Club DC, a Fairfax public-access cable show, bills itself as a televised Rough Guide to the District’s club scene, but on location, it’s more like a Eurotrash Wayne’s World. These folks ain’t from Peoria, after all; they hail from Centreville and Bethesda. Well, not really. “I’m from England,” says Club DC co-host Thea Carey.
Authenticity is very important in the club world. Lounge clubs need swingers and couches, retro joints require a little Gloria Gaynor, and hiphop hangouts call for some serious bass. Above all, though, you need to be cool.
Carey, co-host Bryan Davis, and cameraman Gus Soudah are sitting outside the Eleventh Hour, a new club on 14th Street, on a Friday night preparing to tape an intro segment for a new show on lounge clubs. A slickly dressed Asian man walks up.
“Are one of you guys the valet?” the slickster asks the Club DC crew. This is definitely not cool. Soudah, decked out in a black T-shirt, black jeans, and black metal rectangular glasses, doesn’t flinch. He keeps his back straight and eyes focused in the opposite direction.
“I guess you’re not,” the young man says after 10 seconds without a response.
Club DC spun off of a now-defunct Fairfax cable-access program called Friday Night Date. Davis and former Club DC co-host Darren Sloper started taping short remote segments at local nightclubs, interviewing club owners, patrons, and the occasional celebrity or two.
Inside, the Eleventh Hour looks like an Ikea showroom on Ecstasy. Colorful couches mingle with geometric tables and light fixtures. Loud techno music keeps any conversation in the high panic registers. This evening, the dance floor hosts a woman who looks like a ringer for the Drew Carey Show’s Mimi rubbing up against a Dumb and Dumber Jeff Daniels.
But Club DC never makes it inside the club this evening. The crew spend more than two hours taping the five-line opening segment on the sidewalk outside. “Don’t ask me how I’m doing,” Carey says to co-host Davis after the third take. “I don’t like that.”
“How about, ‘How’s your ovaries?’” Soudah dryly suggests.
Between takes, Carey and Davis critique their performance. “I’m getting tired. Stop drinking,” Davis scowls as Carey downs her third rum and Coke before they make their fifth attempt at the one-minute intro.
Davis tried to air Club DC on the District’s public-access channel, but DCTV found the show too commercial, saying it served as an advertisement for area clubs. That hasn’t deterred Davis or Carey, though. “I know Bryan wants to take the show as far as it’s going to go,” says Carey. At this pace, they’ll be lucky if they make it around the Beltway. —Elissa Silverman
Club DC airs on Fairfax Cable Channel 10 on Mondays at 11:30 p.m., Fridays at 11 p.m., and Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.