Upcoming Shows

  • December 23, 2014 9:00 pmSecret Pants Presents: Cuban Tinsel Crisis
  • December 24, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • December 25, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 26, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 26, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 26, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 27, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 27, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 27, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 27, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 27, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 27, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 27, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 31, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • January 1, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • January 2, 2015 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • January 2, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 2, 2015 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 3, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
AEC v1.0.4

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 6

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Pork Chop Comedy Presents: The Conshy Comedy Show

Description:Hosted by Pat Kelly With Darin Patrick. Canned Laughter From Comedy From Philly’s Top Comics! Philly Comedy Month “City Spotlight Show” We are equal parts thrilled and honored to be chosen as one of Philadelphia Comedy Month’s “City Spotlight” shows! In response we have put together comedy feast with all the trimmings. You’re going to need a nap after this one. Featuring: Doogie Horner, Andy Nolan, Mike Rainey, Joe Dougherty

Style: Stand-up,

Date: November 17, 2012

Time: 8pm

Admission:  $10 Advance / $15 Door (2 Item Minimum)

Location: Upstaris at Totaro’s 729 E. Hector Street Conshohocken, PA 19428

Rookie Card Presents: Calling All Turkeys!

Description:  Rookie Card, the longest running independent improv variety show in the city, welcomes stand-up host Brandon “Ketchup” Wilson and improv opener Bed Savage to our monthly show.

Style: Stand-up, Improv

Date: Saturday, November 17th

Time: 7:00pm

Admission: $5 suggested donation

Location: The Raven Lounge, 1718 Sansom St. (2nd floor)

Contact: Webpage, Facebook Event

 

Comedy Around the Web, Vol. 10

Ellen DeGeneres won the 2012 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. You can watch the entire broadcast online.

Have you ever wondered how much money comedians earn from different jobs? 

Here’s a clip of Chris Rock talking about Eddie Murphy from a tribute to Murphy that will air November 14 on SPIKE.

It certainly seems like Bob Odenkirk has been busy lately.

Here’s a clip from California radio station KCRW of various comedians talking about how they spent their election night.

This parody of Louie from last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live (hosted by Louis C.K.) has been everywhere this week, but in case you haven’t seen it — there it is.

Rooftop Comedy has this video of Tom Hanks doing stand-up to prepare for his role in the 1988 film Punchline.

Comedy Love Letter – from Kristen Schier to Improv 101 Students

by Kristen Schier

Here is why I love you, Improv 101 Student: You are embarking on a huge adventure even if you aren’t aware of it yet. Your willingness to discover and to try something new is courageous and inspiring. I wait with anticipation to see how you will change the face of the scene in Philly as you become more involved–and you will become more involved, because improv is a sort of cult. Ok, improv is definitely a cult—but don’t be scared, because it’s a benign cult. But definitely a cult. (One more time: “cult.”)Some level one students sign up without any idea of what they are getting into. Some are returning to improvisation/acting or a creative endeavor for the first time in a long time. Some of you have loved improv for years, but this is your first time giving it a shot in a brand new city. No matter what, you’re on an adventure, and you’re making new discoveries, and for that I admire you. At the risk of sounding cheesy, a sense of discovery is what it’s all about, isn’t it? I love watching people discover/rediscover how much fun it is to play. I mean, it’s darn-right inspiring.

Also, the willingness of the new improv student to jump into the unknown and be game for anything is a great reminder for more experienced improvisers of how they’re supposed to play. I suppose someone could make the claim that this doesn’t apply to all level one students, and that my portrait of the level one student is somewhat idealized.  And to them I say, “Yup, you’re probably right. But some of them do exist, and those are the ones I care about.” I think that a beginning student’s sense of adventure is a model for those who have been improvising a while longer, and consequently have a bit of a stick up their bum about it. Improvisers who have been working for a long time develop a somewhat understandable sophomoric skepticism about the work. They start to close themselves off from possibilities. Not everyone—just some people. And these are the exact people who need to watch a level one class, and see that the students in there are trying things that are brand new, and playing in a wonderful, earnest way.

As an experienced improviser, I’ve learned from my level one students to always try new things—which is a great way to prevent myself from developing a myopic view of the world. Being around level one students is one of the reasons I recently forced myself to sign up for a dodgeball group, even though I pretty much suck at dodgeball. Level one students, by their example, continuously encourage me to venture outside my comfort zone.  Of course life is and should be about more than just improv—but I guess it’s strange that a group of people signing up for an improv class reminds me of that, and reminds me that I should always be looking to try something else – something new, different and definitely uncomfortable. I can’t wait to see what I sign up for next. (I’m thinking some sort of martial art. Yeah, that ought to do it. So, thanks for that, too, level one-ers.)

And here comes the creepy cult-like part: I remember when I first started hanging around improv shows and falling in love with improv, and how the people I met became my really good friends—and I like that I see that happening with you students who are just beginning now. I hate to think that any of you will stay shy and/or intimidated in such an open and accepting culture. We can appear to be a closed group at times, but none of us are perfect, and I can assure you that at one point in time all of us were “new.” But it did not take long for this community to absorb us. So—see you around!

Kristen Schier is one half of the Philadelphia-based improv duo The Amie & Kristen Show/The Kristen & Amie Show, as well as a Philly Improv Theater instructor; improv instructor at University of the Arts; director for PHIT House Team ZaoGao; and Artistic Director for the short-form Philadelphia improv group The N Crowd.

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

Special Deal for Live Nude Improv at PHIF8

Hey WitOut readers! The producers of the 8th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival have a special deal for you. Just enter WITOUT in the promotional code box when ordering tickets online and receive 50% off the price of admission to see Live Nude Improv this Saturday at 10:00pm.

Live Nude Improv: Using games, scenes and radical storytelling techniques, eight of Austin’s most accomplished improvisers will create a never-before-seen and never-to-be-seen-again play. Expect playfulness, vulnerability, inspiration and the infinite possibility of improvisation. And because this is modern American drama at its most thrilling and unpredictable, expect to see a little more skin than you might at a run-of-the-mill improv show.

We’re blowing the doors off improvised theater and blurring the distinction between comedy and art, between audience and performer, between wearing clothes and not wearing clothes.

The Flat Earth: Bitt Chompney For President

Today is election day, and before you head off to the polls, Philly Improv Theater sketch revue team The Flat Earth would like to make sure you are properly prepared to make your decision. Enjoy.

Full Schedule for The 8th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival

Below you can find the full schedule for this year’s Philadelphia Improv Festival. All shows take place on the second floor of The Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St. Philadelphia). Tickets for the event are $10 for a single block of shows, $15 for a full night (Wednesday, Thursday), $20 for a full night (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), or $60 for a full festival pass and can be purchased online.

WEDNESDAY, NOV 7TH

7:30PM
Rintersplit – Philadelphia
Nielsen – Philadelphia
Hot Dish – Philadelphia

9:00PM
Gross Butler – Philadelphia
Chaperone – Philadelphia
Beauty School Dropouts – Toronto
Davenger – Philadelphia

THURSDAY, NOV 8TH

7:30PM
N Crowd – Philadelphia
Firth&Arjet – Austin
Soiree – Philadelphia

9:00PM
Iron Lung – Philadelphia
Photobomb – Baltimore
King Friday – Philadelphia
Briami Sound Machine – Chicago

FRIDAY, NOV 9TH

7:00PM
Mister Licorice – Baltimore
Popular Science – Los Angeles
ZaoGao – Philadelphia

8:30PM
Adrift – Various Cities
Wisdom Teeth – Philadelphia / Los Angeles
‘Til Death Do Us Part – Philadelphia

10:00PM
The Imposters – New York City
BWP – Philadelphia
Rich Uncle – Boston
Grimacchio – Philadelphia

SATURDAY, NOV 10TH

7:00PM
Birthday Milk – Boston
Lekker – Baltimore
Junior Varsity – New York City

8:30PM
Hey Rube – Philadelphia
ImprovBoston – Boston
BillyHawk – Los Angeles

10:00PM
Live Nude Improv – Austin - AGES 18 & OVER W/ ID

11:00PM
PHIF All-Stars – Various Cities
Rare Bird Show – Philadelphia / Los Angeles
Vox Pop – Brooklyn / DC

SUNDAY, NOV 11TH

7:00PM
Population: Six – Baltimore
Double Date – New York City
Suggestical – Philadelphia

8:30PM
Mayor Karen – Philadelphia
Scoresby – New York City
Amie & Kristen Show / Kristen & Amie Show – Philadelphia
ShawnMikael(s) – DC

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 63

This week, Comedy Month Philadelphia kicks off with the 8th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival. This year, over 40 groups from cities all across North America will perform at the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) More information about workshops can be found and tickets can be purchased online.

Comedian Amir Gollan has been chosen as a semi-finalist for The Andy Kaufman Award and will perform in the semi-final showcase at Gotham Comedy Club in New York on Monday, November 12. The award was created to preserve the legacy of one of America’s most unique and influential performers in a dynamic way. The prestigious award honors Andy Kaufman’s creative spirit while simultaneously shining a spotlight on promising performers with the potential to impact the evolving culture of comedy.

Johnny Goodtimes interviewed Philly comics Chip Chantry and Doogie Horner about the issue of making jokes that poke fun of the Hurricane Sandy situation. You can read their thoughts on the subject here.

The full schedule for the 5th Annual Philly Sketchfest is now available online. This year, the festival will take place from November 12-17 at The Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) as part of Comedy Month Philadelphia.

This Tuesday, Free Improv at Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) returns with a night of performances from Deleted Scenes, Gaper Delay, TTNL (Those Two Nice Ladies), POUSAAIT, Malone, Bad James, and Shame Parade. They also promise to keep you updated with the latest election coverage so you don’t miss out.

The Improvised Musical Suggestical is holding auditions for a one-night performance to be held in March 2013. Auditions will be held on November 18 from 1-5pm at  A & E Studio (1233 Vine Street, Philadelphia). Interested performers can contact Claire Halberstadt at Suggestical@gmail.com to set up an audition timeslot.

Two new open mics will debut this week. First, this Tuesday will mark the inaugural Comedy Open Mic at the Headhouse Cafe (122 Lombard St.) Sign-ups begin at 7:30 with the mic kicking off at 8:00. Tight Six, “an open mic for stand-up, sketch, characters and more” begins this Sunday at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St.) sign-ups at 8:00, and the mic starts at 8:30.

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

From the WitOut Archives: All You Gotta Do is Act Theatrically by Rob Baniewicz

Twice a month, WitOut digs through its virtual piles of old columns to repost something great you may have missed.

This post was written by sketch comedy writer and performer Rob Baniewicz, of Camp Woods and Meg & Rob fame.  

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.

So first, face the audience, dummy. No microphones is an inevitable side-effect of DIY performances and a fact that actors need to be flexible about when they’re doing shows in Philly. I can’t tell you how many sketches I’ve seen where I had no idea what was going on onstage, despite sitting only a few feet away. Talk to your fellow performers but face the audience. If you’re an ak-tor, you can call it “cheating out.” Moral of the story — don’t turn your back on the crowd who is there to support you.

Second, talk loudly. We’re doing these shows in bars, backyards, the Piazza and anywhere else that will have us. Figure out what your diaphragm is and use it (hint: it doesn’t go in a lady). You may feel like you’re yelling (and in some cases you are), but this is the only way to ensure that every joke is heard and thus, ensure that every joke is given its rightful opportunity to hit.

If you look at some of the more successful sketch groups in Philly — Secret PantsFeeko BrothersCamp Woods, and Animosity Pierre — they all have an inherent sense of the audience which enables them to perform theatrically. I know the idea of being theatrical may send a chill up some down and dirty sketcheteers’ spine, but a live show is theater, no matter what. To succeed is thus to act theatrically. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, if you can’t get up on stage and be heard, you might as well be performing to a windmill…

Man of La Mancha, anybody?