Funniest Fed

Comedy Essentials

Sunday, June 10, 2007

W e asked D.C.'s Funniest Feds to point us toward comedy gems.

"Arrested Development," the short-lived Fox sitcom about familial dysfunction, airing in syndication weeknights at 11:30 on G4 and available on DVD. "I thought the show was the best thing ever," Marshall Henry says. "It was really creative writing and had tons of hilarious characters."

"Comedian," the 2002 documentary (available on DVD) that follows Jerry Seinfeld on the comedy circuit. "I still watch it every now and then to hype myself up a bit," Shahryar Rizvi says. "It's very cool to see Seinfeld struggle with it."

"The Comedy Bible," by Judy Carter (Fireside, 2001). "This is the first book I purchased about how to write jokes," Freddi Vernell says. "It is very informative. It talks about joke writing, comedy rules, different jobs in the field and so much more."

DC Standup (, the go-to site for comic profiles, performance dates and a list of open mikes.

"An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer," a 1959 album by a master of song parody. "They don't make social satirists like him anymore," Naomi Johnson says.

Jake Johannsen , who will be at the DC Improv for a week-long engagement in October. "The funniest comic working today that you've never heard of," Johnson says.

"The Office," the BBC edition, available on DVD. "Maybe the funniest show ever made," Jeff Maurer says.

Queen Aishah, a Hyattsville-

based comic who hosts two monthly comedy showcases and the Women of Ambition Comedy Tour. "To be able to see an empowering group of ladies perform is really important," says Vernell, who has been featured on the tour. Check for details.

"Sanford and Son" and "All in the Family," the seminal '70s shows produced by Norman Lear, airing daily on TV Land. "Fred Sanford and Archie Bunker -- in fact, my dog is named Archie -- are two of my favorite TV characters ever," Joey Maranto says. "The comedic timing of Redd Foxx and Carroll O'Connor was brilliant."

"Yes Minister," a BBC sitcom from the early '80s, available on DVD. "Anybody who's worked in the government will get this," Don Heitman says. "It's about ass-c overing politicians versus conniving bureaucrats."

-- Dan Zak

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