Ron Funches may have the best laugh in comedy. His distinctive giggle punctuates many of his punch lines and perfectly reflects his laid-back stand-up style. “I just talk about things I love,” Funches says. “My son, video games and just being nice.” Funches has been making a name for himself with guest roles on “Kroll Show,” “Drunk History,” “Bojack Horseman” and “Bob’s Burgers.” Next year, he’ll play a transvestite prostitute named Mocha in the Bruce Willis action-comedy “Going Under.” “I shaved a lot of things I never shaved before,” he says, before pausing and breaking into his signature laugh. “At least that I wanna talk about.” Get to know Funches before his first run of shows at the DC Improv this weekend.
On the record
When Funches arrives at the DC Improv on Thursday, he’ll be a week removed from taping his first comedy album, which he recorded at Comedy Works in Denver last weekend. “It’s a great comedy city and a lot of great albums have been recorded there,” Funches says. “I’m hoping that my album can be added to the list of those great albums.” The recording mixes newer material with reworked bits from Funches’ 2014 Comedy Central “Half Hour” special and appearances on late-night talk shows. For his D.C. headlining debut, Funches may revisit some of what’s on the album, but he’ll also look forward. “It will be me trying to work out moving on,” he says. “I’m sure I’ll still do some of it, but it will be also a mix of newer material and me trying to flesh that out.”
Funches holds the record for most wins on “@Midnight,” Comedy Central’s social media-meets-“Jeopardy!” game show. “The secret is that despite [coming] across very laid-back and relaxed, I’m very competitive,” Funches says. “It’s a game I’m pretty suited for because I love being on Twitter doing jokes anyway. A lot of [the other comics] don’t take it seriously. I take it seriously like a sport.” That competitive spirit extends to video games, which Funches sometimes plays online with fans when he’s bored on the road. “It’s a fun way to connect with other people,” he says. “Most of the people that like me are already pretty chill anyway so I don’t have any problems giving them my Nintendo ID [through Twitter] — it’s just fun.”
Friday night live!
Funches co-stars as Shelly on NBC’s “Undateable,” which, like many network sitcoms before, is mainly about a group of dudes and a bar. Last season, the show experimented with a live episode (featuring guests Ed Sheeran and Zach Braff), and it paid off. For the third season, premiering Oct. 9, “Undateable” is making the (semi-) unprecedented move to all live episodes. It’s a risky gambit, one that Funches admits will be difficult to pull off, but he’s looking forward to it. “Most of us are stand-ups who perform live anyway,” Funches says, referring to such co-stars as Chris D’Elia and Brent Morin. “It’s just the natural evolution of the show. There’s going to be a lot of musical guests and surprises. It’ll be a fun weird sitcom and more of a throwback show, which is a thing I like anyway.”
DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu. & Sun., 8 p.m., Fri. & Sat., 8 and 10:30 p.m., $20.
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