Wayne Manigo and Mandy Dalton started the group back in January 2011 to have a fun, and an uncensored place to generate material without the competition that can sometimes happen at ‘the back of the room’. Wayne and Mandy also wanted to mix up all forms of comedy in DC.
The “face to face” or “real world” part is the most important part. Comedy requires a group. You just don’t know if it is “really funny” until you can work with it with other people. You can only take comedy so far on your own, but then you need to find out if it is funny, so you need an audience. Open Mics can be pretty harsh, and you don’t receive advice you can use. Sometimes it helps if that first audience understands what it takes to write funny stuff. If you want to try material in front of others who know how hard you’re working, then this is the group you want in Washington DC.
In the Washington DC Comedy Writers’ Group, we want to bring people together who think about comedy. Most members are stand-up comics, but we also have speech writers, bloggers, journalists, satirists, novelists, and yes, even birthday party clowns.
…Oh and strippers. We welcome strippers. We welcome anyone who uses humor regularly or takes off their clothes for money. Male or female. Welcome.
We also are very proud to focus on local comedy. Washington DC is the hometown of Dave Chapelle. Lewis Black hails from Silver Spring (on the Red Line metro.) The scariest bunch of clowns in the world work on Capitol Hill… but I digress.
Our group has another mission. We want to reclaim comedy for Washington DC. The Capitol Steps and Mark Russel have provided world-class musical satire for decades. Here’s the problem: when people think “comedy” and “DC,” those are the only examples that pop into their heads (and maybe the Washington Wizards.) So we are trying to expand the idea of Washington DC Comedy. We want to bring satire back, but not the harmless satire of your grandparents. We’re looking for people who take no prisoners and have no sacred cows. We laugh at the left. We laugh at the right.
After a lot of trial and error, it seems that the best way to do this is to get comics to write better, more creative material. So we thought we would set up one physical place, what we like to call “a comedy pinpoint on the map of the district.” The group is not just for stand-ups! We are here for everyone with an interest in comedy. Do you have a blog and want to write some humor pieces? The group will help. Need to punch up a few jokes in a speech? Bring it! Got an ad campaign? We can help you sell it.