National Press Club

Comedy Night Brings Laughter Amid Layoffs

April 6, 2009 | By Alan Bjerga

Jamila Bey performs at Commedia dell Media

Jamila Bey performs at Commedia dell Media

Photo/Image: Kyle McKinnon

Journalists-turned-comics brought comedy to tough times in a packed ballroom Friday night as the first-ever "Commedia dell Media" came off as a roaring success. Emcee and longtime club member Bob Madigan, along with Scott Lanman, Matt Cooper and others entertained more than 350 people with jokes that were timely as well as funny.

"You know, your friends try to help you when they learn that you've lost your job. They say stuff like, 'When one door closes another one opens," said Mike Walter, a former news anchor at WUSA-9 in Washington. "It should go like this: When one door closes, another one opens, and it's quickly clogged with out-of-work journalists." (View a clip Walter's stand-up - click here )

Topics ranged from baseball to life as an embedded reporter in Iraq. NPC member Jamila Bey discussed using God as her exercise coach, closing with "I'm Jamila Bey. And I approved these jokes." (View a clip of Bey's stand-up - click here )

Proceeds from the event benefited the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library and Reporters Without Borders, the international non-profit organization dedicated to protecting journalists' rights, fighting censorship, and promoting freedom of expression. Harris Corp. also sponsored the event.