The last time comedian Joe Mande performed in D.C., Donald Trump had just been elected president days earlier. “That was a weird weekend,” Mande, 34, recalls. He ended up working some off-the-cuff bits about the incoming administration into his sets at Drafthouse Comedy, including one about Mike Huckabee being named ambassador to Chick-fil-A. That joke and others made their way into his first hour-long stand-up special, “Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special,” which arrived on Netflix last month. At his wife’s urging, Mande almost stopped doing a bit about watching ISIS videos, but he changed his mind after the election. “I was like, well, nothing matters anymore,” Mande says. “That joke is the most fun I have onstage and we have a 71-year-old clown as our president, so who cares?” Mande, who writes for NBC’s “The Good Place” and has appeared on “Modern Family” and “Parks and Recreation,” regularly trolls the president and his supporters on Twitter, so it’s only natural that today’s bizarro political landscape would seep into his sets. On Saturday, Mande returns to D.C. for a show at Sixth and I’s Downstairs venue.
Your special is very meta. It begins and ends with cameo-laden sketches about you trying to win a Mark Twain Prize-like comedy award. What made you want to approach the special in that manner?
I think a lot of one-hour specials have a very familiar feeling — there’s a certain rhythm that I was trying to break free of.
Especially on Netflix, which is releasing a special nearly every week. It helps you stand out.
I have an issue where, if I’m gonna do something, I’ll probably somewhat overdo it. But also a lot of stand-up specials start with a pointless sketch. Why even do it if you’re not gonna do it? Then that became a challenge for me: How can I turn it up a notch.
A lot of your material seems to come from your experiences or things you’re thinking about. How does something go from an idea to a joke?
Often what happens is I’ll be watching, say, a documentary that will make me so crazy and then I will realize all the stuff I’m saying out loud could be turned into a bit. Or something embarrassing or humiliating will happen and then I’ll immediately know, well, this will be stand-up in a couple of weeks.
You’re not a joke-heavy comedian, either.
It’s sort of a longer-form thing where it’s a story punctuated with jokes. There’s not a lot of setup, punchline. When I first started doing stand-up, it was a lot of punchline-type jokes and I was so bad at it — it wasn’t natural to me.
What led you to troll Trump and his supporters on Twitter?
When I first downloaded Twitter, the first thing I realized was, Wait, I can just directly make fun of Mike Huckabee? I can like write to him? This is incredible! And there’s basically no consequences. I did get in a little trouble for a few tweets — there are a couple of low points in my Twitter career — but for the most part it’s just this very strange alternate universe where everyone is a demon and is saying the worst thing that comes to their mind and, well, I’m good at that and now we have a president who also excels at the same thing.
That’s something you could find common ground with him on.
Yeah, he’s the G.O.A.T.
Does it get exhausting to try to keep up, or to just read the things some of these people tweet?
I have a [Twitter] list of Trump idiots. I would say two or three times a day I will hold my breath and open up the list and scroll through and see if anything catches my eye, but it’s not like I see those tweets all day long. I’m already on the brink of insanity but that would probably push me over the edge. I also get alerts whenever Pitbull tweets anything.
Do you get alerts for anyone else?
It’s honestly just Pitbull and my wife, which I think says a lot.
You did most of the special’s material the last time you were in D.C. Will you have new stuff this time?
It’s a mixture. A lot of the stuff didn’t make the special, so I’m gonna do stuff that didn’t make the cut. I’m reworking that stuff, and doing some new stuff.
Who from the administration or Trump family would you most want to be at your show?
Honestly, I would love if Jared Kushner were there and I could see him. I would love to direct some thoughts towards Jared Kushner.
How would you sum up the state of America right now?
This is the dumbest time to be alive and we should savor it.
Sixth and I, 600 I St. NW; Sat., 8 p.m., $15-$18.