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, February 29, 2008

Check out Tim Miller's NEW SHOW!!!



Everyone, TIM MILLER is doing some GREAT NEW things and we should all support him. Tim, you're a couragous young man. BRAVO!!

Fast, funny and furious, Tim Miller’s new show Us ricochets between Miller’s love affair since childhood with Broadway musicals to an exploration of gay marriage, exile and the injustices lesbian and gay people face in the United States. Nominated for a 2005 New York Drama Desk Award for Best Solo performance, Us takes us on a whirlwind journey that re-thinks the American Musical as inspiration for radical politics and queer identity. "As a rallying cry for gay rights, Tim Miller's "Us'' contains a sweet-spirited, honest and seriously funny commentary on the power of popular art to shape people's moral, social and sexual development. Miller is, as always, a frisky and charismatic performer (New York Times)."

WHEN: TONIGHT!

WHERE:
Dance Place
3225 8th Street, NE
Washington, D.C., District of Columbia 20017

WEBSITE: www.danceplace.org

TICKETS: $22 general admission; $17 members, students, teachers (PreK-12), professional artists & seniors; $8 for children 17 & under – unless noted otherwise.


Type rest of the post here
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DC Comedy Spotlight: John McBride

You already know he is a hero, which makes him more than worthy of this week's DC Spotlight. For more than 2 years John McBride has been bringing his laid back style to stages all over the DC area. Growing up as the little mixed kid in Atlanta, he has a very unique view of how the world works and it shows in his material. This loose style equates to most of his jokes hitting you before you even knew they were coming.

But don’t let his comedy style fool you. He is also one of the hardest working comics in town. For several years he ran the Café Rendezvous open-mic, which quickly became a favorite of local comedians to workshop their material. He also help run The Bomb Shelter @ 18th and Red, which was featured in a AMU radio piece on DC Comedy. Now, he and Brandon Ivey are producing the new Classic American Comedy showcase at Parker’s American Bistro in Bethesda. It debuts Friday night. Add another item to the long list of things Jon has done to help the DC Comedy Community.

He has been featured on the Comcast-on-Demand Open Mic and was a finalist in the DC Improv's 2007 Showcase competition. He has also worked with comedians such as Ted Alexandro and Bob Marley.

Catch him performing soon at:

Friday, Feb. 29
Parker's Classic American
4824 Bethesda Ave, 20814
10pm
FREE

Thur-Sun, March 18th-22nd
DC Improv
Hosting for DC Benny
8 and 10:30pm



DCC4N interview with John:
When did you realize that you wanted to do comedy?

I don’t know! I mean I guess this isn’t the right answer. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific time. I had many boring summer days as a kid and I used to watch this show “Stand up Stand up” on Comedy Central. I remember it was hosted by some really corny dude. But they would basically run the same stand up clips over and over again, and I would still watch it over and over again. I clearly didn’t realize it at the time but that show sucked and it’s not normal to watch that show over and over again. But I loved it...

[Read the rest of John's interview, plus a video after the jump!]



...Maybe that was an indication that I might want to do this one day. I also have the really cliché story where my older sister and her bad news boyfriend let me watch Eddie Murphy’s Delirious when I was like 11 or something, this is true and I remember laughing my ass off but I wouldn’t say that was “the moment” either but it definitely influenced me. But I always was pretty funny, my mom is my biggest fan, she thinks I’m hilarious (Shocking I know). I actually just called her and asked her what she thinks my first influences are. She didn’t know about the Eddie Murphy thing until I just told her, looks like I let the cat out of the bag on that one. But she said she used to let me get away with some things I shouldn’t have gotten away with because I did it in “a funny way (my moms words)” to her. She always said “You’re going to be a comedian.” Thanks mom!

Who were some of your earliest influences? What about them captivated you?

Eddie Murphy is the first guy that really influenced me. That time I saw Delirious (read above) was really the first time I saw a comic just dominate for more than an hour. One thing that really caught my attention is when he said something like “You thought you were going to see Gumby and shit…well you’re not.” And then he started cursing and just taking that place over. I was like whoa “You can just do that?” That was the first time I saw something like that. Also, my dad loved Mel Brooks and he would always get us to watch Mel Brooks movies like Spaceballs. I specifically remember him taking me to see Life Stinks, at the time I thought that was the funniest thing ever made and so did he. Then of course I saw other comics on TV. I didn’t really matter who it was when I was a kid I would always just watch it. I guess they would be influences as well. I have other influences also but you asked for my earliest so that’s what I can remember as the earliest. My parents would fight with my sister a lot and I would just drop some kind of joke to chill everyone out. I also proudly hold the honor of being the only person that can make fun of my sister without her trying to kill me. YOU try and see what happens son.

Where did you first perform? What was your first paid gig?

First performed at Dremo’s. First paid gig at The Hyatt. Thanks Curt!!!!

What was your first joke?

I think it was the joke about how no one knows where I’m from. I look Mexican or Arab or whatever. So I like to confuse people, like last week I went to a job interview, I was munching on a chalupa and wearing a turban. They were confused…but hey I got the job though, you are looking at the face of Taco Bell for the new Iraq…I start really soon they said…as soon as it calms down over there…which should be any minute now. I think that was my first joke could have been something else though.

Do you prefer to write on or off stage? Do you enjoy the process of writing?

I prefer to write off stage. That’s where most of my writing gets done. On stage I might discover a new tag or sometimes I even uncover a new angle for a concept that I never thought of. But I will take that off stage and try to write more on it later. I really do like the writing process especially when I got something going. That really gets me excited. I love writing because when you come up with something that makes me think, “I can’t wait to get on stage and do this.” I will say though, there is a direct correlation to how much/well I write and how much I am on stage. The more stage time I get the more I write. I like writing with other comics as well. They throw out a concept and we will just mess around with that for a while. Then I’ll throw one out and we’ll mess around with that for a while. Sometimes you get an angle on something that never occurred to you. It helps and to me it makes it a lot more fun. If both of you are sitting there laughing at a concept or a punchline then it will generally be a good joke. That is the real fun part to me. Also, if you are writing with another comic who is your friend you start talking about other stuff that is happening in your life and realize that something about your situation is really funny too.

What about performing live do you enjoy? Do you ever want to convey a message?

My favorite part of performing live is just when you get on stage you do your first few jokes and you can see that the crowd is really with you. That’s the best part, it’s like I really got them on your wavelength and they want to know what you are going to do next. That’s when I really loosen up and take more risks on-stage. I also like the surprise when you do a joke that the rational part of your head is saying, they are not going to like this because it is making fun of whatever demographic is in the audience. But then when the joke goes over well with the crowd you feel like you kind of got away with something. I don’t specifically write jokes to try to convey a message, I try to be funny. But if there is an instance where I can get something in that kind of proves a point I might, as long as it doesn’t compromise the funniness of a joke. But also I won’t say something that is against my personal morals. Like I am not going to be extra derogatory towards gays or women or just crazy racist or something because I think it can get a laugh, that’s not trying to convey a message but I am just being responsible to myself. What’s the point of having a funny joke if you feel like shit every time you tell it?

What's hacky to you?

Stuff I have heard before basically. People can do jokes about stereotypes and it not be hacky, but you need to try to take a hack(I’m clever) at it in a different way. You can’t be like ‘white people can’t dance’ and all you do is dance like an off beat white person, and that’s the joke. That is garbage, everyone has heard/seen that and we get it. Now does that mean you can’t talk about white people not being able to dance? No, mix it up, find a different angle, I’m not saying it will be the best joke in the world but it might not be hacky. If you are going to use a concept like that, I kind of see it like you have 1 strike against you already for the joke, now are you going to get 2 more by doing some tired ass joke with it or are you going to find a new way to attack it? Some concepts, like the one I just referenced may not have any other angles left though…but you get my point. With all that being said, if you start out with a completely new and interesting concept it really has endless possibilities to be a great joke.

What is your day job?

I’m with the United Way as a Development Associate as of right now. I help them raise money. I like to call it “paper chasing.”

Were your parents supportive of you doing comedy?

This is a really interesting question for me. My mom is very supportive of my stand up. She loves it. My father passed away before I started doing comedy. I often wonder how he would feel about it. He was a really strict man. No nonsense, but he did have a good sense of humor and loved to laugh. I mean I could get him laughing really hard sometimes. I remember I told him a story about my 7th grade Spanish teacher, Ms. Simpson. I was telling him how she pushed this shopping cart just full of all kinds of crap around the school all the time. She didn’t know any Spanish either and we just did the first page of the workbook for the entire semester. But she loved saying the word “Encantado!” a lot, and spit would fly out of her mouth every time she said it. I would just yell out “Encantado!” from time to time and just get him cracking up. But as far as him liking me trying to make folks laugh for a living? I don’t know how he would feel about it. I’m not sure if he would really be supportive or not, I like to think that he would be though. He just wouldn’t think it was a really good career path or choice…mainly because it isn’t.

Where do you plan on moving next?

I think New York. But I’m in no rush, I don’t know, stop asking me all of these questions…anything can happen.

How do you feel about the overall comedy scene in DC? Anything you want to change and what are you going to do to change it?

I mean talent-wise I like the scene. I think we have some really funny people. It’s cliquey but I don’t think there is any scene that isn’t. I don’t mind the cliqueiness anyway, that makes it fun to watch everyone try to measure themselves up to one another. I think there are folks that honestly think that they are the funniest person here, or will be the funniest person soon, and those for whatever reason desperately want to be the funniest person here right now. I think that type of delusion is healthy and hilarious. It’s hilarious because who gives a fuck if you are the funniest in DC(how do you even quantify that?). Just get yourself to the point where you want to be, where you feel comfortable taking it to a new level…whatever that level may be for you. It should be a different path for everyone. Now it’s healthy because everyone is competing, but for what, I’m not really sure. But for whatever reason we are competing and it keeps peoples brains moving and pushes us to come up with new stuff, and that’s great. I think it really helps the scene and helps everyone get funnier and funnier. Anyway, what I would change? More rooms would be tight.


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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Purpose Driven Comedy Show

This past Christmas was the first time I got to utilize my comedy as a form of charity. Granted, comedy is a lot like beauty and the beholder is the final judge of how "charitable" my act was. But, it was such a rewarding feeling. It was the first time that I had contributed something notable to a charity, and it paid me back ten fold. I don't' write this in order to make myself look benevolent or magnanimous, but rather to share in the awesome experience that comes from giving back to another human being from doing something you love. It's a win-win situation.

[Do some good in your life! HIT THE JUMP!]



My friend and DC Comedy: 4 Then comic Rory Scovel hosted a comedy show in our hometown of Greenville, South Carolina that benefited local charity Clement's Kindness. It was hands down the best thing I've done. We were able to raise a good amount of money (for two struggling comedians that is) for the Charity and I can't wait to do something like that in DC. It really really made me think how powerful the sense of humor can be. (And yes, this is a very, very sappy blog.)

This weekend I have the opportunity to perform for a charity event for the Military. I'm actually a little nervous. I don't really have any "military" material and since it is for the troops, I really want to do well. It's one thing to bomb in front of a paying audience and then to bomb in front of the defenders of freedom. I sorta feel like I owe them something, because I'm not fighting. I am not cut from that cloth. I'm a coward. I'm a comic.

Last night I talked to my dad (former Air Force Sgt. Major) about how in the world I could connect with these people. I needed a good ice breaker. I want these people to have a really good time and to not regret their decision of booking me and my friends. The more I prepare the more realized I get. I'm sure the show will go well and that the people will be appreciative no matter what. I'll post another blog about it next week.

Also, I'd love to hear about other opportunities for charity work that involves comedy. With so many organizations in and around the DC area, I'm sure there are opportunities just waiting for a good bunch of comics to snatch them up.
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Recap of Solly's Open Mic from Tuesday

From The Man About Town, Will Hessler:

"...it was pretty good. Only 3 comedians - me, Eli & Justin. I was the first one of us (non-musicians) to perform. Not really a performance, more like a "man" speaking words into a microphone that occasionally formed complete sentences and had a linear logic with a humorous twist. But the twist fucked us (the us referring to me & Eli). What we learned is that hipster folks like their irony more on their t-shirts and less when it appears as words following the set-up. Eli & I did alright considering. Justin was what Justin always is, a destroyer of audiences. He did all of two jokes he normally might throw in the mix during the set and the other 5 minutes was him using the musicians own instruments, song lyrics, attitude and perception of reality to blow them."

Mad respect for these three guys going out and representing DC Comedy. Sounds like the open mic was a huge success for the promoters and the bar.

Not sure when the next one will be, but we will let you know as soon as we do.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why I Hate New Comics

by bryson turner

Ready for a harsh blog from somebody that you could have sworn was a nice person? Good. Let’s get started.

I had a really good conversation the other night with a fellow comic about why comedy scenes – DC being no exception – can often become very clique-y. A lot of times, there is a feeling among new comics that they are being excluded or that they aren’t welcomed by other comics. I believe that I have found the reason why – because they are. And furthermore, I think I’ve found a reason why new comics are often ostracized – they’re really annoying.

It’s a scientific theory, I know. But before you assume I’m being a huge dick by painting such a broad stroke, let me explain my theory.

[oohh boy. You betta hit the jump and read the rest of Bryson's post!]



Anybody who starts doing comedy probably does so because either their friends have told them that they’re “the funny one”, or because they’ve anointed themselves the funny ones in whatever social group they’re in.

Up until they arrive in the stand-up scene, they’ve used this skill to their advantage. Humor can get you a lot in life – it can diffuse a bad situation, complement a good one, and whether speaking romantically or platonically, it helps make people like you. New comics have learned to hone this skill, and their having become so good at it is usually a reason they decide they should try their hand at stand-up. “This humor thing is really working for me…let’s see what else I can do with it.”

That’s not a bad thought to have. That’s how almost every comic first got started – we wanted to see what we could do for ourselves by using humor. I once turned in a report on Walt Whitman over six months late, and I got an 84. Trust me – you don’t pull that off without the occasional well-timed quip.

But that’s exactly the problem with new comics – they come into this new social setting and try to use all the same tricks that have worked with regular people throughout their lives. They try to be “the funny one” and make friends on the scene by either being loud or being funny or gaining attention with the same “class clown” mentality that they’ve been using for years. It’s not that this is necessarily annoying, even though it often is. It’s that it’s insulting. It’s like, “Dude…don’t try to be ‘the funny one.’ We know you’re that guy. We’re all that guy.”

I remember when I first got onto the scene, there were people that I really thought it would be cool to be friends with. There were people who I really wanted to respect my comedy and see me as a peer. And there were people that I thought were dicks. I’ve ended up becoming friends with a few from each category. But it’s nothing you can control. I’ve become friends with lots of different people on the scene, but the legit friendships have to do with a lot more than comedy. I’ve become friends with Kojo because we like talking about sports and our failures with women. I’ve become friends with John McBride because we like talking sports and our occasional “why is this girl showing interest in me unless she’s working on a ‘She’s All That’-esque script and needs material” successes with women. I’ve become friends with Weems because we always have each other’s backs and can talk shop about anything. They’re not comedy-based friendships. They’re just friendships. When I get to an open-mic, I’m not trying to be clique-y. I’m just trying to hang out with my friends during the only time that we get to see each other.

I always think it’s funny when people I talk to from high school or work just assume that a life in stand-up comedy is non-stop hilarity, happiness, and fun. If we’re making people laugh, we must be happy, right? It can’t be like any other job, filled with stress, fears that you’re being leap-frogged by others, or doubts that your life is meaningless and you’ve chosen the wrong path…right? Well, wrong. It’s a terribly scary life, and any of us who are making a serious attempt to make it our livelihoods are naturally going to relate better to each other. And that’s the basis of a friendship – an ability to relate to one another.

So please don’t think the DC comedy scene is just one giant clique. It’s not. We’re just a bunch of different groups of friends that, when we see each other, like hanging out. We probably come off like we don’t like new comics. It’s not that – we’re just not your friends.

Okay, that kind of makes me a dick. But we all can’t be friends with everyone. That’s not how the world works.

What I think young comics often don’t realize is that we’ve all been there. I still remember doing a set in front of a terrible crowd and wanting to go up to every more-established comic there and say, “Look…I’m a lot better than that set suggests.” I still remember how demoralizing it was to get put on at the end of a show and then watch all the comics who I had hoped to impress – one by one – leave after they had finished sets of their own. “If they were really all about improving this scene, they would stick around for the rest of the show,” I would always think to myself. And there’s truth to that. But we’re not robots. We have jobs the next morning, and TV to watch, and girlfriends – or boyfriends – that we want to be with. I always thought comics not letting me into their circle was hurting this scene. But, as I was thinking that, I was making sure I was (at least somewhat) prepared for open-mics, and I was becoming a better comic because I never knew when the chance to impress would come. For those strong enough and patient enough to tell jokes for their own satisfaction, and not just to be cool, those perceived “circles of superiority” can be as good a motivating tool as any.

This blog isn’t so much for the young comics in DC now. Trust me – I feel your pain. Like I said, when I first moved into the city, I felt like Dan Aykroyd, in the freezing rain, looking in at Eddie Murphy during that scene in ‘Trading Places.’ And not just because it was at Nema.

Look. I know it’s frustrating. But if you love stand-up enough, you stick with it, and you eventually earn your stripes, along with the respect of your peers. I still remember individual compliments I received from Ryan Conner, Justin Schlegel, and others. Those expressions of respect meant the world to me, and they wouldn’t have if they had come on my first night in town. No, this blog isn’t for the guys that are new to the scene now – it’s for all the people who I thought were dicks when I first got here. And the message is this: My bad. I see why I had to earn my spot now.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

BIG WEEK for new shows


THURSDAY

Jake Young's "The Awesome Room" returns (I'm told there might be even more awesome than usual this week)

Performers:
Mike Blejer
Aparna Nancherla
Mike Way
Sariel Lehyani
Nick Turner
...and many surprises!

The Awesome Room
Thursday Feb. 28th
McGinty's Public House
9:00 PM
$4


FRIDAY

The Ivey/Mcbride production "Classic American Comedy" debuts this week. (I'm told they are going to wait and see what the Awesome Room does, and then top that)

Performers:
Bryson Turner
Larry Poon
Ryan Conner
Seaton Smith
John McBride
Jake Young (host)

Friday, Feb. 29
Parker's Classic American
4824 Bethesda Ave, 20814
10pm
FREE


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Larry Poon & Jim Marsdale Show this weekend

Two of D.C.'s most recognizable and irrestible acts come together on stage this weekend to share with you their stories of fame, fortune, music videos, scotch, and dancing with loose woman. You can't go wrong.



"An Intimate Evening with Larry Poon and Jim Marsdale"
DC Improv Comedy Lounge
Saturday March 1, 2008
8pm $10
Buy tickets in advance!


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

3 Random Questions w/ Todd Barry

Todd Barry is pretty busy these days. He's currently working several dates with Louie CK and Todd's new dvd From Heaven goes on sale 3/14. Todd will be making his way back into town this week with two shows at the Arlington Drafthouse. (Friday, February 29th and Saturday March 1st)


We sat down with Todd recently (and by sitting down with we mean we emailed him) and asked him a few random questions ranging from choice of Thai food to googling.

[Hit the jump for the Big 3]


1. What's your go to meal of choice at Thai restaurants?
Usually some sort of chicken or tofu with basil, or cashews, Pad Thai. And I always get a side of crushed red pepper. Because I'm a real man.

2. When you're not on the road you are always doing shows in New York. Do you ever take extended breaks or do you feel like some other comedians do that you have to constantly be performing stand up or risk "losing it" so to speak?
I definitely feel rusty if I haven't performed for a while, but an occasional short break helps me get excited about going back on stage.


3. Have you googled yourself and what was the weirdest thing that popped up that was associated with your name?
I did a whole one-man show about what happened when I googled myself. I found a critique of an appearance on Conan. The woman's husband made a whole website about the ordeal: www.westey.org/jza.


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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Aparna in LA. Aparna at NACA. Aparna Writing Bad Blog Titles.

I've been jetsetting the American States United for about a week. Last Wednesday, I was in the City of Angels, California. Yester-Wednesday I was in St. Louis, Missouri (More like misery with that wind chill! Am I right, crickets?!) Not bad for an 8-day stint. Tomorrow morning, I'm headed to Raleigh, North Carolina for the Dirty South Improv Festival.

Anyway, let's recap my travels with gusto and a dash of pepper!

*puts on chef hat, also incidentally blogging hat*


Los Angeleezy

I wish people in LA were only allowed to wear LA Gear. Not because it's a good idea, but because the idea amused me for three seconds. I love this city. I know it has a bad rep because of Hollywood floozies, but I really liked it when I was out there. Maybe because it's sunny there right now and it's frowny here right now. Maybe it's that. Or maybe it's because it's a vibrant and exciting city with infinite avenues for creativity.


LA-parna

The comedy shows I got to do in LA ran the full gamut of the stand up experience. On Wednesday night, merely a few hours after I was greeted by the waving fronds of palms, I got to do some time (sounds edgy) at the Hollywood Improv. The booker was kind enough to squeeze me on relatively last minute, and I got to do five happy minutes of punching the sky. That's a new expression I've coined for a fun set. The Improv is a typical comedy club, and there was a pretty amazing line up including Chris Porter from Last Comic Standing and a surprise appearance by Ty Barnett, also of Last Comic Standing.

I found people and other comedians to be generally friendly everywhere I went, and they came and talked to me after shows especially if they enjoyed a particular joke I did. Other shows I performed at included a place called Karma Coffeehouse, which was very similar to DC's very own deceased Soho Tea & Coffee open mic, including the appearance of memorable characters such as Treeman (a man standing 9-feet-tall dressed up like a tree - he only came to enjoy the comics, not to be one). I also attended an improv show called Cagematch @ UCB, which I would highly recommend. The two groups that performed (Convoy and Tigerpants) were both amazing.

I also did a show called Rocket Video, which was in a video store. No microphone. Just straight up in the back behind the foreign films section. Free beer and soda too! My favorite show that I got to do was called The Tomorrow Show, and it took place in a theater setting. It is hosted by three superfun dudes, including Brendon Small of Home Movies fame, and it starts at 12 midnight every Saturday night/Sunday morning and runs for a good two to three hours. This show is a variety show and includes music, comedy interviews, characters, stand up, and anything one could imagine up. It draws a regular faithful audience every week as well. I almost ended up doing my set in panda make-up. That's just the sort of thing that happens in LA.

NACA Convention in St. Lunatics, Missouri



I'll also briefly recap attending the national NACA convention this past Tuesday. NACA stands for the National Association for Campus Activities, and it's where college bookers go to choose their entertainment for the upcoming school year. Literally, every type of entertainment imaginable. Magicians, singer-songwriters, dancers, mimes, performance artists, public speakers (including Lance Bass), martial artists, clowns, exotic reptiles, improv/sketch groups, and of course, stand up comedians.

I, along with the other comedians on the Stand Up for Diversity College Tour, were part of the closing festivities of the convention. The audience for our showcase was probably a little over 1,000 people even though it was originally slated for 2,500. Still a bit of a formidable number for me to comprehend. The performance space involved two large jumbo screens next to you onstage as well as a digital clock timing you right by your feet. My set was a bit shaky, but wakka wakka NACA, what can you do?

After my set, all of us comedians went to the booth in the big open "marketplace" to schmooze with bookers and college students. It was a flurry of overstimulation, but definitely a memorable experience. It was like having to be one of the spritzer ladies in the mall except replace the perfume with pamphlets and DVDs. It was a good experience in self-promotion, and luckily it didn't involve accidentally spraying someone in the eye.

So that's it. I'll be fielding questions about my travels in person at an undisclosed time and location.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

festivals, embassies, jokes, sketches, oscars, crap

I've never seen... more talk... on the... internet about... someone who...didn't actually... get hired... by SNL

Just For Laughs adds second Festival in Chicago starting in 2009

DC's many foreign embassies open their doors to you...wash your hands

Mike Blejer writes a joke everyday. Here is the proof.

New Human Giant to watch

Even better, new Whitest Kids U Know to watch

If only the Oscars had happened last week, when Christian Finnegan was in DC...

If you're wondering what happened to the microphone at Wiseacres, this guy stole it. And don't let Randolph T find him.




Type rest of the post here
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Room Talking and Walking

As you may have already heard, this week marked the death of arguably the best locally produced comedy show in the greater DC Area. Tyler Sonnichsen's "Laughing Lizard" showcase. Again, like all of the other closings we have announced, this happened not because of a lack of interest, but because of the venue's closing down. Interest in comedy is apparently stronger than the city's interest in cool bars, so we really have to step it up.

To that end, we went out last night and scoured the length of U Street as well as the whole of Dupont stopping in every liquor seller to inquire about their interest in live entertainment. The heroes joining Jason, Tony and I were (already a hero of the week)John McBride, Kyle Martin and Will Hessler. We hit around 30 places some of which were interested, some of which were definitely not, and some were just drunk and excited to have someone to talk to (as I am not a big fan of suspense I will tell you that the last one was the "Twin Jazz Club"). We have much to follow up on and will report back next week with more complete info on our findings.

As this is a big city, we have a lot more to cover and if anyone wants to email us with tips for possible show locations, or if you are someone looking to start a room, we will certainly do our best to hook up the two of you. Also, if you are interested in helping us follow up on possible leads or have a great untapped neighborhood that you think we should check out, that would also be helpful.

Next up for perusal are:
Foggy Bottom (GW)
Tenleytown Metro stop (American U)
Oldtown Alexandria

email us at dccomedy4now(AT)gmail.com


Type rest of the post here
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Go F.I.S.T. Yourself

“Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…”

We are just a week away from D.C.’s #1 competitive improv-comedy event!! That is right, WIT’s 2nd Annual "Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament" (F.I.S.T.) is almost upon you.

Here it is from WIT’s official F.I.S.T. website:

“…Three-player teams do battle in a single-elimination style test of improv mettle where the audience determines who lives to fight another day. The action is fast. The tension is high. The consequences are severe... win your match and move on to the next round. Lose your match, and there's no road back but the one paved in shame.”

What is so awesome about the F.I.S.T (other than its name), is that it brings together improvisers from all backgrounds from all around the city. For example, competing in this year’s smackdown are some people you might recognize from this here blog, like Seaton Smith, Mike Bass, Mikael Johnson, and DCC4N's friend for life, GWU's ReceSs. Also, DCC4N contributors Aparna Nancherla and “yours truly” will be droppin’ elbows as well.

This is not an event to be missed folks. I plan on seeing as much as I can because 1) TICKETS DO SELL OUT 2) THE CROWDS ARE ALWAYS ROWDY AND READY TO RUMBLE 3) IT IS SOME OF THE MOST UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE IMPROV YOU WILL SEE ALL YEAR LONG.

SHOWS START THURSDAY FEB 28th @ 8pm at the Flashpoint Theater in Chinatown.

Click here for F.I.S.T tickets
Click here for the F.I.S.T. Bracket
Click here for F.I.S.T Combatants


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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heroes of the Week: Brandon Ivey and John McBride

John McBride and Brandon Ivey have heroically answered the call from last week's installment of Room Chat and just like that have created the greatest room in America. The first show is on February 29th and will continue every other Friday from then until the end of time. However, the room is starting off with a two show "tryout" so if you do you are a comedian is up to you to make sure this room gets off the ground. Make a plan to go either Feb 29th or Mar 14, or you are responsible for the death of laughter.



ALSO!! Brandon Ivey's band "Jimes" is featured in a piece on Fox 5 about underage house party/rock concerts in Mrs. Jones Basement. Does it ever stop?! The awesomeness of the DC comedy community, I mean.



(don't click)



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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DC Improv Showcase....and the winner is?


Congratulations to Mr. Marcus Brown for winning the DC Improv's showcase on Tuesday. Marcus crushed the nearly sold out crowd who also enjoyed John Conroy, Phil Mause, Eli Sairs, Joyce Rebar and Keith Irvin. This was easily the best showcase that the Improv has held in quite sometime, hosted by DCC4N favorite Jon Mumma. Jon was aggressive and a little angry, with a flair that people usually don't get to see. On to the guest sets. First up was previous showcase winner Hampton Yount. Always a pleasure, he closed strong on a tear-inducing bit about the Porn Awards. Then the club was treated to a very special treat when national headliner Jim Short stopped by to perform the final set of the night. It's interesting to see the difference in local up & comers compared to the highly-polished Short. (don't die before you're able to hear his joke about werewolves) So, that is the update on that shiz-nit, I'm gonna go bang my head against a tree.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DC Comedy Spotlight: Seaton Smith

This week's DC Comedy Spotlight shines on one of the most energentic and entertaining comics in D.C., Seaton Smith. After getting his start in New York, he moved to Washington D.C. in 2003 and began to develop his act as a comic who attacks the stage. If you catch him performing now-a-days at such clubs as DC Improv, Baltimore's Comedy Factory, or Cozzy's Comedy Club, you will definitely be going home with one of his characters bouncing through your head.

His ability to yank the audience along with him as he relates one of his wild stories has given him alot of attention. He has been continually featured at the DC Comedy Festival in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Also, last summer he nabbed an opening spot at the Opie and Anthony Traveling Virus Tour , where he performed with such acts Louis C.K., Jim Norton and Carlos Mencia.

Catch him while you can at:

TONIGHT'S "TOP SHELF" @ SOLLY'S TAVERN at 8:30
also:
MARCH 2ND AT THE DC IMPROV
MARCH 21-22 AT MAGOOBYS COMEDY CLUB

He also is a student with Washington Improv Theater and can be seen soon during WIT's Tournament of the F.I.S.T in March.


DCC4N's Interview with Seaton:

When did you realize that you wanted to do comedy?

I was ten when I thought I was funny. And then there was a talent show and I got on for rehearsal and killed. It was fun. But the problem was my stepmom was very controlling type of woman and she made me rehearse for her. Which is more painful than one would think. I did multiple rehearsals and I didn't know that you were supposed to do the same material I think, so I kept coming to rehearsal with different jokes and it got pretty bad to the point where I asked to just host and not do jokes. It was pretty bad. But I regretted not doing the talent show for real. I guess that's my earliest feelings of wanting to be a comic only cause it's seeped in regret. And that, I think, is the essence of being a comic. The overbearing sense of regret and shame.

[Hit the jump for more of Seaton's interview, plus a new video from his set at the DC Improv]



Who were some of your earliest influences?

Pryor, my grandma had "Is it something I said?" And I thought that was the most brilliant thing ever. I didn't have those stories where you would listen to them in secret. My family is big into dirty language. So we enjoyed those tapes together, like family time. Some people watched wizard of oz, we watched Richard Pryor Here and Now. Then when I got into comedy and I was frustrated with the form of opening, setup, punchline it was like a wet dream to hear Steve Martin's Let's Get Small. I had not idea of the brilliance at the time, only cause I wasn't born yet. Then Woody Allen's Comedian did a lot on structure. Bob Newhart Button Down Mind on the bumbling everyday type of guy that you wouldn't notice. But then Sam Kinison, his screaming was like music, plus he had a cleverness that's not given enough love.

What about them captivated you?


Well I mentioned the other ones, but Pryor then was just funny, now I can see from every aspect of comedy he was great at it. Characters, stories, one liners, clean, dirty, plus he could stop doing jokes and talk about something serious or jump into a skit with four or five characters. His ACT, in speaking of his hour to hour and a half sets, would have an intellectual and entertaining arc to them that at the end you would feel a sense of completion. He's like a book you can read a thousand times and find something different.

Where did you first perform?

I guess I answered this. But I'll tell you the second place I performed. I was 14 and there was a talent show at a religious camp I used to go to. You want to talk about good crowds. I got applause breaks before I told a joke. I mean "introducing seaton smith" applause. "hello" more applause. It really did wonders for the delicate teenage ego. then I did a show in newark, nj, another talent show but not religious, with my mom in the audience and I bombed so bad that in the car my mom told me never to invite her to another show until I get famous. So much for the delicate teenage ego.

What was your first paid gig?


I want to say it was Jillian's. I want to say Sean Savoy (then Sean Joxe) was the first to give me some love. I had some really good times at Jillians, and some equally bad times.

Do you prefer to write on or off stage?

Both. I go in spurts where I'll try different writing exercises to flesh the ideas out. But then a joke will reach as far as I can take it and I'll brainstorm with a friend. But that's when I have an idea of what I want to say. Sometimes i have no idea what I want to say about a particular idea so I'll go on stage and hope that the adrenaline will cause a creative moment/magic. whatever.

Do you enjoy the process of writing?

Yes. when I'm doing it. When I'm staring at the page no. When I'm laying in bed thinking about it, sometimes.

What about performing live do you enjoy?

Intimacy. I really like the feeling of a group of people coming together and seeing the same thing and having the same feeling about something. There is an intimacy in that that can feel warm. It's only when you get off stage do you realize somewhere in the back of your head it's not real or it's so temporary that you can't real suck it in. But sometimes aftershocks of it all hit you later at night when you're alone and you feel it again, except a little less. But it's great just the same.

Do you ever want to convey a message?

I want to. But I don't know what it is in general. I know when I speak about race I try to speak on my disposition in the societal paradigm. Meaning I don't say "white people be fucking up" kind of humor which comes from an attacking place. I try to speak on how we all kind of relate cause we're all kind of squeezed in this tight space and we've established rules with one another about how to conduct ourselves. Like I have a joke about how white people can't say the word "African-American" but I only mention only because it speaks to all these rules in place that white people are afraid a rule is being broken just by mentioning that black exists, but on the flip side this hesitation isn't out of nowhere because black people are so paranoid of racism/or racist moments that we're looking for white people to get one syllable wrong. See rules. But that's not my whole act. It's really 7 minutes. I don't know what else I talk about. I hate life.

What's hacky to you?

Not speaking from your own life, experience, perspective, or your own funny. We all have our own funny and if you're not looking inside yourself to find it then it's hacky. Or if you're trying to be anything else than funny ie dirty, weird, offensive without trying to be funny, it's not hacky but it isn't comedy, it's more or less bullshit.

Were your parents supportive of you doing comedy?

Very much so. Too much. They'd want to sit and workout shit with me when I was a teenager. My father keeps calling me telling me I need to be like Tyler Perry. It hurts me to tell him that it will never happen. My mother would make me do choirs and when I argued she'd say, "you'll get a joke out of it." It never happened ma.



Where do you plan on moving next?

New York City. I'm not sure why. Really. I have no idea what to do. I know my options. But they don't jump out at me as appetizing. I just want to be really really really really (infinite symbol) funny and just assume something good will happen. I don't know what though.

How do you feel about the comedy scene in DC?

That's it's a good place to start. The clique thing doesn't bother me mainly because I don't like people enough to want to be in their friend group. I think that would annoy me. As long as I get stage time. And DC has afforded me a lot of stage time. For about 12 calendar months i was doing about 7 days a week. That was fun. I went a little crazy and I was ugly to a lot of people but I grew. I think anyway. People like to tell me I'm a natural onstage. Which kind of annoys me, cause i'm not a natural, I just was onstage so much that it looks easy and natural. Also when they say you're natural they're making a point to say that they don't like my material. Moral of the story: I really would like to stop talking to people.

-What would you change?

Me personally? Nothing. I don't want to do anything except write and perform, but if I wasn't moving, I'd just create more rooms. That's what comedy is, performance.




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More Music/Comedy @ Solly's this week

Wow, Solly's is definitely becoming THE place for local music and comedy, with the announcement of another show popping up this week.

Mostly Monkee, D.C.’s only gypsy cow-punk reggae band continues its tradition of electric live performance events by teaming up with musical improv-comedy punksters the Slut Rockets on Thursday night February 21st, 2008 at Solly’s U Street Tavern located at 1142 11th Street (at the corner of U Street and 11th NW).

Doors open at 8:30 PM
The Slut Rockets start at 9:15
Mostly Monkee follows at 10:30 PM.
Cover charge is $5.00.


The Slut Rockets live show features a musical improv-comedy format that will take audience suggestions and build improvised punk songs based on them.


"musical improv-comedy punksters"?

Does it still count as improv if the audience can't understand you?

"Your suggestion is RAWAAAWWWRRRR!"

[no more clicky jumpy]



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Monday, February 18, 2008

Tuesday "Top Shelf" at Solly's


TOP SHELF

Go to Solly's Tavern Tuesday, because you deserve it. And because people who don't dress up to tell jokes are assholes.

The resplendent "Top Shelf" lineup includes:
Rory Scovel
Andy Kline
Bryson Turner
Seaton Smith
Jimmy Merritt
Nick Turner
Eric Myers


and hosted by Tony Gracyck


Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
8:30pm
Solly's Tavern
1942 11th St. NW (11th & U St.)
$5

(don't click)



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Friday, February 15, 2008

Caveat @ The Comedy Spot in Ballston

Washington Improv Theater's most energetic troupe, Caveat, explodes all over the Comedy Spot next weekend.

And they are debuting a new experimental format. Calling in one of their former members, James Williams, the show will be a plethera of music, lightning and love.

Yes, they have the power to create romantic clouds of music.

8PM Thursday Feb 21 - $10
8PM Friday Feb 22 - $15
7:30PM Saturday Feb 23 - $15

CLICK FOR TICKETS!





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Tix means Tickets, and other crap

NY Underground Comedy Fest dates and submission deadlines announced

Jared Stern discusses "The Life of a Jewish comedian"

Radiohead hits town on April 11th. Tix on sale tomorrow at 10am

300 seat comedy club coming to Bethesda in 2 months?

Chris Rock to perform for one of the largest crowds ever for a comedy show at Bonaroo. Tix on sale tommorow at noon.


The longest explanation ever for a new University of Maryland open mic


Bob Odenkirk fills the void of President's Day humor

"Top Shelf" gets a writeup in "Metroblogging"


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Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Open Mic opening @ Solly's Tavern

Ah, another interesting performance opportunity folks. Andy, a local musician from the band The Humans, is starting his own variety show open-mic beginning Tuesday the 26th @ Solly’s U Street Tavern. The show invites any musicians, jugglers, sword swallowers, solo acts, duets, singers, comedians and poets in town to come out and perform. Sounds like the making of a very interesting evening.


Sign up is done on site.

Solly’s is turning into a pretty happening spot, huh?


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Happy Valentine’s Day, DC!!

The holiday of mandatory commercialized love is upon us! Embrace it or die!

Even still, I am not going to write about how I “love comedy” or how she is my “soul mate”. That type of sophisticated analogy is better left for a more personal affair. Instead, let’s celebrate V-Day by doing what we truly love; acting like anonymous, hacky idiots on a meaningless blog!

So without further ado..

DCC4N presents:
The Top Things You Don't Want to Hear on a First Date

1."Oh, this is clearly the home where a rapist lives."

2."Hmmm...so like WHO'S LINE IS IT ANYWAYS?"

3."I once beat a Samoan man in a finger banging contest."

4."So you're a comedian? ...Really?"

5."Fuck Shaun Taylor! Fuck Health Leger! There is a WAR going on!"

6."This barbeque sauce tastes funny."

7."Do they allow valour track suits in this restuarant?

8."Hi, I’m Curt. Here is a 10 page printout of how this date should go."

9."You ever have gravy drank out your butt?"

10."I have a whole bottle of olive oil back at my place."

Got one of your own, sugah? We won’t judge you. We love you just the way you are, DC.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Room Chat

This is gonna be a weekly feature where we chat about rooms and/or our periods over coffee. It's not a date, it's just room chat! (I'm gonna try and make that pitch sound even lamer in future installments)

*Update* Lance Smith is ready to put an end to all of the lies that he is currently spreading about himself. The Sunday night open mic at the Bistro Europa ISN"T finished just yet. There will be two more shows on Feb 24th and Mar 9th before the restaurant gets the ax.

Also, John Conroy wrote us with a hot tip on a possible Friday night room in Bethesda for anyone looking to start a show.

From John: The name of the Restaurant is Parkers American Bistro. I've done 2 shows there before on Friday nights. usually the dinner crowd is done by 9:30 or at the latest 10:00 and that's when the show could begin. There isn't a stage, but it sets up fairly well, there are plenty of tables and chairs in the front section and the bar is all the way in the back. I'd say it's twice the size of Ike's. They have a sound system, that I can show someone to setup easily, but there is no mic stand. I'm sure at the very least they'd be willing to do it monthly and if it's successful weekly or bi-weekly. I recommend going by in person to whoever is interested and I'd be happy to go in with them to help grease the wheels. If there are any other specifics you need to know just let me know. Jon Mumma, Justin Schlegel, Will Hessler, Jermaine, Brandon Ivey, and Tony have all done shows there with me before so they might have some thoughts on how it could be a better room or show too.

If you're interested in learning more you can contact John or us and we'll point you in the right direction.

If you have any leads or ideas for a great show location, leave it in the comments or send us an email.



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Where is the love?

Well, the "Romantic Comedy" show might be sold out, but there are still places to find the love this week. Let Dave Hill show you where to look.



And don't forget if you just need to go to a quality show this week, stop by "Top Shelf" at Solly's on Tuesday and witness the amazingocity of Andy Kline, Bryson Turner, Seaton Smith, Jimmy Merritt, Nick Turner, Tony Gracyck, and more.



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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Over?

THE WGA STRIKE IS OVER

Remember the panic? I'm gonna go wait for more 30 Rock.


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Barack The Vote Today!


Since today is the Chesa-Potomac-Crab Cake Primary I thought a little comedic political blog/video in support of Mr. Obama would be lovely. So make sure you Rock the Vote, Be Counted, Make Your Voice Heard, Waste a Vote On Nader, Punch a Chad, and Have Your Brother Fix the Election...whatever it is you do, DO IT!

Man, that's the best political advice I've ever given. Or, you can stay in today because it is really cold.


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THE ART OF BARKING AND THE FEAR OF COMEDY

BY: Tyler Sonnichsen

This March will mark the two-year anniversary of the Laughing Lizard Comedy Showcase. Like every room, it took time to get going and established. To start a comedy show like it, all you need is some motivation, and a cadre of incredibly talented and supportive friends to keep the shows consistently good. Actually, you need a lot more when it comes to starting a comedy room, but I'm going to get right into a few simple points, and elaborate on exactly one of them.

1. Just fuckin' do it.
2. Run the room the way you would want a room to be run.
3. Get to know as many people at the bar/club/coffeeshop/wherever as well as you can.
4. If there is a sidewalk or visible roadway, SANDWICH BOARD SIGN!! For real.
5. Unless you're in a situation where you absolutely need to charge admission or pay anyone, don't.
6. Deal with the fact that at times, you're going to have to be an asshole.
7. Don't be too proud to bark for the show, ever.

[That last point, strangely enough, has led to some of the most interesting moments in the history of the room so far. HIT THE JUMP!]



Old Town Alexandria is full of all types around 9-10 pm on any given Saturday evening: locals, tourists, old people, young people, different races, languages, religions, and the most otherworldly of the species, Bachelorette Parties. Old Town dwellers are indeed a diverse crowd sometimes, but most of them all have one thing in common- they are terrified of free comedy.

What terrifies people of free comedy so much? They're afraid that the comics are just going to make fun of them. After all, a free comedy show can't be THAT good, can it? My roommate's girlfriend admitted to me that she'd had a similar concern until they finally came out to a show last summer, and they watched Justin Schlegel bring the house down. I appreciated her admitting that to me, and that she's reformed her ways. That prejudice has been the bane of some of the best comedy shows. Honestly, a group of twenty-something barhoppers knows what they're getting into by crossing the street and heading into the Rock It Grill. Sure, hearing someone karaoke-ing out shitty Live songs from 1994 isn't nearly as much fun as going to a standup show full of people you have never heard of, but these people don't know that. Plus, at other places, they can drunkenly shout at each other over the music.

So, the next best thing to prepare for a show and make an event out of it is to assemble in front of the venue, as many comics do before shows, and announce it with an appropriate amount of enthusiasm to potential audience members.

Many of our on-the-street techniques have gained attention. Take, for example, Aparna Nancherla and John McBride doing their best capoeira-style fighting. Sure, it has nothing to do with comedy, but it amuses us.

We often get those jackasses who say, "Oh, are you guys comedians?? Tell us a joke!" We just use that 'in' to say that they need to come in, grab a cheap drink, and pay no cover to watch us do it.

If you're Tyler Richardson, gently imply that someone's racist if they ignore you and don't come to the show.

A couple of times we get people who claim they're funnier than any of the comedians, such as one woman last November, who, as Doug Powell commented, looked like Rod Stewart came in her hair. (That makes perfect sense if you saw her). These people are nearly shoe-ins to be hecklers, but everyone deserves a chance, since an audience member is an audience member is an audience member. And people do surprise you and settle down a lot once they sit down.

The amount of people who came in expecting nothing and wound up amazed is one of the greatest assets to running a comedy room. Like my friend Jake Young, who just started the successful first installment of the Awesome Room in Silver Spring, so frequently says, we need to do what we can to awaken the sleeper cells of DC comedy fans out there who don't realize yet what a gold mine of entertainment they're sitting on. And as friend and DCC4N founder Nick Turner says so much that it's starting to lose its meaning, "Let's Do This, DC!"

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Open Mic Closings and a city full of openings


Well folks, there seems to be a widening, mack-truck sized hole with which to park that open mic or showcase you've been dreaming about starting.

Taglines open mic which I believe only started a couple of weeks ago, is a victim of the closing of it's host restaurant, the Fire Rock Grill. The Bistro Europa has also closed, leading to the cancellation of the long-running Sunday open mic headed by Lance Smith.

We here at DCC4N have been doing our best to compile a list of possible show locations if you are contemplating the jump to producer. If you have any suggestions for places in the District that would be great for hosting shows, please let us know in the comments or drop us some gmail.

Why produce your next show in the District and not on the outskirts?

(read on to find out why!!)


More shows in the District will help aide the cohesiveness of the comedy scene. Chicago doesn’t have a thriving comedy community because of all of the great shows in Aurora the same way New York isn’t a destination because of the industry in Westchester. When people come to visit DC and want to check out what our fair city has in the way of comedy, they shouldn’t have to go to Woodbridge or Shirlington or other places that people have made up in an effort to fool me into thinking that there are shows that I am missing out on there.

At this point, not only do a majority of the area's comedy shows happen outside of the city, but I can only think of 4 currently running that actually happen inside of it. And that's bad news for any comic without a vehicle because that makes it pretty damn hard to fill your calendar. This is a town where you certainly don't need a car and the result is a city full of people who rely on metro on their nights out. Producing in the city will aide in your ability to secure quality comics and quality audience.

Maybe I'm over-analyzing it, but I think a more centralized scene would go a long way to change the national perception of the DC comedy scene. If you look at the facts, there are small rural areas that produce more local comedy than DC, a city of 600,000 people. If there is one thing I can say for absolutely sure is that DC is filled to brim with ridiculously talented comedians that are ready to plucked into stardom, we just need to make the "AVAILABLE" sign a little bigger and a little brighter.

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Somebody did something



Congrats go out to someone who has advanced to the semi-finals of this year's Last Comedian Standing Up Competition. Someone made it through in New York just this past week and will soon be heading out to Las Vegas to represent. Later somewhere, hello shooting people in your own home and never brushing your teeth!(that's how I picture celebrity) You see people, being awesome at comedy somewhere does pay off! So if you see someone around the scene this week, let them buy you a drink and ask them exactly how Richard Belzer got so Belzer-y.

if you're wondering, I got the information here and here alone.


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Friday, February 8, 2008

Kevin Smith, Hampton and You!

Hampton here, spinning a personal message to my crew in the D.C.verse. I have always been interested in what famous comedians influenced my favorite local comics. Usually, they say “*Blank* really changed everything for me” except replace blank with a very famous comedian (Roseanne). While that’s interesting, I realized recently that maybe that really isn’t the biggest influence on people’s comedy. I didn’t really register good stand up comedy until I was about 15 years old and for years before that I was already the funniest kid on planet earth.

So something had to start me on that path, right? I can think of many non-comedian things that influenced me, but I am going to choose one for the purposes of this blog. And I would like YOU, the comedian reader, to comment and leave an influence that helped mold you; anything that isn’t a comedian. Write about: a cartoon, a relative, a show, a book, a movie, a musician, an event, a comic strip, or anything that helped make you who you are. For myself I have chosen the movie Clerks.

[Read the rest, or just jump to the part where you get to talk.]



Now a lot of people don’t like Kevin Smith, but that’s not important. This isn’t about my love of Kevin Smith, it’s about how, growing up, I watched the movie Clerks. When I was around 10 years old, I hung out at my friend Nick’s house close to every single weekend for about 5-6 years (free Sunny D). We would practice flips on sofa cushions and play Super Nintendo till our eyes bled pixels. And at night we would set up the TV and watch movies until we fell asleep. Nick only owned three R rated movies: Terminator 2, Highlander 2, and Clerks. I can say with all certainty that I have seen all three of these movies in the hundreds. I cannot watch any of these movies now, because now not only do I know how Terminator 2 ends I know how many times Sarah Connor blinks when the Psych Ward guard licks her face (trick question. None!). It might also interest you to know I watched Highlander 2 and Terminator 2 all those times without ever having once seen the first movies in those series. I am that cool.

So, back to Clerks. I loved this movie. It’s basically a movie where nothing happens except people talking and I, a 10 year old, was totally engrossed. Every time. I barely understood a third of what they were saying (raised Catholic, very naïve, scared of own dick) but I kept watching. Over those 6 years I understood more and more of the movie and began to appreciate it for different reasons. I think the important thing I took from that movie was the foul language.

I am completely sincere. That movie taught me how to swear. It changed how I made kids laugh. Now I wasn’t just silly, but could say things that would elicit laughter. It set me on a path of passion for the well crafted sentence. When I listen to Patton Oswalt the best thing I take away from it is how he sets up his adjectives and adverbs like a composer. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

Clerks also taught me the value of minimalism. It’s about relationships and nuances. It’s the details of life that make life interesting. Like I said, the story is very low key, but when you watch it go down it seems like all life depends on the end of that day. Now I admit, Clerks is not even the best example of these ideas, and when I watch it today I almost cringe, but at that time and place in my life it was a big deal. That’s the real deal Holyfield.

Please share your personaly abused muse.

Show us on the blog where they touched you!

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Here's some crap to read

Ricky Gervais and Louis C.K. team up to make my favorite movie I just heard about

Seconds later I find a comedy pairing that absolutely BLOWS THE LAST ONE OUT OF THE WATER

Area DC Comedy Blogs give you their political opinion that other DC Comedy blogs disagree with. Will these blogs ever get along?

This immense waste of time will not help your comedy career. Unless you have an audition. Standing in line is for chumps.

Rory Scovel walks you through what it's like if you actually have an audition

Proof that Scovel never even had a chance

Human Giant becomes latest Hip Comedy Juggernaut to roll through The Black Cat

Tyler Richardson announces his support for a certain insurance behemoth

Another Kojo threatens Mante's rule as top Kojo performing comedy in the US

(don't read more)


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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Give Me Back My Son

Written by and Starring Jake Young and Sariel Lehyani. Directed by Isaac Carey Nejako



Sariel Lehyani hosts The College Perk Coffeehouse Open Mic, which happens TONIGHT (Feb 7th) at 9pm
at 9078 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD 20740
(signup happens at 8:30)

And Jake, of course, hosts The Awesome Room, which happens next on February 28th at McGinty's Public House in MARYLAND of all places.

SEND YOUR VIDEOS TO dccomedy4now(at)gmail.com



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Head-to-Head Headshots

Ah, headshots. The necessary evil of every entertainer's resume. In the search for that perfect "naturalistic" photo, you sometimes have to endure a uncomfortable and awkward session. The photographer is key. Does he make you feel relaxed? Or does he make you feel like you are the first alive human being he has ever shot?

Or are the photos just going to look horrible, like they were shot from inside your nostrils?

It's a grueling experience for some. You may recall Larry's post where he grilled some of the lamest headshots he could find on the internet. But, the writers of DCC4N are not getting off that easy. Today, Larry Poon and I go head-to-head on some of our worst headshots.

You need to show personality in your headshot. A Standard pose just won't cut it in todays world. In this headshot Jason is saying "Hey, I don't know where the mustard is? Or do I?"


This headshot would be cool, Larry. If it came from the Sadora Highschool, Class of 1976 yearbook.


[Hit the jump for more of the bad-faces face-off!]



Jason nails the personality angle in this headshot. Actually he just sneezed but listen 40 headshots is 40 headshots to some photographers.


What else could Larry be so pensive about???



The magic of the headshot isn't always about the smile. Sometimes wearing a shirt that catches peoples attention is all it takes to be cast in a major motion picture or as an extra in a movie about a guy living in a world where everybody wears bad shirts. Jason nailed this headshot. Bravo son! You've captured the "I got this shirt at Walmart for only $6. Can you believe it! Look."


Not many people know this, but Larry can also get you a great deal on a 1968 Chevrolet Nova 2-Door Coupe. I mean, that is a smile you can trust.
[Also, Larry appears thinner in this photo than the first. That is photog-trickery, and it is frowned upon by the Headshot Association of America (or HAA!).]


Well, that is it folks! Who came out the victor in this clash of shitty headshots? Feel free to also bash on us. Go ahead, we can take it.

Read more!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Oh No, You're Going to Blog About This, Aren't You?"

So I had a show this past Saturday night. I'm not going to state places or names, because if you had the time and the gumption, you'd be able to figure them out yourself. I'm not here to do your work for you, but rather to distract you from it. Anyway, I got to close out the show, which I've only done a handful of times before!

ANYWAY. Before the show, comic-who-shall-remain-nameless was kind enough to provide me with some negative feedback about my act. The only negative feedback I should be getting before a show starts is from the microphone! YEAH I SAID IT.



no, how do you really feel about my act? *SCREEEEEEECH*
photo courtesy of Flickr and aromano


Yes, so first off, let me just say I break all comedic feedback into two categories:

  • Positive Comments = Come-Onts, because they are come-ons and they make me want to marry/have babies from whoever said them to me (regardless of gender).

  • Negative Comments = CAMMAN-TS, because it's LIKE* camman, I have low self-esteem for life anyway! Do you really think I haven't already lectured myself on this very same piece of advice, in harsher terms, a thousand times anyway?!

  • *One of the criticisms was I say LIKE too much on-like-stage which is LIKE true, LIKE I get it.


    So anyway, this guy starts off with some Come-Onts to sweeten me up..."I'm a fan of your stuff, I like your material BUT..." and then a million harpy daggers flew out of his mouth straight into the heart of my ego. And of course, all things about which I am currently insecure. He immediately realized afterwards he struck a bad chord though because some apologies and "hey, but what do I know"s ensued, but the drama unit had already been speed-dialed.

    Well, what did Aparna do (WWDAD)?

    I got jazzed. I realized I couldn't change anything about my act in the 45-or-so minutes before I went onstage. So I zen'd out by just beeing (= beer + peeing). I got excited for performing. I thought of extra things to talk about. And I realized what an amazing thing it is to be able to tell jokes to people onstage while they pay attention to you. And guess what? I had great fun! I actually ended up doing 30 minutes, which I've only done once before.

    Of course, when I got off, Mr. Running (Com)Man(Tary) didn't fail to mention "Hey, looks like I ended up getting you all amped for your set! I mean, you were really going for that first 20! And, I mean, you petered off for the last 10 or so! But that first 20! I really got you pumped up!"

    Yeah! Thanks for everything!


    i have a bad-itude

    EYE ROLL. BODY ROLL. EGG ROLL. KAISER PERMANENTE ROLL.

    Read more!

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008

    Tuesday at Solly's


    TOP SHELF

    Go to Solly's Tavern tonight, because you deserve it. And because people who don't dress up to tell jokes are assholes.

    The resplendent "Top Shelf" lineup includes:
    Rory Scovel
    Andy Kline
    Bryson Turner
    Seaton Smith
    Jimmy Merritt
    Nick Turner
    Eric Myers


    and hosted by Tony Gracyck


    Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
    8:30pm
    Solly's Tavern
    1942 11th St. NW (11th & U St.)
    $5 Read more!

    Monday, February 4, 2008

    DC Comedy Spotlight: Blaire Postman & The DC Comedy Fetsival


    Do you want to be in the 2008 DC Comedy Festival? Would you like to perform in front of sold out crowds, filled with audience members who are smart and enjoy comedy? I'm willing to bet you do. Why wouldn't you? The DC Comedy Festival provides just that. It is a great event that allows national, regional, and more importantly local comedians the chance to showcase their comic abilities. There are so many different types of shows. From the smaller Comedy Jam, to the packed theater shows, to the Tonight Show and Letterman Auditions. It's an amazing opportunity for all comics, of all levels.

    [hit the jump for more on Blaire, this year's festival and how you can be a part of it!]


    The DC Comedy Festival is going into its 4th year and it just keeps getting better and better. The venues have gotten bigger (next year they’ll include THE BLACK CAT and THE DC IMPROV), the crowds have gotten bigger, and the number of comics have grown as well. But the more important thing is that the quality of the festival has improved. With such talented comics from the improv, sketch, and stand-up fields being invited to perform at the festival. Sketch and Improv groups such as "The Annoyance Theatre’s President Bush is a Great Man", "Bassprov", "Elephant Larry", WIT's "Dr. Fantastic" and "iMusical". Stand-up acts have included national headliners like Daniel Tosh, TJ Miller, Demetri Martin, and Rob Cantrell. Local comics such as Rory Scovel, Ryan Conner, Jay Hastings, Kojo Mante, Sean Gabbert, Chris White, and Jon Mumma have all been featured comedians.

    Along with success comes added responsibilities. The festival doesn't just run itself. Blaire Postman is the woman who created the festival and runs the festival. The festivals have been so successful due to a lot of hard work by Blaire and all of the wonderful volunteers who have pitched in with the festival. Volunteers are what truly make the DC Comedy Festival a success. Having people who care about the well being of comedy, and want to have a great, local comedy scene is so important.

    Ask not what your comedy festival can do for you, but what YOU can do for your comedy festival. That is the question at hand. Blaire needs help. A comedy festival needs to be promoted, sponsored, marketed, handle submission tapes, book hotel rooms, and schedule the events. That is just a quick overview of some of the responsibilities that go along with running a festival.

    Now working from New York 4-5 days a week as a manager and live event producer, Blaire needs additional help this year to pull things off.

    The festival has been pushed back from it's original April time slot, in order to replace the past sketch/improve venues (Warehouse Theater is closing), to include new high-profile venues and to pull in some association with the upcoming election for a few politically themed shows (yes, a shameless attempt to court more PR).

    If you would like to be apart of something bigger than yourself, and comedy speaks to you, then this is an awesome opportunity to become apart of something great. You can help in so many ways. From making t-shirts to handing passes, there is something for everyone to do. And it doesn't have to consume your life, or take up all your time. Just a few hours a week, and you could really make a big difference in the success of the DC Comedy Festival. That said, there are some larger positions (though still very part-time) for those interested, some with potential for commission based pay.

    If you would like to contribute your time to a worthy, and noble cause then please contact Blaire Postman at:
    blairep[at]dccomedygroup.com

    You can also contact us here at dccomedy4now.
    Read more!