Upcoming Shows

  • October 2, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 2, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • October 3, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 3, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 3, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 3, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 3, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 4, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 4, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 4, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 4, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 4, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • October 8, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • October 9, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 9, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • October 10, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 10, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 10, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 10, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 10, 2014 9:00 pmFall Comedy Train Rek
  • October 10, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 11, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 11, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 11, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 11, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
AEC v1.0.4

PHIT’s House Team Harold Night: Hot Dish + Davenger

Description: Come see some of Philly Improv Theater’s own House Teams perform the classic improv format “The Harold”! 

Style: Improv

Date: Tues, Dec 4, 2012

Time: 9:00pm – 10:00pm

Admission: $8 (advance) $10 (at the door)

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: WebsiteBuy Tickets Here

PHIT’s Late Night Improv Jam hosted by Davenger

Description: End your night with PHIT’s improv jam! Everybody is funnier after they’ve caught some great shows and had a beer or three, so why don’t you put yourself out there and have a good time in front of a non-paying audience? Anyone can come, and you don’t have to sign-up and play (you can just watch) – but it’s definitely encouraged to hop on stage. Get your name on the list at any point from 10:30 onwards, then get on stage for your turn and enjoy the rest of the show afterwards!

Style: Improv

Date: Sat, Dec 1, 2012

Time: 11:00pm – 12:00am

Admission: FREE

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: Website

PHIT House Team Night: ZaoGao + Davenger

Description: PHIT House Team Night is the cornerstone of Philly’s improvised comedy scene. Mixing amazing storytelling, quick wits, hilarious chaos and a dash of audience participation, an elite cast of the city’s best improvisers create shows that are never seen before and will never be seen again at every performance.

Style: Improv

Date: Sat, Dec 1, 2012

Time: 10:00pm – 11:00pm

Admission: $10 (advance) $12 (at the door)

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: WebsiteBuy Tickets Here

PHIT’s Late Night Improv Jam hosted by Davenger

Description: End your night with PHIT’s improv jam! Everybody is funnier after they’ve caught some great shows and had a beer or three, so why don’t you put yourself out there and have a good time in front of a non-paying audience? Anyone can come, and you don’t have to sign-up and play (you can just watch) – but it’s definitely encouraged to hop on stage. Get your name on the list at any point from 10:30 onwards, then get on stage for your turn and enjoy the rest of the show afterwards!

Style: Improv

Date: Sat, Nov 3, 2012

Time: 11:00pm – 12:00am

Admission: FREE

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: Website

PHIT House Team Night: Mayor Karen + Davenger

Description: PHIT House Team Night is the cornerstone of Philly’s improvised comedy scene. Mixing amazing storytelling, quick wits, hilarious chaos and a dash of audience participation, an elite cast of the city’s best improvisers create shows that are never seen before and will never be seen again at every performance.

Style: Improv

Date: Sat, Nov 3, 2012

Time: 10:00pm – 11:00pm

Admission: $10 (advance) $12 (at the door)

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: WebsiteBuy Tickets Here

Comedy Love Letter – from Matt Holmes to ComedySportz Philadelphia

Dear ComedySportz Philly,

It was 14 years ago today that we first met. I had seen Whose Line… on TV and a live college improv show. I wanted to see what kind of improv was happening in Philadelphia.

This was before Google, so I asked Jeeves.

I found out that ComedySportz Philly had been around for a while even back then, was part of a network of franchises in cities throughout the world, and that there was a show every Saturday night.

It meant a lot to me that Philly was one of those cities that has improv happening. There are lots of places where comedy-obsessed people don’t have something they can see. People who were interested in improv didn’t have to go someplace else. You helped people know what I mean when I say “improv” and branched out into longform, sketch, and experimental theatre.

As other shows came and went, wumping out each next line and pulling guffaws from the crowd, you were there.

For birthdays and bridesmaids, for something fun and different, you were there.

When somebody wanted to learn how to be funny, you were there.

Every Saturday night, you were there.

Thank you for being there.

 

Matt Holmes (Rare Bird Show, Matt&, PHIT)

 

Want to write a Comedy Love Letter to your favorite comedian, theater, improv team or sketch group? Email alison@witout.net!

No Bottoms On: Interview with Dave Terruso of The Pornologues

Porn is everywhere. In fact, the idea that you are in front of a computer right now and reading this instead of looking at porn is somewhat amazing. Unless you have multiple windows open and you are reading this and watching porn at the same time, then I commend you for your multitasking skills. But you should pause the movie and focus on reading, because Dave Terruso has figured out everyone’s dirty little (no-so-much-a) secret – that all of us have some sort of experience with porn. All of us might not be comfortable talking about it and sometimes that makes for great comedy. This Wednesday night at L’etage Dave and some of the best comedians in Philadelphia will go on stage and talk about all things porn at The Pornologues. We caught up with Dave to ask him some questions about what you might find hidden underneath his mattress.

WITOUT: Do you think that porn is one of those things that almost everyone has a funny story about but might be embarrassed to talk about openly? Have you ever bonded with new or old friends over porn stories? Is this the purpose of the show?

DAVE TERRUSO: I think that all stories about watching porn are inherently funny when you think about them. Most likely you’re sitting in a computer chair with no bottoms on. Or you’re on your couch with no bottoms on. Or you’re in an internet cafe with no bottoms on. Even if you’re not touching yourself, you’re watching two people bonking, which is weird. So I think everyone has a funny story about watching porn, I just bet they don’t realize the stories are all funny.

Yes, I love to talk to good friends and total strangers about their porn experience, and their sexual experiences in general. The part of your brain that makes these intimate bits of information embarrassing, I was born without it. The reality of life is that we all get naked and make our genitals hum. It’s unavoidable. So why keep it a secret? In comedy and in life I gravitate toward the universal truths that unite us. I have no problem telling a bunch of people an embarrassing story about me ejaculating. I do it onstage. I do it at parties.* That’s just who I am. And that’s who many comedians are. Most of us were born without that embarrassment part of our brains.

This show was created from just such a conversation. I was at the bar at Helium talking to Ryan Carey (host of the PORNOLOGUES) and Alex Pearlman (one of the performers). We were talking about how kids today have it so easy because of the internet; they don’t know how to scavenge like we did. Life before internet porn was our version of The Great Depression. And other people around us started adding to the conversation and we were all laughing so hard. We realized there was something to this idea and that it should be a show.

*I should make it clear that I talk about ejaculating onstage and at parties. I don’t physically ejaculate at those places.

WO: Tell us about your first experience with porn?

DT: I do talk about my first experience with porn in the show, but that wasn’t really a porn, it was THE HONEYMOONERS. (What the heck do I mean? You have to come to the show to find out. It’s only $15.)

The first time I saw a porn movie was in seventh grade. I was at my friend Sal’s house. It was me and my best friends, Sal, Marc, Joey, and Matt (real names– sorry, guys). This was not the first time my friends had watched a porn in my presence. But the other times I hadn’t watched. I went into my friend Sal’s room and played video games because I thought porn was immoral. I really wanted to be a priest at the time (seriously, I wanted to be a priest until I was 14). They called me Father Dave for not watching porn with them. But this time they convinced me to watch it for the comic value. And it WAS funny as hell. And I didn’t expect that. The dialogue was so silly. The scene I remember was this woman in a restaurant talking to a man. They were both wearing business suits. And she said “Are you gonna fuck me, or am I gonna have to beat my meat?” And we all lost our minds at how funny it was to hear an adult woman say that phrase. Other than that, I remember how utterly uncomfortable it was to have a boner in front of a bunch of guys. I covered it with a pillow. (To this day I do not like to have a boner in front of other men. Going to a strip club? Guess who won’t be coming: Father Dave.)

WO: Porn and comedy seem to be forever connected. What do you think it is about the two that links them together?

DT: I’ve always wondered when jokes found their way into porn. Could it have always been that way? Did it happen when those weird Victorian porn stories first got written? I think it stems from the release of joy that happens during sex. It’s endorphin overload, and giddiness leads to spontaneous laughter. When you’re pounding your girlfriend, once you’re really comfortable with each other, things make you giggle. You keep it serious when you first start dating because you want them to be turned on. But eventually one of you will accidentally make a fart sound with your mouth against the other person’s thigh or butt or ballsack. And then it becomes okay to be silly. You crack jokes. Part of it is because it’s just funny to be naked in various Greco-Roman wrestling positions with another person. It brings you back to your animal state. No clothes. No social mores. You become a couple of feral cats playing with leaves in a forest, except the leaves are covered in pubes.

WO: What are some of your favorite stand-up bits or sketches about porn?

DT: I can’t think of a single bit that’s specifically about porn. Weird. I know there are plenty I’m blanking on. I love Dave Attell, he does a lot of it, but I can’t think of a single bit of his to reference.

It’s not technically about porn, but Patton Oswalt’s bit from Werewolves and Lollipops about cleaned-up filth in his own jokes for TV always kills me: “I’m gonna fill your hoo-ha with goof juice” never gets old.

Louis CK does a great bit on Word about how porno actors work so hard that if we put them to work doing something altruistic the world would be a better place. If only dudes could get off on seeing people do charity work: “Ohh, yeah, giving those kids a chance! Ahhh, that’s fuckin hot!”

I love the Kids in the Hall skit where the Chicken Lady calls a phone sex hotline.

And Boogie Nights, though a great art house film, has 45 minutes of the funniest lines and observations about porn ever assembled. To name just one: “I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That’s just me. That’s just something that I enjoy. ” Thank you, Paul Thomas Anderson.

WO: Did you pick the line-up for the show based on material the comedians already have about porn, or a gut feeling like they’d be masters on the subject? If so, what made you think so?

DT: I wanted a real spectrum of the porn experience. I had a pool of hilarious comedians in my mind who I knew wouldn’t mind working blue, and from those I picked ones that fit different parts of the spectrum. So my first thought was How do I dice up porn? First, by era: magazine/VHS, then slow-loading JPEGs and MPEGs, then streaming porn. Kensil is old enough to remember the 70s and 80s. Pearlman has a great bit about waiting for a JPEG to load. And Joey Dougherty is young enough to not remember a time before streaming porn.

I wanted to have people talk about gay porn, married men and porn, black porn, what women watch and read, etc. So I filled each of those slots with someone who cracks me up. (I just said “filled each of those slots” and “cracks” in the same sentence. You’re welcome.) Some of them I picked because I’ve heard them be really dirty, like Darryl Charles and Juliet Hope Wayne, but for most of them I haven’t heard them be filthy, and knowing that they will be filthy in this show is an exciting prospect. And Mary Radzinski suggested Timaree Schmit to me, telling me that she has her PhD in Human Sexuality. That added a category I hadn’t thought of: the expert opinion.

WO: Ted Bundy blamed his addiction to porn for his violence and once said: “I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception, without question, every one of them was deeply involved in pornograpy.” What would you have to say to Ted Bundy?

DT: Ted, I have watched thousands of hours of porn. Defiled a million tissues. And I have never struck a woman. Unless she wanted me to because we were having rough-times sex.

Ted, most killers are loners. Everyone is somewhat into porn, or at the very least naughty thoughts. Loners are obsessed with porn because it’s their only outlet for a simulacrum of human intimacy. But most loners are just nerds, not killers.

Ted, I bet every single man who perpetrates violence against women is deeply involved in eating pizza. Are you suggesting that we outlaw pizza? Are you suggesting that pizza has blood on its hands? That’s not blood, Ted, that’s sauce. Don’t be crazy, Ted.

Oh, you can’t help being crazy? That was actually insensitive of me to say? Well, I apologize.

Hey, Ted, do you need help getting that couch into that van? You probably can’t do it yourself with your arm in a sling. Here, let me get the front end of that for you…

WO: On the other hand, defenders of porn (like Dirk Diggler) say that viewers can use it as a learning tool. What have you learned about comedy from porn?

DT: [Dave Terruso has been missing for the past 24 hours. If you have any information about his whereabouts, please come to L'Etage at 8:30 on October 10.]

THE PORNOLOGUES are (as the robot filling in for the missing Dave Terruso just said) this Wednesday, October 10, at L’etage. Tickets can be purchased online.

If you have an upcoming event you’d like to see profiled on Witout, please send your information to contact@witout.net

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 59

The lineup for the 8th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival has been announced, and is available online. This year’s festival runs from November 7-11 and will be held at the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.)

Bird Text is filming two commercials in the area in the upcoming weeks and are looking for extras to be part of the shoots. Interested actors can send a message, along with a resume and headshots to their Facebook page or to BirdText@gmail.com

This Wednesday, Philly Improv Theater House Team Asteroid! begins its month-long run of the B-Movie show, an improvised tribute to the low budget sci-fi/horror films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. You can purchase tickets online.

Also on Wednesday is The Pornologues, a show dedicated to the hilarious discussion of pornography by some of the funniest comedians in Philadelphia. The show will be held at L’etage (624 S. 6th St. Philadelphia) and is a fundraiser for this year’s Philly Sketchfest, which will be held November 12-17 at the Independence Theater as part of Comedy MonthYou can purchase tickets online.

This Friday, Pat House is hosting another Comedy Night at Maggie O’Neil’s (1062 Pontiac Road, Drexel Hill) as a benefit for breast cancer. The show will feature House, Pat Barker, Aaron Hertzog, and Jared Bilski.

If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way to contact@witout.net

Where Jokes Go to Die – Chris Dolan Edition

Everyone bombs at some point. WitOut’s “Where Jokes go to Die” is where you can put your worst bits down for good.

by Chris Dolan

I had a bit that died multiple zero-to-pity-laugh deaths before many showcase and competition audiences. (Spoiler: I did not win any of those competitions!) The bit involved wanting to toilet train my cat.  It opens by telling everyone that my cat is like my drinking buddy, and that I wanted to toilet train him—first for the obvious uses, second so he could puke in the toilet after we got drunk together.  That wasn’t terrible enough for me or my audience, though, so I continued by stating that I started the toilet training process slowly, by placing toilet paper next to his  litter box, “because anything beats your way of cleaning up down there.”

I have many theories about why this bit sucked. The obvious one is that maybe people aren’t interested in jokes about cats. I love cats, so I told the joke with enthusiasm.  And I think people are turned off by someone showing genuine affection for things (or animals) they dislike. Like saying, “Y’know what I love? Cats! And hate crime!”  Then there’s also the fact that I was presenting the audience with the ideas of a cat puking into a toilet, and licking its own ass clean.  I find those images hilarious. My audience did not.

I miss trying to make those cat jokes work.

Chris Dolan is a middle-aged amateur comic & writer with a marketing day job at a website; he has performed locally since 2009.  He’s been taking detailed notes on the jokes he’s bombed onstage with for some time, and now has a depressing and terribly unfunny 250-page autobiography. He lives in Montgomery County with his two cats, Pete and Beezus, who are still not toilet trained.  

WitOut Wants Your Bad Jokes!

Hey there all you fabulous comedians, you–‘fess up, there have been times when you haven’t been so fabulous, haven’t there?

But that’s OK! We’re all friends here, and this is a safe place to share, right? Right! So email alison@witout.net with all your jokes that bombed, your sketch scripts that never got performed, and if you’ve got ‘em, videos of your improv team failing onstage!

For bonus points, write up a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about why the joke/sketch/scene didn’t work, and what you (hopefully) learned from it.