Spending a night watching unknown performers share their creative work with an audience of strangers can easily backfire: Maybe you’ll connect with the poet, but that laughably sincere guy with the guitar is just doing it wrong. Comedy open mics are not necessarily a safer bet. But head downstairs at Townhouse Tavern on Mondays, where some of D.C.’s best stand-up comedians perform each week, and expect some surprises: Organizer Sean Joyce doesn’t announce the performers until they hit the stage. He welcomes walk-up performers, so you can try out some material of your own, at your own risk. And since there’s no cover, you have no excuse not to go. Laugh a little, drink a little—it’s better than watching comedy clips on YouTube in your own basement. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Townhouse Tavern, 1637 R St. NW. Free. (202) 234-5747. undergroundcomedydc.com.