The first time we met Wayne Manigo (co-founder of the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group with Mandy Dalton) was at the WeDC pre-SXSW party back in February. Our table was all kinds of flashy (duh), Wayne walked over, stuck out his hand, and said, “Alright then, tell me about Pelonkey!” And the rest is comedic history. Wayne is a high-energy, joke-cracking, people-meeting PelonKing. We’ve always been impressed with his enthusiasm, and now we are be impressed with his community involvement. Enter the Free DC Comedy Festival (#FDCCF)!
The concept for #FDCCF is based on a number of Wayne’s previously successful designs and projects with the primary goal of informing the public of free comedy shows in the area. Most people know about the Improv, and the Arlington Draft House. And that’s where their knowledge ends. But there are more awesome venues and shows out there! You gotta catch ’em all…
#FDCCF’s secondary goal is to help comedians gain more exposure. Hilarious but unknown comedians are no good to us as we cannot laugh at their jokes if we do not hear them. Hosting a festival such as this one will provide those superstars with the opportunity to display their talent to a variety of audiences.
The Festival is taking place all this week, November 16-21. All the details can be found on their Facebook page.
The schedule of events looks a little something like this:
Tuesday, 11/17, 8:30pm – Bottom Shelf Comedy Show @ Black Whiskey
Thursday, 11/19, 8:30pm – The Looking Glass Comedy Showcase (Pelonkey will be there!)
All of these events are – as the title suggests – FREE, so you should all go and check out some funny people saying funny things! And find our man Wayne and tell him nice things, laugh at his jokes, etc.; unless you find him at his roast, then feel free to roast him. But before you do, you should probably know some of Wayne’s background.
Wayne (with Mandy) is currently celebrating the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group fifth anniversary. “We started with five members at Duffy’s Irish Pub, and now we’re past 1,700 people” Wayne said. “We found it odd how there wasn’t a group in the DC area with a dedicated focus to comedy writing. So….we decided to create one!”
Developing a comedy community has always been important to Wayne. Prior to the DC Comedy Writers Group, he held two comedy conferences focused on helping comedians develop a career in the entertainment industry. He also created the annual “Comic Sunday Funday,” a networking event where people can learn more about the comedy resources available in the D.C. area. He attributes a huge part of his comedy education to the years he was employed at the (now-defunct) Riot Act Comedy Theater. “I received comedy advice and coaching from some of the best comedians on earth!” he said.
Wayne continues to provide suggestions to comedians with his “Addicted To Comedy” column for Stage Time Magazine.
He’s been on an Ellen Degeneres segment during Mardi Gras this year.
He is a former writer for On Tap Magazine.
As a chef he organized a cooking club that ran for three years.
An event he organized, “Quiet Party,” was featured in the Style section of the Washington Post.
And now he brings you the Free DC Comedy Festival. Enjoy, folks!