Events / Hackathons

Hey, VCs: You should totally fund these Comedy Hack Day projects

I mean, fantasy football for politics really isn't *that* dumb.

A scene from last year's Comedy Hack Day D.C. (Photo via Twitter)
Comedy and technology make strange bedfellows. I think this is a statement I would have generally understood or at least appreciated last week, but it isn’t a reality I fully embraced until Sunday night at my first Comedy Hack Day show. I’ll explain.

Back in the District for a second year, Comedy Hack Day took over the Canvas Co/work space on 19th Street this past weekend before transferring to DC Improv for the live show, showcasing five of the “best” ideas to come out of the weekend, on Sunday night. And that’s where I caught them — tired hackers and giddy comedians ready to get that show on the road.
The show proper began with a quick warm-up set from MC Martin Amini, who then introduced us to the first of the five presenting teams. From here the evening proceeded much like any hackathon demo night might, which only served to make certain moments more jarring.
4Slice was basically Tinder but for people who want to share a pizza.
Caucus Clash is fantasy football applied to legislative politics.
Is It Manspreading offered to help users calculate the angle of offenders’ legs.
Twitter Ninja automatically tweets things you say for maximum online embarrassment.
My friend gave me a particularly horrified look when the team behind Out Of Time, a dating app for the terminally ill, took the stage.

Now let me reiterate — all this was a joke. And comedy, many agree, is all about pushing boundaries. Still, there’s something undeniably strange about seeing a normally serious and very real event dressed up with all the trappings of stand-up comedy. And yet the audience around us seemed to take it all very much in stride — maybe irreverent humor really is a good medicine.
Ultimately, it was Caucus Clash that took home the top prize. A fitting choice, especially given the current political climate both inside and outside the room at DC Improv on Sunday. And as trophies and congratulations swirled around the room my friend and I made our way quietly toward the door, out into the night to digest the spectacle.

Companies: Canvas Co/work

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