Upcoming Shows

  • December 19, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 19, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 19, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • December 19, 2014 8:00 pmHang On w/ Aaron Nevins
  • December 19, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 19, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 19, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 20, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 20, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 20, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 20, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 20, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 20, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 20, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • 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
AEC v1.0.4

“I’m So Excited about This Cast” – Interview with Matt Nelson of Adrift (Performing at ComedySportz this Friday)

On the last Friday of every month, ComedySportz is bringing in original outside acts to perform ahead of their 10pm adults-only Blue Show.  This month, ComedySportz Presents features Adrift, a nationally-touring show created by Philadelphia Improv Festival producer Matt Nelson.  Matt performs with a rotating cast, improvising scenes that take place over several days of being stranded together on a life raft. In this edition, Adrift will be kept afloat by Eoin O’ Shea, Todd Rodenhiser, Sue Taney, Daryll Charles, Danna Young and Mary Carpenter of ComedySportz.

Adrift at at NCCAF. Photo by Kevin Thom.

Adrift at at NCCAF. Photo by Kevin Thom.

WitOut: Can you give a brief overview of the origins of Adrift?

Matt Nelson: Adrift was created four years ago for the Philadelphia Improv Festival. I’d just ended several-year runs with a couple groups, and wanted to still do a longform set in my own festival. I figured I’d rope in a bunch of amazing people that my co-producers couldn’t possibly say no to. I made a short list, and that first show included locals Kristen Schier and Kelly Vrooman, as well as Brian O’Connell from iO West and Steve Kleinedler (at that time, still a Bostonian). I looked at the list and thought to myself, “Hey these people would be amazing to be shipwrecked with.” And that’s when the show concept was born. It was so much fun that I decided to keep at it. It became my own personal all-star show, giving me a chance to work with incredibly talented people I might otherwise never get to play with. Joe Bill, Jeff Griggs, Jill Bernard, Dave Sawyer, Topher Bellavia, Tara DeFrancisco, Rachel Klein—people who make your comedy heart swoon. After I locked down Emo Philips for my NCCAF show two years ago, I became pretty fearless about asking anyone whose work I really admire.

WO: What brought Adrift to ComedySportz?

MN: ComedySportz actually approached me to do the show. Adrift is a show that doesn’t play all the time, and with my format their cast can get really involved. Between the two, I think it’s a nice fit for their Final Fridays format, and I suppose they must have thought the same. I’ve had quite a few of their cast members in various rafts, and they’ve always been a blast to play with… so it was pretty much a “yes” from the word go. Then I was told I could pick from anyone in the cast, and it was like being a kid in a candy store. I decided to opt for mostly new players—because aside from doing a few local gigs and festivals, Adrift is a road show, and I only bring 1-2 Philly improvisers with me to those.

WO: You have some really amazing ComedySportz players in the cast for this show.  What are some skills they bring, either as individuals or a group, that you’re looking forward to having for this performance?

MN: I’m so excited about this cast. Overall, ComedySportz players bring a style of play that comes only from a strong connection built over time doing weekly shows. It’s a family—a very generous, playful family with tons of heart. Let me see if I can highlight a few things though…

Eoin O’shea: Eoin approaches things with a sort of tempered chaos, bubbling just under the surface. No matter how methodical a scene is, there’s always something dangerous and exciting potentially lurking around the next corner.

Todd Rodenhiser: Todd is a menagerie of big, bold, beautiful characters. They’re born from a whole other plane of existence, and it’s always thrilling when they come out to play.

Danna Young: Danna is a quirky, vibrant player than can play the duality of what you think is a light character, only to surprise you with strong choices and emotional reactions that can turn on a dime.

Darryl Charles: Darryl understands comedy like few others I know. The way he processes every little gift, it’s like he took an evolutionary step somewhere— always working out the best possible arcs for relationships, but always in the flash of a moment.

Sue Taney: Sue is a powerhouse player who just exhales hilarity. She’s like one of those storage saver bags where they shrink down all the fluffy stuff —she could take three minutes of silence and not have a moment of dead air.

Mary Carpenter: Mary is the crown jewel of Philly comedy, and I wish more comedians saw her more often. I don’t think I could run out of things to say. I have never, and I genuinely mean never, seen anyone on stage as generous as her. She can communicate so effectively with her face alone, it’s scary. If a show were a knife fight, you’d never have to check your six, because Mary’s got your back without fail.

Catch Adrift at ComedySportz (2030 Sansom Street) this Friday, January 25th at 8pm. Tickets are $12.

Sketch Comedy: The Stonewall Players + TBA

Description: The Stonewall Players (Matthew Schmid, Andrew Kramcsak, Joe Pantalone) will perform with a guest to be announced.

Style: Sketch

Date: January 31, Feb 1, 7 & 8.

Time: 7pm-8pm

Admission: $12 PHIT Ticketing Page

Location: Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St.)

Contact: Facebook Event Website

Doogie Horner: Nice Beard

If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at contact@witout.net so we can share it!

Where Jokes go to Die – Mike DiEva 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 Mike DiEva

I should preface this entire article right up front by saying I am not a stand-up comedian. I won’t disrespect myself, or the real comics out there, by insinuating that I put in the necessary time and effort. I was just a kinda weird dude who wanted to kill time until he found some other kinda weird dudes and/or ladies to write sketches with. I decided to give stand-up a try because it was scary, and I wanted to see if I actually could. The verdict was a resounding “kind of.” I did some open mics, paid a nominal fee to competition-bomb in front of a handful of co-workers and my increasingly disappointed father. By the end, I was getting a decent laugh here and there, and I even booked a couple of real shows (thanks, Alejandro and Carolyn). And it was a lot of fun, even if I did meet with mixed results.

My first time on stage was at the Rittenhouse Comedy open mic at Noche. Well, my FIRST time on stage was a really dumbed-down version of The Nutcracker in third grade, but whatever. It was terrifying. I barely remember anything except a lot of sweat. Like, a LOT of sweat and no laughing.  Luckily (?), I have the entire set preserved for posterity. I was so terrified of getting lost that I would fill three pages writing out every joke verbatim in the smallest, most illegible handwriting possible. The entire set was a rambling mess. The first sentence I spoke was about killing myself while in line at McDonalds, just in case anyone had any sympathy for me. I tried doing a joke about the Jeopardy computer that went nowhere interesting at all. There was one about the Third Amendment that I think one person even understood. I should burn this notebook.

Easily the most ill-conceived in an ocean of ill-conceived ideas was The Intelligent Blowjob Bit. This was the moment I finally choose to feel confident after two decades of crippling self-doubt. I’m sure it seemed great somewhere in the vestigial lizard parts of my brain. “You’re a smart guy. You can swear too much and still be articulate. You were the only person in your high school who even KNEW who Bill Hicks was, let alone GOT him, man. You can totally turn a slightly taboo subject on its head!” In my excitement about writing a joke, I completely forgot to not write a joke about the second hackiest thing imaginable.

Launch from the “other day” trope.  Over-explain the news story premise in a really confusing way. Use too many commas. Turn away from the microphone to scream obscenities. Insult my imaginary girlfriend. Tag it with some self-deprecation.

I thought it was SO GOOD, you guys.

I am ashamed to admit how obsessively I worked on those eight lines. I took a Ginsburgian, first-thought-best-thought approach to the content, of the joke, but polishing the wording took me days. I spent three days deciding on the proper tone (fury, disbelief, dejection, etc.) for an exclamation of “fuck.” Not once did I stop to think about how every comedian I had ever disliked talked obsessively about sex acts, or to debate actually saying something of consequence. I wish I could say I was young and dumb, but I was 25 and almost certainly knew better.

In my defense, there’s comfort in the low-hanging fruit, especially for beginners. I believe James Hesky has a bit about how every comedian is constantly trying, and failing, to be funnier than a fart noise. And dick and poop jokes can be great in the hands of a trained professional. But when it comes right down to it, I was a tourist. I simply never put in the work needed to get to that level. Just as one can’t run before he can walk, one can’t write The Intelligent Blowjob Bit before he can write either an intelligent bit or a blowjob bit.

At least I was never fucking stupid enough to do a rape joke.

Mike DiEva writes sketches and other funny things, but should probably do it more often. He grudgingly lives in Delaware County with his girlfriend, two absurd cats, and a basement full of fancy-schmancy beer. Follow him on twitter @bison_factory

Got your own bad joke story? Email alison@witout.net.

New Secret Pants Jawn: Pabst Blue Velvet

If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at contact@witout.net so we can share it!

Smoking Hot Comedy Night at Sol Luna

Description: New showcase in Northeast Philadelphia and we are doing it with an incredible line-up:
Jared Rosado-Host of an Open Mic at Rogues Gallery
Lou Misiano-An amazing comedian, performing all over the city
Robert X-host of No.2(#2)(Number 2) Open Mic at Saint Stephens Green
Dan Scully-Nominated for two very prestigious WithOut awards, host of SuperCrappyFuntime

Style: Stand-up

Date: Mondays

Time: 9pm

Admission: $15 (includes hookah)

Location: Sol Luna Tea Room and Hookah Lounge – 650 W Street Rd, Feasterville

Contact: Facebook Event

Propaganda!

Description: Propaganda! is a monthly stand-up comedy show in Denver, CO produced and hosted by Matt Monroe

Matt is originally from Philadelphia, and is bringing the show to his hometown, and will be joined by some of his friends from NYC, Denver, and of course Philadelphia.

Please come out on Sunday, Feb 10th and enjoy this FREE comedy show featuring:

– Alex Grubard (Philadelphia)
– Alex Pearlman (Philadelphia)
– Doogie Horner (Philadelphia)
– Scott Sharp (NYC)
– Stephen Agyei (NYC)
– Brett Hiker (Denver)

and hosted by Matt Monroe (Denver)

Style: Stand-up

Date: Sunday, February 10

Time: 8pm

Admission: Free

Location: L’etage – 624 S. 6th St.

Contact: Facebook Event

Comedy is Liberty

Description: Comedy is Liberty is proud to announce it has booked Tommy Pope to be the headliner for its first weekend show on February 9th. Tommy is a winner of Helium’s Funniest Comic Contest and recently he was named one of the prestigious New Faces in Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival!” This show is going to be amazing and will sell out.

Style: Stand-up

Date: Saturday, February 9

Time: 7pm

Admission: Tickets Available Online

Location: Liberties Restaurant – 705 N 2nd St

Contact: Facebook Event

Second Stories Presents: Love is a Battlefield

Description: Stories of victory and stories of defeat from:

Alanna Kennedy-Gorman
Hillary Rea
Valerie DiMambro
Vickie Fernandez

AND MORE

Style: Storytelling

Date: Tuesday, February 12

Time: 7pm

Admission: Free

Location: The Dive – 947 East Passyunk Ave.

Contact: Facebook Event

Something Witty at The Dive

Description: Stand-up comedy the third Friday of every month at The Dive.

Style: Stand-up

Date: The third Friday of every month.

Time: 9pm

Admission: Free

Location: The Dive – 947 East Passyunk Ave.