In her Friday, September 13 piece “Washington’s comedians are taking a do-it-yourself approach,” Washington Post Reporter Lavanya Ramanathan highlighted how efforts by the comedy collective LYGO DC and other groups have contributed greatly to the vibrant growth of the Washington, DC comedy scene over the past year.
Ramanathan notes that the Washington comedy-verse, often overshadowed by neighboring New York and other comedy-rich cities, has long revolved around the open-mic night. However, LYGO DC and others have been finding alternative ways to educate the District about the area’s thriving talent by providing professional, audience-friendly shows, produced entirely by the local performers.
…the city’s comedy fans are — over brunch and happy hour and in rooms usually reserved for touring bands — providing the laugh track for a scene that has exploded in the past year. Behind the change are the comedians themselves.
We agree! It’s the small steps that have made the difference as comedians across the city have taken production and performing into our own hands and maintained creative control throughout the process. She highlights several of LYGO DC’s show in particular.
LYGO [DC] and others have begun creating tightly themed stand-up events such as Wake & Bacon, along with weeknight shows at U Street’s coarse dive bar Codmother and the nearby burger joint Desperados.
There’s plenty of talent to go around, too. LYGO DC co-founder Rich Bennett “estimates at 200 men and women [there’s more than] enough to keep the new shows coming, and, he hints, to eventually organize his own local comedy festival.”
This base of talent is being showcased all over the city, and one can find a comic-produced show at reasonable price almost every night of the week.
We’re putting on something that’s affordable and it’s where people are when they’re looking for something to do on a Tuesday night. –David Tveite, co-producer of BLORP! with LYGO DC.
And as Ramanathan points out, “the more shows the comics have a chance to do, the comics say, the funnier they can become. And the better it is for the District’s reputation in the comedy world.”
This is what LYGO DC is all about — building up the area’s comedy scene to contend with some of the top comedy cities in the country. Now comedians who started off in Washington come back and see palpable change, a real movement, if you will.
Aparna Nancherla, who left the District in 2010 for Los Angeles, is now a writer in New York for FX’s Totally Biased. When she returns now for a stand-up gig, she says,
The scene is a lot more of a community than when I left. It was supportive before, but now it feels like a cohesive scene.
A big thank you to the Washington Post for recognizing the hard work by local comedians to make a more entertaining DC!
LYGO DC produces over 5 shows a week across the District. Check out the calendar on our homepage for more!