I have such good friends. My friend B texted me early last week saying that his wife and child would be out of town on the weekend, and would I want to hang out. I took 10 seconds to check my calendar (clear!) and responded immediately, “YES”. Plans TBD. I had no ideas on what we would do, but time with B is always good. We have similar senses of humor, and it helps that he’s much funnier than I am, because I laugh hard, and I think the appreciates it. The next day he texted again and said, “Matt Braunger is at Drafthouse Comedy, how about that?”
I’ll admit, I hesitated. I’m not sure why. I mean, I like comedy. Obviously, because I just said my friend was funny and made me laugh. It’s not like I haven’t seen stand up comedians before. Heck – I saw one just a month ago. I think my hesitation was around the location. Not the fact that it’s in DC. I have no fear there, and uber will get me places on time even if the metro won’t. I think I was hesitant because this would be my first time seeing a comedian in a comedy club.
Is that a weird thing to fixate on? I mean, I’ve seen comedians in less fancy venues – I saw Chris Hardwick TWICE at the 9:30 club, and once at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (parent of Drafthouse comedy!) many many years ago. But this location is meant for stand-up and stand-up only. I would definitely be going to a comedy show. Is it weird to be nervous about that? It probably is weird. But going to a comedy club has all these weird stereotypes about hecklers and required drink purchases and bad comedians.
I will say that I was wrong about 90% of it. The opening act was not great. I may or may not have pity-laughed. I won’t say his name, because he was eager, and he almost had jokes…but then he would approach them in completely wrong way. It was not great.
But the rest – the rest was great. First off, I’m a mad genius with coupon-ing skills. Not really, but when B told me about the show and I asked if I should buy tickets, he said yes, and then I did a quick search in my email to see if there was anything from the Drafthouse with a coupon code or something, and it turned out there was a 2-for-1 Living Social offer (valid through today) to any comedy show, which would reduce our price by a lot. And then it turned out there was a limited time sale on Living Social, so we ended up paying less than half of what we would have if we’d bought our tickets separately. So that made me feel awesome.
Secondly – no drink minimum. So that was nice. That doesn’t mean we didn’t buy a beer each and enjoy them during the show. Additionally, the beers that they do have are pretty legit. Apart from my Allagash White, the rest of the choices were DC or Virginia beers, and I love that that’s a thing now.
Thirdly – the employees at the door were super helpful. I’d sent B a ticket to print out, and he forgot (really I should have just printed them both), but they had my name, and were all, “You’re good to go!” and it was so easy. I probably didn’t even need to print out my ticket. I mean – who prints tickets anymore? So technology and an organized staff for the win.
Finally – Matt Braunger himself. Awesome. Just, hilarious. I didn’t really know much of his work going in – I’d recognized him from Agent Carter (RIP), but that’s not necessarily the best example of his comedic chops, despite the fact that he was enjoyably funny in the role. Maybe I could have watched one of his Comedy Central specials to bone up. I didn’t. Instead, I trusted my friend, and it turns out I was right to do so. Braunger was amazing. Maybe the opening act really wasn’t so bad because I did feel ready to laugh at Matt’s jokes, but man – so good. You know you’re laughing hard when you are actually bent over double and finding it hard to breathe.
To sum up – Matt Braunger: awesome. Drafthouse Comedy: great venue. I would totally see another stand-up there, and if Matt comes back to DC, I would totally see him again.
Matt Braunger, on tour now, in Dallas, Lansing, Pontiac and Chicago soon.
Drafthouse Comedy Theater, 1100 13th St NW, Washington, DC.