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Upcoming Shows

  • November 24, 2017 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 25, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 25, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 25, 2017 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 1, 2017 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 2, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 2, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 2, 2017 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 8, 2017 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 9, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 9, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 9, 2017 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 15, 2017 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 16, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 16, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 16, 2017 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 22, 2017 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 23, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 23, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 23, 2017 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 29, 2017 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 30, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 30, 2017Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 30, 2017 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • January 5, 2018 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
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Sketch Comedy All Weekend @ PSF & Phit

PSFThere’s a metric ass-ton of sketch comedy happening this weekend (that’s the industry term). Philly SketchFest is closing with two shows each night both tonight and Saturday @ The Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom Street). 8PM FridayAngel Yau, Chico, Marina & Nicco; 10pmFrange & Stern, Don’t We Boys. 8pm SaturdayNational Scandal, ManiPedi, Brick Penguin. 10pmTransplants, Desperate Times, Megabuds.

Tonight at 8:30, Philly Improv Theater features The Flat Earth with their all new hour of material @ The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge Street). At 10:00, it’s “The Theme Show”, hosted by ManiPedi. Since they are working their tired, hilarious tuchuses off this weekend, let’s take a look at a video by ManiPedi’s own Aubrie Williams!

Found Footage Festival’s “Public Access Explosion” comes to Underground Arts Sunday Night

Found Footage FestWe talked to Nick Prueher about his Found Footage Festival tour, stopping at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street) this Sunday, November 10, 8pm.

This event is a perfect chance for fans of TV Party and everyone else to see even more of the gold that can be found from the cable access of yester-year.

WitOut: How long have you guys been doing comedy?

Nick Prueher: Joe [Pickett] and I have known each other since 6th grade and have been doing various stupid comedy projects since then. We started a humor newspaper in middle school that we revived as roommates in college years later. Joe and I both wrote for The Onion back in Madison, Wisconsin right out of high school, which was a great experience. Joe is still a contributing writer for them. I did a lot of improv comedy after college and then moved to New York to work for the Late Show with David Letterman and–years later–The Colbert Report. We’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the comedy world in some capacity or another pretty much since puberty. The Found Footage Festival is the perfect vehicle for our brand of humor, I think.

 WitOut: Where did the idea for this website come from?

Prueher: I don’t know if I should admit this, but our website for the Found Footage Festival is really an afterthought. The live show is really the heart of the Found Footage Festival and we think watching funny videos on a big screen in a room full of people is far superior to watching them on a little 2-inch window on your laptop.

The idea for the festival was really borne out of boredom. Joe and I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and were always looking for ways to entertain ourselves. In 1991 I was a freshman in high school and was working at a McDonald’s when I found a training video for janitors in the break room. I popped it in the VCR to see what it was all about and could not believe how ridiculous it was. Stilted acting, corny dialogue, and a convoluted plot involving a mysterious thing called “McC,” which the custodian might one day see if he cleaned things extra well. I thought this couldn’t stay in the break room. Joe needs to see this; the world needs to see this. So I stashed it in my backpack and immediately invited friends over for a screening. It became the thing we’d do on Friday night–sit around and watch this remarkably bad training video and make jokes along with it. Then we thought, if there are videos this wonderful right under our noses, imagine what else is out there. And that began our quest to search out of the way places like break rooms, garage sales and thrift stores to find more unintentionally hilarious footage.

WitOut: When was it founded?

Prueher: In 2004, we were trying to raise money for feature-length documentary we directed (“Dirty Country”) and we figured the only asset we had was our crazy VHS collection, which at that point was over 1000 tapes. We decided to take this thing we did in our living rooms for friends and try it out in the back of bar in Manhattan and, to our surprise, people actually showed up. This was pre-YouTube, so I think people were hungry for this type of material and ready to look back at the VHS era and laugh. As a result of that show, we started getting offers to bring it elsewhere around the country. Now we play over 130 shows a year in all 50 states and across Europe and Scandinavia. It’s surreal.

WitOut: What made you decide to tour?

Prueher: Digging through thrift stores and finding VHS gems is great, but the real fun for us is sharing them with people. That’s when all the drudgery of finding, watching and editing pays off. It’s like doing a show-and-tell every night for a new group of people. What’s even better is that now we meet people at shows who have found tapes and donate them to the cause. Our collection keeps growing and we’re currently sorting through all of them for next year’s show.

WitOut: What makes “Public Access Explosion” different from the other shows?

Prueher: This tour is really special to us because a lot of our earliest finds were public access shows. We’d stay up late at night and watch the local cable access channel in Wisconsin with a blank tape loaded in the VCR, ready to hit record if something funny happened. For our money, nothing on TV is more entertaining than public access TV, because it is truly unfiltered. In a world where anyone with a Mac book is savvy enough to make slick-looking movies, it’s really refreshing to see amateurs trying things out on the airwaves. Public access also attracts a lot of unusual characters who want to have their voices heard, which can lead to some interesting content.

WitOut: Any special guests lined up?

Prueher: Yes! We’ve been fans of Jeff Krulik for many years now, especially the 1987 masterpiece he made with John Heyn, “Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” We screened “Parking Lot” for its 20th anniversary before every show on our 2010 tour so we got to know Jeff pretty well, and one thing we were fascinated by were his stories of working at a cable access channel in Maryland in the 80s. He borrowed video equipment from the station to go to a Judas Priest concert and tape the people partying in the parking lot, which captured this wonderful slice of life immortalized in “Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” But Jeff also had the foresight to hang onto a lot of the footage from the public access shows airing in Maryland at the time, and he’ll be sharing a lot of amazing stuff at this special show in Philadelphia.

WitOut: Any favorite outfits from “Heavy Metal Parking Lot?”

Prueher: Great question. I have many favorites, but I’m going to go with the obvious zebra-print jumpsuit.


If you look up Stephen Litten in the dictionary, you’ll find… Stephen Litten.”

Comedy @ The Troc Tonight: Flush Twice Rock-N-Roll Comedy Tour

FlushTwiceTourIt can be tough to find the right words to describe a comedy show, but if you’re going to do it right you might as well start with the title. See: “Flush Twice Rock-N-Roll Comedy Tour” making an appearance tonight at the Trocadero Theater (1003 Arch Street).

Headlining is Philly/South-Jersey comedian Mike “Cork” Corcoran. Cork’s been doing stand-up since since ‘92, he’s a regular at the Parx Casino in AC where he opens for Joe Conklin, and on November 6th he’ll be opening for Kevin Meaney.

Joining Cork on the lineup will be Pennsylvania native Rick Cotter, a comedian newer to the scene who’s already making splashes opening up for The Reverend Bob Levy and Geno Bisconte.

Show-goers can look forward to the  classic rock stylings of Jimmy Miers and the Beers, who you may recognize from last year’s “Sexliciousness Tour,” which also took place at the Troc.

The title should speak for itself; it won’t be the most politically correct or cleanest humor, but these guys get laughs. Cork can be found online on twitter and Facebook at “ComedyByCork.” Doors are at 8pm, show starts at 9. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door.

SketchFest Tonight: Dog Mountain, Pirate Sugar, The Mask & Wig Club

Philly sketch super-group, Dog Mountain (featuring, in various capacities, such names as Rob Baniewicz, Chip Chantry, Joe Moore, Mike Marbach, Carl Boccuti, Dan Vetrano and more) will be doing selections from their three runs so-far.

Says Joe Moore–the Andy Richter of Philly Comedy–“This is a ‘best-of’, so you can see all of the best sketches we’ve ever done, without putting up with the not-best ones.” … adding… “But they were all pretty good.”

Here’s a Dog Mountain video in which Joe reviews an entire 30-pack of Genesee.

Also performing will be Pirate Sugar, as well as the music-comedy of  U-Penn’s legendary The Mask & Wig Club. The show starts at 8:00pm at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom Street).

Photos From Dirtiest Sketch 13

Alex Grubard & Joey Dougherty

Alex Grubard pitches “The Aristocats” to Disney executive Joey Dougherty.

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It was like “The Aristocrats” joke, but for “kids”!

Animosity Pierre

Blangalangalang and DJ Footie-Pajamas take a while to introduce themselves. (DJ Footie-PJ’s name has a lot of “aka’s”.

Animosity Pierre 2

The boys are joined by Blangalangalang’s weird half-sister/possible daughter… Opera singer Sangalangalang.

High Drama 3

High Drama do a hip-hop number about menstruation.

High Drama

At some point, this miniature pyramid structure will be used to make… quite a mess.

the incredible shrinking matt & jaquie

2013 Dirtiest Sketch in Philly Winners, The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jaquie.

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Their Twilight knock-off describes a more efficient way to for Edward and Bella to achieve serum transfer and intimacy.

the incredible shrinking matt & jaquie

Excuse me while I go puke…

TV Party Tonight @ PHIT

marcia wallaceWalking into the Shubin Theatre at 10 PM last Wednesday night, I had no idea what to expect. Approaching the main stage, a welcoming gift was a beer from what looked like a microwave turned into a cooler. The crowd was lively, you could tell the “regulars” from the newcomers right when you walked in. That the people were happy and talkative added comfort to watching an hour of television with strangers.

The lights dimmed and a clever intro played instructions setting the tone for the show. Paul and Rob, the hosts of TV Party came out with positive energy that matched the upbeat crowd. It was close to Halloween, so the show of choice was the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. Paul Triggiani and Rob Baniewicz took a seat and the commentary commenced. Not only were the two hosts adding in a quick jab at Paul Lynde’s choice of words, but the occasional witty comment from an audience member would make for good laughs. The best part of the show was when the musical guest came to perform. Lynde had a good eye, so none other than KISS would be on the Halloween special. Jokes were being fired off left and right from the hosts and the guests.

The name “TV Party” could not fit more perfectly.

I asked Triggiani about the show’s history. He explained that the idea around TV Party is that television was awful in the past and no one thought that it would be seen again. They were of course wrong, and now you can see a variety of hilariously awful shows dating all the way back to the 70’s twice a month at Philly Improv Theater.

I asked what some of his favorite viewings have been so far. One was a show from 1983 called Zorro and Son. The series is self-explanatory, a show about Zorro and Zorro Jr. adventuring side by side. According to Triggiani, what made this even more interesting was how hard it was to get a hold of the show. “I had to lie to the girl that ran the Zorro Fan Club and said that I started a college class and needed a copy.”

Another of his favorites included a sitcom called Heil Honey I’m Home which starred none other than Adolf Hitler. This is what TV Party is all about… bad television for good laughs.

Tonight, Triggiani and Baniewicz will pay tribute to the late Marcia Wallace, whom you may know best as the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. In her day, she’d been all over the TV dial including the Bob Newhart Show, as well as presumably some pretty bad episodes of Hollywood Squares or whatever else the boys can dig up. Show starts tonight at 10pm @ the Shubin Theater right after Guilty Pleasures with Joe Moore. Tickets are only $5.

Dirtiest Sketch in Philly Competition, Tonight!

The Feeko Brothers It’s that time of year again, spazzes! The Dirtiest Sketch in Philly competition is back.

If you’re new to this scene, Dirtiest Sketch is consistently one of the most talked about nights in Philly comedy. In recent years, the bar had been raised (?) to such absurd proportions that nobody really has a clue what to do anymore, so you can basically expect total chaos by the least appropriate minds in the 215.

Tonight’s event will be hosted by Mike Rainey and is rumored to feature a one-night-only return of Animosity Pierre as Blangalangalang and DJ Footie Pajamas. Please be warned though–legit… this show will be unprecedentedly offensive. So no in-laws or congressional hopefuls or what-not. Just BYOB and wear a soul-condom.

8pm at the Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom Street.

Emmy Award Winning Writer and Comedian Greg Fitzsimmons @ Helium: November 8-9

greg fitzsimmonsI like people who can wear a chip on their shoulder like a badge of honor. Your grievances and grudges are what make you interesting. Why not own them?

So it’s not especially a stretch to say that it’s easy for me to love Greg Fitzsimmon’s first hour long special, Life on Stage. An award-winning writer, producer and stand-up comedian, his comedy unabashedly explores social and familial constructs. While seemingly provocative, Fitzsimmons is playfully clever in his approach to unearthing the absolute absurdity that is so often prevalent in modern American life.

You can catch him in Philadelphia November 8 and 9 at Helium Comedy Club. WitOut caught up with Fitzsimmon to talk about Life on Stage, podcasting and the past year (sort of) on the road.

WitOut: You’re out in LA now, right?

Greg Fitzsimmons: Right. I’ve been working in New York. I took the weekend off to come home for Halloween and Trick or Treat with the kids.

WitOut: How was Halloween?

Fitzsimmons: Great. It was very cute. We did trick or treating on one side of the neighborhood, changed costumes and then did the other side. My son is 13 so he’s off with his boys. You know, a real teenage party. I think that was his first one.

WitOut: I’m sure they just sat around and did their homework.

Fitzsimmons: They’re really on the edge. I don’t think they’re doing anything that wrong yet but they’re definitely thinking about it. They’re ready for it. They’re only in the planning stages.

WitOut: You’ve been all over the place this past year. How is tour?

Fitzsimmons: It’s not so much a tour as it is going out to places on the weekends, in between working on the show. This past year, I’ve definitely been on the road a lot doing shows to promote the special. But it’s been a lot of TV stuff. I was executive producer on another show earlier this fall and then just banging out these podcasts twice a week and a radio show once a week. It’s pretty exhausting. I haven’t had a moment.

WitOut: What show are you currently working on?

Fitzsimmons: I created a comedy talk show pilot for FX with this guy Josh Topaulski, who has a website called The Verge. It’s kind of a Daily Show format.

WitOut: How did podcasting make its way into your mix?

Fitzsimmons: Well, I was doing the radio show for just an hour. I was getting these really great guests and all of the sudden, the hour would go by so fast. So, my producer said that we could do another hour and put it out as a podcast. We did that for awhile and people eventually wanted more than one a week. I was on the road a lot of weekends so I started doing [podcasts] from the green room in clubs and now I pretty much just record interviews with people during the week. I’ll try to bank a few and then put those out.

This past week, I sat down with Colin Quinn and at the end I said to him, “How often do you and I get to sit down and talk, uninterrupted for two hours?” It’s very rare. It’s great. I think it started out casually–and it still feels casual– it doesn’t feel like a job. Now there is all of this advertising coming in, which is really just found money.

WitOut: It seems like you have you hands in a lot of different things. You have stand-up, podcasting and radio. You have your book [Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox]. Does it feel different from when you were doing just stand-up?

Fitzsimmons: No. When I started doing stand-up, my Father was really supportive of me. He said, you know, just make sure you write. Write a lot. I think that he knew that it was going to be a tough business and that writing was something that I could always–I wouldn’t say fall back on, but something that I could do in conjunction with stand-up. I’ve always been focused on it.

I’ve always been doing something else. After I did stand-up for a couple of years, I moved to New York and did a two year acting program. So I did that and went out on the road on the weekends. Then I moved to LA and auditioned for acting stuff. I never had any luck but I did it a lot for awhile.

There have always been different directions that I was going in. When my son was born, I started writing for TV so that I could be around more. That’s been twelve years or so in between writing, doing stand-up and hosting stuff on TV.

On a good day it feels like, yeah, you have your hands in a lot of things. On a bad day you feel like you’re being pulled in too many directions. In this business, it’s a pretty good way to keep your sanity–to be able to not have all of your eggs in one basket.

WitOut: A lot of your new special deals with parenting, social class and race. Your kids go to school in LA and so you’re definitely surrounded by a lot of that. Can you speak to us about where that material comes from?

Fitzsimmons: I grew in New York and my Dad was a radio guy. He was very liberal. Very outspoken. Our family’s identity is very, I think, Kennedy Democrats. And I grew up in a place that was very economically and racially diverse.

My kids are in a Spanish Immersion program at a public school in LA. My wife grew up in the city in New York. We try to replicate something that has that same kind of diversity and we’ve been really luck with that. They’ve got a school that has very committed parents and the kids are great. At the same time–not to put down private schools–your kid can get a false sense of feeling like they’re the greatest fucking thing that has ever been born. I want my kids to feel like pieces of garbage that have to work their way out of it for the rest of their lives. That’s the drive they need.

A lot of my material comes out of guilt. I think I feel a certain white guilt with how fortunate I’ve been. Stand up, to me, is about [exploring] what are you thinking about, what makes you uncomfortable or angry, what is it that you can’t wrap your head around. For me, social class seems to be one that is just illogical. It’s the fabric of every society.

WitOut: What about the book? Is it a product of that guilt or is a way for you to kind of wear your mistakes on your armor?

Fitzsimmons: I was an English major in college and I had been writing my whole life. I wanted to write a book since I was five years old. I finally felt like I had lived enough to warrant writing a book about my life. It feel like there are two very different sides of my life and I wanted to explore that earlier part of my life. I wanted to show how it affected the second half.

I grew up very rebellious. The first half of my life, there was a lot of drinking and drugs, fighting and womanizing. It was very different from what my life is today. I just wanted to have fun and go down that road. It ended up being much more deeply about my relationship with my father.

My intention was probably much lighter than what the actual process ended up being.

WitOut: We know that you had a complicated relationship with your Father. Does talking about it so publicly affect that?

Fitzsimmons: He actually died 20 year ago. In a weird way, you still have a relationship with the [deceased] person. I think about him a lot. I think my kids feel his presence in a way. It didn’t end on good terms, really, and that’s sad.

WitOut: Does talking about it help your reconcile with that?

Fitzsimmons: I guess. On some levels, it is. I wish that I could I was that mature and that it was all reconciled. I’m still like a little baby. I definitely have more understanding [of him] now as a parent.

WitOut: You’re coming to Philly on this week. Are you looking forward to coming over here?

Fitzsimmons: (Laughs) Oh my god. Your voice just went up an octave when you asked that.

Yeah! I love Philadelphia! I think Philadelphia is great. It’s one of the few cities that I really enjoy getting up and walking around. The crowds are awesome. They’re really down to earth. There is that Italian-Irish thing there, which is always kind of rowdy and blue collar. It’s fun.


Colleen T. Reese is a contributor to Geekadelphia and Schmitten Kitten. You can follow her on twitter @CollTReese.

Philly Comedy Weekend Photos

From the Desk of Chip Chantry…

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Chip’s middle-school buddy reads the passive-aggressive post-cards he’s sent Chip over the years…

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Chip’s animal expert (on head-lice) finds audience members to interact with.

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Chip’s head-lice expert assails an audience member who would make bad head-lice parents.

Chip Chantry Desk (11)

Chip is visited by the ghost of Martin Van Buren.

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Martin Van Buren shares his enthusiasm for NBC’s The Voice.

There was also a grass-roots rally at FDR Park for the comedic-yet-technically-impressive pro-wrestling promotion Chikara…

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Wrestlers put on an exhibition to rally support for the recently shut down promotion.

Human ice-cream cones (with Mexican accents?) make their way to the ring.

Human ice-cream cones (with Mexican accents?) make their way to the ring.

A human ice-cream cone clicks his car-alarm.

A human ice-cream cone clicks his car-alarm.

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High-flying (and hilarious) action ensues.

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The Daily Show’s Rory Albanese performs at Helium… (check out our interview).

Rory Albanese (1)

PhillyBurbs Tonight — High Note Humor’s Halloween Hangover @ The Taproom in Haddon Twnp.

high note humorTonight James Hesky and Carolyn Busa will be appearing in a comedy showcase at the Taproom in Haddon Township (427 W. Crystal Lake Avenue — a half mile from the Westmont Patco stop).

Halloween Hangover is brought to you by High Note Humor, who puts on a great open-mic every Wednesday night at 8:00pm (sign-ups @ 7:30). Also appearing on the showcase are Matt Haggerty, Jeremy Reilly, Craig Haas and Neil Carrol. Tickets are $10 or 2/$15.