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, January 30, 2009

Bill Hicks Tribute on Letterman

This was passed along to me from Andy Kline about a Bill Hicks' tribute that will be on Letterman tonight. So if you're out at a bar somewhere at around 11:30 or midnight, have the bartender turn the TV to Late Night and tell everyone to shut-up for second. Or Tivo.

From tvsquad.com:

Bill Hicks was only 32 years old when he died of cancer in 1994. If you've never heard of him, or heard of him but didn't get a chance to see any of his work, tune into The Late Show with David Letterman this Friday night.

One of Letterman's guests will be Hicks' mom (the show was taped earlier this week). She'll be there to mark the 15th anniversary of Hicks' death. Now, this may seem like an odd thing for a talk show to do, have the mom of a deceased comic on, but there's special meaning behind this appearance. Just five months before his death, Hicks appeared on The Late Show and did a scathing stand-up routine (the kind he usually did) which attacked everything from religion to politics. Unfortunately, it was too hot for the show and the performance was never shown, and this really hurt Hicks. On Friday, Letterman is finally going to show the performance.

Hicks wasn't for everyone, but you have to admire how much he threw himself into his role as a stand-up comic. A lot of people say that Denis Leary borrowed a lot of his act from Hicks, and I don't know if that's true or fair, but I think it is fair to say that a lot of comics were heavily influenced by him. Russell Crowe might play Hicks in a movie.



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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Anne Frank Comedians

There are certain comics you are not allowed to like (I’m sure you know who). However, I think most people enjoy at least one of them or so, and listen to/watch them in secret.

Once a DC comedian friend told me he liked Jeff Foxworthy. I am a good friend, so I will not reveal who, but his name rhymes with Tyler Sonnichson.

There, now Tyler has to get the comments ball rolling.

Here are my guilty pleasures in the world of comedy. Before doing this - here are some of my favorite comedians, to make it clear I have good and esoteric tastes: Bill Burr, Eugene Mirman, Daniel Tosh, Bill Hicks, The Pixies, Taxi Driver.

1. Gilbert Gottfried kinda makes me chuckle.

2. Ron White – Because of his “Blue Collar” association, some write him off. Don’t though, how bout.

3. Andrew Dice Clay – Only when he does the silly caricature cartoony mannerisms, like lightin’ the cig and bein’ ridiculous, etc….not so much when he tries to structure jokes…

4. I love Jerry Lewis. Martin and Lewis had some great live improved shiz. He is like Daffy Duck as a human.

5. The movie “Good Burger”

6. Early Gallagher – His young, abstract and alternative years (smashing Pro-Choice buttons and Foreign Aid Packages, with “Capitalism” written on the hammer)

There, I did it, so list a couple you secretly listen to in an attic when no one else is listening. We’ll call them “Anne Frank Comedians.” (on account of the attic/secretness connection- refrain from holocaust jokes.....we don't wanna be too holocaustic...)

If you do not comment, then you are a hack comedian, and if nobody comments I will have to make up Google accounts and fake comments so it looks like people care about this site. Don’t make me demean myself.




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Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank-you Aparna and Hampton

Again, Aparna Nancherla and Hampton Yount thanks for putting on "Sideshow" this past Friday and Saturday night at the Playbill Cafe on 14th street. The Playbill Cafe is a cool little venue that I would really like to utilize more for future shows. The show I was apart of, featured: Eli Sairs, Evan Valentine, Jake Young while being bookend and peppered by Aparna and Hampton. I was not there for the following night that featured the improv performances of a few of my Washington Improv Theater Colleagues: Patrick Gantz, Greg Pokusa, Dan Hodapp (currently in NYC), Justin Purvis, Mark Pagan, Karin Hammerberg, Jenny Huftalen, and Honora Talbott (NYC). However, my best conjecture would be that Saturday's performance, while competent, was forced, overwraught, and practically turned itself into a factory for dick and fart jokes.

But Friday night! Oh, what a glorious night! Eli Sairs cured a couple different kinds of cancer with his opening joke. Evan Valentine brought the roof of the house literally down, continued to make everyone laugh as he patched the roof and audience heads. Then Jake Young's set invented a new kind of human response that meets most of the definition of a laugh but is saved for when someone laughs and also experiences a spirtual transformation. And in between Aparna's and Hampton's sets as well as their MC duties, they orphaned 16 children (that's not necessarily good, but still, amazing).

Ok, ok, ok, Michael Jackson didn't come over to my house...he's about to.

And what I am really trying to say, is that over the course of both shows, it was really good for the DC Comedy community. It was a great supportive atmosphere. I feel lucky to have my feet dipped in both the improv and stand-up community. Right now, both are filled with talented artists who help each other. And it was a reminder that you can do none of this (Comedy) alone.



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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Silly Sundays at the Fact.

The Comedy Factory in B-more has an open mic every Sunday, sign up is at 7:00. I think there's a limited amount of spots, also it costs money for non-comics to get in. Generally, the crowds are not large, but are pretty responsive. And you get paid!* We bout to get silly, y'all.


*In laugh dollars**


**Roughly the equivalent of 0 American dollars, or 2,38R99 yen.



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Friday, January 23, 2009

WIT Still Has Room In Foundations Class

$50 Discount on Saturday Foundations of Improv Class From Washington Improv theater

Full Price: $240

Price for You: $190

Call Managing Director Topher Bellavia directly for discount

Topher Bellavia

topher@washingtonimprovtheater.com

202-204-7772

L1A Foundations 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Faculty: Jon Lee
Class Meets: Saturdays (Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, Mar 7)
Description: Ever wonder what improv is all about, or whether it's as much fun as it looks? Here is your answer. This class introduces and explores the fundamentals of improv in an environment of teamwork, trust, and fun. It establishes a solid framework for good improv, and its life lessons are universal. Go ahead. Experience the joy of improv. We're waiting for you.
Prerequisite: No prior experience necessary.


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TO-friggin-NIGHT


Tonight. Is gonna be the best show to ever grace the nation's crapitol.

There are only like 10 seats left, so get the hell on it.

Playbill Cafe, 1409 14th St.

8 pm.

It's gonna be wicked silly.




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Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Young Comic Asks for Guidance

By Jackson Nortyst. Be a sensei, leave some comments for him.


Below are some questions I struggle with as a relatively inexperienced comic and would appreciate perspective of more seasoned and/or funnier performers:

1. How many times do you bomb on a bit, especially one you're proud of or has worked well in the past, before you ditch it?

2. How much of the joke's merit is determined by the crowd and how much is derived from personal pride and amusement in the bit? Is it possible to even separate the two?

3. Does satisfaction with the level of laughter for a bit depend on the venue? Does this fluidity of threshold affect the merit of the joke?

4. When, if ever, do you retire a successful bit?

5. Am I completely over-thinking this?

Thanks.

Jackson Nortyst
http://www.myspace.com/jacksonnortystcomedy





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Sunday, January 18, 2009

DC Comedy Spotlight: Jimmy Meritt



A really supportive (and successful) comic in the DC comedy scene, Jimmy will be embarking on a thirty state college tour this year, on top of plenty of local club work. If you get a chance, check out his comedy (cause he's funny) or just have a chat with him (cause he's a swell guy).



Where did you first perform?

I had a lot of small steps growing up before I had the big step, that lead me into DC Comedy proper. I was always a stand-up comedy enthusiast, so in high school I’d written around three or four minutes of jokes, and every few months I’d find a random place to perform it. My first onstage performance ever was at my best friends “Eagle Scout” ceremony. Since he was the man of the hour, he got to decide what sort of entertainment went on, and he brought me in. I also performed a few times at Church Banquets, and school functions throughout high school.

(click away for the rest of the 'view)


Once I got to college, I was able to grab a few more performance opportunities. I did a bit of acting in an improve troupe, but the most stand-up heavy stuff were these coffee-house open mics the school would put on. It was primarily folk singers and some acting monologues, and I would do the four minutes of stand-up I had. After a while, I was the permanent host of these, but a lot of what I did there leaned more towards sketch comedy then stand-up.


Two years into college, I dropped out to attempt to make a full, earnest run at it. My first DC Open mic was Soho Tea and Coffee, run by Paul Schorsh. The week before I went up, my roommate and I went to watch the show and check it out. The actual night of my performance, I came with three people- a girl I had a crush on, and her parents. What could go wrong? Since those three meant I had brought the most people, I went up last. It gave me plenty of time to get nervous, and by the time I was next up my heart rate was going pretty fast. I’m eternally grateful for the intro Paul gave me- “This is his first time up, but I’ve got a good feeling about him”. That gave me a nice surge of confidence, and I was happy with how the show went. I’m almost glad I didn’t tape it- I’m sure if I watched it now I’d be horrified, but at the time it felt like a rousing success.

When did you realize that you wanted to do comedy?

It’s hard to say, I’ve been excited about comedy for as long as I can remember. During one summer break, probably fourth or fifth grade, I would stay up late watching David Letterman. Once school started again, I was devastated that I would have to go to sleep and miss him. My mom worked out a deal with me where I went to bed at 9:30, then she’d wake me up at 11:30 to watch David Letterman, then send me back to bed. This went on for years, and was probably a chief contributor. It was either awesome or terrible parenting, depending on which book you read.

Neither of my parents are at all performance oriented, and neither are really that enthusiastic about comedy, so to this day we’re not quite sure where I got the bug. Whatever it was, Letterman was the trigger.

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

Well, obviously David Letterman is the top of the list. He still captivates me to this day. The main thing I find funny about him, and all the comedians I enjoy, is his ability to be both silly and clever. A lot of the comics that I would consider the “smart” comedians come across as snobbish, and a bit stuck up. So, even though I really enjoy the jokes, I still kind of chuckle instead of a full guffaw. And, a lot of the really silly, weird comedians don’t have enough structure for me to really enjoy the jokes, or they’re too random to really relate too. So, I really enjoy the comics who are able to do both, and Letterman is top of the list. Other then his humor, I also just find his personality in general to be compelling. Even when he’s not funny, he’s intresting. A lot of his callbacks and running gags go over the course of several weeks, so it rewards long time viewers. And, he’s very guarded in terms of his personal life and real opinions, so it’s intresting to me to try to study his body language and figure out what he really means- often it’s hard to tell if he’s being sarcastic or not, and he sneaks in some very pointed statements.

Steve Martin is another comedian that was a huge influence on me- in High School I listened to “Lets Get Small” at least once a week. Like Letterman, I enjoyed his ability to be both silly and clever- I really don’t think there’s anyone better at the set-up/punchline/tag joke formula. He’s got a few jokes in particular that I think are absolutely perfect writing. And, past that, he’s one of the comedians that you can really tell is having genuine fun onstage. He’s not pretending, he’s not trying to work up enthusiasm, he’s just getting onstage and having a genuine BLAST. Every time. Or, if he is pretending, he’s excellent at it and deserves the accolades for that.

In terms of early influnences from local comics, Jared Stern and Adam Ruben both pulled me aside and gave me some very good advice starting out. To them it was a minor thing they probably don’t remember, but the attention meant a lot to me in those early months.

What was your first paid gig?

It’d be hard to place the actual first gig in which money changed hands. Starting out, there’s always local comedians setting up these showcases in bars. Four comics go up, and get ten or fifteen dollars each, something along those lines. I started getting invited to those fairly early, but I’ve always suspected that was more due to be being a nice, respectful guy that was fun to be around then any sort of inherent skill in comedy.

A few of the early paid shows do stand out. Back in the day, every week there was a group of four or five of us that did an open mic at Fraizers Bar in Baltimore. Matt Morrison was in our little club, and he brought all of us along one week to do a paid show at UMBC. I enjoyed the feeling of our open mic crowd becoming more “legit”. Also, the 955 Club in Richmond felt like a big deal, because it was a healthy drive away, which meant it was on the road. It was also a bit of early validation that my material could work outside of the bubble I had created, but a lot of the crowd there were supportive Richmond comics, so it still felt like a safety net.

The one that really made an iconic difference to me was my first weekend hosting at the DC Improv. I had performed there once before, at a monthly contest they used to do. I had come in third place, and although I wouldn’t admit it at the time, not coming in first or second was a bitter disappointment. I did manage to get a booking out of it, though, and I spent months prepping for it.

To me, the DC Improv felt like a step from the open mic trenches into being a real comedian. I built it up in my mind as being the beginning of my comedy career- I would get a tape from it, I’d have a real club on my resume, it would give me a bit of credibility. But, even past that, I also looked at it as the first real chance to perform outside of a safety net. At an open mic, especially DC open mics where the crowd tends to be nice, there was never a real element of risk to me- the crowd had gotten in for free, they knew we were all just starting out. I think my enthusiasm also rubbed off too, which made them inherently root for me in a way I felt that a paying crowd wouldn’t.

For my first night up, I told none of my friends to come, since I just wanted a pure dose of what performing in a comedy club would be like. I put enormous pressure on myself- I felt like if I did well there, it proved I could make a good run as a comedian, but if the weekend had been a bust, I would start to reconsider some of the choices I’d made. Thankfully, the breathless anticipation had paid off, and the show went well. I remember after my very first MC set there, I walked back into the green room and literally jumped up and down with excitement for a solid minute. I felt possibilities that seemed abstract were suddenly more concrete, and that moment is still pretty high up on my list of all time favorite moments.

Do you ever want to convey a message?

“Message” is probably too strong a word for what I’m doing, but there’s a definite approach to my material I decided to take early on. There wasn’t going to be anything edgy about it-My political beliefs are generic, I’m sort of suspiscous of a lot of the alternative comedy movement, and I’m not a particularly dark person. I knew that my comedy wasn’t going to be breaking new barriers- I’m pretty mainstream, so there wasn’t going to be any element of danger to seeing my show. But, I didn’t want to blend into a crowd either. There’s a lot of goofy looking, skinny white male comics in their mid-twenties- so I made it a goal to put as much of my personality in as possible. I feel like at the end of a thirty minute set, everyone in the crowd should know EXACTLY who I am. My sense of humor, my interests, my insecurities. I wanted to completely put the essence of myself out there.

In terms of joke structures, there was another particular pet peeve of mine I’ve worked hard to address. I’m a massive geek. I grew up on comic books. I camped out eleven days for Star Wars. I watch Battlestar Galactica, and every week me and my crew get together for Dungeons and Dragons. But, there’s never been a geek comedian I’ve enjoyed. I feel like every geek comic takes the same structure, of being insecure and talking about how no one will have sex with them. To me, it’s a lot funnier, honest, and unique to talk about being a geek who is successful in relationships. A lot of the bits I’m most proud of hit on that subject. A geek having sex is funnier then a geek who isn’t having sex. Being confident and proud of the fact you camped out for Star Wars is a stronger choice. (An example of this method working that validated me a bit was Napoleon Dynamite- what made that character funny is the ratio between how dorky he was vs his confidence level. If he was a sad sack, the movie wouldn’t have worked.)

And, it’s a more honest choice in general, since I’ve never met a girl who cared. Girls don’t like Star Wars, but they don’t like football either, and sports fans do fine. Girls just don’t date geeks who have poor hygiene and don’t present themselves well, it has nothing to do with interests, and I think it’s fun to find ways to explore that.

What's hacky to you?

Right now, my main pet peeve is a lot of the alternative comedy being done at open mics. The idea of “It’s funny because it’s not funny!” is lazy, dishonest, and misinformed.

The conundrum is that Patton Oswalt, who is basically the figurehead of the alternative comedy movement, is my favorite comedian. But, other people really into him have completely taken the wrong idea from him. Patton Oswalt is one of the most accessible comics there is, material wise. If you listen to his CDs, the first two or three minutes of every bit is him painstakingly giving you every piece of information you need to enjoy the joke. He’s brilliant at introducing ideas and concepts, so that by the time he gets to the punchline, you’re completely on the same page. Yet, for some reason, alternative comedy guys have watched him and decided “We don’t need to be accessible at all!”.

There’s an inherent dishonesty to it that bothers me as well. We get someone whose only been doing comedy maybe six months, and their entire persona is “I hate mainstream comedy! Fuck the comedy clubs, man!”. But, if you talk to them, they have absolutely no experience in mainstream comedy clubs at all. They’ve never done a weekend show, they’ve never been asked by management to tone down their acts, they’ve never had any sort of experience that would sour them. They have no honest disdain for comedy clubs at all, they are just parroting things they’ve read and heard. I’ve heard people repeat things I’ve heard in a Patton Oswalt interview verbatim, sans any opinion of their own. Their entire art is based on a marketing pitch by another comedian.

And not to harp on it, but I dislike people who have never done comedy before stepping in with the attitude that they are better then mainstream comedy. There’s an arrogance to it that throws me off. Just focus on being funny.

(I do think weird, alternative stuff can work, though, I just wish people would put more thought into it. There’s nothing inherently funny about sitting onstage eating graham crackers. A set-up punchline joke works because you set up tension, then break it. Funny alternative comedy sets up tension, then never breaks it, so you laugh at your own pace. Set up expectations past “It’s funny because it’s not ordinarily done onstage”.)

How do you feel about the comedy scene in DC?

I like the variety available in comedy flavors here in DC, and I think it’s a benefit to both comedians and audience members. If you go to the DC Improv, Wiseacres, and the Baltimore Comedy Factory, each show will be very different, in terms of performance styles and audience expectations. This is great for audience, because after a weekend at each club they’ll be able to know what style they enjoy the most.

This is also great for the comics that choose to take advantage of it, because you can both find what room style you’re most suited too, and train on how to adapt your presentation for different rooms. I knew early on that if I was able to have a successful set with the same material in all three venues, there wasn’t going to be a lot of places I’d have a hard time. Just having DC, Baltimore, and Virginia so close is really advantageous for training yourself for the road.

I also think we’ve got a good mix of community and competitiveness, which I think is an important balance.

What would you change?

In terms of the scene itself I think we’re in good shape, my only disappointment with the scene is the lack of audience enthusiasm. Most open mics I attend are really solid shows. New comics show potential, and skilled professionals are committed enough to swing by and do sets. If you go to an open mic in DC, you’re going to laugh. But, no matter how much promotion we do, there’s no way to force the audience to get excited about it.

You’ve been on the road pretty consistently this last year, and have been doing comedy as your primary job. Was there a specific break or choice that allowed you to make that coveted jump?

I was lucky enough to be invited on a thirty state College tour, which has kept me busy. It’s nice being full time now, but once summer rolls around it’ll be back to clocking in every day.

I had read about the college tour on an internet posting early last year, and it seemed right up my alley. They were looking for someone who could do a twenty minute set, had some improvisational experience, and wasn’t into drugs or partying. Reading that, it seemed like exactly the sort of thing I should be involved with, so I dropped them an e-mail and my promo tape. Sadly, by the time they had gotten to my tape, they’d already found someone. So, I stayed aggressive with it, dropping them an e-mail every few weeks just asking how the tour was going, and trying to strike up a rapport. So, I stayed fresh in their minds, and once this year rolled around they had an opening for a feature, and brought me along.

You can check out our website at www. thecomedyproject. com.

What advice would you give comics still working towards “full-time comedian?”

I’ve got conflicting advice, so just take the part that seems to make most sense to you.

One thing I always try to advise is patience. The first focus should always be on becoming as skilled, funny, and loose as possible. The better you are, the more well prepared you’ll be once an opportunity comes along. Also, I’ve noticed that whatever your first impression is with a booker tends to be the permanent impression. I was a little too ambitious starting out, and I got myself a few gigs I wasn’t ready for. At the time, I was excited to be there, but now there’s a handful of clubs where I wasn’t at my best, and it’s even harder to get back in then it was to get there in the first place.

Also, one thing I would encourage is to seek out any opportunity you can, and avoid being discouraged when things don’t work out. One of the things I’ve found really odd about my journey is that the things I expected to be really big breaks panned out to nothing, and the things that turned out to just sort of be little side things turned out to be major.

For instance, a few years back I did a college show opening for the cast of “Whose Line Is It Anyway”. There were 2,000 people in a huge auditorium crowd, and at the time I had convinced myself that it was going to be my big break. It screamed credibility, and I built it up for months. But, once the show was over, I just woke up the next morning and things continued as they had been.

But, just for fun, I auditioned for Comedysports in Arlington. I just did it as a lark, and I figured some improv would help me keep loose onstage. I did it for a few months, then gradually fell away. The woman who runs it ended up being the person that forwarded me the information about the college tour, though, so that ended up being the thing that was a major step.

Do you prefer the road or performing at your home base? Feel free and drop any crazy road stories.

I much prefer the road, if only for the opportunity to perform larger sets. I love performing comedy in thirty minute chunks- with an eight or ten minute set, I feel like I got offstage as soon as I was done saying hello. That’s also the reason I’ll likely never move to New York to pursue comedy there- the impression I get is that it’s a showcase town, and I want to be a feature guy. For what it’s worth, I do plan on keeping DC as my home base for the foreseeable future.

As far as crazy road stories, I’d rather just plug my blog. I’m at www. myspace. com/jimmymeritt, and I update on facebook as well. On January 27th, I’m heading on my next run, and that’s when the ruckus will start again. Or, if you haven’t been reading it before, I’ve got twenty road blogs or so up through the archives, we’ve had some good times.

Any comic who’s taking it seriously knows that at some point there will be sacrifices in the personal life. As a traveling comic, how as it been for you, maintaining that balance of career and personal life?

Relationship wise, it’s been easier now then when I was an open mic’er starting off. In the first two years, I was onstage five nights a week, every week. For a new girlfriend, at first going to comedy shows was kind of a fun novelty, but after a while that wears off, and they wanted to do something else. So, I had many a break-up starting off.

I’m sure if I was just dating now, the road trips would take a toll, but luckily I’m happily married to someone who is in the comedy field, and is fiercly independent enough that it’s not crippling to the marriage. Honestly, I think a lot of the road relationship problems are due more to road vices then due to separation. A lot of the issues I’ve heard cropping up are drug and adultery issues, but I don’t plan on getting involved in any of those things on the road, so I don’t expect any problems. Interviewing her might get you a different answer, though, so you never know…

Congrats on your success. Do you feel like it’s all happening ahead of schedule, behind schedule, or just at the right time?

I’m trying not to think ahead or behind too much, and just enjoy everything as it comes. I was incredibly enthused and pumped that first open mic at Soho, and I’m just trying to keep that excitement for every show that I do.


Jimmy Meritt at the D.C. Improv


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Interesting short film by Seattle comic Hari Kondabolu










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Free jokes tonight at...




Old Arlington Grill
2903 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA


Swing by, show starts at 10:30. It'll be way funnier than the inaugeration.





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Friday, January 16, 2009

Homegrown comedy tonight!


Come out to the DC Improv at 8 pm tonight to see these friggin' swell performers:

Andy Haynes

Marcus Brown

Mike Blejer

Kat Wilderotter

Jimmy Meritt

Kyle Martin

Nick Mullen



Hosted by Jay Hastings.

They are all the best comedian in DC.





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I like when this happens

Me: Alright I’m gonna get outta here, you guys are cool, thanks bye.

Applause

My Mind: Hey well that wasn’t too bad.

Host gets on stage.

Host: Give it up one more time. This takes guts. It’ not easy.

My Mind: Wait what?

Host: It’s hard to get up here and have no one laugh at your jokes.

My Mind: Wait, didn’t people enjoy…I thought…

Host: And let me tell you, I’ve been doin’ this for awhile, and that was some good stuff for only having done it a couple times.

My Mind: A year and a half…

Host: Man, a year and a half from now, this young comic’s gonna take the stage and blow you guys away. It takes time. Give it up one more time for Jaimie!

My (sad and delusional) Mind: That’s not my name. Or gender.



Just thought I’d share. I love surprise humility. That’s as bad as the:
“Well I thought you were funny,”

or

“You had this one joke that was good, I don’t remember which,”

or

“Dude that was great. Like really, you’ve got potential. I think though, can I just, like, I’m not telling you how to do it, I’m just sayin, you might wanna, like, when you’re doin your punch lines, have it be delivered uh, um…”
“Better?”
“Yeah that’s it! And the way it’s written, like your way is cool, but you might wanna, make it uh, I dunno uh…”
“Funnier?”
“Yeah that’s it!”



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New room on U St.

Oh hey you. There's a new thursday room run by the Hossman.

Info:

The Islander

1201 U St. NW (next to Ben's Chili Bowl)

Sign up on premises, at 8:30, show starts at 9 pm. Thursdays.


I swung by last night for the first show. The crowd was part comics (Hossman's usual crew) and part Hossman's family and part random walk-ins. There's potential for this room to take off, sorta how JoJo's has. Tellin' ya, U St. is a great place to open up a room.

How did my set go? Well, are you an older black woman who enjoys to fake smile with a look of pity/wonder as a young comic sloppily strings together incoherent premises? If you are you would have felt right at home watching my set.

Other than my comedic fail, the room's cool, crowd's cool (enough of them were into it and attentive), check it out. Yay Hossman.




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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Check out comedy tonight at...


Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club (in Club Elite)

3285 Brinkley Road, Temple Hills, MD 20748



9 pm. Good size crowd who are generally very into it. Free.


or:

Check out a handful of DC's best comics for $5
2903 Columbia Pike
Old Arlington Grill
Arlington, VA 22204
(In the Arlington Cinema n' Drafthouse)
7 pm.



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Hey comic, write a guest blog




Guest blogs were fun. If you have something to say that's related to stand-up or this scene or another scene, write one and send it over. It will give us all a sense of community and will make it so I don't have to think of stuff to write.

(you can send them to dccomedy4now@gmail.com)



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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tonight you can see or do free comedy at...

Since Wiseacres is gone, you can check out:



The Mad Hatter
1831 M St. NW


9 p.m. It's near the Improv, on M St. between 18th and 19th.

Generally there's a crowd, you just have to work to get them to listen. Lotsa chatty yuppies, chatting about their incomes or whatever yuppies chat about. Can be a fun challenge.

Heaven and Hell
2327 18th St. NW


9 p.m. (ish) In Adam's Morgan, just down the street from Spy Lounge.


Best Western Capitol Skyline
10 I St. SW, Washington


8 pm.




Come throw down, or watch people throw down.



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I'ma post here sometimes, too

Hi, this is Eli. I'ma do some posts here now! Me n' Mikkchkkael Johnson are gonna save comedy.

All 8 comics reading this, I’m sure you are just gushing with questions! Click to have questions answered.



To cover any questions:

Frequently Asked Questions:

(FAQs):

Here they are:

Hows come?


I like the DC Comedy scene and the DC comedians therein.

No, hows come the blog exists?

Cause it gives us something to read related to stuff we do. If I knitted (still) I would love to have a site to read and feel involved with knitting but without actually knitting. Why any different for comedy? And it gives some vague sense of community and support and blah blah blah.

What's your contribution gonna be?

I will sometimes post blogs that are stand up related and silly, but maybe only funny to myself. But since I have another blog I gotta do, it won't be TOO prolific. Interviews and info about shows n stuff, too.

Can I send a guest blog?

YES. Get crackin'.

Can my name be a link on the side?

there are lotsa talented folks not linked here, all of which would make the list too long, and all of which should not feel a link on this blog is a crucial career step.

This is not really even an issue, I just need questions, since I in fact am not frequently asked any.

Can I post anonomously?

My smugness is too high off the charts to be torn down by your comments. But no, grow some nuts.

I ain't readin this junk. I don't like that it exists.

I don't like that Hugh Grant exists. So I don't watch his movies. Or read his DC comedy blog.

What's your problem? What's your problem? Whats your problem?

Now that's a frequently asked question!

I hate you. Do you really find that kinda thing funny?

Yes. See Hugh Grant analogy.


But for real, I chose to help Mikael because I have a love for this scene, this scene specifically, a unique and one-of-a-kind scene I have a deep care for. Let's do this, Boston!


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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Free "Intro to Improv" Workshops Thru This Week!

From Washington Improv Theater:

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to speak and act with spontaneity, confidence and humor without a second thought? Improv gives you the tools to get yourself out of bad situations and into awesome ones. These free, low-stress workshops focus on creativity, communications and teamwork and are taught by our enthusiastic and professional instructors who establish a fun and trusting atmosphere.

Former students said:
“I loved this class”
“Great opportunity for expression, meet cool people and build confidence.”

Free Intro to Improv Workshops:
Wednesday Jan 7 7:00 – 9:00pm
Thursday Jan 8 7:00 – 9:00pm
Sunday Jan 11 7:00 – 9:00pm

Location: The Children’s Studio School at 1301 V St NW is located at the corner of 13th and V Sts, NW - one block north of U Street-Cardozo Metro Station (13th Street exit).

Info/registration: topher@washingtonimprovtheater.com or 202-204-7772

Also:

WIT’s Winter Class Session begin January 12th
Introductory class sections on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday at 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM.

Location: The Children’s Studio School at 1301 V St NW is located at the Children’s Studio School at 1301 V St NW

Cost: $240, with a $20 discount for early registration.
Go to washingtonimprovtheater.com to browse courses or register.
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Mugged! AKA Jake Young's First Movie

Jake made an animated movie! And you can too! Find out how here, plus watch Jake's superb short...


Here is Jake's movie, also viewable on his recently debuted bloooargh:




Go here to make your own movie. I know!!!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Last Call: Hexagon Auditions

Monday, January 5 (7-10PM). Please prepare 16 bars of music and a short monologue and come dressed to dance. We are looking to cast 20-25 adults of all ages.

Rehearsals start on Wednesday, January 7 and continue through Thursday, March 5. The schedule is Monday-Thursday nights, and Saturday/Sunday as needed. All rehearsals will be held in Kensington until we move into our venue on February 22. Shows begin Friday, March 6 and run Wednesday-Saturday nights and Sunday matinees until Saturday, April 4.

DIRECTIONS:

Planning to use metro to get to auditions/rehearsals? Once rehearsals are in full swing, we will match people up for carpooling, but for auditions, we will be running a special "Hexa-shuttle" to and from the Wheaton metro station. Look for the car with the HEXAGON sign every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour!

RIDE-ON BUS FROM THE WHITE FLINT METRO STATION: Take Bus #5 going SOUTH (towards Silver Spring). Get off at Howard Avenue, just after the bus goes through the park and passes Beach Drive. Bus trip takes 9 minutes. Go half a block up Howard Avenue and you will see it straight ahead of you as Howard Avenue turns right 90 degrees. Bear around the right side of the building to the back.

RIDE-ON BUS FROM THE SILVER SPRING METRO STATION: Take Bus #5. The bus will cross Connecticut Avenue. Get off at Howard Avenue (right past the library on your right). Bus trip takes 20 minutes. Go half a block up Howard Avenue and you will see it straight ahead of you as Howard Avenue turns right 90 degrees. Bear around the right side of the building to the back.

CONNECTICUT AVENUE METRO BUSES: This is a longer walk. Get off at Knowles Avenue and walk about a half mile west, to Howard Avenue. Go half a block up Howard Avenue and you will see it straight ahead of you as Howard Avenue turns right 90 degrees. Bear around the right side of the building to the back.

DRIVING: From the Beltway, take the Connecticut Avenue exit towards Kensingon, heading north. Turn left at the light on Knowles Avenue, just after Connecticut Avenue swerves to the left. Go about a half mile and turn right on Howard Avenue (this is easy to miss; if you hit Beach Drive, you've gone too far). Rehearsal space is straight ahead of you at what looks like the end of the street.

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