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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces initial programming for its 2024–2025 Comedy season. From stand-up to sketch comedy, the season welcomes some of comedy’s biggest names and emerging stars showcasing the range of the genre and continuing to make the National Cultural Center a home for some of the most hilarious and diverse voices working today.

“This season is all about growth,” stated Kate Villa, Director of Comedy and Institutional Programming. “As our comedy programming grows, we’re working to showcase comedians who are coming into their own on TV, as writers, into new phases of their career; and some that are doing their first theater tours. We’re proud to present comics audiences know and love, and some being introduced to audiences for the first time. They all share two things: they’re all howlingly funny and whip smart.”

Kicking off the season is the return of one of India’s top stand-up comedians, Kanan Gill with his latest show examining the many ways of being and the nature of experience (October 4) followed by a return
of bestselling comedic author and master of satire, David Sedaris, in the Concert Hall, with select readings from new and unpublished work (October 15). This fall also introduces a new series as part of
the season and the Center’s Arts + Wellbeing programming based on the Mark Twain quote “Humor is tragedy plus time.” Tragedy + Time is a series of classes, discussions, and shows focused on grief
through the lens of comedy. Three comedic writers, Sloane Crosley (October 24), Michael Cruz Kayne’s Drama Desk and Lortel Nominated show “Sorry For Your Loss” (January 25), and Elissa Bassist’s class
on writing a tragi-comic essay (March 9) explore humor as a balm when getting through difficult times.

In November, with her unique blend of humor, wit, and social commentary, Zarna Garg—last seen as part of 2024’s RIOT!—takes the stage in the Terrace Theater in her first solo show at the Center
(November 1). On November 22, two-time Emmy Award®–winning comedian, actress, writer, and producer Sarah Silverman returns as part of her tour, Postmortem. The next day, Senior Correspondent
and frequent Host on The Daily Show, Michael Kosta, brings an hour of stand-up to the Terrace Theater for one night only on November 23. Then, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, which has had
several acclaimed Kennedy Center runs, returns to the Theater Lab for three weeks to create a fully realized masterpiece based on audience suggestions (November 29–December 23). Beginning December
27, in the Concert Hall, John Oliver, the Emmy® and Writer’s Guild Award-winning writer, comedian, and host and producer of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, returns to his first love, stand-up, which he has performed to sold-out audiences around the world (December 27–31).

After five years of sold-out performances, RIOT! Funny Women Stand Up has become a national platform for female artists to embrace creative ricks and emphasize their perspective in a rapidly changing world. In celebration of Women’s History Month, RIOT! returns to take over the Concert Hall for one night only in March 2025 (March 5). Comedians to be announced at a later date. Then, BriTANicK, consisting of the sketch comedy duo Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher, makes its Kennedy Center debut in the Family Theater (March 21). Named in Variety’s Top 10 Comics To Watch and nominated for an Emmy®, their online videos have racked up over 80 million views and they have both written for Saturday Night Live.

After a sold-out run in 2024, Asian AF (Asian As F***), the premier Asian American variety show at the UBC Theatre in Los Angles and New York, returns to the Family Theater to spotlight the best Asian
American actors, stand-up comedians, improvisers, sketch performers, and storytellers (May 16–17). Closing out the season, Vanessa Gonzalez—named one of Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch—makes
her Kennedy Center debut on May 23 in the Family Theater.

*The Comedy at the Kennedy Center season is intended for mature audiences*

Comedy at the Kennedy Center 2024–2025 Season:

Kanan Gill: What Is This? World Tour 2024
October 4, 2024 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Terrace Theater)
Comedian Kanan Gill brings his world tour to D.C. Having already asked Is This It? on his previous standup special for Netflix, Gill now asks an equally insightful question: What Is This? The show, nominated for Most Outstanding Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2024, is about nothing at all… so far.

An Evening with David Sedaris
October 15, 2024 at 8 p.m. (Concert Hall)
David Sedaris returns for the first time in two years. Sedaris is one of America’s preeminent humor writers. He is a master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers. Beloved for his personal
essays and short stories, David Sedaris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, among others. Sedaris and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have
collaborated under the name “The Talent Family” and have written half-a-dozen plays which have been produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. There are over 16 million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 32 languages. He has been awarded the Terry Southern Prize for Humor, Thurber Prize for American Humor, Jonathan Swift
International Literature Prize for Satire and Humor, among others.

Tragedy + Time: Sloane Crosley
October 24, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. (Terrace Theater)
The prolific comedic essayist talks about her new book and how humor can help us get through difficult times.

Zarna Garg: Practical People Win Tour
November 1, 2024 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Terrace Theater)
After headlining RIOT! Funny Women Stand Up in 2024, Zarna Garg returns to the Kennedy Center. With her unique blend of humor, wit, and fearless social commentary, Zarna Garg has emerged as a comedic
trailblazer. Celebrate Diwali with this inimitable performer. Zarna Garg is one in a billion, an Indian immigrant mom stand-up comedian who believes brown women everywhere have a right to laugh at anything and anyone they want–including the sacred cows: brown men and their mothers. She is a regular at the iconic Comedy Cellar and Carolines on Broadway in NYC, has performed in Vegas and the famed Kennedy Center, and is touring nationwide in 2022. A TikTok comedy sensation with over 100 million views and 510.7k followers (and growing FAST), Garg won Kevin Hart’s Lyft Comics comedy competition on Peacock and the 2021 Ladies of Laughter Newcomer Award, among others.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company
November 29–December 23, 2024 (Theater Lab)
Based on one audience suggestion (a title for a play that has yet to be written) The Improvised Shakespeare Company creates a fully improvised masterpiece right before your very eyes, bringing you
an evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare.

Sarah Silverman: Postmortem
November 22, 2024 at 8 p.m. (Concert Hall)
Sarah Silverman is a two-time Emmy Award®–winning comedian, actress, writer, and producer. Don’t miss her latest stand-up, which brings her silly and idiosyncratic perspective to the world. A comedian,
actress, writer, and producer, Silverman’s new special Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love is now streaming on Max and the album is available on vinyl and all streaming platforms. She also continues to host her critically-acclaimed, weekly podcast, The Sarah Silverman Podcast, which relaunched on October 19 through Lemonada on all platforms and TBS’ Stupid Pet Tricks, an expansion of the famous David Letterman late night segment. Silverman has made memorable guest appearances on several acclaimed and notable television shows, including Monk, which earned her a 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.” Her additional television work includes buzzed-about roles on HBO’s Crashing, Masters of Sex, The Good Wife, The Larry Sanders Show, Seinfeld, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. Silverman has hosted several major awards shows, including the 2007 MTV Movie Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.

Michael Kosta
November 23, 2024 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Terrace Theater)
You’ve seen him on The Daily Show as a senior correspondent and frequent host. Now he shares observational, irreverent stand-up LIVE on the Terrace Theater stage. Previously, he hosted and was the
co-executive producer of The Comment Section for the E! Network. He is well known from his numerous late-night appearances on The Tonight Show, Conan, Seth Meyers, and @midnight. Kosta co-hosted Fox Sports 1’s Crowd Goes Wild opposite Regis Philbin and was a regular Correspondent for The Soup Investigates with Joel McHale. His one-hour Comedy Central stand up special: Michael Kosta: Detroit.
NY. LA. is now streaming on Paramount + & YouTube. He is a former pro tennis player and now a frequent contributor on The Tennis Channel and hosts a weekly podcast called Tennis Anyone with
Michael Kosta. He also appears in Pain Hustlers on Netflix for director David Yates.

John Oliver
December 27–31, 2024 at 7 p.m. (Concert Hall)
Celebrate the end of 2024 with John Oliver, who shares his warm, witty jokes in a new stand-up set. Oliver is an Emmy® and Writers Guild Award–winning writer, comedian, and host/producer of Last Week
Tonight with John Oliver. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver been the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including 28 Primetime Emmys, 7 Writers Guild Awards, 9 Producers Guild Awards, 4 Critics’
Choice Television Awards, 4 Television Critics Association Awards, and 3 Peabodys. Oliver has his comedic roots in stand-up and continues to perform to sold-out venues across the globe. As an actor, Oliver voiced the character Zazu in Disney’s The Lion King (2019) and had a recurring role in the NBC sitcom, Community (2009-2014). Other notable film and television credits include Big Mouth, Paramount’s Wonder Park, The Detour, Bob’s Burgers, Danger Mouse, The Smurfs, The Smurfs 2, and Rick & Morty.

Tragedy + Time
Michael Cruz Kayne: Sorry for Your Loss
January 25, 2025 at 7:30 p.m. (Family Theater)
The comedian and writer, Michael Cruz Kane from The Late Show presents a hilarious, difficult, and
touching show about grief. If everyone dies, why does nobody talk about it?

RIOT! Funny Women Stand Up
March 5, 2025 at 8 p.m. (Concert Hall)
RIOT! Funny Women Stand Up is a special comedy event in celebration of Women’s History Month and featuring an all-woman lineup. Leading performers from across the comedic landscape come together to celebrate women in the arts through laughter.

Tragedy + Time: Elissa Bassist Class
March 9, 2025 at 2 p.m. (Marconi Classroom, The REACH)
The editor, humor writer, teacher, and author teaches us about “traumedy”—that is, how to make readers laugh while punching them in the heart.

March 21, 2025 at 7 p.m. (Concert Hall)
The Emmy®-nominated duo BriTANicK (Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher) bring their rapid-fire sketch comedy to the Family Theater. McElhaney and Kocher have written for Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and more. Their online videos have received over 85 million views and their short film, Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses, screened at the Slamdance and SXSW film festivals. They perform live throughout the U.S. and the U.K.

Asian AF
May 16–17, 2025 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Family Theater)
Asian AF (Asian As F***) is the premier Asian American variety show at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles and New York. Asian AF spotlights the best Asian American actors, stand-up comedians, improvisers, sketch performers, musicians, storytellers, and more. The show has been featured on several news sites such as The New York Times, LA Times, NBC News, ABC News, Vulture, SCPR, and more. Asian AF has been the headlining act for several comedy festivals, including SF Sketchfest, Clusterfest (SF), The Del Close Marathon (NYC), Austin Sketchfest, Baltimore Comedy Festival, SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival (PA), 2nd Best Fest (Richmond, VA), and the District Improv Festival (Washington, D.C).

Vanessa Gonzalez
May 23, 2025 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Family Theater)
A rising comedy star arrives for one night only. Vanessa Gonzalez was recently named in Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch list. You might recognize her as the incredible opening act for Chelsea Handler’s 2023 Kennedy Center show—now see more jokes from this acclaimed comedian. She’s been featured on TruTV’s Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents, A Little Late with Lilly Singh and Jimmy Kimmel Live. You can currently catch her on Entre Nos: Spot On and Comedy Chingonas on HBO MAX, This Joka on the Roku Channel and Verified Stand-Up on Netflix. Additional shows to be
announced at a later date.

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