Upcoming Shows

  • December 20, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 20, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 20, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 20, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 20, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 20, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 20, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 23, 2014 9:00 pmSecret Pants Presents: Cuban Tinsel Crisis
  • December 24, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • December 25, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 26, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • December 26, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 26, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 27, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 27, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 27, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 27, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 27, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 27, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 27, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 31, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • January 1, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
AEC v1.0.4

New N Crowd Cast Members: 6 Months In

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This past summer, one of Philadelphia’s longest-running short-form improv groups, The N Crowd, held auditions in search of a fresh crop o’ cast members.  But no one wants to hear opinions from a bunch of green-ass newbies who don’t know what they’re doing yet, so we decided to check in with them after their first six months.  Here they are reflecting on what it’s been like being part of the group so far.

Bert Archer: “[Cast member] Jessica Snow probably doesn’t know this story, but I was one of her “pillars” in a show in 2008.  As soon as the game started, I made it my job to try and throw her off.  Every time she tapped me for a suggestion I gave her a vulgar phrase, and it didn’t phase her at all.  She killed it.  I not only fell in love with her…but with improv as well. A year later I would do my first-ever improv performance in front of a crowd…with Jess Snow.  It’s going to be great to see what her and I, and the rest of the Crowd, can do.”

Alison Zeidman: “I auditioned for The N Crowd because Corey Holland (who’s now on the team with me, and also my duo partner in Steve Rogers is Dead) told me he thought I should. I didn’t have any short form experience, and I didn’t even know they were casting new members until Corey told me about it.  After my audition, I think I texted him something like, ‘Bahahahhahahahahahahha well that was terrible. I guess short form’s not for me.’ Then I got a callback. And now I’m on the team.  I’m having a great time and learning a ton from everyone, so I hope they don’t consider casting me a mistake. Because now we’re like family, and I don’t want to be the unimpressive middle child of The N Crowd. I’m already the unimpressive middle child in my biological family.”

Corey Holland: “Being on The N Crowd has given me the chance to perform short form improv for audiences that many times have never been exposed to improv before.  I also perform with indie teams Malone and Steve Rogers is Dead, both of which are long form teams.  Some seem to think you have to choose a preference of which you like better, or which IS better, but performers should stay open minded. Experience and practice all styles to better yourself on stage.  Every member of The N Crowd is immensely talented and involved in at least a baker’s dozen other things, but still has time to put on a weekly comedy show every Friday night.  Consistently awesome shows are rare…like holographic card rare.  More people should come see The N Crowd. We have T-shirts.”

Steve Grande: “What I have enjoyed most about being in The N Crowd, aside from the awesome cast members and the atmosphere, is the fact that we get to perform to sold out non-improviser crowds on a weekly basis. I know that a lot of other shows don’t have that opportunity, and as a person who produces comedy shows in New Jersey, I feel like this is a scenario that we all strive to obtain. Over the past six months, I have seen first-hand the hard work and dedication that its members have put into this troupe in order to have that reputation. I am extremely happy and humbled to be a member of a group that has been a cornerstone of the Philly comedy scene for the past 8 years.”

Matt Lamson: “I was so excited when I first got on The N Crowd because I prefer short form improv, whereas long form seems to be more prevalent in Philly. At first, I was a bit humbled and felt almost anxious being around these seasoned players, but everyone on the team is super chill and we’ve become fast friends.  I’ve had so many awesome opportunities with The N Crowd like playing in the Philadelphia Improv Festival, at Pottstown’s Steel River Playhouse, and next week I’m traveling to North Carolina [for the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival].  I can’t wait to see see where we go as a team.”

 

You can see The N Crowd this and every Friday at The Actor’s Center (257 N. 3rd Street) at 8pm. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 at the door.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 17

ChipChantry TimButterly AaronNevins JamesHesky RyanCarey AlisonZeidman JohnKensil SteveSwan DarrylCharles AlexNewman

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Another WitOut EXCLUSIVE: Video Reels from Last Night’s WitOut Awards

STOP THE PRESSES (or “stop the internet”?). Through some real hard-hitting journalistic mastery, we’ve gotten our hot little hands on the three video reels that ran during the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy…oh, and also, we have them because we’re the ones who made ‘em.  (We just get such a kick out of referrin’ to our own shit as “exclusive.”)

Thanks to all of the writers who helped with the show and contributed to the jokes in these reels (Aaron Hertzog, Alison Zeidman, Chip Chantry, Jim Grammond, Christian Alsis, Carolyn Busa, Ralph Andracchio, JP Boudwin, Jason Grimley, Greg Maughan and Joe Moore).

A List of All the Nominees Who Voted For Themsleves (Pro Tip: It’s Just Everyone)

In Memoriam

Pre-Show Awards

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 15

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Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 14

totw-an totw-cc totw-hr totw-az totw-bw totw-dh totw-jg totw-dm totw-ss totw-jm

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 10

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Another WitOut EXCLUSIVE: The Making of Tweets of the Week – Featuring Luke Field & Judd Apatow

 

Luke Field is a Philly Improv Theater instructor, a member of PHIT House Teams Asteroid! (improv) and The Flat Earth (sketch), and one half of the improv duo Hot Dog.

Judd Apatow is The Judd Apatow.

“I Don’t Like Girl Comics Either” – Interview with Mary Radzinski

by Alison Zeidman

Mary Radzinski is the sassiest lady-comic to ever hoist up a pair of ovaries and get ‘erself up on a stage full o’ people ready to laugh at her unique lady-take on wimmin stuff and—just kidding, I’m not going to do that to her.

Mary Radzinksi is the co-host of the Monday night open mic Laughs on Fairmount at Urban Saloon (along with friend and fellow funnyperson Carolyn Busa), and one of the newest additions to the Helium Comedy Club hosting roster.  She’s one of the friendliest faces in the Philly comedy scene, an exceedingly talented writer and performer, and really, really funny.

In short, Mary is swell.  For further proof, read on:

 

Alison Zeidman: For people that maybe aren’t familiar with you, can you talk about how you got started in comedy?

Mary Radzinski: Six years ago I took a comedy writing class as part of Main Line School Night, and there was a graduation show at the end.  So the first time I did stand-up it was a graduation show, and then I did a couple ones-y little things with people in the class because we were like “We’re rockstars, this is amazing!” And then I didn’t do anything. I waited a couple years, and four Julys ago I got onstage at an open mic and I’ve been religiously doing that since.

AZ: What made you want to get started again?

MR: My best friend lives in Fairmount and at the time there was [another] open mic here [at Urban Saloon]. And she was like, “Oh let’s go to this bar, there’s an open mic, it’s Monday nights”—which is funny, same night—and that got me to do it.

AZ: You’re one of the newest Helium hosts. Did you do anything special to prepare for your audition?

MR: I think having done the audition a couple years ago and then…you know, we’re all still so new in this game, but I think just getting onstage all the time [was the most helpful]. In terms of specific preparation for that show, just being confident in my jokes and trying not to second-guess myself. When I first heard about the audition again, I was like “I need to write all new material!” The self-doubt sets in and stuff. But then I was like no, and I just tried to tweak a few jokes and maybe  strengthen some things that had been going well, and just tried to do my jokes and get out of my own head.

And I have hosted in some clubs, so I think that’s helped more in preparation of that longer set for a club show, and knowing like what’s a good five minutes, what’s a good ten minutes, what’s a good fifteen minutes.  And being at Helium while my friends are hosting and watching it, more than anything, I think has given me a little confidence and prepared me.

AZ: Now I’m going to try to not ask you the question you’re not going to like—because I think it’s a touchy question for any female comic.  So I don’t want to ask, “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?” or even “What’s it like to be the first female comic on Helium’s regular host rotation?”, but more like, how do you celebrate that accomplishment, and acknowledge that, yeah, that is significant, but at the same time, keep the focus on the fact that comedy should be comedy, regardless of gender? How do you strike that balance?

MR: I think about it all the time, because I do think it’s a numbers game. Helium in Philly has not had a female host [in their regular hosting roster] yet—but I mean, I know Helium’s not against females by any means—so I’m excited and I’m proud and I hope that it’s because it’s at the time that I’m a good comic, or that I will be a good host or an asset for whoever they pair me with as the headliner and that sort of thing.  I do think it’s a numbers game where—I was just talking to somebody about this, where if in a lineup of ten comics, there’s only one girl, and if that girl’s not funny, that just leaves a bad taste for a lot of audience members [in terms of female comics in general].

But I’m trying not to let that “girls aren’t funny” thing get me down, and knowing that I wasn’t going to become a host there until I was a funny comedian, regardless of gender, makes me feel confident now. I do have as one of my openers, “I don’t like girl comics either,” and that can be taken several ways—some females can be like, “Why would you do that?”—but I also feel like it’s just sort of knocking that sort of preconceived notion…

AZ: Oh totally. It’s commenting and poking fun at the idea that that’s even a thing.

MR: Yeah. And a lot of times, when people ask, “Who are your favorite comics?” I don’t necessarily immediately think of women. I think of people who have made me laugh.  So I want that. And I think that stereotype can be negative, but I also think it’s a fun challenge to break through.  There’s always going to be someone who’s like “You’re really funny for a girl, I don’t usually like girls,” and you get that all the time, and I’ve learned not to take that the wrong way because there are fewer female comics, and so a lot of times when people don’t see a ton of comedy—it’s totally a numbers game.

AZ: Your first hosting gig is going to be with Hal Sparks, right? What are you excited about for that week?

MR: Honestly it’s so funny, in my head I’m just like “I don’t care who it is! I would want to open for anyone there!” But I’m excited. I don’t know a ton about Hal Sparks—I’ll clearly do my homework—but from what I understand I think he does have a decent female following, and you know, could that be why they paired me with him? Probably, but I also like that—because I’m just looking forward to a full room.

AZ: OK, and this will hopefully be a fun question: What would be your fantasy hosting gig?  Who would feature, who would headline, who would heckle that you would get to shut down, and who would come up to you afterwards and tell you that they really liked you? Anyone in the world.

MR: Oh my god…that’s amazing. Oh god, there’s so many. I mean my favorite comedians, like I love Louis CK, to open for someone like that…this is going to get me!

AZ: Have you ever seen High Fidelity? This is going to be like at the end when that reporter interviews him and asks for his all-time top 5 songs or albums or whatever it is, and he’s calling her every fifteen minutes to change his list.

MR: Yeah! I will definitely think about this…

AZ: You can send it to me later if you want.

MR: Can I? Because I definitely love that question, and I totally…if I give you an answer now, I would be texting you later to change it.

 

A week later, after a lot of thought and apologies for the delay, Mary sent me her responses. She reserves the right to change them at any time.

Headliner: Louis CK
Feature: Hannibal Buress or Kyle Kinane
Heckler: Some self-important dick from Everywhere, USA, or Adam Carolla
Person Who Liked Me: Seth MacFarlane or Bill Murray, or Sarah Silverman—along with the entire waitstaff from the venue. And then long after the show was over, Adam Carolla.

 

See Mary weekly at Laughs on Fairmount at Urban Saloon (2120 Fairmount Ave.), and this week at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.) with Hal Sparks from Nov. 29th-Dec. 1st.

Alison Zeidman is a stand-up comedian, improviser, and Editor for WitOut.net.

Another WitOut EXCLUSIVE: The Making of Tweets of the Week – 30th Street Station Edition

BREAKING: WitOut Editor Alison Zeidman Releases Own 2013 WitOut Awards Nominations

In the interest of full disclosure surrounding my influence as a WitOut editor on the nominations and voting process for the 2013 Witout Awards for Philadelphia Comedy, and in response to pressure from one Mr. Donald J. Trump, I have decided to publicly release the contents of my nominations form:

BEST STAND-UP COMEDIAN
Alison Zeidman
I’ve only been doing stand-up for about two months, but I thought about doing it for two years before that, so.

BEST SKETCH GROUP
Alison Zeidman
I’ve never been part of a sketch group, but I can see myself potentially doing that one day, maybe, and this award might just be the encouragement I need.

BEST IMPROV GROUP
Malone, starring Alison Zeidman
Steve Rogers is Dead, starring Alison Zeidman
The N Crowd, starring Alison Zeidman

BEST STAND-UP BIT
“Toilet Seat Pregnancy” by Alison Zeidman
This totally bombed the third time I did it, but so what? I had a lot of really rough conditions working against me (humidity, grilled cheese craving, middle class upbringing).

BEST SKETCH
“Peanut Butter and Jelly in Divorce Court” by Alison Zeidman
This is not a sketch that has ever been performed, or actually written, but it is an idea for a sketch I had once.

BEST MALE IMPROVISER
Alison Zeidman
I’m not struggling with my sexuality, I just think my work transcends gender.

BEST FEMALE IMPROVISER
Alison Zeidman
When you’ve been doing improv for as little time as I have, you have every reason to think you’re the best.

BEST REGULAR SHOW
I’d like to nominate every show/theater I’ve performed with in the last year, but I’m only allowed up to three (3), so I’ll have to combine them:
The PhillyImpSideNTheaterShowRookiePolyCardGonRicRac

BEST SHORT-RUN OR ONE-TIME SHOW
Myths & Monsters presented by Philly Improv Theater for the Philly Fringe Festival, starring Alison Zeidman

BEST PODCAST OR WEB SERIES
Does WitOut count as a web series?  It’s on the web, and it has a series (se·ries [seer-eez] noun, plural se·ries 1. a group or a number of related or similar things, events, etc., arranged or occurring in temporal, spatial, or other order or succession; sequence) of posts.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF TWEETING
Alison Zeidman (@alisonzeidman)
I tweet occasionally. It’s all gold. And when it’s not, I just delete it later, unless I forget to.

BEST OPEN MIC
Again, I would like to nominate all open mics I have appeared at in the last year, combined:
LaughsonFairJamHeadHouseCenterCityAccidentsWillNoche

BEST NEW ACT
Alison Zeidman as Alison Zeidman and/or in any joint involving Alison Zeidman

All jokes aside, may the best performers, writers, producers, etc. win! (But also all jokes aside aside, I plan to sweep the whole thing and I will close nominations early if it looks like that isn’t going to happen.)