Best comedy nights for under $10 photo
(Wonderland Ballroom/Evy Mages for The Post)

Best comedy nights for under $10

Lavanya Ramanathan  |  Updated 12/15/2012

Top local comics constantly work the circuit of open mikes and local showcases, getting onstage four or five times a week to hammer out a perfect punchline or seamless delivery. For comedy fans, that means many chances to catch a laugh or a fun date night on the cheap. Open mikes are frequently free, and excellent showcases can be found for less than $10. Just be sure to get there early enough to score good seats and order a drink. Here are some comedy nights you shouldn't miss.


Ha Ha at Ri-Ra

Arlington, VA  | 9/24 - 12/10

Would-be jokesters have to get a stamp of approval from booker Curt Shackelford to perform at this quasi open-mike, set in a quiet back room of the busy Clarendon bar. As a result, each week comes off like a hit list of local talent. A recent night featured Baltimore's Jason Weems, a semifinalist in TV's "Last Comic Standing," just weeks before his headlining gig at the DC Improv. The half-price burgers and $3 Stellas only sweeten the experience.


Open mike stand-up

Arlington, VA  | 9/27 - 12/6

This movie house has quietly become one of the best comedy stages in town thanks to some savvy bookings. Comedic heavy hitters such as Lizz Winstead and Patton Oswalt, and more recently, Kristin Schaal, who played the stalker in HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" have performed there. Tickets rarely top $25. For a real deal, hit Saturday's free open mike, featuring as many as 20 local comics who hit the stage in quick succession.They're funny enough to regularly fill the Drafthouse's small Old Arlington Grill area. Once in a blue moon, a headliner from the main room makes his or her way over for a quick appearance after a show.


Laugh Riot at the Hyatt Regency

Bethesda, MD  | 9/27 - 12/6

In the basement of a nondescript Bethesda hotel, things get cracking early on Saturday nights, with this showcase specializing in a mix of budding comics and more established vets. There is a small cover charge, but with no table service and no minimum, there is no pressure to spend a penny more.


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