If you live in D.C. and haven’t checked out a local comedy show, well, that’s like going to the Sistine Chapel and not looking up. The city’s comedy scene is spectacular, and no one knows why. Maybe it’s because D.C. has so many bored government workers in need of a creative outlet. Or perhaps comedy is the diamond that forms when youthful idealism is exposed to soul-crushing political reality. Whatever the reason, you can catch great comedy here any night of the week, including these offbeat shows that go beyond the usual “person with a microphone” format.
Female comedians star in this monthly show hosted by Franqi French, who sings show tunes between sets to make the name of the event a true pun. It sounds strange but it works, mostly because French is one funny broad who can really belt. (Next show: Thursday.)
Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW; third Thursday of every month, 8:30 p.m., $5.
Comedians from D.C., Maryland and Virginia go head-to-head to win prizes and glory. The losers end up covered in shame and Silly String. Host Jon Yeager — who hails from Baltimore and claims to be a neutral party — officiates, with the audience picking the winner. Even better, proceeds go to charity. (Next show: Thursday)
DC Comedy Loft, 1523 22nd St. NW; third Thursday of every month, 8 p.m., $10.
At the Friday night version of this long-running comedy show, host Haywood Turnipseed brings the party along with a hip-hop DJ and local musicians. Turnipseed has also added a “Seventh Inning Soul Stretch,” so that no one misses a joke when the bar announces last call for drinks. (Next show: Friday)
Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW; Fridays, 10:45 p.m., free.
You, the audience, get to decide how the world will end in this improvised musical by Washington Improv Theater. You’ll be amazed as these talented folks invent coherent tunes about colanders and lost keys, or whatever random idea gets thrown their way. (Next show: Friday)
Source, 1835 14th St. NW; Fri. & July 27 & Aug. 3, 7:30 &;9:30 p.m., $15-$18.
The ’90s are still going strong at this monthly variety show, which is hosted by Silver Spring’s own Seinfeld, Martin Amini, DJ Bo spins hip-hop between sets, and the whole event erupts into a dance party at the end. It’s as if “In Living Color” never went off the air. The next show features Jason Weems, a stand-up who’s so funny, he can make his near-death experience and the resulting pile of medical bills seem hilarious. (Next show: July 26)
DC Comedy Loft, 1523 22nd St. NW; July 26, 9 p.m., $5-$20.
Triple threat Reggie Melbrough — a musician, DJ and comedian — hosts this hybrid comedy show and trip down memory lane, where comedians talk about the tunes that soundtrack their lives. Three guests discuss the first record (or tape or CD) they ever bought, the most recent and the one they keep coming back to again and again. (Next show: Friday)
The Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW; third Friday of every month, 8 p.m., $3.
Could you give a presentation to a roomful of people on a topic you know nothing about? At this monthly show, local comedians give it a shot. All they have to work with is a deck of PowerPoint slides they’ve never seen before. Watch performers try to bluff their way to coherency in this clever show, hosted by Josh Kuderna. (Next show: July 26)
Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW; fourth Thursday of every month, 7:30 p.m., $5.
Want to learn about the integration of football, the history of menstruation and Aztec human sacrifice, all from comedian-lecturers who have had one too many drinks? Well, you missed those specific lectures, but you can catch equally interesting talks at future installments of this comedy show. All proceeds go to a local charity. (Next show: Aug. 3)
The Dew Drop Inn, 2801 Eighth St. NE; first Friday of every month, 7:30 p.m., pay what you will.
Comedians leading singalongs and craft-making sessions and performing sketches and standup take you back to your childhood at this zany show. They also pass out free “bug juice” made with cranberry juice and rum, yum. (Next show: Aug. 8)
The Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW; second Wednesday of every month, 8 p.m., free.
Perhaps D.C.’s highest-energy MC, Brock Snyder, officiates this series of pet fashion shows at area condos and apartments. See rescue dogs and pedigreed pooches face off for the coveted title of “best dressed” as local comedians provide color commentary. Email email@example.com for free tickets. (Next show: Aug. 14)
The Hecht Warehouse, 1401 New York Ave. NE; Aug. 14, 7 p.m., free.
The Ellington, 1301 U St. NW; Aug. 22, 7 p.m., free.
Skits, slide shows, monologues and other oddball alt-comedy experiments come home to roost at this monthly open mic show. Arrive with an open mind and you’ll be surprised, amused and occasionally puzzled but probably never bored. (Next show: Aug. 15)
The Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW; third Wednesday of every month, 8:30 p.m., free.
Fans of that viral honey badger clip and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” will enjoy this monthly showing of science and nature documentaries on a big screen with running commentary from local comedians Brittany Carney and Benjy Himmelfarb. (Next show: Aug. 21)
Suns Cinema, 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW; Aug 21, 8 p.m., $10.