Upcoming Shows

  • April 16, 2014 7:30 pmMILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN @PHIT
  • April 16, 2014 9:00 pmTHIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN + SABOTAGE @ PHIT
  • April 16, 2014 10:00 pmTHIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN @ PHIT
  • April 17, 2014 7:30 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 17, 2014 7:30 pmMILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN @ PHIT
  • April 17, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • April 17, 2014 10:30 pmTHE SIDESHOW @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • April 18, 2014 7:30 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • April 18, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • April 18, 2014 9:00 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 10:30 pmATOMIC CINEMA VAULT @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 11:00 pmSKETCH UP OR SHUT UP @ PHIT
  • April 19, 2014 7:30 pmSarcasm Comedy Club
  • April 19, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • April 19, 2014 7:30 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 19, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • April 19, 2014 8:00 pmBye Bye Liver: The Philadelphia Drinking Play
  • April 19, 2014 9:00 pmDR. SLEEPOVER @ PHIT
  • April 19, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • April 19, 2014 9:30 pmSarcasm Comedy Club
  • April 19, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • April 19, 2014 10:30 pmBIG BABY + MAYOR KAREN @ PHIT
  • April 20, 2014 4:00 pmPHIT PRESENTS: MILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN
AEC v1.0.4

High Dramma Sketch Comedy

Description: April showers… bring High Dramma Sketch Comedy! We will not be providing any May flowers, but we do plan on pollinating your brain with some hilarious sketches.
Style: Sketch
Date: April 3rd-6th
Time:  8PM
Admission: April 3rd (Pay What You Want!), April 4th-6th ($10)
Location: Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Contact: FacebookWebsiteTickets

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 84

Monday Evening Raw returns to Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar for a night of stand-up comedy featuring Dave Temple, Jess Carpenter, Alison Zeidman, and Phyllis Vorren.

Billy Gardell from TV’s Mike and Molly will be performing tonight at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware. Tickets can be purchased online.

Tuesday night kicks off the second of two weeks of shows for Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater. You can check out PHIT’s full schedule online.

East Coast Power Nap will have their second show at the Trocadero Theatre this Wednesday with a stand-up comedy showcase featuring: Julia Scotti, Mary Radzinski, John Nunn, Omar Scruggs, Paul Easton, and Aaron Nevins.

Chaos Comedy makes its debut this Wednesday at The Adobe Cafe. The new show will take place on the first Wednesday of every month at the South Philly establishment. The first show will feature performances by: Doogie Horner, Dan Vetrano, Dave Terruso, James Creelman, R.A. Bartlett, Nicole Yates, and Pot Bot.

This Thursday R Open Mic moves to L2 (2201 South St.) Sign ups start at 7:30 and the mic kicks off at 8:00.

JP Boudwin’s sketch comedy showcase Now Time! returns to L’etage this Thursday with a show featuring: The Specific Jawns, Caletta and McGrail, and The Stonewall Players.

Stand-up comedian Mike Epps will headline at The Liacouras Center this Friday. Tickets can be purchased online.

Bill Cosby will be performing at The Keswick Theater this Sunday. Tickets can be purchased through StubHub.

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

Discussing a Bit with Matt Holmes – The “Best” Thing on ‘SNL’ Recently

by Matt Holmes

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died on Tuesday, March 5. On Saturday, March 9, Saturday Night Live opened with host Justin Timberlake impersonating Elton John as he sang a dedication of “Candle in the Wind” at Chávez’s funeral.

The lyrics were altered, as Elton John did after the death of Princess Diana, but to include bizarre facts about Chávez’s life, including his radio show Aló Presidente, hat-wearing parrot, and comments he made about capitalism destroying a civilization on Mars.

I think this sketch was the best thing on SNL recently.

  • The sketch used the host’s talents. He sang it well, and I think played the piano part too. He sold the jokes and did a good impression.
  • The sketch was topical. The live aspect of SNL allows—if not demands—that current events be used in the humor.
  • The sketch was funny. It had clever rhymes, good pacing, and insight about the subject.

It’s the combination of these things that makes it stand out for me. It’s SNL being SNL.The show has certainly had some other funnier stuff, but funny is subjective. What’s funny is based on personal taste, awareness of the subject matter, how well it pans out, even your mood at the moment you’re watching it.

Saturday Night Live is a live sketch-comedy show with a celebrity host who performs in sketches. SNL‘s DNA is funny, political, timely, edgy, and flavored by the guest host. With the right mix and balance, you can watch it live or 30 years later and love it just as much.

There’s a certain timely element that gives an added impact in the moment. (You can’t even find this sketch on Hulu or NBC.com/SNL because of music rights; you actually had to watch it live.) But if something’s well-written and well-performed, it’ll hold up later.Look at the Sarah Palin sketches or Dan Aykroyd playing a hemorrhoid-suffering President Carter, outlining his plan against inflation: Preparation I.

And certainly not every sketch is going to be that mix of current events and host talents. It shouldn’t be even if it could be. There are other aspects of SNL that make up its identity.

  • My point is to know thyself and be the best you.

Comedy—and art in general—are often spoken of in mystical terms. There’s an extra something that makes it all come together as more than the sum of its parts. That magical spark; it’s you. It’s the comic or group or show, etc., having a self-awareness and producing material that is representative.

There are ways to get people talking around a water cooler or tweeting, ways to get more video plays, ways to get remembered or imitated. Too often, though, these formulas can lead to comedy that is formulaic. It’s more important to be a good example of yourself.When Chappelle’s Show was about to come out, network executives said they weren’t sure if the sketch about a blind Klansman who doesn’t know that he’s black would be a good representation of the show overall. Dave Chappelle said it was a perfect representation. 

When Bill Prady, showrunner for The Big Bang Theory, was working on Dharma and Greg, he woke up in the middle of the night with a perfect story, but the perfect story for Star Trek: Voyager. He got in touch with them and handed it over.

Even if something’s good it has to fit and feel right. Comedians should become tailors.

It’s a lesson to learn from any outstanding piece created out of knowing not only the message, but the medium.

Matt Holmes is an improviser in Philly. He performs a full improv comedy set with a complete stranger from the audience in Matt& (“playful and winning” –TimeOut Chicago). He also teaches improv, coaches improv groups, and co-founded Rare Bird Show (“Top Shelf Improv” –The Apiary, “arguably the best improv group Philly has ever produced” –AV Club).

Look for the next installment of “Discussing a Bit,” Matt’s monthly WitOut column, on May 1st.

Have a comedy issue or theory you’d like Matt to examine? Email alison@witout.net.