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Upcoming Shows

  • March 6, 2015 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • March 6, 2015 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • March 6, 2015 7:30 pmComedy Show w/ Joe Gates
  • March 6, 2015 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • March 6, 2015 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • March 6, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • March 6, 2015 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • March 7, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • March 7, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • March 7, 2015 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • March 7, 2015 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • March 7, 2015 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • March 7, 2015 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • March 7, 2015 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • March 12, 2015 7:30 pmMovie Movie LIVE
  • March 12, 2015 9:00 pmCURSES! The Game Show of Swears, Obscenities, & Censorship
  • March 13, 2015 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • March 13, 2015 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • March 13, 2015 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • March 13, 2015 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • March 13, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • March 13, 2015 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • March 14, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • March 14, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • March 14, 2015 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
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Daily Show Writer and Producer Rory Albanese This Week @ Helium

rory albanese

A few years ago, Rory Albanese punched a 9/11 truther in the face.

That’s a pretty good description of Albanese’s sense of humor. He spent nine years working at The Daily Show (five as a producer) and is now setting out on a tour that stops in Philly from Wednesday until Saturday. I talked to Rory on the phone before his first Philly show…

Witout: Rory, I gotta know why you would leave such a cushy job on The Daily Show.

Albanese: Well, the job was pretty cushy and would have been for a long time, but I’m getting older and it’s like there’s this thing I gotta try cause the window’s closing. I didn’t have a map in some old journal telling me how The Daily Show was gonna play out. I’m doing this thing I wish I would have done at 22, only now it’s like a Kevin Costner movie – “Does his arm still throw? I don’t even know if he can get it up to 90 anymore boys. We’ll have to see.”

Witout: What was it like working with Jon Stewart?

Albanese: Any joke I made for The Daily Show goes through the awesome-maker, Jon Stewart. He’s saved so many of my jokes that would have flopped. You give him even a whiff of an idea and he’ll kill with it.

Witout: Your thoughts on Obamacare?

Albanese: Sure I care about healthcare, but not when The Big Bang Theory’s on. (joking) I’m right down the middle, politically, but I really feel that everyone should have access to good healthcare.

Witout: What was it like doing standup overseas, for the troops?

Albanese: Having been to Afghanistan is a real nice slice of humble pie. It makes you not want to ever wanna hear Kim Kardashian complain about anything ever again. Our veterans coming home are as badass as the “Greatest Generation” ever was and there’s no ticker tape parades for them, it’s bullshit.

Witout: So, I read on your Wikipedia page that you punched a 9/11 Truther in the face at a Jon Stewart event?

Albanese: I should have gone out the backdoor, is the lesson I learned from it. They started saying all this really terrible stuff to us, kinda like the Paparazzi do, and they started pushing us.

I’ve never punched anyone before or since, but I was here for 9/11.


Albanese’s Wednesday night set was smart, topical humor you’d expect from a Daily Show producer mixed with everything from a proctology visit, to why ‘The Right’ should actually want Obamacare, to a family vacation in which Rory and his 8 year old nephew shared similar roles. All with high energy.

Pretty much anything can happen during Albanese’s next three nights after this Philly interchange: Midway through the show an audience member called the two women behind him (who were talking through the whole show) the “C” word. The whole crowd froze. Someone yelled EAGLES. Albanese goes, “They’re not “C” words, they’re just bitches. Well played!

Rory Albanese will be performing at Helium tonight through Saturday Nov 2. For tickets, visit

My Aunt Used to Say…

jack o lantern

At family reunions growing up, my cousin Michael was a bit of a handful, and my aunt used to tell him, “Michael, why do you give your sisters a hard time, you’re normally such a polite young man!” As a youth, this bothered me a bit because Michael was just an average kid. Sure, there were worse kids, but there were also way better kids–especially in the politeness department.

The Philadelphia comedy scene is getting ready to unofficially turn eight years old. Its mother and father, Phit and Helium, have given it a DIY think-tank and a stand-up main stage for the best and brightest to spread their wings. Like any eight year-old, it needs constant encouragement and reinforcement.

Are there instances where young comedy fans who list “Comedian” as their facebook job don’t come out to a small show like Something Witty at the Dive or Sketch Up or Shut Up at Phit because there’s a full DVR of Storage Wars or a PBR special in West Philly? Sure. Are there instances where someone leaves an open-mic two-people after they go up–and not just to hit another mic–but to go home satiated and dream about distinguishing themselves in some different city? Probably…

What I do know is that Philly is a city with comedy energy. Creators whose only incentives are the experience of craft and the absurd exploration of that little nugget that gets a whole room laughing.

Psychologists know the same trick my aunt used on cousin Michael. If you prime the expectations you wish to create, those behaviors will more likely become real. So when I say that taking over as editor of is important because Philadelphia comedians have no relent, egos, cliquishness, laziness, formulaic thinking, alcoholism, really bad on-stage coughing, or anything except ingenuity, inspiration, camaraderie, meticulous attention to detail, and a national renown for independent spirit and unpredictable hilarity…

I’m saying that because right now it’s mostly true… and some day it will be all true.

Special thanks to Dave Walk, Luke Giordano, Aaron Hertzog and Alison Zeidman for getting the ball rolling on the whole Philly Comedy pamphleteering schtick. Thanks to Greg Maughan for offering me a small stipend to keep Philly Comedy transparent. Just a reminder to everyone that I have no prior allegiance with Philly Improv Theatre, and even though they own the domain and pay for my Patco Freedom Card, WitOut is not PR for Phit. At the same time, they do produce perhaps the lion’s share of note-worthy local comedy, so if you are concerned to see them getting a lot of coverage, you may have to just reckon with that to the best of your abilities. Please help us keep our database current by reporting new or ending comedy shows ASAP.