South Carolina native Rory Scovel started doing stand-up comedy in D.C. in 2004, so he’s always anxious when he returns to Washington. “It’s like a weird comedy homecoming,” Scovel says. “You always wanna hope that you’ve gotten better.” Things are certainly different for the silly and spontaneous Scovel, 34, as he returns to the DC Improv for the first time since December 2013. Back then, he had just gotten married and was starring in new TBS sitcom “Ground Floor.” This time, the L.A.-based Scovel is back without a sitcom — “Ground Floor” was canceled in February — and with another major life change: He’s expecting his first child in July.
How are you feeling about becoming a father?
I think my apprehension in the past has always been financially related. I’m not too much of a party guy, so the baby isn’t going to get in the way of my nightly drinking or something. Now that we’ve saved some money and it seems like we won’t go bankrupt over the whole thing, I’m pretty excited about it — more so than I would have thought I would be.
How are you doing since “Ground Floor” was canceled?
It’s been good. I was happy they gave us two seasons. Three would have been amazing, but I kind of saw it coming. I went out for pilot season and I got on an NBC pilot — which got canceled three days before we shot it. So I’m in the thick of what people say about this business. But I think being a stand-up comedian makes that bad news a little more bearable.
It seems like your sense of humor would fit better on cable, or online.
I have an idea and I’ve been talking to a production company and [the failed NBC pilot] freed me up to actually go pitch this idea. I actually just did it, pitched it to start developing it. I also would like to put something out there that maybe caters more to my sense of humor and what I do in stand-up.
I’m assuming you can’t talk specifics.
Yeah, I would also feel like I’m jinxing it.
Have you shot a new stand-up special yet?
Yeah, we shot it in February of last year, and now we are trying to sell it. The material is basically what I was doing [at the DC Improv shows] in December 2013.
So your upcoming D.C. shows will be different than last time?
I think it’s going to be mostly new stuff. I always keep some older stuff in my act because I like looking at it like going to see a band: You wanna hear new songs but also you wanna hear the old songs. There’s jokes I’ve been doing for years that I still enjoy and still get a good response, and I don’t wanna cut anything out that is still fun because then it’s basically gone forever.
Do you have any projects in the can?
I had a role in Demetri Martin’s movie “Dean.” It’s been a slow process: He wrote, starred in and directed it, and now he’s editing it. I’ve seen a very minimal rough cut and I already think it looks great. I hadn’t done anything like that before. I kind of pop in and out of the movie
Your email signature reads “sent from above,” which I found hilarious. Do you feel pressure to be “on” all the time?
I don’t know if it’s totally this always wanting to be on thing, but I think whenever there’s little opportunities like that you’re like, well I have to come up with something to go there. It’s my own personal expectation. Someone has set me up to write a joke here, so I’ve got to. It’ll kill me if I don’t.
DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu., 8 p.m., Fri. & Sat., 8 & 10:30 p.m., $20.
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