Arts Desk

This Could Be Funny: Jon Benjamin Has a Tour

Your next seven days should be filled with laughter. The following could help.

Friday, April 20: Ha Has for Ta Tas at Arlington Drafthouse
This breast cancer fundraiser—headlined by the formerly D.C.-based, still very funny Erin Jackson—is promising for several reasons. Fundraisers are always a positive thing, the Drafthouse is a comfortable and inviting venue, and Jackson is able to get a laugh from everyone from jaded hipsters to tired-at-the-end-of-the-week bureaucrats. Her style is universal; it's only a matter of time until she's on a sitcom, or at the very least on basic cable as a talking head. Not an insult! 7:30 p.m., 18+. $20.

Saturday, April 21: Erin Foley at Riot Act
Erin Foley rides the line between club comic and risque panelist on Chelsea Lately. Her style of stand-up will please both crowds, never veerying too far in one direction. 8 and 10:30 p.m., 21+, $20.

So You Think You Are Funny at Clarion Inn
Comedy contests in hotel bars aren't usually recommended because they're usually awful. Why? They're comedy contests in hotel bars. Most are full of not-ready-to-waste-people's-times open-mic'ers desperately trying to get some opening, non-paying, five-minute slot at a suburban comedy club. This one is a little different. The lineup is actually posted and it's not half-bad. The stand-out is Ruth Rasby, who's something of a comedy outsider. That's for the best. Her humor sets her apart from most comics at her level. Whether she's attempting to explain complex issues of gender equality or putting a spin on toilet humor, her take always packs a unique payoff. 8:30 p.m., 21+, $5.

Wednesday, April 25: Jon Benjamin Has a Tour at Black Cat
Hands down the best comedy option of the week, Benjamin is kind of touring to support his maybe-no-longer-on-the-air Jon Benjamin Has a Van. The show allowed Benjamin to highlight his brand of "anti-comedy." I'm not a fan of that term, and I'm sure Benjamin isn't either, but that's what it is. It's performance art for the comedy nerd. It makes most people feel weird and the people in the know don't necessarily get it any better. Cerebral, anti-authority, risky, and silly, Benjamin is like a one-man Tim and Eric without any need for editing. He's inspiring the future of D.C. comedy, stand-ups like Brandon Wardell and Adam Friedland, to do exactly what they want, regardless of whether it's crowd friendly. There's a reason why this show is at a music venue. 8 p.m., all ages, $15.

Thursday, April 26: The Pretty Good Comedy Show at Pratt Street Ale House
This show is here because of Katherine Jessup, Randy Syphax, and Jenn Tisdale. Jessup has grown leaps and bounds in the last year, consistently working on developing a good mixture of crowd-pleasing and intellectually stimulating material. Syphax is hands down the best impressionist in the D.C. area. Unlike every other impressionist, his act is enjoyable. Tisdale has grown into her own voice, more akin to Dave Attell than anyone you'd see on E! She's the kind of comic you want to talk to after the show because she's a funny person, not just someone who tried really hard to write 40 minutes they can use for the next 20 years. Jessup and Syphax will perform stand-up; in what's possibly a  stroke of genius, the show also includes a tweet-off between Tisdale (@Jenn_Tisdale) and the headliners. 8:30 p.m., 21+, Free

Brandon Wetherbee hosts the podcast "You, Me, Them, Everybody," which records at the Wonderland Ballroom; the 8x8 variety show at Looking Glass Lounge; and The Quick and the Damned open mic at Solly's.

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