Why So Serious? Check Out These D.C. Area Comedy Clubs for Laughs
By Gina Gallucci White
Washington Local Expert
Washington, D.C. is the district that people come to when they want to discuss important issues, pour their hearts into causes they are passionate about and aid bills into becoming laws. It can be quite the stressful, serious place but as cable and network late night hosts prove -- the nation's capital is a goldmine for comedy.
10Best has searched area clubs and performance groups to find the best places to make your sides hurt from laughing so hard. Since this is a town that revolves around politics, The Capitol Steps comedy group is your best bet for political satire. They have been poking fun at politicians for nearly 35 years and aim to put the 'mock' in democracy.
Want to see a 'Who's who' of nationally and internationally known comedians perform? Head to DC Improv where Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Lewis Black and Ellen DeGeneres have all taken the stage. If you are looking for more local, up and coming talent, The Topaz Bar is a great spot for a free weekly show. The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse offers multiple entertainment options including must-see comedy acts.
So if you need a good workout for your abs, don't do crunches. Just head to these amazing comedy clubs in the nation's capital.
The Comedy Zone DC
Founded in 2001, this dinner/variety show group brings in nationally touring comedians along with live music and magicians to the D.C. area. Be sure to catch their 'Weekend Uncensored' shows which hark back to the more traditional stand up comedian formula. Their shows are hosted on Fridays and Saturdays inside the Windows Over Washington restaurant at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Crystal City. Take in a dinner show at 7 p.m. or the late show at 10 p.m. You can choose from a menu of small plates, main courses, burgers and greens. Just make sure to chew wisely when the comedian is on the stage. (877-335-2844)
With a mission to make people laugh, enhance the local community and advance the careers of comedians, LYGO DC succeeded. LYGO is an acronym for Laugh Your Grits Off because the group started in 2012 with a brunch and comedy show -- now named Wake & Bacon that continues today. Catch their shows at Bier Baron Tavern on Wednesdays and Thursdays and their brunch show at Shaw's Tavern on Saturdays. The group has hosted shows for over 300 local, regional, national and international comedians. The group has created another act called Happyness Hours which is also bringing top notch comedy to the nation's capital. (888-234-9936)
Sundays can seem like such a dull, sad day because the long work week is just hours away. Instead of moping, go to Wonderland Ballroom's Sunday night Underground Comedy show. You will find some of the area's best comics and freshest talent performing at the weekly show. Be sure to check out the bar's calendar because comedy shows are peppered throughout a given month including 'Don't Block the Box' and 'Sometimes Pop-Up Comedy and Improv Show.' Besides the laughs, you can also listen to live music or try your voice at karaoke. METRO: Columbia Heights (202-232-5263)
With all the political bickering, Washington, D.C. needs cheering up seven days a week and thankfully Underground Comedy is here to help by making your face hurt from laughing so much. Shows feature new, up and coming talent along with drop in by comedians known throughout the world. The group puts together shows for different venues including The Big Hunt in DuPont Circle on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Bier Baron Tavern on Thursdays and Saturdays. Most shows, which are for ages 21 and up only, are on a first come, first serve basis so get there early for a seat. (undergroundcomedydc@)
Washington Improv Theater
Some of the best comedy laughs come from innovative, imaginative performances that can go in unpredictable directions. Head to the Washington Improv Theater to see unscripted shows and expect to laugh til your sides hurt. Shows are performed by members of the theater's ensemble and Harold teams which each feature their own style of comedy. Every show is different so feel free to come to multiple shows as you will see something new each time. For those who are inspired to try something different, you can sign up to take classes on the creative art of improv. (202-204-7770)
Topaz Bar is a Moroccan-themed club featuring top-notch drinks and delicious small meals. Located inside the Topaz Hotel, the venue also has a great free comedy show each Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. called the Laughing Buddha-ha. The show features 10 local comedians taking the stage for 10 minutes each. Make sure to bring a joke of your own to tell. They have a contest, 'Everyone's a comedian,' where guests can tell a joke and win $25, tickets to a comedy show and a free beer for the one that gets the most laughs. METRO: Dupont Circle (202-393-3000)
The Comedy Spot
The Comedy Spot puts on two shows that you will not want to miss -- ComedySportz, DC and The Blue Show. ComedySportz features two teams battling to make the audience laugh. Skits and songs are made up on the spot through audience suggestions. A referee even calls out fouls and the audience picks the winners. If your mom comes to The Blue Show, she should bring some soap because this improvised comedy gets foul-mouthed fast. Leave the kiddos at home while you laugh at these unedited performers. These two shows are performed at top area comedy club -- DC Improv. ((703) 294-5233)
Want to see well-known touring comics in a fun atmosphere? Cross the district boarder and head on over to the the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. This 1930s art deco theater features top-notch comedy and live music shows, movie showings, and a restaurant. Comedy shows are performed on their main stage and in a smaller green room. Check out their list of upcoming shows and you will see names you recognize from Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, The Daily Show and Chelsea Lately. If you want a good seat to must-see shows, buy tickets as soon as they are available and come early the day of the event. (703-486-2345)
The Capitol Steps Comedy Show
With a goal of putting the 'mock' in democracy, The Capitol Steps comedy show takes on Washington politics and politicians in hilarious song parodies and skits where no elected official is safe. Formed in 1981 by a group of Senate staffers who were trying to provide entertainment for a Christmas party, the group has gone on to perform shows across the country and record multiple comedy CDs. Of course their home base is Washington, D.C. and you can see a show every Friday and Saturday night at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center amphitheater. Be prepared to laugh hard at serious subjects. METRO: Federal Triangle ((703) 683-8330)
Everyone needs a good laugh and what better way to tickle your funny bone than to come to DC Improv, one of the top comedy clubs in the nation. A 'Who's who' of comedians have performed here including Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappelle, Lewis Black and Jerry Seinfeld and they continue to bring in tour headliners and local celebrities. The venue features a restaurant with a daily and late-night menu for those who work up an appetite while laughing. Beer, wine and liquor are also available for purchase. Their comedy school offers participants the opportunity to learn how to do improv and standup. METRO: Farragut North (202-296-7008)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
Read more about Gina Gallucci White here.