You like being a stand-up comedian. You enjoy the lifestyle. You get to hang out in bars, hear great jokes and spend time with funny people. There’s only one problem: You suck. No one likes you or your stupid act. Your joke about phone booths makes no sense. When was the last time you saw a phone booth, dummy?
So now you feel bad about yourself. But what can you about it? Well, you can work hard to improve but that sounds like a lot of hard work. And let’s face it; you probably won’t improve much anyway. So now what?
Have you ever thought about making fun of a comedian who’s worse than you?
Well, why not? Critizing others is a great way to feel better about yourself! It’s fun! It’s easy! But most of all … okay, I can’t think of a third thing. But fun and easy should be enough. Plus, it’s a great way to build confidence and self-esteem. And research has shown, probably, that pointing out the flaws of others helps draw attention away from our own flaws. Rolling your eyes, for example, is not only a great way to express yourself; it’s also good for your eyes!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about heckling. You don’t want to look like a jerk.
I’m talking about quiet heckling. Snide comments made just loud enough for your friends at the table to hear. Things like, “That joke was funny when the three wise men told it to baby Jesus.”
“That guy totally killed! …My love of comedy!”
“I have a spot on my lung that’s funnier than him.”
Now who’s getting laughs? Not the guy on stage, that’s for sure!
We made a mistake last week when we said that Stage Fright, the improvised Alfred Hitchcock show ended this past weekend. It’s still running through this week and you can still pick up tickets. Also, check out the LOL With It interview with the creators in City Paper. [LOL With It]
Speaking of LOL With It, writer Ryan Carey sat down with Matt McCarthy this past Friday and got an interview with him. [LOL With It]
Rick Horner is organizing a Philadelphia comedy festival called F. Harold that will take place at the prestigious Walnut Street Theatre and feature exclusively Philadelphia comedy performers. Submissions have begun for all acts, stand-up, sketch, and improv. [Facebook Event]
We receive this message from the mysterious Ministry of Secret Jokes:
the Ministry of Secret Jokes is a suppurating wound of comedy!
Where: upstairs at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA, USA
How: Can’t say
Standup comedy from: Mark Normand, Anton Shuford, Christian Alsis, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, James Hesky, Doogie Horner, and more!
Pie Eating Contest: Who will win: the person or the pie?
Omniana Battle: Steve Gerben defends his title against Anton Shuford. [People sitting in front are encouraged to bring ponchos.]
Ed McGonigal reads John Kensil’s tweets: John Kensil’s award-winning tweets have redefined the medium and shocked and amazed millions. See consummate showman Ed McGonigal interpret them as only a thespian of his pedigree can.
H. Foley of Center City Comedy held a big Philly comedy meeting last night at the X-Change Bar. We were there and it was a bit like the meeting of the Five Families from The Godfather, but at least it wasn’t like meeting Al Capone calls in The Untouchables. Everyone introduced themselves, talked about what they did, and then there was a pow wow on how the Philly comedy scene could be made stronger. If you want to reach out to Foley, check out Center City Comedy on Facebook. [Facebook Page]
Bird Text is the talk of the town with their new video, The Real Househusbands of Philadelphia. The video has over 20,000 views on YouTube. [YouTube]
Chip Chantry is promising that his show at Helium Comedy Club tonight, Face Time with Chip Chantry is gonna be a good one. He also promises a secret mystery guest from Los Angeles. Ooooh. [Facebook Event]
The improvised Alfred Hitchcock show, Stage Fright wraps up its run this weekend. Conceived by Matt Nelson and put on by the Philadelphia Joke Initiative, the show recreates the drama and suspense of a Hitchock film, completely made up on the spot. [Event Info and Ticketing]
In an effort to combine two of the worlds best things, pizza and comedy, I split a couple of steaming pies with Philly Sketch-Gang Camp Woods. Anyone who is paying attention knows the fabled role pizza plays in Camp Woods folklore. Who better to sit down and chat with over a few pies?
In between slices, I asked Sam Narisi, JP Boudwin, Brendan Kennedy, and Patrick Foy all the hard-hitting questions…
How much do you like pizza?
Sam Narisi: The most.
JP Boudwin: I wish it lived in the wild so I could kill it, and feel it die in my hands. Then feed it to my weird forest family.
Brendan Kennedy: A whole lot. Too much, even.
Patrick Foy: 1,000,000.00
What is your favorite pizza topping?
SN: I’m in a big white pizza phase right now. Also: bacon, mushrooms, and anything with ricotta cheese.
Fresh from winning the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and finishing the fifth season of 30 Rock, Tina Fey is now a published author. In her first foray into prose, not script, writing she’s done a good job. As a humor book, Bossypants is funny, although there aren’t as many laugh out loud moments as a David Sedaris collection or a Steve Martin New Yorker piece (and I think that is who she probably saw as her competition). As a memoir, the book probably isn’t as honest as it could be, although in Fey’s defense she is writing at the height of her fame and success when a) she doesn’t have as much perspective on what’s happened to her as she will later in life, and b) she needs to be careful about biting the hands that feed her with any really shocking revelations or strong opinions that will alienate people she has to or may work with.
If you are looking for a breezy funny read, you should definitely pick a copy up or borrow the book from a friend … but if you just want a sense of it so you can sound on top of your reading at the next Mensa meeting or fit in a a cocktail reception … here’s your homework, already done for you.
Cover: Am I the only one who is getting sick of Tina Fey doing anything / everything to make herself seem weird or ugly when she has control over her photos. She’s intelligent, hilarious, and gorgeous … time to get comfortable with the last of those facts and stop downplaying it.
Copyright Page: Ms. Fey is such a good business woman, she had her company copyright the book so it will never enter the public domain. Here’s hoping her comedy is just as fresh in 2111!
Dedication: Yes, there is even a joke here.
p. 3: Fey gets all the advice for making it as a woman in a male-dominated workplace out of the way at the top. Surprise insight for this male reader: “don’t eat diet foots in meetings.” I didn’t know I had to hold that against the fairer sex, so thanks for the heads up.
p. 5: Is that a Two and a Half Men joke? Wow, now I really want to know when Fey’s deadline for the manuscript was — because either this is a testament to Harper Reagan’s quick turn-around time or further proof that even luck is on her side.
p. 8-9: You wanna know about that scar?
p. 15: Young Tina realizes she is a woman when a guy drives by in a car and shouts “Nice tits!” at her. This is immediately followed by her first un-ladylike act.
I went to a Catholic high school — a cheap one at that. This meant no sound system in a theater that held well over 200 people. I mean, there was a microphone… maybe two … but no body mics, nor any sort of system to pick up the sounds of a group or a chorus. And unfortunately, my high school felt the only financially viable shows were musicals, which, on the one hand, were guaranteed to bring in at least twice the crowd of 16-year-olds performing Stoppard but on the other hand, would elicit awkward cries of “What did he say?” when Caiaphas, in a deep, deep baritone sang, “Jesus must, Jesus must, Jesus must die.” I learned early on in my high school career that our lousy sound system could not be depended on to support the actors. This is what prompted me to connect with my voice and is something necessary for any sketch performer.
Let me start with a disclaimer — in my experience, I have found that a lot of improv folks come from a theater background. Consequently, in an improv show, I tend to hear most everything regardless if I want to or not. On the other hand, I’ve sat through dozens of self-obsessed sketches that are barely audible, the performers completely ignorant to the fact that there’s an audience in front of them. So forgive me if this seems like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said: people are paying to hear you, and even if they’re not listening, YOU WANT THEM TO.
To get started with some basics, let’s talk about remembering there is an audience and giving them the theater they deserve. My desire to project during a performance stemmed from the fact that I wanted my half-deaf father to hear me warble “Let’s Misbehave” during Anything Goes. Sure, my actions clued the audience in to the slinky sexual awkwardness that characterized my high school drama productions, but without my voice, I was merely a mime on a cruise ship. Continue reading OPINION: ALL YOU GOTTA DO IS ACT THEATRICALLY by Rob Baniewicz
The following is a report on last night’s March Madness Comedy Competition Finale, the Rumble in Manayunk. The undertaking of “March Madness” has been as great as it is large. Center City Comedy took on an arduous task, and this show went on witout a hitch. For the last month we have been asking the great question: what happens when you pit 72 comedians against each over the course of a month in a competition to see who can win the audience over?
The great answer: this…
7:02 – 9:18 — Emily and I arrive at Mad River. We are two hours early. We go to dinner, get coffee, buy some CDs, listen to them in my car, and then go to the show. 9:19 — In patriotic fashion, the crowd at Mad River is treated to a rendition of the National Anthem, beautifully delivered by Erin Hess. 9:22 — Host Tom Cassidy takes the stage. 9:24 — Tom introduces the commentators, Shifty-Man Foley and Waddles Washington. 9:31 — Tom removes his sweatshirt revealing zebra striped ref shirt and introduces the first contestant, Brendan Kennedy. 9:35 — A man standing near me makes an awkward squatting gesture. I catch it but don’t know what happened, like a nervous twitch. 9:36 — Brendan compliments Tom Arnold. 9:39 — The man squats awkwardly again, and I realize he is trying to adjust his underwear with out using hands. 9:40 — Jamil B is introduced. 9:41 — Third squat from this stranger. Guys, just go to the bath room and use your hands. Whatever that is, it’s weirder than just tugging at your crotch. Continue reading JUST THE MINUTES with Joe Moore (March Madness Comedy Competition Final Round)