DC Trawler

Critic tweets complaints about comedian Dan Nainan’s punchlines; Nainan lines up some punches (UPDATE: Nainan responds)

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Last night, Washington’s “funniest” “celebrities” converged at the DC Improv to participate in the DC’s Funniest Celebrity contest. To give you an idea of the caliber of celebrity we’re talking about, the reigning champeen was the Daily Caller’s own Jamie Weinstein. Some real star power there.

But all the talk about this year’s competition has nothing to do with the winner — Grover Norquist, assuming you’re interested — but rather, what happened in the crowd after one comedian’s set.

US News & World Report, “Washington Whispers”:

This year’s D.C.’s Funniest Celebrity contest may go down as the most memorable and not for what was going on onstage. Comedy headliner Dan Nainan — a professional comedian who in the past has performed for President Obama — got into a skirmish with Newsweek Daily Beast Correspondent Josh Rogin. Rogin sent out several Tweets during Nainan’s set…

Not a fan, obviously.

And then, just minutes later:

Wow! US News spoke with Rogin:

“Dan Nainan comes over to me and says, ‘Are you Josh Rogin,’ and I said yes and then he punched me in the jaw, then he pushed me, then he walked away and about 10 seconds later he came over and punched me again,” Rogin told Whispers directly after the fight. (Whispers was also an eyewitness to the incident.) “At that point I yelled, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ other people noticed and they courted him off and the bouncers escorted him from the show room and we called the police and he’s in the process of being arrested,” Rogin continued.

So, not only did this guy punch a heckler, he punched a Twitter heckler. It’s not like Rogin was yelling out this stuff. He wasn’t disrupting Nainan’s act. No, afterwards Nainan went out of his way to find tweets about it, sought out his Twitter-critic in the audience, and punched the guy.

What a dick Dan Nainan is!

Here’s WMAL’s Larry O’Connor, who was a judge at the event:

And what does Nainan have to say for himself?

If you show up to see Nainan’s no-doubt hilarious comedy tonight, be sure to save your tweeting until you leave the venue. Or else wear a catcher’s mask.

Update: Jamie Weinstein spoke with Nainan earlier today about the altercation, and here are some of Nainan’s more ridiculous quotes.

“Well, I saw the tweets that Josh was putting out, and there was something about it that just… I’m used to getting pissed on, abused, whatever, made fun of. You know, that’s part of the job. But when I saw what he was ripping on these poor people who have never done comedy before… Some of these people are very well-respected journalists who had the courage to perform at this thing… There was something about that that just was really disrespectful.”

Oh! Nainan wasn’t mad that Rogin didn’t like his jokes. He was defending the honor of Ralph Nader and Candy Crowley and whoever else got up there. Yeah, that sounds plausible, doesn’t it?

“So I went up to him. I said, ‘Listen, pick on me all you want, but leave these people alone, okay?’ And then he took a swing at me, and then I reacted. I’m not a violent guy at all, but I’m gonna defend myself.”

Ah, okay. Rogin swung first. That’s Nainan’s story and he’s stickin’ to it. I wonder what the room full of witnesses have to say about that version of events?

According to Nainan, he was given a citation for simple assault and released. If Rogin swung first, why was Nainan the one led out in handcuffs?

“Yeah, [the police] said to me, all these witnesses… First of all, they said I punched him. I never punched the guy. I pushed him, but I did not punch him. If I had punched him, I’d imagine he’d have some sort of physical evidence of that. But he didn’t have any injuries. But [the police] said [based on] what all the witnesses said — which were all his friends, by the way — that they decided to arrest me.”

Nainan went on to ramble about how the DC comedy community is jealous of him and has a vendetta against him, and of course, they’re racists. Plus, he makes a lot more money than them.

So I guess that’s why it’s okay to punch people who criticize your stand-up act on Twitter!

Update: Man, those Taiwanese animators work fast…