all photos: Dakota Fine, Franz Mahr, Ryan Kelly

So, yesterday, we’re sitting at one of the fine Kimpton Hotels where the ALL THE COMEDIANS are staying, waiting for our opening night Bentzen Ball line-up to land/arrive from all the places they’re landing/arriving from and our events assistant’s/travel coordinator’s Brandon’s phone rings. He picks up and without a hello or an introduction we just hear a booming:

A FUCKING SMART CAR?

Brandon, shakes his shoulders and says, softly: Jeff? (as in Garlin)

from the other side:

YOU SENT A FUCKING SMART CAR FOR ME?

Brandon, calm yet apologetic: Sorry man, we didn’t really think it would be an issue.

from the other side:

Ha, No worries! You guys just gave me my opening bit

(Jeff Garlin, in case you didn’t notice, speaks in extra bold)

And the magical thing is: We (and Car2Go, our airport transportation partners) DID give him his opening bit.

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You see, that is the best thing about Bentzen Ball: this isn’t some pre-bottled, canned comedy festival. Oh no, YOU SEE THE MAGIC HAPPEN. And then you hear it as it becomes pure comedy gold. In front of a 1000 people making a very full house at Lincoln Theatre.

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Our first night of the festival, kindly presented by Heineken,  included performances by: Kate Berlant (who is also at 930 Club today if you needed to be close to her hair and bone structure some more, and trust us, you do), Ben Kronberg (scroll to the bottom of this post to see why he is the official #BentzenBall brand ambassador), Kyle Kinane (whose Mom + Hustler jokes are making their way to Fillmore today), Jeff Garlin (the one and the only) and, of course, BYT SuperBFF and Bentzen Ball Curator Tig Notaro (who will also be on stage for our Charity Brunch Saturday + closing night with Reggie Watts and WHAM City), with our wonderful host (and BYT managing editor) Brandon Wetherbee. Plus, surprise appearances by Jenn Tisdale and Andrew Bucket since some of you showed up late and we had some Golden Girls theme songs to sing. We’d say more, but you really had to be there. So, see you at all the other places.

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P.S. SO MANY OTHER COMEDIANS AND AMAZING SHOWS INCOMING. Grab details and tickets to see Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry, Rob Corddry, John Hodgman, Reggie Watts, Retta and MANY MORE right this way. Lets make this one count.

and now, for the photos, on stage, behind the stage, after the stage (at EAT THE RICH, which so kindly (& deliciously) hosted us after the show, for other places to spot the comedians off duty, CHECK OUT THIS LIST)

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and finally, for some exclusive behind the scenes moments of THANK YOUS to our sponsors:

Day 1 of the BYT 2014 Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival in Washington, D.C.Day 1 of the BYT 2014 Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival in Washington, D.C.Day 1 of the BYT 2014 Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival in Washington, D.C.Day 1 of the BYT 2014 Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival in Washington, D.C.Day 1 of the BYT 2014 Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival in Washington, D.C.

 http://www.bentzenball.com
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