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DC Improv podcasts

Whenever we chat with a comedian or explore the world of comedy, you can find it (FOR FREE!) right here. If you just want to see our interviews with comedians, check out the page for The Other Side episodes.

Mike Speirs rides the wave (4.10.17)

As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we asked great headliners to recommend rising stars that DC needs to see. Bob Marley picked Mike Speirs, so we're getting to know him before he headlines the lounge April 15.


Ms. Pat tells her story (4.7.17)

We all dream about having our own sitcom ... but what are the actual challenges of translating amazing life stories into a TV show? Ms. Pat stops in to the lounge to share her thoughts.


Brad Williams thinks big (3.3.17)

Brad made his DC Improv headlining debut on March 2. The next day, he stopped by to talk about his path through the stand-up world, his upcoming wedding and more.


Headliner of State: Inauguration (February 20, 2017)

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.


Headliner of State: Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 2017)

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.


Headliner of State: James Garfield (February 10, 2017)

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


Headliner of State: Zachary Taylor (January 25, 2017)

Was Zachary Taylor the funniest president ever? If any experts out there know, they ain't talking. So on a very special episode, we're going straight to Zachary Taylor himself. Get ready for seven minutes of stand-up comedy from the 12th president.


Headliner of State: George H.W. Bush (January 17, 2017)

Would it be prudent to call George Bush funny? Bush speechwriter Curt Smith tells us about the 41st president's personality and character. We cover the kind of humor that Bush enjoys, the "rules" he lives by as a public figure, and how he uses laughter to manage relationships.


Headliner of State: Gerald Ford (January 2, 2017)

Tragedy brought Gerald Ford to the White House ... but did humor help define his presidency? Our excellent expert is Ron Nessen, an accomplished journalist who served as Ford's press secretary -- and who hosted "Saturday Night Live."


Tom Rhodes rings it in (12.30.16)

Tom's in town to headline the New Year's Eve shows, so he's back on the program! We talk about celebrations around the world, looking sharp on stage, setting up shop in L.A. and lots more.


Headliner of State: Jimmy Carter (December 20, 2016)

Jimmy Carter punched his ticket to Washington by running as an outsider. Could he make people laugh in the ultimate insider town? Our excellent expert is James Fallows, who worked as Carter's lead speechwriter for two years. (These days, he's an astounding journalist working at The Atlantic.)


Orny Adams brings the energy (12.2.16)

One of the best observational comics in the business stops in the lounge to talk about his amazing hair, memories of 20 years performing at the DC Improv, the "Comedian" documentary and more.


Headliner of State: Theodore Roosevelt (November 30, 2016)

Teddy Roosevelt believed in "the strenuous life," and part of that was the strain of having so damn much fun. Wherever TR went, laughter was sure to follow. Joe Wiegand (teddyrooseveltshow.com) is our excellent expert. As a "reprisor," Joe transforms himself into the president to educate and entertain audiences.


Headliner of State: John Quincy Adams (November 21, 2016)

Lots of people have given John Quincy Adams the title of America's greatest diplomat. But could he negotiate his way to the title of America's funniest president? Biographer James Traub ("John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit") is our excellent expert this week.


Headliner of State: Woodrow Wilson (November 17, 2016)

You can't deny that Woodrow Wilson was one of the most important presidents. But was he the funniest president? Andrew Phillips, the curator of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, is our excellent expert.


Bob Marley has a field day (11.17.16)

Bob is hands down one of our favorites. We talk about his blown opportunity to be the craisin guy, the time he got run over, his advice for people planning to move to Maine, and his family vacations.


Adam Ferrara builds a better joke (11.4.16)

Comedy is a process, and Adam has fascinating perspective on the building of a joke. Plus we're talking "Top Gear," getting tips for traveling, and mentioning Renaissance art. You know, same old same old.


Headliner of State: John Kennedy (October 24, 2016)

John F. Kennedy charmed voters, reporters and just about everyone he met with his quick wit and self-effacing jokes. Author Thomas Maier ("When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys," "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings") shares the humor of a remarkably charismatic president.


Headliner of State: Grover Cleveland (October 20, 2016)

Grover Cleveland must have been fun -- the guy won the popular vote three times. But was he funny? Sharon Farrell, the caretaker of the Cleveland Birthplace in New Jersey, is our special guest. She gives us a tour of both sides of Grover: The hard-working politician and lawyer, and the fun-loving man's man.


Headliner of State: Ronald Reagan (October 10, 2016)

Ronald Reagan was called the "Great Communicator," and a big part of that was humor. Whether he was explaining his philosophy, deflating an opponent or firing up a crowd, Reagan knew that a well-placed joke could make all the difference. Our guest? The great Reagan biographer Lou Cannon.


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