The comedian has been making people laugh for a living for about five years. Meritt lives in Northern Virginia and has toured in 46 states.

How did you first get into comedy?

Back in elementary school, I got super into David Letterman, and it was actually enough that I had worked out a deal with my mom whereby my bedtime was 9, but then she'd wake me up at 11:30 to watch Letterman, and then I'd go back to bed.

Where do your jokes come from, and how do they develop?

Basically every day, I write down a list of what annoyed me that day. And then I've just got to figure out, OK, out of this list, what's probably also annoying other people? ... I guess a recent example is the speed cameras in D.C., because I feel like I'm constantly getting hit by those. And the way I explain it in my act is I say it feels like I've just got a really expensive pen pal -- because I'll get the letter, write a check, mail it back and then feel like I immediately get another one.

How's the comedy scene in D.C. overall?

It's really good -- I feel pretty lucky that I started in this area. I think the big advantage of it is there's such a big variety of rooms, so you can really practice in front of every kind of audience if you make that effort.

How do you adapt your material when you perform for D.C.-area audiences compared with audiences in other places?

I'd say I much more gradually go into material that may offend them, while with some audiences, they want to hear that very quickly -- like in Baltimore, for instance, they're ready to be offended immediately. It needs to be the first thing out of your mouth. But in D.C., you have to spend a little bit more time with them getting to know you, so I guess it's like a big trust-building exercise.