Some of the best comedy comes in small packages. Whether it’s a “Saturday Night Live” skit or that joke you tell all your friends, humor is often most effective when kept short.

Nowhere is this more true than in film, where even the most hilarious of premises can grow stale when stretched to feature length (see: “A Night at the Roxbury”).

The Internet has made it easier than ever to watch quick-hit comedies, with Funny or Die leading the way as producer of some of the best comedy not on TV.

But not all short films are available online, and that’s where D.C. Shorts Laughs: The Films comes in, compiling some of the funniest short films screened at the D.C. Shorts Film Festival since 2005.

Split up into five shows at the Riot Act Comedy Theater this weekend, this mini-festival will screen 37 films. Highlights include “American Zombie” (Sat., 5 p.m.), which stars Ed Helms, above — before he was a movie star — as a zombie battling intolerance and “Tamed” (Sat., 7:30 p.m.) a modern take on “The Taming of the Shrew’s” Kate and Petruchio, 10 years after their marriage.

Either one of those could get old if it ran too long. Instead (running just nine minutes and 19 minutes, respectively), they hit the sweet spot.

For tickets and the full schedule of films, visit