CollegeHumor’s Streeter Seidell seems like the kind of upfront, no bullshit type of comic Philadelphia can appreciate. However, he admitted he’s a little nervous about making his City of Brotherly Love debut when we talked about his upcoming show at the Trocadero Theatre this Friday. The White Wine author is part of the CollegeHumor Live tour alongside Jake Hurwitz & Amir Blumenfeld–stars of the long-running CollegeHumor.com web series Jake and Amir.
WitOut: Will it be the first time performing in Philly for all three of you?
Streeter Seidell: I think Jake and Amir did a college show in Philly once. But I haven’t even been there until about a month ago, which was a great embarrassment for me. I was totally ashamed because I grew up in Connecticut and I’m a massive history buff and Ben Franklin fan. And I like eating fattening food so I was like, how have I not been to this city? But I thought it was a great city. I’m a little nervous because I’ve never performed in Philly and you do hear this terrible rumors about audiences in Philly being crazy mean.
WitOut: Yeah, it’s nonsense. Just don’t suck.
Seidell: Yeah, that’s what I’ve been banking on. The problem is though, that I suck.
WitOut: So how did you get in at CollegeHumor?
Seidell: I was writing articles for the site when I was in college and just got on their radar and got hired right out of school.
WitOut: According to Wikipedia you were studying communications, did you have any idea what you would’ve done after college with that?
Seidell: Uh, I guess I would’ve worked at a talent agency which is where I had been an intern for a while. But thank god CollegeHumor hired me because I would’ve been a terrible agent.
WitOut: What was the experience like when CollegeHumor had a show on MTV, The CollegeHumor Show?
Seidell: It was so much fun. We were probably all 25, 26 and, it was a blast. I grew up watching MTV so the thought of having a show on MTV that I was acting in and helping write was extremely exciting. If only anyone watched it! Maybe I’d still be excited. But it was exhausting, frustrating, and extremely fun.
WitOut I saw you recently got a puppy? Will you be leaving it while you’re on tour?
Seidell: Aw, I wish you didn’t put it like that but yes I am.
WitOut: What can we expect at the show? What’s the format?
Seidell: Well, I’m not all the way sure yet. Usually Jake and Amir come out and do their thing, I come out and do my thing. Then we’ll do something together at the end. What exactly those things will be is yet to be determined. I’ll do stand-up, which, if I can see the crowd, might involve making fun of a kid in the front row. But, I will guarantee you it will be very funny.
WitOut: Despite you sucking?
Seidell: I might suck, but the three of us together, our powers combined, can make one funny show!
WitOut: The Voltron principle.
Seidell: Exactly, or the Captain Planet principle.
WitOut: You’ve co-written some books but you recently published your first book White Whine (http://whitewhine.com, available in stores and online now) on your own, what was that like?
Seidell: Do you remember writing essays or papers for college? Imagine doing that 250 times. And that was kinda like what writing a book was like, except you can say whatever you want and someone will give you money for it. So it was pretty fun!
WitOut: You’ve done sketch, stand-up, television, books, is there a form you haven’t done yet but would like to?
Seidell: Yeah, I guess, a movie right? Like, a major motion picture? Or, I’d really like to explore what I can do on Pinterest. That’s a form I really have yet to conquer. It’s really impressive, in a nine year career I’ve failed in almost every medium, which, not a lot of people can say. I’ll try anything really.
WitOut: Right, like me pretending to be a journalist here. I just write dick jokes in Philly but, I’m talking to you now.
Seidell: Are you the Philadelphia Dick Jokesmith?
WitOut: You’ve heard of me.
Seidell: Dude, how did you get that job I applied for that, I sent in a packet and everything.
WitOut: Well I apprenticed under the previous Dick Jokesmith.
Seidell: Ah, nepotism.
WitOut: What advice would you give someone who is trying to find a way to a career writing comedy?
Seidell: There is no place to go to apply for that job so anyone who wants to be a comedy writer can just start being a comedy writer. I’ve always had kids ask me “I really want to do stand-up” or “I want to write videos” or “I want to make things on YouTube”, well you shouldn’t have to want that cause you can just do that. There’s really no excuse to not just start doing it and, you’ll be pretty terrible for a while but then, hopefully, you’ll get a little better. And maybe one day I can be threatened by you and do everything in my power to stop your rise to fame.
WitOut: If you could be any animal, what would it be?
Seidell: Besides “better human”?
WitOut: That’s fine.
Seidell: Otherwise I was gonna say “Swedish person.”
WitOut: That’s basically the same thing. Anyway, thanks Streeter!
See Streeter Seidell, along with Jake & Amir, when CollegeHumor Live hits the Trocadero Theatre (1003 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA), this Friday November 15th and 8:00pm. Get tickets here.
Dave Metter is a Philly comedian, check him out on Twitter @DaveMetter, and check out his fake local news show Your News, Philadelphia Friday December 6th at the Shubin Theatre.
We sometimes like to have a good laugh at the expense of our favs, but Pat House is a really nice guy who loves comedy–and more importantly he’s good at it. He’s a staple of the Philadelphia comedy scene, so swing by the 7pm early show at Philadelphia Improv Fest and then skip right across the street at 8 to make a borderline problematic amount of noise on Pat’s first album.
Then check back at WitOut tomorrow for photos from the opening night of Philly Improv Fest as well as previews of the rest of the great comedy shows happening this (and every) week in Philadelphia.
Pat with Greg Giraldo, Bill Burr and Mike Birbiglia
Tonight, Philly comedian Pat House records his first CD. Let’s take a look at a career timeline from a Philly favorite.
2005 – Pat places second (2nd) in Howard Stern’s “Kill or Be Killed” before the contest was bought by a Japanese cooking show.
2006 – Pat turns 22, he is the youngest comedian to host at the balloon-factory-turned-nightclub known then as Helium Comedy Emporium–or as we know it today–The United Noble Gasses Laff-Cabaret.
2007 – Pat is a phinalist in Philly’s Phunniest. He will go on to phinal phour more times bephore permanently boycotting the contest upon the 2013 victory of life-long nemesis and least favorite human being, Paul Chantry.
2008 – 2012 — no activity.
2013 – Pat opens for heroes Bill Burr, Mike Birbiglia and one-night-only necromancied Greg Giraldo–who agreed to do a final earthly show for Pat’s birthday, thinking Pat was fifteen and suffering from terminal rosacea.
Presently, Pat is making up for lost time, and can be seen at clubs around the country such as -Cap City Comedy Club (Austin, TX) -Parlor Live (Seattle, WA) -Helium (Philly, Buffalo, Portland) -Respiratory Distress (Detroit) -Hilarities (Cleveland) -Magooby’s (Baltimore) -Jimmothy Johnlinson’s Comedy Nightmare (Mechanicsburg, Louiville, Akron, Halifax) -The Stress Factory (New Brunswick, NJ) -Tony and Tina’s Unexpected Bat Mitzvah (Philadelphia)
You can see Pat perform all of his best material tonight at Helium, and then presumably filling the remaining 39 minutes describing the sensual linguistics of the “C word”.
And speaking of which, presumed-single-lady guest-host Mary “M-Rad” Radzinski (sp?) will open the show!
There’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 Friday — Angel Yau, Chico, Marina & Nicco; 10pm — Frange & Stern, Don’t We Boys. 8pmSaturday — National Scandal, ManiPedi, Brick Penguin. 10pm — Transplants, 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!
We 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.”
It 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.
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).