News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: “Julia Would Not Even Campaign for Selina.”

PLUS: Kumail Nanjiani headlining the WHCA dinner? The rumor starts here!

Photograph by Scott Suchman for the Kennedy Center.

Hello, everyone, and happy Monday! I’m constantly out and about, and last night my job allowed me to sit directly in front of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as she received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor. Here’s the yadda, yadda, yadda on the shindig….

It was an exceptionally buzzy event, with some paparazzi and lines of excited tourists. It was also quite nice for me to work in a print pen where people knew major pop-culture touchpoints and weren’t so embarrassed to indulge my loving rant in defense of Veep and The Office.  Unfortunately, the celebrities were less enthused to talk to us lowly print media people, though I was able to snag a few as they were being ushered off by their handlers. (Thanks, White House reporter mentors, for teaching me how to throw elbows and project questions from the diaphragm.)

The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani told me he would accept an invitation to entertain at the upcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner (take note, WHCA): “Oh sure, yeah” he told me with a hearty laugh. “Let me know how that goes.” (Kumail also made a parody Ted Talk about Louis-Dreyfus running for president which featured a photo of her, ahem, making love to a clown as part of a political metaphor.)

Dreyfus’ Veep costar Tony Hale  thinks Washingtonians connect with the program, which is currently taping its last season, in a special way: “I’ve heard that people in DC really like the show because it gives a little behind-the-scenes of what might actually be happening rather than we see in the media, or the perfect speeches, or the soundbites. But behind the scenes, these people who are put on a pedestal, they have anxieties, they freak out, they probably scream at their assistants behind the scenes so they show that kind of reality. That part of DC, hopefully, Veep has shown. And I love that. We’re all human, we’re all a mess, so let’s be careful about who we put on that pedestal.”

And while he may not be infatuated with the current political climate, he said he would never volunteer for a 2020 Selina Meyer—Louis-Dreyfus’s character on Veep—campaign: “Oh God, no. She’s an awful human being. Julia would not even campaign for Selina.”

So much for that HBO spinoff.

The event itself was jam-packed with joke after joke, many of them about #ThisTown, and I’ve gathered them in a convenient post ready for your click.

A sneak preview…

And Jack Johnson–yep, the dude who sang “Banana Pancakes”–performed. He’s apparently a neighbor and family friend of Louis-Dreyfus’s. Who knew?

You can watch the event on PBS November 19.

DO YOUR CIVIC DUTY, DUDES:  Early voting begins this morning in the District.

VICTORY FOR A DC STAPLE: Dan’s Cafe, that place with near unfathomably sticky floors and rail drinks that come in squeeze bottles, landed on Thrillist’s “Best 33 Dive Bars in America.” It’s almost worth trekking up to Adams Morgan for. Almost.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around the District:

LECTURE You may not be the only one with a morbid fascination: American History Museum specialists Sara Murphy and Bethanee Bemis spend their time collecting and analyzing items related to presidential deaths, such as death masks, jewelry, locks of hair, and coffin fragments. At an event presented by Smithsonian Associates at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Murphy and Bemis will talk about presidential death artifacts in the American History Museum’s collections and how we remember our leaders by looking at what was preserved and why. $30, 6:45 PM.

Good reads:

  • Jim Newell thinks we’re understanding Ted Cruz and his Senate race all wrong. I’m inclined to think Jim might be right. (Slate)
  • Looks like there’s nothing we can do to stop the robot invasion since Michael Laris reports that Ford’s set to launch driverless cars by 2021. (The Washington Post)

Big events from Washingtonian

Whiskey fans unite! Our annual Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival will take place on Thursday, November 15. Head to Union Market’s Dock 5 for a festive evening of tasting whiskey, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and more. Tickets are selling fast, but you can still score some. It’s already a good deal, but we have an even better one for you: Washingtonian Today readers can save 10 percent with the code POURITUP.

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Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.