There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Jake Johannsen has a leftover from a broken relationship: “I’m a single guy with an engagement ring! It’s like having a loaded gun laying around the house—I’m scared I’m gonna marry somebody by accident.” Accidental nuptials are one of Johannsen’s panoply of fears and neuroses, others of which include face-ripping aliens, seeing nude photos of his parents on the Internet, and super-smart razors that shave the household while everyone’s asleep. Quieter than Bobcat Goldthwait, less off-puttingly weird than Emo Philips, and far taller than Woody Allen, Johannsen hails from Iowa (“I haven’t been back lately. It took me a long time to realize we were free to go”), where he claims his dad became mayor by being “caller number 5.” He was one of the brighter sparks in the stand-up explosion of the late ’80s; TV Guide called his 1992 HBO special, This’ll Take About an Hour, one of the 50 funniest moments on TV. Since then, he’s made a couple of pilots, but if he hasn’t joined the ranks of Seinfeld and Romano, it might be because his nervous buzz is too constrained by the sitcom format: Like Ellen DeGeneres, he’s at his best when left to ramble. Audiences react with “I wouldn’t want to live with this guy”—or “I am this guy.” At 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 to Thursday, Oct. 5, and Sunday, Oct. 8; at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7. At the Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. $15-$17. (202) 296-7008. (Pamela Murray Winters)