July 28 - 30
Comedy Kumite XL
main room / a super-sized stand-up competition
get tickets

About the Show


Price: $22 GA, $27-$32 reserved

When: Friday 7:30 and 9:45, Saturday 7 and 9:30, Sunday 7:00 (finals)

Spotlight: The 40th edition of Comedy Kumite is XL! The world's greatest comedy competition returns with a supersized weekend event showcasing 24 top comics from the DMV scene. Each show Friday and Saturday has a different lineup of six performers, with the audience choosing one comic from each show to advance to the finals. Sunday night the favorites return for a four-person tournament, with the winner taking home a $1,000 prize and bragging rights as Kumite XL Champion. It's an amazing weekend of competition, and no matter what, the audience ALWAYS wins.

Featuring: TBA


Show lineups

Friday 7:30: Eddie Morrison, Christian Escoto, Sofia Javed, Jamal Russell, Kevin Seefried, Maddy Brannon

Friday 9:45: Dee Ahmed, Tim Miller, Haywood Turnipseed Jr., Christine O'Dea, Matt Deakins, Elena Torres

Saturday 7:00: Jared Stern, Sandi Benton, Rahmein Mostafavi, Alex Castagne, Bria Beddoe, Kasha Patel

Saturday 9:30: Cerrome Russell, Matty Litwack, Violet Gray, Ross Benoit, Kandace Saunders, Matt Brown


Friday 7:30

Eddie Morrison

Eddie Morrison is a D.C. native who has performed standup comedy all over the metro area. His appearances include the DC Improv, State Theatre, and Magooby’s Jokehouse, where he was named runner-up at the 2015 New Comedian of the Year Competition. Eddie won Comedy Kumite 15.2 (spring 2018) at the DC Improv, as well as Kumite 30 (spring 2021).

Christian Escoto

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Christian Escoto began performing comedy after his high school graduation. Since then, he regularly performs around the DC area and the Baltimore region. Using his quick wit and stage persona, Christian entertains the audience with jokes and stories about growing up in DC area as a Filipino-American. He has performed multiple times at the DC Improv, the Howard Theater and has opened for the national touring improv troupe the Groundlings. Christian won Comedy Kumite 34.2 (summer 2022) at the DC Improv.

Sofia Javed

Sofia Javed honed her skills on unsuspecting co-workers and Metro riders for an undisclosed amount of time before hitting the stage as a comedian in 2018. She delivers tightly-worded, thought-provoking jokes around the DC-area and has also performed in Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and New York. Sofia’s comedy is inspired by her life as a woman of color in America and her career as a cubicle bureaucrat.

Jamal Russell

Jamal Russell is a D.C. based comedian who has been doing comedy for six years. Jamal has performed at the Ice House in L.A., Caroline's on Broadway, the Milwaukee comedy festival, the Motor City comedy festival and the Boston comedy festival. Jamal won Comedy Kumite 32 (winter 2022) at the DC Improv.

Kevin Seefried

Kevin Seefried is a comedian and writer who splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn, NY. He has performed in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia, including appearances at numerous festivals including the Brooklyn, Boston, and Blue Whale Comedy Festivals. Kevin won Comedy Kumite 37.2 (winter 2023) at the DC Improv.

Maddy Brannon

Maddy Brannon is a stand-up comedian based in DC. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Underground Comedy Fest, and Bentzen Ball. She's opened for Phoebe Robinson, Sam Jay, Max Silvestri, Kelsey Cook, and Noah Gardenswartz. You can find her performing most nights around the city.

Friday 9:45

Dee Ahmed

Dee Ahmed is a stand up comedian from Arlington, VA. A natural goofball, he's molded his unique comedic voice that’s insightful, affable, and hilarious. He has quickly become a regular at shows all over the DC area, from open mics in dive bars to comedy festivals, including The 202 Comedy Festival, Charm City Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, Cinderblock Festival, and What a Joke: A National Comedy Festival. Dee won Comedy Kumite 34.1 (summer 2022) at the DC Improv.

Tim D. Miller (official website) is a master at engaging audiences and crafting a stand-up set that is a guaranteed good time for all. Tim’s material is based on his life experience from Waco to the Army to the White House, trying to raise a daughter, and his unique ability to find the funny in everyday life. Tim has appeared on TRU TV and in 2019 he performed at Comedy Central’s Clusterfest. He is the producer and host of "Read the Room," a crowd work showcase. Tim won Comedy Kumite 7.2 (summer 2016) at the DC Improv, along with Kumite 15.1 (spring 2018), Kumite 19.2 (spring 2019) and Kumite 25 (online, spring 2020).

During the day Haywood Turnipseed Jr. (official website) is a Husband, a Dad, a Telephone Man, and a Jedi; at night he becomes a Stand-Up Comic, and occasionally a Sith Lord. Haywood likes both Michael Jackson's & Prince's Music; Hip-Hop; The Pittsburgh Steelers Football Team; Mambo Sauce on chicken wings; and Laughing. Originally from the Holy Land of Indiana, Haywood graduated from high school in Moon Township, Pa., attended two semesters at Waynesburg College, then enlisted in the US Air Force.

Christine O'Dea

Christine O’Dea is a rising character in the DC comedy scene. Mixing an irreverent style with outlandish viewpoints, her comedy is an honest look into her life as a somewhat peculiar woman trying to traverse the obstacles of normal life. She is the co-host of the Quick Time Gals Podcast. Christine won Comedy Kumite 38.1 (spring 2023) at the DC Improv.

Matt Deakins

Matt Deakins is a stand-up comedian. He lives in Virginia. When people ask him, he says Washington D.C. It's easier that way. He's performed in these places: Pittsburgh Improv, DC Improv, Vermont Comedy Club, Charlotte Comedy Zone. He's performed with these people: John Huck, Jordan Carlos, Dustin Diamond, Bret Ernst, Yannis Pappas, Paul Hooper Matt won Comedy Kumite 33.1 and 33.2 (spring 2022) at the DC Improv, plus the July 2022 Tournament of Champions.

Elena Torres

Elena Torres is a Spanish-American telenovela actress turned stand-up comedian. No, that is not a joke. After several hit telenovelas in Mexico under her belt, she fell in love with a nice Jewish East Coast guy and realized her heart wasn’t in on-camera face slapping anymore. So she took the next logical artistic step from doing melodrama in Spanish; she started performing stand-up comedy in English. She threw out her telenovela push up bra, moved to the East Coast and has performed in venues all over the country. She also has a sketch page called Human Factor Comedy. (Ok ok, she didn’t throw out her push up bra – those things are expensive … and they work wonders – but you get the idea.)

Saturday 7:00

Jared Stern (official website) has been making complete strangers laugh at him for twenty years and counting. During his career he has performed with the likes of Mike Birbiglia, Judah Friedlander, Richard Lewis, Ismo, John Witherspoon, Jon Lovitz, Emo Philips, and Caroline Rhea. You can find Jared on Prime Video, Apple TV+, Sirius/XM, and he is the co-host of Between Two Sterns podcast. Check out his album, "Live On Broadway*" wherever you stream comedy.

Sandi Benton

Sandi Benton is a Washington, DC-based comic from Atlanta. Her whimsical, high-pitched comedy touches on everything from ponies to prison. She has performed all over the East Coast.

Rahmein Mostafavi (official website) charms crowds with comic timing and charisma developed during a decade of live performance. He entered the stand-up world after working as a longtime cast member of “Shear Madness,” the acclaimed Kennedy Center improv/comedy whodunit. His natural joke writing ability, combined with his acting chops, have won him rave reviews in both the Washington area and around the country. He also produced events under the “Cool Cow Comedy” banner, bringing live comedy to venues in Maryland and Virginia.

Rahmein has been featured at the Laugh Your Asheville Off comedy festival, The Devil Cup, Red Clay, The Cleveland Comedy Festival, and the Cape May Comedy Festival. Rahmein has been seen on FOX, heard regularly on Sirius XM, was featured in “The Truth About Money” on PBS, and was honored to be a speaker at the world famous TEDx Talks.

Born in Iran, Rahmein moved to the United States with his family at a very young age. He currently resides in Northern Virginia. Rahmein won Comedy Kumite 4.2 (winter 2016) at the DC Improv, as well as two Kumite Tournaments of Champions (fall 2016 and summer 2021).

Alex Castagne

Alex Castagne is a standup comedian based out of Washington, DC. Alex has been doing standup since the age of 18, and since then had performed in comedy clubs such as the DC improv, Richmond Funny Bone (where he is a 3x winner of Clash of the Comics), Levity Live, the Charlotte Comedy Zone, and more. Alex has worked with nationally touring headliners like Mark Normand, Sam Morril, Michael Rapaport, and a guy who had a puppet. Alex’s epic sense of humor and non threatening body puts audiences at ease and makes for a great night out. Alex won Comedy Kumite 35.1 (fall 2022) at the DC Improv.

Bria Beddoe

A DC native with street sense and low dating standards, Bria Beddoe has been in the DMV comedy scene for several years now. She loves making dad jokes, heckling transplants, and blasting her ex on Facebook (it was a REALLY bad break up). She loves art and artists, deals with people in doses, and has recently relaxed her “I don’t date comedians” stance. Although she is a superstar in her head, she currently lives with her parents and is striving to have a place of her own once this ‘rona heat’ dies down. She has lofty goals, but plans on meeting them all. As long as the world doesn’t end first... Bria won Comedy Kumite 38.2 (spring 2023) at the DC Improv.

Kasha Patel (official website) was listed on Thrillist magazine’s “Best Undiscovered Comedians in the US,” where she was called a unicorn for her uniqueness. She has a witty sense of humor that couples life as an Indian-American and her love for science. She produces science-themed comedy shows through her company DC Science Comedy. She gave a TEDx talk called “Sneaking Science into Stand-Up” where she shares a series of surprising revelations pulled from her analysis of more than 500 of her stand-up jokes. She has been featured in The Washington Post, BBC World News, Travel Channel, The Science Channel, The Weather Channel, and hosted a mini series on NASA TV. Follow her on Twitter @KashaPatel.

Saturday 9:30

Cerrome Russell (official site), born and raised in Sumter County, Ga., started his comedy career while serving in the United States Marine Corps. He was first exposed to a broader audience as a cast member on the 2nd Season of BET’s popular prank show Hell Date. He has traveled extensively, performing at college campuses and military installations worldwide, as well as opening for Hannibal Burress. Cerrome Russell’s comedy comes in many varieties, including Off-Center, Truthful, and of course, Country. Follow him on Twitter at @CerromeRussell. Cerrome won Comedy Kumite 9.1 and 9.2 (spring 2017) at the DC Improv, as well as Kumite 31 (Veterans Day 2021) and a Tournament of Champions (fall 2017).

Matty Litwack

Matty Litwack is a weird young stand up comedian and writer. He was once a physics PhD student, but dropped out when he realized it was super boring. Matty’s writing has been published in the Washington Post, New Zealand Herald, and Scientific American. He has also performed at many comedy festivals, such as the Limestone Festival, Laughing Skull Festival, Bentzen Ball, and San Francisco Sketchfest. In 2014, Matty was a finalist in the Boston Comedy Festival and was the winner of the Devil Cup in New York City. Matty has also appeared on Fox’s “Laughs" and on National Geographic Channel’s “Crowd Control." Matty won Comedy Kumite 4.1 (winter 2016) at the DC Improv.

Violet Gray

Violet Gray, Baltimore's very own Queen LARPtress, has been a mainstay on the Baltimore comedy scene for years. She has won the pearl Next Superstar Comedian contest and is proud to be North Baltimore’s ONLY Dungeons & Dragons player. Violet won Comedy Kumite 18.1 and Kumite 18.2 (winter 2019) at the DC Improv.

Ross Benoit

Ross Benoit is a Massachusetts native who moved to Northern Virginia at age 6. Eighteen years later, he started doing stand-up comedy. You can see him hosting shows and performing at venues all around the DMV. Ross won Comedy Kumite 8.2 (winter 2017) at the DC Improv, as well as Kumite 21.2 (summer 2019).

Kandace Saunders made her comedic debut in 2006 during a comedy competition at the DC Improv. Although, she didn’t win, she didn’t get booed, and people laughed. So for Kandace, that was enough to pursue a career in standup comedy. Kandace’s sarcasm, and quick wit, coupled with her ability to turn life into “extremely laughable situations", has allowed her to become one of today’s fastest rising comedians. Kandace has also served in the Army National Guard.

Matt Brown (official website) is a rising comedian from Baltimore, Maryland, who has a way of warming the crowd with his quick wit and warm, pretty boy demeanor. Matt adds raw, colorful hues to dark scenarios and relatable situations, turning upset into something laughable every time. He has a way of warming the crowd with twists and turns, leaving them on their toes for a delivery of hilarious anecdotes and analogies. Matt has worked alongside some great comics such as Louis CK, Dave Attell, Tom Segura, Big Jay Oakerson, Godfrey, and many more. Matt won Comedy Kumite 19.1 (spring 2019) at the DC Improv.

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.