Upcoming Shows

  • February 7, 2014 7:30 pmFirst Fridays w/ Interrobang
  • November 28, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 28, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 28, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 28, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • November 28, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 28, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 29, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 29, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 29, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 29, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 29, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 29, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 29, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 3, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • December 4, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 4, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • December 5, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 5, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 5, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • December 5, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 5, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 5, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 6, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 6, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
AEC v1.0.4

Roger Weaver’s Unexpurgated Guide to Philly’s Phunniest at Helium Comedy Club (TONIGHT!)

Roger Weaver is a veteran of the Philly Comedy Scene, and this will be his umpteenth year of not winning Philly’s Phunniest. Here’s his run-down of what to expect!

Tonight is the finals of the 2014 Philly’s Phunniest Contest at Helium Comedy Club (showtime 7:30pm). Before I break down this year’s finalists, here’s a little bit about me (btw, “about me” was the working title of this article). I’ve been in every Philly’s Phunniest since we took this contest over from the Indians.

Have I had any success in the Helium contest? I’m glad you asked (what took you so long?). A long time ago I did pretty well and even occasionally advanced in the contest—back when I used to have a soul. I went to the finals the first year and finished 6th, although I always tell people I finished 4th, because—like our Founding Fathers—I don’t recognize women or blacks.

I’ve been back to finals once and made some semis, but have had my share of 1st round flameouts, as well. Let the record show I am in no way obsessed with this contest. I don’t have the lineups and results of previous contests covering the walls and windows of my apartment or anything. Please don’t view this analysis of this year’s finalists as the ramblings of a broken bitter man. (It is, but please don’t view it that way.)

Remember this is the best breakdown I could do without actually leaving the house, so I clearly know more about some finalists than others. My research (reading random Facebook posts) is complete and here is my expert breakdown of the finalists in even more expert alphabetical order:

Patrick Graves: Don’t know him very well, but he’s really funny on social media which has to count for something these days. My sources (the dissonant voices in my head) tell me it’s his first time in the contest so this is a very impressive debut.

Tommy Highland: Success in this contest is nothing new for Tommy Highland, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. He’s not even originally from Philadelphia! If he wins, I’m calling for an investigation from any Philadelphia City Council members not currently under investigation themselves.

Jake Mattera: Don’t know him, but I bet he’s got great Mattera-ial. Note: this is why I don’t advance in this contest anymore.

Matt McCusker: Is it just me or is Matt McCusker too good looking to be a really funny comedian. At his age and with his looks he should be playing a high school kid on Saved by the Bell. Saved by the Bell is still on, right?

Lou Misiano: I’d tabbed Lou Misiano to be a force in this contest a few years ago after seeing him destroy at some pretty tough open mic venues. Note: I don’t usually use the term “destroy” in a comedy context, I save it for serious things like Hamas missile strikes or Godzilla rampages but I’m trying to sound relevant.

A while back I heard Lou Misiano tell a topical joke that was almost exactly like one I’d written so naturally I think he’s brilliant.

Anthony Moore: Not personally familiar with his work, but I’ve heard some really good things about him. That also pretty much sums up my relationship with God.

Alex Pearlman: I’m an Alex Pearlman fan from way back. He once helped me during a performance with an inspired piece of improv involving Axe Body Spray (“improv” is anything you don’t rehearse, right?), so whenever I walk by a high school boy’s locker room I think of him. Alex Pearlman with a microphone is a force of nature. You know, like erosion. He’ll get to you eventually. And he just keeps getting better. Hey, just what is he trying to prove anyway?

Mary Radzinski: Mary Radzinski was just named Philly’s Best Comedian by Philadelphia Magazine which, I suppose is a good thing if you’re still into awards given by print media. On a personal note, Mary is the only finalist (besides Pearlman) that I’ve pleasured myself to. From the first time I saw her do stand-up I thought she sounded and had the presence of a professional female comedian. (Yes, I just put “female” in there because I’m a douche.)

Female comics haven’t had a great deal of success in the contest since Robin Fox placed second in its inaugural year, but if anyone can break that trend, it’s Mary.

Mike Rainey: Host of Helium’s Dirty Dozen Show and veteran of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon—full disclosure—Rainey and I once kissed during a performance at the bachelor party for a Phormer Philly’s Phunniest winner. At that moment and for the first time in my life I felt truly alive. Rainey is the Jeff Ross of Philly comedy, and I don’t just say that because he’s a doughy white guy, he’s simply the best comedian I’ve heard at roasting other comics.

I stumbled upon his setlist for the Ed McGonigal roast and to this day treat it as an archeological artifact. Many times I’ve been the victim of Rainey’s hilarious barbs, and—if you’re at all familiar my appearance—you can imagine how difficult it is to come up with anything on me.

Ryan Shaner: He was on my night of the contest last year and didn’t advance either. Pretty much confirms what I’ve said about that audience to anyone that would listen—and also to people that cover their ears and walk away singing to themselves for that matter. Ryan is very funny and, more importantly, don’t underestimate the power of the mustache. It worked for Kent Haines.

Chris Stenta: Don’t think I know him, but we’re friends on Facebook so he must be hysterical.

Erik Terrell: This guy sounds more like a defensive back than a comic to me. I don’t know him, but I’m guessing he’s one of the Helium contest’s most dangerous entrants… the non-threatening black guy. Note: If Erik Terrell isn’t a black guy (or especially if he is, threatening or otherwise) please excuse this as the crazy rantings of a racist old man and for God’s sake stay off of my lawn.

OK, that’s enough highbrow analytics for now. I have to start crafting my set list for next year’s contest. Remember, they say those that are ignorant of George Santayana quotes are doomed to repeat them. Good luck to all the finalists tonight!

The WitOut.net Podcast Ep. 15: The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie

Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie Javelin 4

Jacquie Baker and Matt Schmid talk sketch-comedy shop and discuss their upcoming show at Phit.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s an ad for their show!

The WitOut Dot Net Podcast Episode 14: Bryce Remsburg

Bryce Remsburg
On this episode of the WitOut Dot Net Podcast, we chat with Bryce Remsburg of Chikara Pro Wrestling and Secret Pants. Bryce breaks kayfabe to candidly discuss the current Chikara storyline, and helps us break down the evolution of the Philadelphia sketch comedy scene. Visit www.Chikarapro.com.

[Calendar update: Rory Scovel played Helium this past weekend, Wadsworth Constant/Dean’s List ran 2/15. This podcast was expected to drop prior to these shows. Unfortunately, if you didn’t see them, you missed them. For now…]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Retro Philly Comedy — “Medowsteak” by Meg & Rob

 

Got any favorite Philly comedy videos from yester-year? Tweet them @WitOutDotNet

Ask a Philly Comedian — What Are You Thankful For, Chip Chantry?

Chip Chantry Thanksgiving 2013Each day this Thanksgiving Week, WitOut asks a Philly comedian what he or she is thankful for. Today we asked Chip Chantry.
~~~~~

1. I’m thankful that my intramural Knockout Game team just made the semi-finals.

2. I’m thankful for the new Arcade Fire album, so now I don’t have to choreograph my figure-rollerblade routines to just Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, like I had to for the last 12 season in a row.

3. I’m thankful for my Thursday Red Lobster lunches with Steve Swan. (UPDATE: The police have only been called ONCE on us this past month!)

4. I’m thankful for the decades-spanning body of work of Mr. Dabney Coleman.

5. I’m thankful for Christmas music on B101, so now I have something to listen to when I write in my revenge diary.

6. I’m thankful that I’ll be at Helium Comedy Club tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 and 10pm. I’m thankful that there is more information at www.heliumcomedy.com.

Ask a Philly Comedian — What Are You Thankful For, Brian Craig?

brian craig thanksgivingEach day this Thanksgiving Week, WitOut asks a Philly comedian what he or she is thankful for. Today we asked Brian Craig.
~~~~~

I could very easily give any number of jokey responses, delightfully glib or arcane or absurd, but instead I’d like to take this opportunity to genuinely answer what I’m thankful for: my wife, Samantha Russell.  An inventive cook, an incredible party-planner, and a deftly subtle comedian, I am constantly floored by what she’s able to selflessly accomplish, and this little public note can hardly express the degree to which I truly appreciate what she does for me and everyone around her.

Ask a Philly Comedian — What Are You Thankful For, Aubrie Williams?

Aubrie WilliamsEach day this Thanksgiving Week, WitOut asks a Philly comedian what he or she is thankful for. Today we asked Aubrie Williams.
~~~~~

I am thankful for:

-my family- they have always been supportive of me, even when I decided to take up DDR in their living room for a few months in high school.

-my friends- for without them, I wouldn’t have any friends and would be known as that weird girl around town who cries into her nachos at the Applebees.

-for two new additions to my family, both named after geographical locations!

-also I’m thankful for maps- for without them, the previously mentioned additions wouldn’t have names! (or at least the same ones)

-for buffets- good and bad, old and new! Shout out to Ruby Buffet on Delaware Ave., where I was once elbowed by a man who was trying to steal the last snow crab leg from me.

-I am thankful for that man not letting me have that last crab leg, because as he took his tiny crab leg back to his table, they brought out a new tray and I got to fill my plate. I call that karma, sir.

-I am thankful for Buffetts, namely Jimmy- because of him, we have a wonderful chain restaurant called Margaritaville! …and also a song, but I’m more thankful for the one involving food.

-the 1st concert I ever went to, which was not Jimmy Buffett but Puff Daddy and the Family’s No Way Out Tour in 1998. If I didn’t go, I wouldn’t have gotten to shake ODB’s hand at the tender age of 15 and subsequently get yelled at by our chaperone for calling him “Mr. Bastard!” to get his attention.

-lastly, I am thankful that life always throws bizarre and absurd things my way because this is how and why I do comedy. If I didn’t do comedy, I wouldn’t be a comedian, and this article would never exist.

Ask a Philly Comedian — What Are You Thankful For, Dave Terruso?

Dave Terruso hoodieEach day this Thanksgiving Week, WitOut asks a Philly comedian what he or she is thankful for. Today we asked Dave Terruso.
~~~~~

What I, David Anthony Terruso, am thankful for this year:

1. My funny and beautiful ladyfriend, Carrie.

2. Having awesome supportive parents who love me and always make me feel welcome. And a cool brother, and a goodhearted and funny nephew. My extended family is also supportively awesome.

3. Having close friends I can count on for help and support, and also a jillion acquaintances I can have really silly banter with on a daily basis.

4. Finding a literary agent who believes in me and that I can connect with on a personal level.

5. The 700 people who bought my novel this year.

6. The nine months I got to devote solely to writing and comedy. (This is me being thankful to myself, since I depleted my own savings to do it.)

7. My health.

8. The laughter of kittens.

9. My two penises: the really big one that doesn’t work but draws in the ladies. And the way smaller one that does work and has closed the sale for many a disappointed gal.

10. Judd Hirsch.

11. Being a host at Helium Comedy Club and getting to hob knobs with my comedy heroes.

12. My little-known but oft-used telekinetic powers. (Yes, I freely admit I’m not naturally that good at claw crane machines. It’s my push power that wins me so many stuffed pals.)

13. The Criterion Collection.

14. The inexpensive price of Chocolate Juniors. Mmmmm.

15. My landlady/ex-coworker for letting me live in a big three-bedroom house in Manayunk for way less than the rent should be.

16. The way farts never stop being funny.

17. The reason all of us are alive right now: photosynthesis.

18. All the music that gets me through the day, the comedy that makes me laugh, and the literature and films that teach me what being human really is.

19. Did I say Judd Hirsch already? Let me check. Oh, yeah, he was #10. Well, I reiterate: I’m thankful for him.

20. God.

Ask a Philly Comedian — What Are You Thankful For, Kristen Schier?

kristen schierEach day this Thanksgiving Week, WitOut asks a Philly comedian what he or she is thankful for. Today we asked Kristen Schier.
~~~~~

I am thankful for my little red bike that takes me so quickly through town.

I am thankful for my job. I am really lucky to be doing something I love.

I am thankful to Honey’s for their cheap and delicious breakfast special and for my boyfriend, who is the honey I usually share it with.

I am thankful for my family. For real though.

I am thankful for the vibrant comedy scene in Philadelphia. Here’s to bigger and better in the years to come.

WitOut Sends Civilian to Her First Comedy Show

David James 2 - Helium 2013

David James [photo by Frances Paris]

We sent a comedy newbie to her first live comedy show this past weekend to give/get a fresh perspective. Know anyone who you think would love live comedy, but has never been to a club or theater show? Tweet them this article with #PhlComedy, @WitOutDotNet and they could win tickets to a comedy show in Philly!

~~~~~

Ok, let me start off by saying if you want to see a show-and-a-half then stop on by Helium Comedy Club. Tonight was probably the best experience I could be a part of. It started with seeing David James. Let me first say that he was hilarious. 

He opened up the show with a wonderful question we can all relate to, “Have you ever dated someone and didn’t know if they were retarded or not?” That started the conversation for the show.  He then went through the show with charisma and poise. He was going from topic to topic with no problems whatsoever. He was wonderful. He put everything that society hates to talk about, every grey area, and made it very easy to talk about it. I honestly thought he was hilarious. He included his audience in his act and let me tell you it was like a breath of fresh air compared to most comedians on TV. He was suave and sure of himself and was ready for any topic he put out there.

The headliner was, from In Living Color and Comedy Central, Mr. Tommy Davison. 

Tommy Davidson - Helium 2013 - FP

Tommy Davidson [photo by Frances Paris]

He started off the show full of life and energy. He came out dancing and getting the crowed worked up. The first few jokes were just openers, like most people would do if they were coming to a party or something. The best thing about his performance was his attitude. He was so secure. He made sure he kept eye contact with everyone and just kept with the act. He was great with his facial expressions and changed his voice several times to keep up with the characters he was playing.

It was something that most people would really enjoy. I highly suggest that people go see him. He took topics like politics, race and genre and turned them into pleasant topics that we can all relate to. Honestly if you are looking for a great time and a place to spend your time go on down to Helium and enjoy the show. -Frances Paris