Journalists to Roll Out Comedy Routines

Posted April 2, 2009 at 11:22am

The current decline of journalism is no laughing matter, but that doesn’t mean fun has been banished from the National Press Club. On Friday, in an effort to lift spirits and earn money for journalistic charities, the club will host a night of stand-up comedy written and performed by some of Washington, D.C.’s media elite.

“I mean people are losing their jobs, and a lot of people are going through the same thing. Every Friday I go to the Press Club bar and somebody else had been laid off,— says Alan Bjerga, vice president of the Press Club. “One thing the D.C. press corp could use right now is a feeling of community.—

Bjerga is hoping this feeling comes from sharing a few good belly laughs. Journalists Matt Cooper, David Corn and Mike Walter are all slated to take a turn at the mic. While the organizers of “Commedia dell Media— don’t require that the jokes focus on the media industry, word is that many of the journos-turned-comics will poke fun at current events, politics and all things D.C.

“Times are challenging, but we can still have a little bit of fun and advance our causes,— Bjerga says. “That’s what it’s all about.—

Event organizer Christina Davidson was responsible for finding the talent, a task that she says was not that difficult once she started asking around. For instance, she says, Cooper and Corn are “notorious for doing stand-up,— and she knew that freelance writer Delphine Schrank had never done stand-up but had attended clown school in Paris.

“I figured that qualified her,— Davidson says. “This is hopefully going to be a bit of trend for the Press Club to do these sort of fun [events], where we take the journalists and make them our slaves and exploit whatever hidden talent they have for charity.—

Tickets for the events cost $15 ahead of time and $20 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Eric Friedheim Library at the National Press Club and Reporters Without Borders. Organizers hope journalists are able to laugh away their troubles, at least for one night, while raising money for a good cause.

“It’s not just amateur hour here,— Bjerga says. “We have some folks who should be able to get you rolling in the aisles because they have in the past.—