The Washington Roast brings political satire to DC Improv, breaking tension of heated 2024 election

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews The Washington Roast performing at the DC Improv

The 2024 election is one of the most intense and unprecedented races in American history.

If you need a laugh to lighten the mood and relieve some of the tension, The Washington Roast cracks up the D.C. Improv with a hilarious night of political satire on Thursday, June 13.

“We call it a blend of standup, sketch and improv comedy,” founder Tim Kardashian told WTOP. “We started it in 2019 to create a place for people to disconnect and get offline from the hyper-polarized world that we all live in here in the D.C. area. … We kind of ebb and flow with the headlines and where the winds are blowing.”

That means you can definitely expect some zingers at the expense of the former president.

“We of course have Donald Trump, but this time we have Stormy Daniels for the first time at the D.C. Improv,” Kardashian said. “This show is the first performance in D.C. since Donald Trump has been convicted of felonies. It’s also the very first one to happen after Mexico has agreed to pay for all four walls that he’s going to be looking at.”

You’ll also see an array of other famous political figures.

“About everyone who’s put on the American-flag pin has gotten the treatment from The Washington Roast,” Kardashian said. “We’ll have RFK Jr., of course Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, perennial newsmaker and headline-maker Marjorie Taylor Greene will be featured, Nikki Haley will be a Republican sidekick on this one.”

The show starts with a live audience town hall, so bring your funniest political questions.

“Members of our crowd submit questions to ask our candidates,” Kardashian said. “Before the show begins, they submit it using a QR code through a form online, then we call them up by name. You have to remember your question … then we will have them stand up and ask their question of the candidate when they come up on stage, the candidate will answer their question live. … The questions are totally unhinged, off-the-wall and unfiltered.”

After that, the candidates duke it out in a roast battle tournament in a three-round bracket.

“Once the town hall is over for the two candidates or politicos on stage, they then face off in a roast battle with whoever they’re matched up that week,” Kardashian said. “Then, the audience votes live afterward based on the noise and audience applause and we decide a winner of the matchup and they move on to the next round of the tournament. There’s eight comedians on every show and we end up with one at the end that’s the champion.”

Kardashian joins a group of local comedian colleagues, including Dee Ahmed, Bria Beddoe, Todd Fleming, Elizabeth Booker Houstin, Kylie Lowe, Vito Prime, Rashee Raj, Brock Snder, Rose Vineshank and Jon Yeager.

“We have comedians cosplaying them, imitating their voices, their cadences, their walk,” Kardashian said. “Jon Yeager [does] a fantastic version of Trump’s signature dance move and struggling to drink water. … We have Joe Biden waving to the wrong side of the stage. … We just had Kamala Harris win our show in Annapolis, Maryland, a few weeks ago. Back in May, we were off-Broadway in New York and Donald Trump actually won the election.”

Unlike real life, the comedian winners promise to accept the election results and don’t claim the contest to be rigged. Proceeds will go to the nonprofit Hilarity for Charity founded by Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren.

“We’ve raised almost $13,000 for charity over the last five years by performing these shows,” Kardashian said.

Not only is it for a good cause, it’s a darn good time skewering both Republicans and Democrats.

“I jokingly refer to it as ‘America’s one and only First Amendment fight club,'” Kardashian said. “This city needs this outlet and a place to laugh and blow off steam. The jokes go both ways, so everyone’s getting it. … There’s jokes coming at Biden and there’s jokes going back at Trump. Everyone gets it in our show.”

Find more information here.

Listen to our full conversation here.

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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