May 12
Momedy Kumite
main room / Mother's Day stand-up tournament
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About the Show


Price: $20 GA, $30-$35 reserved

When: Sunday 6:00

Spotlight: Celebrate Mother's Day laughing with some of the funniest moms around! "Comedy Kumite" is the DC Improv's signature stand-up tournament, and for this special edition all six participants are moms. Each "match" has comics doing sets back-to-back, and the audience chooses one person to advance. At the end of the night, we have a champion ... and the audience ALWAYS wins.

Featuring: Anna Bethel, Liz Barlow, Elizabeth Booker Houston, Nikkie Knowles, Katie McKelvie, Apple Brown Betty, Chris White (host)


About the Comics

Anna Bethel (official website) is a comedy performer and teaches short-form improv in Washington, D.C. She was both the managing director and lead improv coach with ComedySportz, Washington D.C. until 2021. Anna has performed with various improv teams throughout the nation's capital. She teaches, coaches teams and individuals, performs regularly with the DC Improv and leads many customized corporate and private performances. The troupe Porkchop Volcano asked Anna to join as a permanent member in 2016, performing on stage, in video sketches and podcasts. She has a B.A. in Cinema & Theatre from Denison University and her professional improvisation training began at ComedySportz, DC in 2010. Anna's training with Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) of writing sketch comedy from improv inspired the creation of varied media content. She creates podcasts and video content with fellow comics in the greater Washington D.C. area.

Nikki Knowles

Nikkie Knowles, a DMV based comic, is making waves in the comedy industry. Her humor is inspired by her unique experiences as a mother of five boys and a military wife. She began her comedy journey by participating in the Armed Services Arts Partnership's Comedy Bootcamp, a program that provides veterans and their families an opportunity to learn the art of standup comedy. Nikkie has graced the stage at various festivals and clubs across the eastern coast, including the Kennedy Center and Black Women in Comedy Laff Fest. Her win as Magooby's Comedian of the Year 2021 marked a historic moment as she became the first woman to achieve this feat.

Liz Barlow

Liz Barlow is a standup comic, writer and actor from Virginia Beach. She has been seen on TVOne, Virginia area Funny Bones, Dc Improv, Zanies in Nashville and the Charlotte Comedy Zone. She's also a published essayist , having been published in the Huffington Post and Liz won Comedy Kumite 29 (online, winter 2021) and Comedy Kumite 41 (fall 2023) at the DC Improv.

Elizabeth Booker Houston

Elizabeth Booker Houston is a lawyer, scientist, comedian, content creator, mom, and wife living in the DC metro area by way of Memphis, Tennessee. You can find her on Instagram @bookersquared yes, baby!

Katie McKelvie

Katie McKelvie is a comedian and humor writer whose comedic style has been described as "tired mom who has to run to the grocery store after this show to pick up some bananas." Katie can be seen performing all over the Washington, D.C. area and has featured at the Cleveland Comedy Festival, She-Devil Comedy Festival, the Charm City Comedy Festival, and the North Carolina Comedy Festival. In her spare time, she enjoys a fleece blanket, a comfort shoe, and naps.

Apple Brown Betty

Apple Brown Betty connects to audiences with the familiarity of your favorite aunt. Hailing from Richmond VA, her polished, southern style allows her to tackle taboo topics in a way that is accessible to all. Selected as a Rising Star of Comedy by Bob Sumner, legendary producer of Def Comedy Jam, ABB is blazing a trail up across the country. An evening with her is guaranteed to leave you laughing, and feeling a bit better about the world we live in.

Chris White (official website) has been part of the DC comedy scene for more than a decade, both as a performer and as the guy who runs Working with the DC Improv, he produces and hosts The Other Side podcast, Happy Hour Trivia, the “Make Up Party" game night and Comedy Kumite stand-up tournaments. His comedy writing on the U.S. presidents has been featured on McSweeney’s, and he has two stand-up albums available on iTunes: “I Take Requests" and “Forbidden Style."


Kumite History

Comedy Kumite was first organized by Chris White around 2005 at venues in D.C. and Northern Virginia. Eight comedians squared off in a bracketed tournament, with the audience deciding the winner of each match with their cheers. The DC Improv worked with Chris to revive the format in its lounge showroom in the summer of 2015, showcasing the next wave of DMV talent. Kumites have returned every few months since then, always selling out in the lounge and sometimes even filling up the club's main showroom. While the venue was closed in 2020 and early 2021, six editions of the tournament were featured in the club's virtual showroom. More than 30 kumite champions have been crowned. You can see them all in the Comedy Kumite Hall of Fame.