- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

There’ll be plenty to laugh about in D.C. in late October, thanks to comedian Tig Notaro and local youth culture blog www.BrightestYoungThings.com. They’ve teamed up to host the Bentzen Ball, a four-day comedy festival running from Oct. 22 through Oct. 25 at various venues along the U Street Corridor and 14th Street in Northwest. The event is named for Ole Bentzen, a man who died laughing while watching the comedy film, “A Fish Called Wanda.”

The festival will feature a lineup of at least 60 comedians, including Sarah Silverman, from the “Sarah Silverman Program,” Todd Barry, from HBO’s comedy, “Flight of the Conchords,” and Ms. Notaro herself!

Ms. Notaro became familiar with our city and Brightest Young Things during last year’s D.C. Comedy Festival. When she learned that the festival would not be returning, she took matters into her own hands.

“I knew I could get my friends to come out to D.C., and I knew Brightest Young Things could get all the right venues in order,” Ms. Notaro e-mailed G2 last week.

“With Obama in office now, people are more interested than ever in politics and visiting the area,” she added. “It’s a great city to tool around, check out the monuments — and the ideal place for people who have something to say to perform in.”

For tickets to the Bentzen Ball, visit www.bentzenball.com

Far out

G2 ventured up to Sonar nightclub in Baltimore on Sunday night to see thrash metal band GWAR and speak with lead singer Oderus Urungus about his recent appearance on conservative cable network, Fox News.

“That’s my new gig!” he proclaimed when we inquired about it.

“It’s been announced on the Fox News Web site,” Mr. Urungus said, adding that his title is “Interplanetary Correspondent.”

“It’s a gig,” he continued, “the title of which means absolutely nothing really. It comes with no power, no salary, but the prestige is pretty awesome. Yes, I’ve done a bunch for them now, and I expect to get fired at any moment.”

We’re hoping that doesn’t happen anytime soon. Mr. Urungus is a riot!

A life well-lived

On a more somber note, G2 caught up with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Republican, at the Value Voters Summit on Friday and asked for his thoughts on the passing of Irving Kristol, a key intellectual architect of neo-conservatism.

“Life is a relay race, not a sprint, and so all of us come to that circle of life ending,” Mr. Pawlenty said, “and we certainly express our condolences to the Kristol family, but we also celebrate a life well-lived. I mean he was a very impactful person in terms of his life and his writings. I think he made a big difference in terms of public policy in this country, and we celebrate his life, but of course we mourn his passing as well.”

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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