photos by: Dakota Fine, Emily Cohen, Ryan Kelly, Jeff Martin, Andy DelGiudice, Katherine Gaines, Clarissa Villondo, Toby Mues
So, you guys all that happened. One long weekend of amazing. Five venues, ten shows, several afterparties, a Segway tour, and 35 out of town comedians later, we all made it through Bentzen Ball 2013. THE FESTIVAL IS BARELY OVER AND WE MISS IT ALREADY (don’t worry, it IS coming back in 2014, hell or high water). So, we had EIGHT photographers on hand and they did the best job anyone has ever done covering a comedy festival. On the scene, behind the scenes, in between scenes – they got it all. After all the ONLY true problem with Bentzen Ball is that you cannot be everywhere at the same time. YOU WISH YOU CAN BUT YOU CAN’T/ Therefore, this is THE photo set you want to see: not just every show, but the comedians hanging, taking cocktail classes, rolling around DC and just relaxing.
Some of the highlights include:
- obviously all the shows
- Kate Flannery-the official Bentzen Ball 2013 sweetheart (whoever it turns out to be next year, the bar has been set HIGH)
- Doug Benson’s vodka sodas
- any moment involving Rachel Dratch, Nick Kroll and/or Ira Glass dancing off hours
- Tig’s Michael Jackson Impression
- Candace Gingrich popping up at opening night
- Nick Offerman and Samm Levine being the best last-minute guests you can have
- everyone sending us emails about how Garfunkel & Oates are their new favorite thing ever
- that Onomonomedia photobooth at the afterparty (for real, we promise MORE photobooths in 2014)
- Tig breaking out the hits during her first DJ set EVER and Brian/Geologist from Animal Collective holding her hand through it
- and too many other moments to count, but definitely THIS photo:
But before we dive into the photos, a few thank yous:
- to Tig for keeping this dream alive with us, four years later (and forever more)
- to all the comedians for flying/driving/training down to DC for this. Their schedules are insane and for all of them to be here at the same time-we just want to hug you all over again
- all the local comedians too-you guys were amazing
- our amazing venues and their staff: 9:30 CLUB, LINCOLN THEATRE, U STREET MUSIC HALL, HOWARD THEATRE & THE SPHINX CLUB
- HRC for being our official partner (perfect timing too, since last weekend was National Coming Out Day)
- our sponsors: CHEVROLET, MAGIC HAT, WHOLE FOODS and KIMPTON for making sure the talent is driven, fed, hydrated and well rested at all times.
- our hospitality partners: GIBSON GUITAR SHOWROOM, THE GIBSON, SATELLITE ROOM, TED’S BULLETIN, MATCHBOX, COLUMBIA ROOM and WYDOWN COFFEE -for keeping the food and drink and after party levels SKY HIGH during this experience
- CAPITAL SEGWAY for forever being our segway tour host
- ONOMONOMEDIA for the afterparty photobooth (when that post goes live, you’ll see what I mean)
- all the amazing press people who helped spread the good word about this
- our staff for crushing through the weekend without any sleep or rest or anything but adrenaline and a deep desire for this to be great
- our photo team for documenting all of this
- and, of course, ALL (6438) OF YOU for braving the apocalyptic weather at times and making your way over to these shows. WE LOVE YOU FOR IT.
and don’t forget to stay in touch:
OK so, the first night was a magical, sold out show at 9:30 club. WHOOO HOOO. We have a full, insane photo set from it here, so click on that link for that, but here is a little sampling of what to expect:
+ there was a sweet afterparty at Satellite Room. WE ALL HAD BOOZY MILKSHAKES but Doug Benson had vodka sodas and ordered 2 grilled cheeses: one with bacon, one without. That was a great moment.
Then on Friday, we woke up and took the comics out for a donut and homemade pop-tart brunch @ Ted’s Bulletin. Delicious. They made us a donut milkshake and we all read the Washington Post Weekend section which had Tig on the cover and got super excited and sugar high for the rest of the weekend.
They all napped for the rest of the day as a result. But not before someone passed Tig a love note in her coffee mug. Taylor Dayne (and true comedy love) was in the air.
in the evening we had 3 shows (Handsome Men @ U Hall, Doug Loves Movies @ Sphinx and an awesome late night stand up showcase @ Sphinx).
this is what Handsome men was like:
and then … in the meantime, over at Sphinx:
while we were ushering that batch of you in, backstage:
and, as if ALL THAT wasn’t enough-we threw them a talent/friends-of-festival afterparty @ Gibson Guitar Showroom. Magic Hat provided the brews, Philippe Chetrit of Fatback/Que-Sera and Brandon Wardell of the Handsome Men Showcase played some jams and we ate pizza with Nick Kroll and hid from the rain with Moshe. GOOD TIMES.
In the afternoon the weather finally turned nice so we took the comics out on the town. Both on a Capital Segway tour AND to a cocktail class @ Columbia Room (though no one went to both because we didn’t want anyone to die, you know).
The Segway tour is now officially filed in the BYT cabinets as the one surefire way to a comedian’s heart. If there is one thing these folks love, it is a good Segway tour. Photos speak more than a 1000 words so…..
meanwhile, at The Columbia Room (in the back of the Passenger) we settled in nicely for an afternoon of navy strength rum and learning just how Hemingway loved his daiquiris. Most people didn’t follow Svetlana’s pro tip to “try everything and then DECIDE what to finish entirely”. But, nothing spiraled out of control. AT ALL. Amazing.
followed by a little soundcheck session + the obligatory “jumping in front of Ben’s” shot:
then, once they were nice and rum drunk AND dizzy/wet from segwaying around town it was time to have some SHOWS. FIVE OF THEM, as a matter of fact: the local happy hour showcase @ Howard, the Theme Park Improv @ U Hall, 2 shows at Lincoln (the early stand-up + a music revue) and a FOUND FOOTAGE vs EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE face-off + AN AFTERPARTY @ Howard. No one knows how anyone made it through the night but it was enchanting.
So, lets tackle it chronologically:
Happy Hour Show @ Howard – just look at that line of folks out early to check out what local stand-up is all about:
THEME PARK IMPROV:
Early Stand up @ Lincoln
and then, it was Musical Revue time:
and OBVIOUSLY you’re into seeing the backstage photos from this one, right?
meanwhile, as if this wasn’t enough excitement all around, over at the Howard Found Footage was in a crushing battle with EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE. Everyone won (but ESPECIALLY those of us who were on drugs):
which, very naturally spiraled into our afterparty:
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, BOB BOILEN and ANIMAL COLLECTIVE DJed and then Tig came and took things over. #RESULTS.
Rachel Dratch is a REALLY good dancer:
+ THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO REMIND YOU THERE IS A PHOTOBOOTH POST too AND YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT, but in the meantime, here are some of our favorites:
DFSJGHJKSFGJKG (THAT’S WHAT THE INSIDE OF OUR BRAIN SOUNDED LIKE). But seriously, Ira Glass, the Monica Barnes Company Ladies and Tig made for the most perfect closing to a perfect weekend. Packed house arriving:
and we saw what we call, the “Ira Effect” where EVERYONE, famous or not, wants a photo with the man. Also, all BYT men wore suits to this. Which leads us to say: Come visit us more often Ira.
and then, it was time for the show:
then there was a quick unwinding time at the Gibson, with great cocktails and Shuffle-OFF-the-Buffalo demonstrations. Also, a promise was made: “NEXT YEAR WILL BE EXPLOSIVE“. So, we’ll look to stick to that one
see you all next year. Work on your tap routine in the meantime (and share your favorite memories in the comments!)