the exciting conclusion of...."YA BANNED!"
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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

4 Then Interview: Rory Scovel

In the 4 Then Interview series, DCC4N hopes to answer the question on many DC comic's minds..."What happens when I leave DC?" In this edition, Rory Scovel "sits down" with us and tries to get us to believe that he misses his friends the most.


Since leaving DC in the dust for a shot at stardom in New York City, Rory Scovel has appeared on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, toured Canada twice, and placed third in the Seattle Comedy Competition(first and second were taken). Rory returns to DC this weekend for a full week of shows that you should either catch or catch twice.
Wednesday 12/5: Dr. Dremos in Clarendon. DVD taping w/ Kojo Mante, Jay Hastings, Jon Mumma. Free at 8pm
Thursday 12/6: 18th and Red Showcase. Free at 9pm
Friday 12/7: Headlining the Hyatt Hotel in Bethesda, MD. $10 at 8pm
Saturday 12/8: Headlining the Hyatt Hotel again. Fundraiser. $10 at 8pm.
Also on 12/8
: Poonanza at the Warehouse Theater on 7th St. $7 at 10pm

I was lucky enough to have Rory email me answers to questions that I emailed to him the other day. Here are those questions and answers now:

How long were you performing in DC and what were your favorite rooms?

I performed in DC for exactly 3 years. I moved up from SC in February of 04 and started getting on stage in the middle of March. Over the course of 3 years my favorite room of all was Dr. Dremos. It wasn't just the room and the show that made it awesome for me but the whole day. My friends would come over to my house to play video games and drink and smoke and then we'd head out to Clarendon. The crowds were always fun and it was the one open mic that seemed to resemble a real comedy club atmosphere. I also enjoyed Topaz and Bossa on Thursday nights. The best rooms were the ones that weren't just the show but the best to hang out in. When Rendezvous first started I had the best time standing outside on their front porch just talking with other comics before, during and after the show. Because of Dremos on the same night I was only able to do this a few times.

When did you decide it was time to move?

After traveling through Canada for the first time in 2006 I decided it was time to get involved in a new comedy scene. I was originally planning on moving to Chicago when I got home so that I could focus on improv. I wanted to learn improv in Chicago and see how I could apply it to my standup. I loved being in DC and def. wanted to stay with my friends but I knew in order to move on in standup you have to be involved in different scenes so that your act can evolve and you can be influenced and motivated by new performers.
Why did you choose to move to New York?

Because of the Seattle Comedy Competition last year I was able to meet with a few people from CBS and NBC. They told me they were interested in seeing me more often for auditions for random projects. I pretty much had to be in a place where I could drop in for an audition within an hours notice. So it was LA or NYC for me and I love the east coast and have more friends in NYC. That def. made the move a lot easier.
How did your time in DC prepare you for performing in a bigger market?

DC is a great city to start doing standup. 3 years ago it wasn't incredibly difficult to get on stage because there were fewer performers than now. If you could do well at most shows it usually led to invites to other open mics. Seeking out time in rooms wasn't a month or two month wait, usually just a week or two and you could get up. The better you did, the sooner you were back in. Being able to perform frequently is the only way to really get better at standup. DC did that for me and def. prepared me for NYC. I think NYC is a huge jump from DC but really its just a matter of confidence on stage not really the material. So DC taught me how to be a confident performer.
What are you now able to do that you couldn't do in DC?

Well I can't say that I'm able to do this yet but I'm hoping I can say it in the future. By being here in NYC I'm hoping to establish myself amongst the bigger standups and hopefully become a regular opener for someone. Right now I know I can improve my material and my act greatly if I could just perform regularly. To actually get on the road with a comic and do 25 minutes 6-8 times most weekends out of the year is the only way to get better. Right now I don't have any connections or face time with these bigger names and I think NYC might make it easier to change that. Again, can't say thats def. going to be the case though.
What do you miss most about DC?

My friends. My best friends live in DC and they can't be replaced. I think standup comedy really is the wildest mental roller coaster. Having good friends that are right there with you every step of the way and can relate to what you are going through is priceless. It can't be replaced with anything. I wish my friends and I could just get in a van and travel the US doing shows in small venues and coffee houses. I know one day it will happen but its one of those things I wish we could just do right now.

Check out this video of Rory from his appearance on Live at Gotham.

RORY IS DOING THIS, DC!
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Monday, December 3, 2007

DC Comedy Spotlight: Jon Mumma

When it comes to surprising audiences, Jon Mumma has UFC like quickness. You never know where he is coming from. When I first saw Jon he was performing as one of his [now legendary] characters, Jim Marsdale, to a dumbfounded and delighted audience. "Was this guy for real?"

That is what Jon does. He comes at you when you least expect it and when he hits you...you can't stay mad for long. For several years now he has been working at such DC/Metro Area clubs as The Laughing Lizard, Riot Act Comedy Club, Cafe Rendezvous, The Hyatt in Bethesda, Wiseacres, Baltimore's Comedy Factory and is winner of the 2006 DC Improv Annual Showcase. Jon knows what it takes to be eccentric, but at the same time a welcoming face to new audiences all over the city.

When we asked Jon about what he loves most about performing he had this to say, "... for me is when you get one of those moments on stage when you feel complete comfort. Like, you could talk about anything and make it funny....total freedom." Jon's fun onstage is contagious, that is why he is one of DC's Best.

Hit the jump to learn more about Jon and watch some of his videos.[updated with interview!]

Jon will be onstage this Wednesday night, Dec. 5th @ 8pm for the Salute to Dr. Dremos Comedy Showcase

This weekend, you can catch Jon Mumma as one of the cast members in the HUGE SKETCH SHOW Poonanza V on Saturday Night, 10pm @ the Warehouse Theater. For tickets email larrypoon1@yahoo.com.

Next week, Jon will be featured at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse next week, Thursday Dec. 13th @ 7:30pm. The show also includes local favorite Justin Schlegel and DCC4N's Jay Hastings.

Lastly, he is headlining the Bethesda Hyatt on December 14-15th and featuring at the Baltimore Comedy Factory December 27-29th.

Please, do yourself a favor and go out a catch a show. Let's do this, DC!

Calculator



Bonus Video: The Game

Jon Mumma Interview

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

5th grade. I loved Bill Cosby so did a book report about him and became infatuated with standup.

*Who were some of your earliest influences?

My earliest influence in standup was Cosby but I'd say Saturday Night Live was my greatest influence. Chris Farley and Phil Hartman remain two of my absolute favorite performers ever.

*Where did you first perform?

My first performance was at Wiseacres Comedy Club open mic, I did fairly well...if memory serves me, I did a Dr. Phil meets Rambo impersonation. It was gold.

*What was your first paid gig?

My first paid gig was Tracey's Comedy Club. I wrote my set list on my hand but once I got on stage I realized the lights were too dim to see the writing...plus, I remembered I didn't have any dick jokes so it was irrelavent.

*Do you prefer to write on or off stage?

I do both but more often than not, my jokes are writen onstage. Typically, something strikes me funny so I jot it down in my notebook. I read over it again the next day; if its still funny to me, I'll try talkin about it at an open mic. I record all my new ideas and then replay them to decide what to keep.

*Do you enjoy the process of writing?

I love the writing process. I just wish I was better at it.


*Do you ever want to convey a message?

The best part of performing for me is when you get one of those moments on stage when you feel complete comfort. Like, you could talk about anything and make it funny....total freedom. I wouldn't say that I necessarily want to convey a message in my material but I do want the audience to leave a show and feel as though its ok to let their guard down and be silly and goofy.

*What's hacky to you?

I'm not sure what hacky is anymore. It seems like the definition is always changing. I know that I don't like it when I feel as though a comic is not being genuine with the audience. I like all kinds of comedy as long as they feel honest.

*What is your day job?

I work at the Government Printing Office as a Program Analyst
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New Google Ranking: 145!



Hey everyone, I'm back with another update on the meteoric rise of this so-called blog. When last we met this blog was ranked 192 when googling the phrase "dc comedy." Well, as you know by now we, have shot-the-hell-up to 145! Congratulations, DC! However, with any amount of success there inevitably will be people left in your wake. Who now has to go through life in the embarrassing #146 position? Well that would be everybody's favorite Mormon Comedy Troupe, Divine Comedy (DC=Divine Comedy, get it?). So to help make their day a little less sad, we are going to tell the whole world what's up with the funny Mormons these days.





"Divine Comedy" is BYU's "premiere sketch comedy troupe." That being said, I could not find another Mormon sketch comedy troupe. Also, I did not look for one. Alumni include many people who have given up comedy for...other things. While never having experienced a Divine Comedy show, I can only assume that the limitations of avoiding certain subject matter and foul language required by Mormon Law have opened up a creativity that most comedians could never dream of. It is truly inspiring.

However, while this troupe seems harmless on the surface, we may have another Dane Cook, Carlos Mencia-like material stealing incident on our hands, folks. While perusing through Divine Comedy's videos, which are almost all hilarious spoofs on of-the-moment pop culture like "Star Wars," (Star Wars, can you believe it? Hilarious!) I did find an intro video that looks suspiciously like one made by local comedians for the Rendezvous Open mic. Watch both and then decide for yourself.




Send your complaints to: God
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Salute to Dr. Dremos: Comedy Showcase this Wednesday Night!!

For comics and patrons alike, Dr. Dremos in Arlington, VA has been a top spot to party at for many, many years. From their legendary (and now banned) Beer-Pong tables to their awesome downstairs lounge for comedy shows and music, Dr. Dremos will surely be missed after it is torn down for more F'ing condos in Feb '08. It really is a shame.

But, there is still time to catch great shows at Dr. Dremos before it closes and this Wednesday, December 5th marks one of the last opprotunities to do so.Rory Scovel, Jon Mumma , Kojo Mante, and Jay Hastings will be featured for a special Comedy Showcase & DVD taping. This show is going to be one of the finest Dr. Dremos has ever seen. Please come out to support live, local stand-up comedy and celebrate the kick-ass legacy of this one fine establishment.

To recap:
WHO:Rory Scovel, Jon Mumma, Kojo Mante, & Jay Hastings
WHAT:An amazing comedy show
WHEN:Wednesday, December 5th 2007 @ 8pm
WHERE:Dr Dremos, Arlington, VA

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