‘Dr. Katz’ Live
Lincoln Theatre 1215 U St. NW; Thu., 8 p.m., sold out.
Theme: ‘Dr. Katz’
Performers: Jonathan Katz, Jim Gaffigan, Janeane Garofalo, Morgan Murphy, Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne.
What it is: A live staging of the seminal Comedy Central cartoon “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.”
NOT FUNNY! True Tales of the Hilariously Tragic
Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW; Fri., 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 on Friday.
Theme: Tragedy plus time equals comedy.
Performers: Vijai Nathan, Adam Ruben, Jacqueline Novak, Allison Steinberg, Phill Branch, Phoebe Robinson, Sara Armour, Graham Campbell and Amy Saidman.
What it is: A storytelling show (produced by Story District) with (mostly) local over-sharers and comedians telling funny stories about horrible things.
The Bosom Buddies Mmmystery Show!
Lincoln Theatre, Fri., 8 p.m., $25.
Performers: Mary Lynn Rajskub, Karen Kilgariff, Drennon Davis, Morgan Murphy, John F. O’Donnell, Tig Notaro and more.
What it is: A stand-up showcase presented by Planned Parenthood (the festival’s nonprofit partner) that promises some unannounced special guests, a set from Notaro and unexpected antics. It’s the
kind of show guaranteed to give you FOMO.
You, Me, Them, Everybody! Live
Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW; Fri., 7:30 p.m., $5 suggested donation at the door (must to be 21 or older to attend)
Performers: Brandon Wetherbee hosts with help from Allison Lane; guests include: Gavin Holland, Ian Abramson and Haywood Turnipseed Jr.; Jessy Morner-Ritt and Norm Quarrinton are the warmup acts; Ryan Little serves as house band.
What it is: Wetherbee, BYT’s managing editor, hosts a special edition of his popular live talk show/podcast (which turns 6 this year) that will put a spotlight on local performers including comedian Haywood Turnipseed Jr., DJ/producer Gavin Holland and musician Ryan Little.
Seven Minutes in Purgatory
DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Sat., 3:30 p.m., $15.
Theme: Putting comedians through hell.
Performers: Ian Abramson, Nore Davis, Brett Gelman, Steven Wilber, Morgan Murphy, John F. O’Donnell and more.
What it is: For the Bentzen Ball’s first-ever show at the DC Improv,
comedian and The Onion contributor Ian Abramson guides comics into a soundproof room and asks them to perform their set while the audience watches a live feed in a different room. It’s a bizarre, high-concept comedy show that’s the equivalent of eavesdropping on stand-ups while they practice their routines in front of a mirror.
The Show of No Return
Lincoln Theatre; Sat., 10 p.m., $25.
Theme: Getting weird.
Performers: Tim Heidecker, Brett Gelman, Wham City Comedy, Motherknuckle, Church Night.
What it is: If you’re not already familiar with Adult Swim regulars Brett Gelman and Tim Heidecker (of “Tim and Eric” fame), this show probably isn’t for you. Both actors/comedians lean on the extreme side of alt-comedy, delivering odd, alienating and often unpredictable sets. If you’re already a fan of Gelman and Heidecker, you’ll enjoy the bonus bizarre performances from Baltimore weirdos Wham City Comedy and the equally strange D.C.-based troupes Motherknuckle and Church Night.
The Most Very Specialest Evening With Tig Notaro
Lincoln Theatre; Sun., 8 p.m., sold out.
Theme: Tig Notaro.
Performers: Notaro and some very special friends.
What it is: The festival’s final show features a full stand-up set from Notaro, the woman who makes the Ball happen every year.
More on this year’s Bentzen Ball: