tuesday

It’s all about branding. Who outside of the tux-and-tea-cozy set cared about a trio of old opera dudes near the close of their careers before they magically became the Three Tenors? With a fresh concept to sell, it was boffo box office for Luciano, Placido, and that other guy. In true “extend the brand” fashion, we got the Irish Tenors, even the Ten Tenors. But branding isn’t just for PBS. Four top-flight but often-overlooked black comics raised their profile considerably when they united to become the Original Kings of Comedy. Shortly thereafter, the Queens of Comedy hit the circuit. As with jazz and rock ’n’ roll, white America wanted in, so the red states got the Blue Collar Comedy crew yukking it up. And now we have Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn (pictured), and Maria Bamford, who individually are plenty amusing. But try texting that lineup to your pals. “Comedians of Comedy” is much easier, and the nifty acronym CoC is branding brilliance. Give the funny people extra credit for the touch of self-mocking irony: Usually in showbiz, calling someone a “singer’s singer,” or an “actor’s actor” is shorthand for limited appeal. Which may or may not be true with CoC, but they’re probably onto something by taking their jokes to the snarky denizens of indie-rock clubs. The performances begin at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 667-7960. (Dave Nuttycombe)