We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
For a while last year, the best locally produced content on WPGC was Donnell “Ashy Larry” Rawlings’ regular “No Disrespect” feature, in which the Alexandria-bred Air Force veteran and Chappelle’s Show fixture spent roughly a minute dissing all manner of co-workers, haters, posers, groupies, rappers, singers, athletes, starlets, politicians, ethnic minorities, and special-interest groups. (Sample riff about the VH1 reality show Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business: “I understand they had a problem doin’ the screenin’ of that, so they decided to show it on Brandy’s forehead.”) It was hit-or-miss, comedy-wise, but it put a fine point on Rawlings’ appeal: Unlike your average un-P.C. comic, he’s not out to actually shock anybody. Instead, he doesn’t seem to care what you think of him, and he’s all the funnier for it. It’s a strange talent, if you consider the history of insult comics and race-card comics: They usually crave the love, and they usually have some sort of latent vulnerability. Rawlings, however, isn’t anybody’s personal jester or deliberate crossover sensation. He’s a bald, slightly pudgy, kinda bug-eyed entertainer who needs you only as much as you need him.
DONNELL RAWLINGS PERFORMS AT 8 P.M. AND 10:30 P.M. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AND AT 8 P.M. SUNDAY AT DC IMPROV, 1140 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. $20. (202) 296-7008.