Writer and comedian Ryan Carey posted this detailed ranking of 17 George Carlin albums on his blog. Carey gives each album two ratings, one based on laughs and one based on philosophy. 17 albums is a lot to dig through, but this type of stuff is right down Ryan’s alley.
Tonight at L’etage, the second monthly Camp Woods Plus will feature the namesake group plus Philly favorites Secret Pants as well as visitors from New York Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 8:30. You can hear Camp Woods talk more about their comedy in last week’s inaugural episode of The Witout Dot Net Podcast.
Tomorrow at L’etage marks the return of improv showcase Polygon. This month’s show will feature sets from Gross Butler, Apocalips, Rintersplit, and Angry People Building Things. Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8:00.
The lineups for the first annual NYC Improv Festival have been announced and several Philadelphia teams have made the cut. The festival, which will take place from March 21-24 will feature Philly groups Mayor Karen, King Friday, Asteroid, Hey Rube, and Iron Lung.
This Wednesday will mark the debut of the Philebrity Showcase, a free monthly evening of comedy and music, hand-selected by the Philebrity staff, at Fergie’s Pub. This month’s show will feature comedian Tommy Pope along with music from Ladies Auxiliary.
That’s right, folks, we are starting a weekly podcast here at Witout.net. The goal is to sit down with Philadelphia comedians and talk about what makes them do what they do. I want to try to find out why some of our city’s comedians get on stage, and what their process is in creating comedy. Basically, I like talking about comedy with comedians and a weekly podcast is the perfect excuse to do this. Our first interview is with sketch group Camp Woods, who sit down with me and talk about how they formed, their process in developing sketches and putting together shows, and their recent trip to the Chicago Sketch Fest. You can listen to the podcast below, or click here to subscribe on iTunes.
Camp Woods will be performing at Camp Woods Plus along with Secret Pants and Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting on Tuesday, January 31, at 8:00PM at L’etage (624 S. 6th St. Philadelphia).
F. Harold is a Philly-only festival – to showcase comedy in and around Philadelphia, and the local area! F. Harold will be held at the Walnut Street Theatre’s Studio 5, Tuesday April 24th through Sunday April 29th, 2012. F. Harold is an event designed to bring together and show off the talent in the comedy community, and continue fostering an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration! Each night the F. Harold will provide lots of great comedy shows and events – including long and short form improv shows, sketch and stand up comedy – to you at affordable prices, in the oldest theater in America. Much more information will be available soon, and submissions are open now!
No musical entertainment is allowed at this venue at this time, so please do not submit your musical act.
To submit, cut and paste this into an email.
Website (if applicable):
List of all group members:
Tuesday April 24th:
Wednesday April 25th:
Thursday April 26th:
Friday April 27th:
Saturday April 28th:
Sunday April 29th:
This show will be (select one):
1. Long form improv
2. Short form improv
Any special notes – time conflicts, special needs, etc:
Once completed, send email to email@example.com. Each submission costs $5, and must be paid either by PayPal, or in person to Rick Horner at your convenience. This submission is not a contract of participation and is subject to review and approval.
Remember to mark your calendars – set aside Tuesday April 24th through Sunday April 29th as YOUR opportunity to experience the high-quality comedy right here at home in Philadelphia at the Walnut Street Theatre. This is an event that should not be missed! For more information, email Rick Horner at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Witout: How did the Comedy, Food, Sports show begin?
Patrick Dodd: Just under a year and half ago, I got married and my wife was pregnant soon after. I had only been in Philly for about two year as, so I wasn’t established enough locally to be able to just do feature spots or anything like that (I’ve been doing standup for about 5 years total). At the same time, I didn’t really have enough time to hit the open mics and make a name for myself. I was dying to do something creative, but my time was limited. Having a major passion for cooking, watching and playing sports and all things comedy; I wanted to figure out a way to marry the three. My original idea was just going to be rants and reviews about the three subjects and I’d throw a few original recipes of mine on the site here and there. I did a few “articles” and I knew, as fun as this is, I need to do something more unique. Jim Florentine was in town for a random Thursday show. I had opened for Jim in the past, so I contacted him to see if I could interview him about the three subjects. After that interview I realized that this might be the format. I ended up getting Nick DiPaolo, Dale Talde from Top Chef, Robert Kelly, and a bunch of others that just really brought their A-game for the interviews.
We had some really good traffic on the site and a lot people were telling me how much they loved the concept. Me and my buddy decided to form a “late night talk show” style version of the show. After a few months of throwing ideas around, we had what we were looking for. Once we found a venue, everything else kind of fell into place. The show really is just a live version of the blog with some Daily Show/Conan type tidbits sprinkled in.
Do you find it hard to find comedians that are sports fans, or maybe do you notice a specific type or “style” of comedian is more into sports? It is definitely hard to find comics that are into sports as much as I’d like them to be. There is a type, but I can’t really describe it completely. Nick DiPaolo, Joe Materese and Jim Florentine had all done sports related stuff on TV and/or radio, so they were pretty easy to pick. When I interviewed Dan Levy, he told me to skip the sports section but I kind of figured that before the call. That’s pretty much a roundabout way of saying, some guys are more “jockey” and others are a bit “asthma-y”.
What are your favorite sports (to watch or play) and teams? Are you a lifelong sports fan? Do you find your interest in one sport or another change with age or any other factors? My favorite sport to play is and will always be basketball. The NFL is definitely far and away number one for me to watch. I love watching college hoops and I try to watch the NBA when I can, but I don’t go too far out of my way to watch regular season games (although I catch the Sixers a decent amount). I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with baseball. I will pay attention to it from start to finish, but I always want to make fun of it at the same time. I’m definitely a lifelong sports fan. That was something I was born with, I think, and I can’t see that ever changing. I would say my interest in sports in general has changed slightly since I had a kid, because my time is so much more limited. I have to pick and choose the sports that I want to really pay attention to more than I did before. I still hate tennis though.
What do you think it is about sports (or sports fans) that can make talking sports turn to such heated arguments? It’s the “we” mentality. Everyone thinks they are part of the team and, to an extent, they are. Everyone, including myself, thinks they can analyze, coach and consult their favorite teams. Most people take sports so seriously. We’re doing a segment called “athletes tweeting stupid shit”, because most of these guys are such entitled retards. Physically they entertain, but when Dan Marino or Jamal Mashburn is your “go to” guy for analysis; you have to laugh a little. It honestly cracks me up more than anything when I see people yell and scream about shit. Desean Jackson would take a shit on your lawn and kick your puppy before he left town, if there was a $10,000 bonus for doing that in his new contract (whenever that gets done). So would Chase Utley for that matter.
When it comes to food, do you focus on more upscale dining, comfort foods, specialized places, or does it depend on your guests? I focus on whatever they like. I usually ask open ended questions and they just run it with it. Some of them talk about how much they like to cook, while others like to talk about their favorite spots and others just eat whatever Subway’s $5 footlong is. I would say it tends to lean towards specialized places and comfort foods more than anything. Comedians seem to talk about their favorite spot to get a specific food that seems to bring them back to a specific place. Maybe it’s the whole tortured soul thing that a lot of comics have.
What are your favorite foods? I LOVE Thai food! I haven’t had enough of it here in Philly, but that’s my own fault. French and Italian are always delicious, but I think Asian food always takes the crown for me. Gastropubs are becoming a bit cliché, but most places in Philly really do it properly and I’ll never turn down something like a bone marrow burger.
Do you talk about cooking, or more eating at restaurants? Generally, I talk more about cooking. I’m pretty much self taught, so when I come up with something or riff off of a classic, I’m always excited to talk about. I love talking about restaurants too, but I get let down a lot when I go out. I’m not a snob by any means, but it should at least taste fresh and be properly cooked.
There are a lot of shows on television now showing people travelling the world eating at all sorts of interesting places, are you looking for tales of great food finds, or stories of impressive eating feats? I’m definitely looking for great food finds more than anything. Joe Materese talked about this pizza joint in Conn for about ten minutes straight and I was just blown away. He live in New York and he can’t stop talking about a spot in Conn. It turns out that place is famous and Sinatra used to have his driver pick some up for it, but I would’ve never known that without Joe telling that story. Bobby Kelly had a good story about a place in New York that serves mutten chops and Rory Scovel talked about a high end vegan spot in LA. Comedians are perfect for that subject, because of all the travel they do.
What are some of your favorite spots in Philly to eat. Any best kept secrets? I unfortunately haven’t eaten out enough. Obviously The Royal Tavern is amazing. Kennett So. 2nd is right next door to where I live and they make some pretty amazing stuff too. Veracruzana at 9th and Washington is ridiculous! I could eat there every day. Lee How Fook in Chinatown has the best hot and sour soup I’ve ever had. Almost everything on their menu is good. The Amish place in the Reading Terminal Market has the best breakfast. Isgro’s is unreal for desserts. I did a tasting at Amada once and that was amazing from start to finish.
Why should people come to Comedy, Food, Sports? The easy answer is: It’s Free and it will be over before 9:30pm! Realistically though, almost everyone loves one or probably all three of the subjects. What better forum to discuss the three subjects than people in the industry that are knowledgeable and hilarious? If someone were to tell me that Bill Burr, Anthony Bourdain and Scott Van Pelt were going to do a show where they discuss comedy, food and sports; I would spend hundreds to go see that. So this is a smaller, more local version of that. There will be stand up, some bits, a BIG special guest, a year in review and a Q&A. On top of that, we are giving away a gift card to someone in the audience.
Worst case scenario, you hang out at an amazing bourbon joint that has great food and a really cool ambience and afterwards a blues band will play for the rest of the night. Best case scenario, we’re hilarious and entertaining and you’re outing last Saturday to Applebee’s was just topped as “best Saturday ever!”
Comedy, Food, Sports is this Saturday, January 28th at 7:30PM at The Twisted Tail (upstairs at The Juke Joint) 2nd and South St., Philadelphia
Signups have already begun for the second annual March Madness Comedy Competition. Comedians will compete in opening rounds held at various open mics throughout the city where audience vote will determine who moves on to the next round. To sign up, send an email with your name, phone number, email address, and how long you have been performing stand-up to email@example.com.
Improvisers can throw their names in the hat for the 2012 Troika tournament. Nine teams of three performers will be chosen at random to form new trios and compete to be named champion. Interested performers can send their name, contact info, and names of groups they have performed with (one interesting twist, the teams will be made of people who have never performed together before) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Paper’s weekly comedy column LOL With It featured this interview with comedian Alex Pearlman last week. Pearlman is hosting stand-up showcase Head First at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk Ave.) this Wednesday, January 25 at 9:00PM.
The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival is rapidly approaching and Philadelphia will be sending some representatives from their stand-up and improv communities. The stand-up week (February 1-4) will feature Aaron Hertzog, Hillary Rea, Ian Fidance, Mary Radzinski, and Pete Kuempel. The improv week (February ) will feature local groups Death By Improv, King Friday, Mayor Karen, Nick & Nathan, Rookie Card, and The N Crowd.
Finally, this week marks the return of a full two-week schedule of shows at Philly Improv Theater. You can find their full schedule on the PHIT website and, as always, the shows are also listed on our calendar.
This week comedian and Philly native Todd Glass appeared on What the Fuck with Marc Maron and publicly announced that he was gay. In the interview with Maron, Glass admits one of the main reasons he decided to come out was the sense of guilt he was feeling after hearing stories about gay teens committing suicide over their sexuality. Philly native and friend of Todd Glass Blake Wexler wrote this reaction on Laughspin after Glass’ interview on WTF.
This week comedian Eddie Brill was fired from his job as talent booker for Late Night with David Letterman after a backlash over a profile on him in the New York Times in which he made comments about why he rarely booked female comics for the show. Then, in the comments of this Mirth Magazine article Brill defends himself, saying some of his quotes were taken out of context and gets responses from both Jason Zinoman (the writer of the NY Times profile) and comedian Amy Schumer.
Multiple comedians were openly critical of Dane Cook after a drop in set he had this week at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. Comedian TJ Miller wrote that Cook took the stage and was “vicious, misogynistic, cruel and arrogant” along with being disrespectful to the audience, and comedy in general. Cook responded via Laughspin with his thoughts that comedians can’t be critics, and offering to take Miller, along with member of the A.V. Club to a spa.
Laughspin also has this review of the upcoming Showtime series Inside Comedy. The show, which will premiere on January 26 aims to have a “coffee table book feel” to it and will feature in depth interviews with comedy greats including Don Rickles, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Robin Williams.
Television blog Warming Glow wrote this article listing ten recurring SNL characters that should have been one offs. We mainly include this link to spur up healthy debate in the comments section. What do you guys think?
Finally, we dare you to click on this link and not feel pure, unadulterated joy.
Becca Trabin is a stand-up comedian and improvisor living in Philadelphia. She is a member of Philly Improv Theater house team Mayor Karen and the host of Town Hall, a monthly show featured on The Sideshow.
How and why did you get into comedy? When I was about eight years old, I went on vacation to North Carolina with my extended family. We went to a huge, fancy seafood restaurant, about fifteen of us, and when the check came, the grown-ups were all a little taken aback. I said, “SOMEBODY’S gonna be doing dishes!!!” which is a joke I’d obviously heard on TV. Everyone lost it, and I was floored by the feeling that gave me. Later I realized they were laughing in part because, why would an 8-year-old say that? But I think that specific moment triggered something for me.
That’s the why. The how is that even though I was shy, I took a sketch-writing class at PHIT with Kevin Allison a few years ago, where you put together a show at the end, and performing in front of an audience immediately broke me out of my shell. I used to be so shy that I was afraid to call out a suggestion at improv shows. Seriously. Now I can’t get enough.
How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that? I feel like it’s kinda different every time and always growing. People have described my stuff as silly, cerebral, dark, weird, self-deprecating. I want it to be all of those things dynamically. I’ve definitely struggled in my life and have something to say, and am okay with making myself vulnerable to an audience.
Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you? Well Shubin shows feel like home. I also like the adventure of taking on new rooms and new stages. They’re fun in an exploration sort of way, while Shubin shows are fun the way having a party at home is fun, plus you don’t have to clean up afterwards. I’ve tried to clean the stage several times after messy shows involving confetti and iced tea and whatever, and was told to stop. So that’s nice.
Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out? Not really. Lots of good times. Stuff I wouldn’t post online.
Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Or a sort of method that you use to develop comedic material? With stand-up, I usually come up with ideas accidentally when I’m hanging out with my friends or walking around, and then I flesh it out later. Many times, I’ve come up with the best parts of a bit right before I’m about to go up, because in my nervous energy I think of a great line or two.
What is it about stand-up / sketch / improv that draws you to it? I do mostly improv and stand-up, and I’m drawn to them over other kinds of comedy because you can get your idea out there without much rigmarole. Stand-up and improv counterbalance each other for me. With stand-up I have to be egotistical and with improv I have to let go again and become a small part of a whole. It’s therapeutic and cathartic and keeps me feeling happy. Improv and yoga are proactive measures against mental or physical unrest for me, and they help me stay centered and present.
Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites? Yeah, and they know who they are. I love watching comedy that’s grounded and honest and makes no apologies. I continually love watching performers highlight these small details of human behavior that I hadn’t consciously noticed before.
Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire? I did a set a year ago at a gay variety show at a nightclub. I had to follow a larger-than-life drag queen who wore foot-tall platforms and a foot-tall wig and sang and danced and was delightfully hysterical. I wasn’t confident, and I pretended not to mind somebody heckling me, and I bombed really hard. Jess Carpenter bought me a drink afterwards and then I walked across town to do an improv show, and I cried for a minute in the bathroom and thanked god for improv. My team was like, “Let’s do your favorite warm-ups!”
What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow? I think one of us should just ask Tina Fey very nicely to make a donation for a permanent space for PHIT. Right? We need to shoot more videos and put more content online, and branch out to work with other venues and arts organizations. Gain more allies, to borrow activist parlance. We have to take fundraising more seriously and get better at it. Some improvisors are already generating ideas to get diversity programs started, so that, among other things, it’s not just white kids who get to do improv in Philadelphia. I’m sure other folks would like it too. Improv is weirdly white. Stand-up is just weirdly male. Anyway. We need a popcorn machine.
Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy? I want to do more stand-up in character, more stand-up in general, put together some shows, keep an updated website, do projects with my favorite people and continue to grow and open up and have fun.
The Philly Improv Theater will be holding auditions to cast two new House Teams on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM at The Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia). To secure an audition time please email your name, phone number, and a preferred time (if any) to: email@example.com. More information can be found on Facebook.
Last week’s episode of CheaPodcast featured special guests John Oliver (The Daily Show) and Kurt Metzger (Ugly Americans). Darryl Charles and James Hesky found time to talk with the headliners after their shows at Helium Comedy Club and, in true CheaPodcast form, asked them their thoughts on bizzarre news stories from the past week. You can check out the episode at the link above, and also Like CheaPodcast on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe on iTunes.
Gregg Gethard of The Holding Court Podcast was featured as a guest on last week’s Best Show on WFMU. Gethard, a regular caller to the show, was in the studio along with his brother Chris who talked with host Tom Scharpling about Chris’ new book A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and fielded some calls from some regulars who are not exactly fond of the Greggulator’s antics on the show. You can listen to the episode online.
Keeping with the podcast theme we have going, Luke Giordano has started a new podcast through his website, Everything You Like is Stupid. The Newsmakers Podcast will feature weekly interviews between Giordano, and some of the most famous and influential people in the world. You can listen on his website, or subscribe in iTunes.
Camp Woods + returns for its’ second show at L’etage (624 South 6th St. Philadelphia) on Tuesday, January 31. This time, Camp Woods teams up with Secret Pants for a not-to-be-missed sketch comedy show. More details can be found on Facebook.
The 2011 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy were last night at World Cafe Live. The Philadelphia comedy community gathered together to hand out the awards which they themselves nominated and voted for. In case you missed it, here’s a full rundown of the winners in each category.
Best Host: Chip Chantry – host of Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) and Facetime with Chip Chantry
Best Venue: Philly Improv Theater
Best Podcast: CheaPodcast
Best Open Mic: Laughs on Fairmount (hosts Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski)
Best One Time Show: The Roast of Meg Favreau
Best Short Run Show: Pro Mania (Ian Vaflor and Alex Gross)
Best Regular Show: The Ministry of Secret Jokes (Doogie Horner)
Best New Group: Hey Rube (Alex Gross, Dennis Trafny, Jen Curcio, Lizzie Spellman, Mark Leopold, Rob Cutler, Scott Shepherd, Tara Demmy, Aaron Hertzog, director: Matt Holmes)
Best Improv Group (1-3 members): The Kristen & Amie Show (Kristen Schier and Amie Roe)
Best Improv Group (4+ members): Hate Speech Committee (Brendan Kennedy, JP Boudwin, Rob Baniewicz, Darryl Charles, Sue Taney, Christian Alsis, Billy Bob Thompson, Aaron Hertzog)
Best Stand-up Bit: Darryl Charles – Hatchet
Best Sketch: The Feeko Brothers – Jay Peebee’s PB&J
Best Sketch Group: The Feeko Brothers
Best Stand-up Comedian: Chip Chantry
Special thanks to World Cafe Live for allowing us to have our “clown friend clubhouse goofball jerkoff party” in their establishment. Also thanks to everyone who helped produce the show. The writers: Aaron Hertzog, Chip Chantry, Doogie Horner, Rob Baniewicz, Mary Radzinski, Jim Grammond, Becca Trabin, Joe Moore, Luke Giordano, Billy Bob Thompson, Greg Maughan. The video spots were put together by Rob Baniewicz and Shannon Devido. Also thanks to all the presenters and of course, the host of the evening Joe Moore.