Upcoming Shows

  • July 24, 2014 8:30 pmFree For All: Maginficent Seven pt VI
  • July 24, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 24, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • July 25, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • July 25, 2014 7:30 pmFirst Fridays w/ Interrobang
  • July 25, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • July 25, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • July 25, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 25, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 26, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • July 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • July 26, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • July 26, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • July 26, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • July 31, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 31, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • August 1, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • August 1, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • August 1, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • August 1, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • August 1, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • August 2, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • August 2, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • August 2, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • August 2, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
AEC v1.0.4

Get Excited for The Flat Earth’s Second Sketch Revue

Philly Improv Theater sketch house team The Flat Earth will be performing a brand new sketch comedy revue at PHIT beginning tonight with four dates between now and Friday, March 8. Their first sketch revue premiered at last year’s Fringe Festival to much success, earning it encore performances at PHIT as well as a nominations from their peers for “Best Sketch Group” and “Best Short-Run or One-Time Show” at the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. We asked the actors and writers of The Flat Earth to tease their favorite moments from their upcoming show to help whet potential audience members’ appetites. As you’ll see, they (and you) have a lot to be excited about.

Brent Knobloch
“The opening sketch of the show features Molly Silverman and Jacqueline Baker doing some of the most brilliantly subtle yet insanely funny acting I’ve seen in a long time. The ease with which they pull every possible laugh out of the script is incredible.”

Jess Ross
“Really happy with the strong female roles in this show. A lot of sketch you see is all dudes, sometimes one chick. And if there is a chick she’s a naggy girlfriend/mom/boss. Our girls have some of the funniest moments in the show and I’m really proud of them and to the writers for giving them such fun parts to play.”

Jim Grammond
“My favorite part of the upcoming show is I get to eat during two sketches.”

Rich Lee
“One of my favorite new additions for this show is the sketch Garrote.  It’s got a smart yet silly vibe, with some good old fashioned slap-stick moments.  It will definitely get laughs with Brent Knobloch and Luke Field dancing around on stage.  The next prop would have to be for Molly Silverman in our opening sketch.  I don’t want to say the title as it would give away some jokes, but she plays a mother consoling her daughter on her wedding day.  Molly has some hilarious deliveries and we can all thank Sean Landis for writing one of the silliest yet hard to say lines in sketch… close parenthesis.”

Luke Field
“The opening sketch of the show makes me laugh every time.  Molly’s delivery of the lines is perfect as a very specific retro mom.  And I appreciate all references to the halcyon days of my tweenage years.”

Vincent DiCostanzo
“Aggressive.”

Jacqueline Baker
“Our latest sketch revue has a lot in common with the Pesto Shrimp & Avocado Crostini appetizer from Romano’s Macaroni Grill: textured pesto bits, frou-frou shrimpy accents, a crunchy crostini restaurant battle, and a colorful and gooey avocado finish. The old Macaroni Grill slogan “Run By Chefs. That Explains Our Food” is our comedic ethos and a godawful slogan. Seriously, who coined that garbage? Not one of our writers, that’s who. ”

Sean Landis
“My favorite moment is the way Molly Silverman performs the final line in our password sketch. The line itself is already a well-written final joke to the sketchBut the first time I heard Molly perform the line, I was so surprised by her choice that I laughed for, like, a minute straight.”

Adam Siry
“I love the costumes in our opening sketch, and Luke Field’s drumming skills send my heart aflutter.”

Molly Silverman
“Its tough to play favorites, but I will say there is one sketch in particular that has tested my ability to keep a straight-face on stage. Jacqueline Baker’s kooky monologue cracks me up each time. I laugh every time, without fail.”

Matthew Schmid
“My favorite part of the show is a sketch that Sean Landis wrote which stars Molly Silverman and Jacquie Baker.  There’s so many great lines in it and Jacquie and Molly really hit each one out of the park.  I’ve seen the sketch about 40 times during rehearsal, it still cracks me up each time.”

Steve Swan
“My favorite thing about the show is the variety of styles in it, and how receptive everyone is (writers, actors, and our director Paul Triggiani) to each other’s inputs.  That really takes the sketches to the next level.”

The Flat Earth’s Second Sketch Revue is February 28 – March 1, and March 7 – 8 at 8:30pm at Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St.) Tickets can be purchased online.

“There Just Wasn’t Enough Comedy in the Suburbs” – Interview with Dave Topor of ‘Comedy Corner at Broad Axe Tavern’

by Chris Dolan

On Saturday, February 23rd, Comedy Corner at Broad Axe Tavern in Ambler hosted another show in its ongoing series of comedy showcases featuring regional comedians.  The show, a sellout, was headlined by Andy Nolan, and featured performances from Jim Ginty, Caitlin Feeney and host Alex Pearlman. Each month also features a performance from Dave Topor, the show-runner of Comedy Corner at Broad Axe.  A highlights reel of the show is available here.

Dave Topor sat down for a conversation the week before the show to talk about the evolution of Comedy Corner at Broad Axe Tavern and his personal comedy.

Chris Dolan: Talk about how you got started with shows at the Broad Axe.   

Dave Topor: I guess it just stemmed from an idea that there just wasn’t enough comedy in the suburbs…at least, a traditional show that’s [performed] the way it’s done in [Philly], just, outside the city.  I looked around and knew Broad Axe had  done some renovations and got lucky.

CD:  So do you know anybody at Broad Axe..?

DT: I didn’t. I saw the third floor [where the shows are performed] and kind of knew that was a space I didn’t want to pass up, and I set up a showcase before I set up an open mic. [Author’s Note: 'Comedy Corner at Broad Axe' has also hosted periodic open mics.]  [Broad Axe management] were cool with it…luckily enough, they were like, “we’ll try it out,” and then, from there, it worked out really well.

CD: How long ago was the first show?

DT: April 27th of last year [2012]…and then the idea behind the first show was that it was gonna be a [one-time] thing and we’d see what happened. Just because of the success and the popularity, after I saw it come to life, I said that this is something I need to continue.

CD:  Who was on the first bill and how did the show flourish?

DT: I was just getting back into comedy myself, and my network was actually smaller, so I had to do a bit of research.  So I went to Helium, and at that time they were having the finals of the March Madness competition. I saw Alex Grubard there, Gordon Baker-Bone…I picked them up. And I was going to open mics so [I approached] some people that I saw who were working consistently and had a polished look to them…again, a lot of luck involved, but the ones who I picked were able to bring it and did really well.

CD: How involved was the venue in terms of promotion and getting the word out versus you and your network getting the word out?

DT: At first, [Broad Axe] was kind of just “do your thing and we’ll see what happens.” I think when they saw what was developing, it didn’t take long for them to move quickly in terms of their involvement. They saw the benefits of having a show—a good show—and I think the first three shows they were letting me do my thing, then they started to do small things like put up table tents, send their own email…but they definitely are involved, they promote the show and they like it.

CD: How big was the audience for the first show?

DT:  To capacity. We sold out the first show; I would say we probably had about 95 people in the room. Y’know I’m always fiddling with the seating and stuff, trying to get it just right.

CD: Any particular shows that stand out?

DT:  I learned a lot after the first show. And maybe stuff that I knew but it wasn’t [top of mind]; I learned about what makes a strong line-up. Positioning comics…how positioning comics can make them have a better chance for success…the way you seat the room. Little things like that, that maybe audience members don’t really notice, but it really adds to the show. Once I was able to seat the room better, put my comics in better spots in a line-up to really make them succeed and really make all of the stuff run smoothly. Every show from there on was really great. Not that the first show wasn’t, but every show…I was lucky to have some of the best comics in Philly do the show.  Tommy Pope, Chip Chantry…now I’m just trying to continue to grow, ’cause it’s gained a lot of momentum.

CD:  Talk about the crowds. What do you notice about variability in age—local versus coming from a ways away…

DT:  I’d say I’ve definitely been surprised.  One thing stands out, I tend to tag a lot of the comics in posters and things like that. And David James had some fans that followed him out from Jersey. That was pretty cool. And there are a lot of people that attend from [the local] area. Some people have told me they’ve seen the promo inside [The Broad Axe], wanted to make it out to a show, and are glad they did. One lady came in September, October, November [...and all subsequent shows].

CD:  So talk about your own comedy…you’d mentioned that you were in it for a while then got out.  What took you away and brought you back in?  

DT:  I’ve been back at comedy now for about a year…putting a lot of work in since last February. And before that I’d been on hiatus since, like, 2006 or 2007. I’ve been on stage since then, but no real commitment. Between ‘04 and ‘06 I was on a real strong run, doing a lot of clubs and [performing] with a lot of guys like Chip [Chantry], Pat House and Aaron Hertzog.  I guess the moment that got me to stop comedy at that point was I lost a booking, my first major booking.  I got booked to do five shows, and the club I got booked at got closed down. And that took the wind out of my sails. I dropped out for a little while—well, not a little while [laughs]—came back last year and I’m glad I did. I started this show, and it started the gears moving quickly too. It gives me stage time, and allows me to perform with some of the better comedians in the city, see what they’re doing. If you’re on a great show it’s always a great experience.

CD: How has your material evolved from your first run at comedy to now?

DT:  I think as a more mature comic now I try to pay a little more attention to joke structure. As a younger comic, I think my material was a little more all-over-the-place.  Now I pay more attention to premises and punch lines…the science part of it. As well as staying outside the lines when it’s appropriate.

CD: What I’ve found is a lot of guys will—while it’s important to find your own voice—want to tell a story the way that you would standing around having drinks…versus developing the science, as you called it.

DT: I’ve tried to pay attention to how concise my ideas are, and that’s something I try to alert myself of, when I see an idea start to run on too much…and that ideology has allowed me to get better jokes, and I’ve even “refurbished” some old jokes.

CD:  Cool. Anything else you want to say?

DT:  Just thanks to the whole Philadelphia comedy community for supporting the Comedy Corner at the Broad Axe, and me…and I think this show is good for everyone; I’m excited to have a bunch more people come and perform.

The next ‘Comedy Corner at Broad Axe Tavern’ is March 23rd at Broad Axe Tavern (901 W. Butler Pike, Ambler). Doors open at 7:30pm; show starts at 8:30pm. Admission is $10 online in advance; $15 at the door.

Chris Dolan is a comic who lives in the Philly burbs.  He’ll be performing at the Taproom Sportsbar in Morton PA on Thursday, Feb 28th as part of the Trulove Entertainment Totally Free Comedy Show II. Follow him on Twitter @CMDolan99. 

Comedy Around the Web, Vol. 26

The Onion issued an apology for a joke they posted on their Twitter account during the Oscars that referred to nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild actress Quvenzhané Wallis as “kind of a cunt”. The joke caused outrage from some, and was defended by others (including comedians Matt Kirshen and Dave Anthony), as often the case in situations like this. It also prompted this parody apology from former Onion staff writers at Thing X. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have left in the comments, but please, keep it civil.

The Oscars weren’t the only award show last weekend. The Independent Spirit Awards also took place with host Andy Samberg. You can watch his monologue (and the entire show if you want) online.

The Comic’s Comic tells the real-life dream comedy scenario that happened when Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock performed on stage together at the Comedy Cellar this week.

Submissions for the Out of Bounds comedy festival in Austin Texas are now open. This year’s festival will take place from August 27 to September 3 and is open to stand-ups, sketch groups, and improv groups. Visit their website to submit an application.

Splitsider put together this list of over 70 of Louis CK’s funniest quotes.

Jimmy Fallon debuted a new web series called Worst I Ever Bombed this week with an episode featuring SNL cast member Cecily Strong talking about a particularly bad Second City show. The series will continue with more stories from comedians about their worst live-performance experiences.

To Be Loved & Understood is a new short documentary about Patton Oswalt from director Julien Nitzberg. Go ahead, watch it!

Comedian Pete Holmes has signed with Conan O’Brien to host a late-night show on TBS set to debut this fall that will air after Conan. The 30-minute show will feature in-studio guests and will also host live comedy, short films, sketches and field pieces.

Adam McKay  shared some details about the upcoming Anchorman 2 with Empire.

Philadelphia’s own Kevin Hart is hosting Saturday Night Live this week. You can watch Hart and cast member Jason Sudeikis in promos for the episode.

 

Latest Episode of The Internuts Podcast Available Now

Each month, Philly writer/musician/person Chris Hurdle hosts comedians and/or funny friends for The Internuts Podcast, a comedy program which explores “the very worst the internet has to offer,” from Craigslist posts to fan fiction.

Last month’s episode featured stand-up Carolyn Busa, and the latest episode featuring Thelma Weinstein and Jim Conrad just came out.   You can listen here, or through iTunes.

And here’s some more background on the ‘cast from Chris: “The show began with only my friends as guests but eventually I got bold and started reaching out to comedians, improvisers, writers, bloggers, and others from the comedy community (mostly from around Philly).  In the beginning my friends also made up the bulk of the audience (out of pity, I suspect) but eventually the audience grew to be several thousand strangers, thanks exclusively to word of mouth (and pity, I suspect).”

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!