There’s a seismic shift underway in the District’s comedy’s scene. You no longer have to sit through an unfunny open mike, or save your dough for what can be an expensive night out at a comedy club. In rock clubs, hidden rooms in bars and even in galleries, the city’s comedians are hosting their own weird, wonderful comedy shows that rarely cost much more than a movie.
These happy hour shows, comedy brunches and late-night laughs should be on your radar.
Wake & Bacon at Shaw’s Tavern
Upstairs at the light-filled Shaw/ LeDetroit Park hangout, comedy collective LYGO snaps the blinds closed, flips on the spotlight and tosses a lineup of the city’s funniest comedians in front of brunch crowds. On the menu: A tasty macaroni and cheese, biscuits, French toast and far more cocktails than should be allowed at breakfast. This weekend, David Tveite and C.J. Stottuth are among the performers. The upstairs room is intimate, so make sure to get a reservation.
3 to 5 p.m. 520 Florida Ave. NW. 202-518-4092. www.lygodc.com. $10 suggested donation.
The Little Spoons Comedy Showcase at the Dunes
This buzzy show shines the spotlight on female comics. After months above a bike shop in Adams Morgan, it has moved to the Dunes, a swanky Columbia Heights arts space. This month’s installment is hosted by comic Chelsea Shorte, with storyteller Valerie Graham and headliner Sara Armour, a 27-year-old comic who is one of the city’s brightest stars.
7:30 p.m. 1402 Meridian Place NW. 202-436-9118. www.facebook.com/
second wednesday of each month
Church Night at Wonderland Ballroom
If you’re skittish about religious parody, you might steer clear of Church Night. But know that the buzz surrounding this “alternative church service” — one of the club’s several regular comedy nights — is, well, biblical. Comedians, burlesque and singalong hymns make this show a popular stop for the comedy crowd (not to mention the wayward). Mark your advent calendars for one of Wonderland’s new Wednesday night diversions: The next one is Oct. 9.
8 to 11 p.m. 1101 Kenyon St. NW. 202-232-5263. www.thewonderlandball room.com. Free.
The Bentzen Ball Saturday Stand-Up Showcase at the Lincoln Theatre
The Bentzen Ball, a D.C.-born comedy festival, is returning after a four-year hiatus, and though the comedic lineup focuses on nationally recognized comedians, one who hails from Washington made the cut — and with good reason. Seaton Smith left the area for Los Angeles (even shooting a pilot for NBC), but he’s returning to perform on a showcase with Nick Kroll, Sara Schaefer, Moshe Kasher and Martha Kelly.
7 p.m. 1215 U St. NW. 202-328-9245. www.thelincolndc.com. $20.
The Capital City Showcase at the D.C. Arts Center
On one Saturday night each month, as 18th Street NW turns into its usual swarming bar crawl, you can slip into an Adams Morgan gallery, grab a cold, cheap canned beer and settle into a quiet black-box theater for a monthly blowout that brings together comedians and local bands, variety-show style. The showcase, now in its third year, returns next month with comedians Jamel Johnson, Sean Joyce and Dana Bell, plus music from the band the French Admirals.
10 p.m. 2438 18th St. NW. 202-462-7833. www.capitalcityshowcase.com. $15.
Excerpted from the Going Out Guide blog. Read more at www.goingoutguide.com.