Last night, nine local journalists—including our own Jessica Sidman—competed in the semi-annual Commedia dell Media stand-up comedy competition to be named the funniest journalist in D.C. Proceeds from the sold-out show went to support journalists working in conflict zones.
The sets were surprisingly funny, with Vox’s Dylan Matthews and Brightest Young Things‘ Jenn Tisdale tying for the crown. While there was a steady stream of chuckles throughout, the evening wasn’t without its uncomfortable moments. And about a million Donald Trump jokes.
Here were the six most awkward jokes from Commedia dell Media 2016:
Sadie Dingfelder’s Panda Song
Express‘ Sadie Dingfelder delivered a pretty solid set, with a particularly funny joke about her publication’s fondness for brevity and her unusually long byline, but her song about National Zoo escape artist Rusty the Red Panda and Bei Bei was a little, er, out of tune. Especially when accompanied by a ukulele, which is really only a funny instrument when Tiny Tim utilized it. Otherwise, it’s just kind of annoying.
Jessica Sidman’s Shade-Throwing
OK, we may be a little biased in thinking that Sidman was robbed of the top prize, but it’s a completely objective truth that she had the best barb of the evening. In a joke about Shophouse trying to give an exclusive about a new menu item, Sidman equated it to a flack offering a scoop to a political reporter about Hillary Clinton changing her breakfast from Raisin Bran to Cheerios. “Actually, the Post would run that story,” she said. “And then Vox would follow up with its own story: ‘Cheerios, Explained.'” [Figurative] mic drop.
Zachary Pincus-Roth’s Kind of Racist Jokes
The Post‘s pop culture editor opened his set with a pretty lame joke about moving away from D.C. for a while, only to return and find that the biggest change is how Metro stations now have multiple names. Unfortunately, the set not only got more groan-worthy, but cringeworthy as he tried some race humor: He joked about a Japanese kid cutting in front him at the Pearl Harbor Museum. The punchline? “Haven’t you done enough already?” Yeesh.
Asawin Suebsaeng Channeling Chris Rock
From jokes about politics to Asian-American male privilege, The Daily Beast‘s Suebsaeng did his best to keep things edgy without ever getting too offensive, which he did skillfully. But his ultra-aggro delivery punctuated by F-bombs nearly every other word was a bit excessive. There is only one Chris Rock, Asawin, and you are not he.
Isaac Stone Fish’s Stolen Jokes
If you thought Foreign Policy‘s Isaac Stone Fish’s opener about Donald Trump wanting to ban the import of shredded cheese to “Make America Grate Again” sounded familiar, you weren’t wrong. Unfortunately, that wasn’t that the only suspiciously familiar joke. A five-minute joke about a moth visiting a podiatrist was basically a recitation of this Norm MacDonald joke.
Emo Kylo Ren. All of It.
The Post‘s Alexandra Petri‘s live rendition of her parody Twitter account was about as funny as her columns.