Funniest D.C. Sports Celebrity: Justice, Finally
What do Dexter Manley, Marc Burch, Dan Hellie, Lindsay Czarniak, Holly Fantaskey and yours truly have in common? Why, we were all judges for the Third Annual Funniest D.C. Sports Celebrity contest at the Improv last night, silly. A contest for which there were 50 percent more judges than contestants. The day is coming when the event will be all judges and no contestants save the producer, Richard Siegel, whose act last night consisted of an a capella rendition of a song about George W. Bush to the tune of "Tambourine Man" that featured helpful cue cards and caused me to sweat in embarrassment.
Anyhow, the event was at the Improv. Last year, you might recall, the judging was marred by ugly controversy, and also by my 1,500-word recap, and also by a judge dressed like a giant tortilla chip. This year, the event was marred by me leaving my notebook on my chair in my rush to go home and go to sleep. It's unbelievable how much I've aged in 12 months. I might as well deploy a morning "Old Guy Blogging" segment. Anyhow, some bullet points:
* How many jokes were told about Dexter Manley and crack? Well, more than one, anyhow. It would take about 14 billion Yuenglings before I would get on stage and tell a Dexter Manley crack joke 10 feet in front of Dexter Manley.
* One D.C. United star not enough? Rod Dyachenko sat in Judges Row as well, even though he wasn't judging. I'm also not convinced that he smiled once during seven comedy acts. In fact, has he ever smiled? Unclear.
* Other celebrities in attendance? Denny Neagle Sr., Mike Wise, Doc Walker, Scott Linn, and many D.C. Divas. after the event, Denny Neagle Sr. and I sat around and discussed high school baseball in Anne Arundel County. Bernie Walter, baby.
* One of the professionals attempted to make some sort of joke about whether any of us had been excited about Beckham's arrival. I wanted to raise my hand and point out that some of us had actually played against Beckham, but my hands were occupied with French fries and Yuengling so I didn't.
* How many vibrators were used as props? At least one.
* Czarniak, the defending champ, retired into a judging role, but she did throw out the ceremonial first joke. I missed that part, due to a phone call, but from what I heard later her routine centered on [entire routine edited for taste].
* Comcast SportsyNet's Chris Miller was a very capable, if politically charged, emcee. Marc Nigel Sterne, the true defending champion, went first and slayed for the second year in a row, although for the love of 3WT someone needs to wash that man's brain out with bleach. Chris Miller looked pale when he took the stage after Nigel finished, which is saying something. Nigel concluded with a song, but I think I could be arrested if I printed any of the lyrics. Of even if I told you what key he was in.
* Then came Levan Reid from WUSA, who did a lot better than I could have but wasn't nearly filthy enough. But Lenny Bruce would have seemed like Joe Gibbs after Nigel.
* Then came a professional joke teller, during the intermission. "Hey man, what's your name?" shouted out Dexter Manley, not realizing that this professional joke teller was not one of the contestants. "You're time's up," Dexter shouted out before the poor man was finished. Professional comedian nightmare No. 46: being heckled by Dexter Manley.
* Post-intermission came WTEM's Frank Hanrahan and retired D.C. Divas running back Monica Livingston. Both were funny-ish.
* A brief summary of the topics covered at some point last night: baby death, Lindsay Czarniak, disabled athletes, marriage, Lindsay Czarniak, the Redskins, bodily fluids, bodily parts, [edited for taste], [edited for taste], [edited for taste], [edited for taste] and Lindsay Czarniak.
* The winner was Marc "Nigel" Sterne, although in fairness, after last year, Sterne could have read "I'm Back for More Cash" in a Norwegian accent while sipping Rich Chocolate Ovaltine and I still would have voted him first by an overwhelming margin. Livingston came in second, because the judges were scared of being bludgeoned by female football players if she didn't receive a trophy of some sort. Reid and Hanrahan, according to the press release, "made positive impressions on the DC Improv crowd and the judges, but could not overtake Sterne and Livingston." Sure, I can buy that. Also, money was raised for charity of some sort.
* As we were leaving, Mike Wise promised to enter next year's Fourth Annual Contest. There's a 46 percent chance his set will lead to his termination from The Washington Post.
* Considering my audience, the one thing that would have justified this post would have been photos of Lindsay Czarniak and Holly Fantaskey, but I was too busy eating French fries to remember I had my camera in my pocket.
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