It’s almost Bentzen Ball time again, and lord are we excited! This year’s lineup is, of course, a thing to be marveled at, full of incredibly funny comedians, podcast tapings, and BOTH Antoni and Jonathan from Queer Eye. Incredible! Let’s use this space to get to know our featured performers a bit better, it’s Tig, Phoebe, Jonathan, Antoni, Cameron, Marcia, Melissa, Sheng, Rhea, Jaboukie, Michelle, and many, many more!
Tig Notaro Doesn’t Know What She’s Saying On Star Trek (feat. Tig Notaro who is @ The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival Opening Night at the Lincoln Theatre October 25, #ADULTING at the Lincoln Theatre October 26, and The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival Closing Night! at the Lincoln Theatre October 28)
Tig! It’s our great, incredible friend Tig. She’s the creative force behind Bentzen Ball and the reason why we keep doing this, year after year. Tig is on Star Trek now and has no idea what she’s doing there. Here she is talking about it with Stephen Colbert!
Phoebe Robinson Went on a Juice Cleanse to Prepare for Meeting Oprah (feat. Phoebe Robinson who is @ The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival Opening Night at the Lincoln Theatre October 25)
You know Phoebe Robinson. You love her. We do too! She’s here to celebrate the release of her rad new book Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, a copy of which is included with each ticket you buy! Here she is talking about her new book (and Oprah) on Seth Meyers earlier this year!
Affirmations for Everyday Life (feat. Jonathan Van Ness who is @ Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness LIVE at the Lincoln Theatre October 27 and Jonathan Van Ness & Friends at the Lincoln Theatre on October 28)
Jonathan is the first of TWO of the Fab Five from Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot that is coming to you here in DC for Bentzen Ball. Here he is sharing some warm thoughts with a bunch of real life people! He’s a damn guru.
Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski Insta-Stalks The Fab Five (feat. Antoni Porowski who is @ Belly Laughs with Antoni Porowski & Friends! at Eaton Workshop on October 28)
Antoni’s the other Fab Five member that is gracing us with his presence for Bentzen Ball. He’s throwing a massive brunchtime benefit for Whitman-Waker Health, with special surprise guests! Here he is creeping on some familiar faces on Instagram!
The Lie Detector (feat. Cameron Esposito who is @ WHAT THEY SAID: HUMOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS @ W Hotel DC on October 26 and Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher, & Friends! at the Lincoln Theatre on October 27)
They went and hooked up the massively popular comic Cameron Esposito to a lie detector. Unbelievable!
Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical Trailer (feat. Marcia Belsky & Melissa Stokoski who are @ CreativeMornings/DC – HONESTY / BENTZEN BALL EDITION at Eaton Workshop October 26, WHAT THEY SAID: HUMOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS @ W Hotel DC on October 26, and Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical at The Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre October 27)
New York-based comics/writers/musicians Marcia Belsky and Melissa Stokoski created a hugely popular musical adaptation of the all-too-relevant dystopic book/television series The Handmaid’s Tale, pioneering a genre they’ve dubbed Dystopian Kitsch. One way to feel better about the entire world being bullshit for a little while is to go see this show!
Talkin’ Trash About Safety (feat. Sheng Wang who is @ #ADULTING at the Lincoln Theatre October 26)
Sheng Wang is super funny. Dude just crushes. If you’re not familiar, get acquainted! Here’s a set he did on the HBO series 2 Dope Queens, the stuff about avocados will make you feel all sorts of things.
Rhea Butcher Stand-Up on Conan (feat. Rhea Butcher who is @ Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher, & Friends! at the Lincoln Theatre on October 27)
Co-creator of the well loved series Take My Wife and extremely funny standup comic Rhea Butcher is an absolute treat to watch onstage. Watch this clip and you’ll know what I mean!
Jaboukie Young-White Stand-Up on The Tonight Show (feat. Jaboukie Young-White who is @ Jonathan Van Ness & Friends at the Lincoln Theatre on October 28)
There’s very few people who are currently funnier than Jaboukie Young-White. He’s just the best. Get on board the Jaboukie bandwagon now because he’s gonna be huge real soon!
So Much Gravy With Michelle Buteau (feat. Michelle Buteau who is @ #ADULTING at the Lincoln Theatre October 26)
Standup comic Michelle Buteau hosts a late night talk show/podcast type of thing called Late Night Whenever for WNYC studios. It’s not a TV show (yet) but watch this clip and tell me it’s not more engaging than most of the late night stuff you’ll see on network TV on any given night.
Jordan Carlos – Paste Studios, New York, NY (feat. Jordan Carlos who is @ #ADULTING at the Lincoln Theatre October 26)
Jordan Carlos co-hosts the popular storytelling show #ADULTING with Michelle Buteau. Here he is doing comedy for Paste Magazine!
CHRIS REDD is on Blackademic Probation (feat. Amanda Seales who is @ Smart Funny & Black at the Lincoln Theatre October 25 and October 26, and #ADULTING at the Lincoln Theatre October 26)
Amanda Seales’ acclaimed live pop culture game show Smart, Funny, and Black celebrates the underappreciated legacy of African American history through a series of funny, lighthearted challenges played by various celebrity guests. Here’s a sketch Amanda made with past guest Chris Redd (from SNL!).
OFF BOOK: Rappin’ About Podcasts (feat. Jessica McKenna & Zach Reino who are @ Off Book: The Improvised Musical Podcast at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on October 26)
Listening to an episode of Off Book is a pretty amazing feat of strength to observe. How do they make up these songs in real time? It’s amazing. Here’s the show’s co-hosts popping off a podcast-themed freestyle rap.
I Was An Emotional Rosa Parks (feat. Naomi Ekperigin who is @ Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher, & Friends! at the Lincoln Theatre on October 27 and Couples Therapy Live! at Eaton Workshop on October 28)
It’s a tough world out there, and Naomi Ekperigin knows it. Here she is getting real about the real world on HBO’s 2 Dope Queens.
Why Are Subscription Box Meals So Complicated? (feat. Andy Beckerman who is @ Couples Therapy Live! at Eaton Workshop on October 28)
Andy Beckerman co-hosts Couples Therapy, a live comedy show and podcast, with Naomi Ekperigin, who as you know is also performing at Bentzen Ball this year! Here’s a sketch that they’re both in!
Maria Bamford: All Growz Up #5 (feat. Melinda Hill who is @ Melinda Hill at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on October 27)
Interview shows are all over the Internet these days. It seems like you can’t click over to YouTube these days without seeing a chat show of some sort!! Melinda Hill’s talk show is different: it’s in an alley!
Alice Wetterlund Stand-Up on Conan (feat. Alice Wetterlund who is @ Jonathan Van Ness & Friends at the Lincoln Theatre on October 28)
You may recognize Alice Wetterlund from Silicon Valley, People of Earth, and/or Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, or from being extremely good at standup. Did you watch this Conan set? It’s great!
Featuring for Judah Friedlander at DC Improv (feat. Brittany Carney who is @ Emerging Voices: Locals Showcase at Eaton Workshop on October 27)
DC-based comic Brittany Carney’s a super funny up and coming local comic, performing alongside comedians like Wyatt Cenac, Guy Branum, and Moshe Kasher. You’re gonna be into her, I know it!
Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow 2018 (feat. Zainab Johnson who is @ Jonathan Van Ness & Friends at the Lincoln Theatre on October 28)
New York-based comic Zainab Johnson has a ton of standup bonafides: she’s performed at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, has appeared on Last Comic Standing, Arsenio, and HBO’s All Def Comedy. She’s also done standup in Melbourne, as you can see from this video!