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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 14:21

DCI Update: February 21

This Week at the Club ...

Brandon Jackson

It's Oscars week, so once again we welcome a movie star back to our stage. Brandon T. Jackson headlines the club Thursday through Sunday. (Tickets are $20 all shows.)

The lounge showroom has three different options for you. On Friday, the Hey Frase podcast records a live-audience episode, with guest co-host Paul Wharton. On Saturday, we have a DMV Showcase with excellent local talent. And Sunday, Kevin McDonald of "Kids in the Hall" fame performs in an improv/sketch show. It's actually the "graduation" of a sketch writing class Kevin is teaching at the club this week. 

New Shows

Just one headliner to tell you about, but it's a big one. DeRay Davis returns June 29 - July 2. In 2016, DeRay set the club record for most shows in a weekend ... he packs the place, and the guy LOVES to perform. It's a great show, so we recommend planning ahead if you want to see it. 

Last call for Beginning Improv

On the comedy school front, our next wave of beginning improv classes has arrived. We have seven total spots left: three in the class that starts February 27 (meeting on Monday nights) and four in the class that starts March 4 (meeting Saturday mornings). You can get all the details at the comedy school section of

And the funniest president is ...

Our one-year search for the funniest president is over! We announced the winner on Presidents Day. The completed series will stay on line for anyone who wants to enjoy it. You can start with the ending and work your way back ... enjoy Headliner of State!

Monday, 20 February 2017 08:58

Headliner of State: Inauguration

In January 2016, we asked a simple question: Who is the funniest president of all time? After shining the spotlight on 43 different men, we have our answer.

Join host Chris White for the inauguration of the Headliner of State!

Monday, 20 February 2017 04:00

Headliner of State: In Order

Happy Presidents Day! We're celebrating with the conclusion of "Headliner of State," our search for the funniest president. Each episode of this series features an expert talking about the personality and humor of president. We didn't go through the presidents in chronological order during the year ... but if you want to catch up in chronological order, here's a list.

1. George Washington. Azie Dungey, the creator of the "Ask a Slave" web series and now a writer for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

2. John Adams. Amanda Norton of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

3. Thomas Jefferson. Andy Burstein, author of "Democracy's Muse: How Thomas Jefferson Became an FDR Liberal, a Reagan Republican, and a Tea Party Fanatic, All the While Being Dead."

4. James Madison. Christian Cotz, director of visitor education programs at Montpelier in Orange County, Va..

5. James Monroe. Dan Preston, the editor of James Monroe's papers at Mary Washington College.

6. J.Q. Adams. James Traub, journalist and author of "John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit."

7. A. Jackson. Michael Friedman, the composer and lyricist of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson."

8. Martin Van Buren. James Bradley, journalist and co-editor of Van Buren's papers.

9. W.H. Harrison. Megan Amram, the lead comedy writer for the "William Henry Harrison" episode of "Parks and Recreation."

10. John Tyler. Ed Crapol of the College of William and Mary, author of "John Tyler: The Accidental President."

11. James Polk. John Bicknell, journalist and author of "America 1844."

12. Zachary Taylor. Podcast host Chris White tries seven minutes of stand-up AS Zachary Taylor.

13. Millard Fillmore. The two men tweeting as @fillmoremillard.

14. Franklin Pierce. Peter Wallner, author of "Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire's Favorite Son."

15. James Buchanan. Pat Clarke, the director of James Buchanan's Wheatland in Lancaster, Pa.

16. Abraham Lincoln. Richard Carwardine, Lincoln Prize winner and author of "Lincoln's Sense of Humor."

17. Andrew Johnson. David Stewart, author of "Impeached!"

18. U.S. Grant. Kenneth J. Serfass, an educator who performs nationwide as Grant.

19. Rutherford Hayes. Kristina Smith of the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums in Fremont, Ohio.

20. James Garfield. Todd Arrington, site manager of the James Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio.

21. C.A. Arthur. Chris Oldstone-Moore, historian and author of "Of Beards and Men."

22/24. Grover Cleveland. Sharon Farrell, caretaker of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace in Caldwell, NJ.

23. Benjamin Harrison. Charlie Hyde, director of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis.

25. William McKinley. Chris Kenney, director of education at the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio.

26. Teddy Roosevelt. Joe Wiegand, a reprisor who performs nationwide as TR.

27. W.H. Taft. Jonathan Lurie, a law professor and author of "William Howard Taft: Travails of a Progressive Conservative"

28. Woodrow Wilson. Andrew Phillips, curator of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Va.

29. Warren Harding. Sherry Hall, the site manager of the Harding Home Presidential Site in Marion, Ohio.

30. Calvin Coolidge. Amity Shlaes, journalist, historian and author of "Coolidge."

31. Herbert Hoover. Tom Schwartz, director of the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa.

32. F.D. Roosevelt / William Harris of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY.

33. Harry Truman. Matthew Algeo, journalist and author of "Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure."

34. Dwight Eisenhower. / Michael Birkner, history professor at Gettysburg College and author of a book on Sherman Adams.

35. John Kennedy. Thomas Maier, journalist and author of "When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys."

36. L.B. Johnson. Robert Schenkkan, award-winning playwright of "All the Way."

37. Richard Nixon. Patric Verrone, a writer/producer of "Futurama."

38. Gerald Ford. Ron Nessen, Ford's press secretary and a guest host of "Saturday Night Live."

39. Jimmy Carter. James Fallows, journalist and former lead speechwriter for Carter.

40. Ronald Reagan. Lou Cannon, journalist and Reagan biographer.

41. George H.W. Bush. Curt Smith, a Bush speechwriter and author of "George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core."

42. Bill Clinton. Mark Katz, a humorist, speechwriter and author of "Clinton and Me."

43. George W. Bush. Frank Caliendo, a headlining comedian known for his impressions of Bush and Donald Trump.

44. Barack Obama. Brad Jenkins and David Litt, former White House staffers now working for Funny or Die DC.

45. Inauguration. Chris White names the funniest president of all time.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:10

(almost) SOLD OUT

Jamie LeeIf you totally pooched Valentine's Day, you can probably win him/her back with some highly desirable comedy tickets. So here are shows that are filling up (or in some cases already full). Lounge is 60 seats, main showroom is 285:

The following shows are entirely sold out:

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 11:25

DCI Update: February 14

This Week at the Club ...

Christian Finnegan

There is a mildly ridiculous slate of events at the DC Improv this week. Tuesday: Valentine's Day showcase. Wednesday: Free screening of the "Dying Laughing" documentary. Thursday: Open Mic Night in the main showroom and Happy Hour Trivia in the lounge. Friday: The first of five shows with headliner Jamie Lee, and a DMV showcase in the lounge. Saturday: More Jamie Lee in the main showroom, while ComedySportz improv has a kids' show in the afternoon and their regular monthly evening shows in the lounge. Sunday: The last show with Jamie Lee.

Everything this week is $20 admission or cheaper -- and  the movie, open mic and trivia night are free admission.

New Writing Classes

There have been some shuffles in our comedy school schedule. Originially, the Peoples Improv Theater was coming to town April 21-23 to teach an "SNL Sketch Writing" class, which we host every year. Due to a change in the teacher's schedule, those have been moved to July.

But when the PIT closes a door, it also opens a window. We now have three distinct comedy writing classes April 21-23 with instructor Chris Aurillo. Go check them out ...

New Shows

Remember how Bryan Callen was supposed to be here in January, but had to cancel due to some TV commitments? He has been rescheduled to August. That same week that Bryan's here, we're bringing Chingo Bling back on Sunday night. A DC Improv favorite is also once again on the schedule. Hypnotist Flip Orley will be here July 27-30. 

In our lounge showroom, we have an intriguing event coming up on February 26. Kevin McDonald (of "Kids in the Hall") will be in town that weekend teaching a sketch comedy class, and he and his students will be doing a sketch showcase at the conclusion

Sunday, 12 February 2017 10:00

Headliner of State: Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln might be the greatest president. Can he also claim the title of funniest president?

Lincoln Prize winner Richard Carwardine spent the last several years researching and writing "Lincoln's Sense of Humor." He joins us to chat about Abe's remarkable gift for storytelling, his purposeful use of comedy, and the ways it affected his public career -- for better or worse. It's a thoughtful, joke-filled discussion about the humanity of an American legend. And it's a great conclusion to our profiles in presidential humor!

Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power
Lincoln's Sense of Humor

MUSIC: Hail Columbia, "Leapin' at Lincoln Gardens" by Charlie Barnet, "Springfield Stomp" by Cecil Scott and His Bright Boys

Friday, 10 February 2017 10:09

Headliner of State: James Garfield

James Garfield was an insatiable student. But did he learn to be funny?

The National Park Service is here to help us find out. Todd Arrington, the site manager for the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, tells us all about the 20th president's personality -- and why Garfield's good nature helped him become a contender in the first place. It's a cool look at an underappreciated POTUS.

Garfield Historic Site online
Garfield NHS on Twitter

MUSIC: Hail Columbia, "The Chant (St. James Informary)" by Art Shaw and His New Music, "My Ohio Home" by Jean Godkette and His Orchestra

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 14:24

(almost) SOLD OUT

Christian FinneganAccording to the Farmer's Almanac, unseasonably warm days are the best time to buy comedy tickets. Here are shows that are filling up (or in some cases already full). Lounge is 60 seats, main showroom is 285:

The following shows are entirely sold out:

Monday, 06 February 2017 15:02

The Jackson 20

rentalFun quirk in our schedule: Between now and March 20, every event at the Improv except for one (the rescheduled Mike Birbiglia shows on March 14) has an admission price of $20 or less. This goes for both our main showroom and our lounge showroom. That's six weeks of highly affordable entertainment. Check it out ...

Monday, 06 February 2017 14:53

DCI Update: February 6

This Week at the Club ...

Christian Finnegan

One of our favorite performers is back in the main showroom. Christian Finnegan headlines Thursday through Sunday, with feature act Courtney Fearrington and emcee Kasha Patel.

In the lounge showroom, there's a comedy school showcase on Friday night. Tickets are just $10 for that fine event.

Free Events Next Week

Next week we have a double shot of free-admission events inthe main showroom. On Wednesday (February 15) you  can see "Dying Laughing" for FREE at the DC Improv. It's a new documentary about making it to the top in the world of stand-up comedy, and they have interviews with a lot of big stars (Seinfeld, Rock, Schumer, etc.) The next night our open mic returns. We posted the lineup last week if you want to check that out.

Just Added

Now on sale: We're getting a visit from the comedy duo Jake and Amir on May 3, when they will record a live episode of their "If I Were You" podcast. It's their first time at the club.

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