Center City Comedy – 9:00pm (signups at 8:30) at The Raven Lounge, 1718 Sansom St., Philadelphia
Comedy Under the Disco Ball – 8:00pm (signups at 7:30) at L2, 2201 South St., Philadelphia
If you run a Philadelphia-area comedy show or open mic let us know so we can share it on our calendar and in our daily show round-ups by sending us the information from our submit a show page to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy! As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ‘em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!
The nominees for Best Open Mic are:
Laughs on Fairmount
Time: 8:00PM – 11:00PM
Location: The Urban Saloon: 2120 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Hosts: Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Join Laughs on Fairmount at the Urban Saloon on Fairmount Ave. (across from Eastern State Penitentiary). Laughs on Fairmount will be Monday nights with sign-ups for comedians beginning at 7:15pm. Show starts at 8pm in the back room.
Sketch Up or Shut Up
Schedule: The last Friday of every month (the first week of PHIT’s Shubin run)
Time: 11:00PM – 12:00AM
Location: Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia
Host: Brian Kelly
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Free sketch comedy open mic! Come to perform or see some of Philadelphia’s best comedians try out new material. Arrive by 10:45 to sign up, and please keep sketches to five minutes or less. Free and BYOB! Sketch Up or Shut Up is hosted by Brian Kelly and was created by Meg Favreau.
Center City Comedy
Time: 9:00PM – 1:00AM
Location: Raven Lounge: 1718 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA
Hosts: Chris Cotton and H. Foley
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Upstairs at the Raven Lounge. Featuring Philadelphia’s best stand-up talent showcasing their signature sets.
Location: Upstairs at Fergie’s Pub: 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Type: Stand-up, Sketch, Characters, etc.
Host: Tight Six
Set: 3.5-5 minutes (depending on total number of comics)
Description: Hilarious comedy, house band, drink specials.
Accidents Will Happen
Schedule: First Wednesday of every month, after the Accidents Will Happen showcase (9:00PM)
Location: The Adobe Cafe, 1919 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia
Host: Bradley Beck
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Featuring stand-up, storytelling, and sketch comedy. All this and $5 burritos!
Tonight, Center City Comedy at The Raven Lounge is celebrating its fourth anniversary. The open mic has consistently provided a full room for comedians to work on their acts and test new material in front of always-eager crowds. The spot has earned a reputation from out-of-town acts visiting Philly as a place to hang out with local comics, or even get a late-night set in after their shows. The Center City Comedy crew (Chris Cotton, Conrad Roth, H. Foley, Tom Cassidy, Ryan Shaner, Kevin Ryan, Chris Whitehair) have branched out to working on producing online video content (Babe Ruth Time Traveller, We Rent). We asked H. Foley, one of the early members of Center City Comedy, some questions about the past four years, and the future.
WITOUT: At a time when open mics come and go within a few months, you have kept Center City Comedy at The Raven Lounge alive and kicking for four years – what do you think are the keys to your success?
H. FOLEY: Well, we always put the audience first. We promoted the show as much as possible and we were very lucky to be surrounded by so many talented comedians. It was really built on a lot of hard work and dedication, not just from us but the community as a whole.
WO: What are some of your favorite moments from the open mic over the past four years?
HF: I asked the boys this question, and everyone said all the anniversary shows really stuck out in their minds. Plus, the night Patrice O’Neal came by, and the night we had to pull Conrad from hosting because he got so wasted and took his balls out.
WO: Do you think Center City Comedy has had an influence on the Philly comedy scene? How do you think you’ve left your mark?
HF: That is a tough question. I hope so, but you would have to ask the comedy community that. It was never our intention though. We just wanted to create an environment where the city could see how funny the Philly comedy community is, and it worked because it is.
WO: You’ve passed the hosting duties of the weekly mic down to new groups of comics a few times – how do you decide who you’d like to take over as hosts and when do you feel like it’s time to bring in new blood.
HF: We look at who is working hard, and who really wants it, and who we think would fit into this little dysfunctional family. Right now Ryan Shaner is in charge, and we recently brought Kevin Ryan into the mix, and it is really working out. Tom Cassidy has ran it for the last year and did a great job. Tom has been a big part of our group, and he is someone I love and consider to be a part of our family.
WO: How did you transition from hosting open mics and shows around the city to producing comedy videos for the web?
HF: It was always our plan, we were never just about running an open mic. We know what we want to do and just keep taking steps to make it happen. We now film all the time and are writing scripts and trying to just keep moving forward.
WO: Since the show has started, some of you have moved to other cities, but have stayed loyal to your roots, what keeps you coming back to Philly for more?
HF: I mean that is what it is all about, remembering who we are and where we are from. We love Philly, and realize how lucky we are to be a part of the Philly scene.
WO: What’s next for Center City Comedy?
HF: We just want to keep working hard and chasing our dreams. I do want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has performed with us over the last four years, and especially want to thank Alex Gross of Superdps.com who is helping us to take the next step. I also want to wish you, and all of our friends who have the heart to push to the next level, the very best of luck.
The fellas at Center City Comedy and Super DPS have teamed up again to make this new short film starring H. Foley as The Sultan of Swat himself, Babe Ruth, transported from the 1930’s to modern day Philadelphia. Watch as he learns how the world has changed since his day and tries to adapt to today’s fast-paced world alongside Tom Cassidy, Darryl Charles and a slew of other Philly comics you will definitely recognize.
Last night, the seventh annual Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Tommy Highland, Dave Temple, and Kevin Hurley moving on to the semi-finals. The competition continues Monday, July 23 and the opening round continues on Sunday and Monday nights until August 13 (full schedule here).
Tonight – the new weekly show Jokepile returns for its third show at XChange (10 South 20th St. Philadelphia). This week is their Superhero Showcase featuring Comic Comic Darin Martinez, the superhero of comedy Captain Action himself Sidney Gantt, hosted by Kids with Rickets, and more.
Center City Comedy released this sketch, a parody of the Mentos commercials popular in the 1990s last week – and due to its content – and proximity to the Daniel Tosh controversy has received some backlash online. The debate between the sides continued online (you can read some of the back and forth here and here). What do you think?
This Thursday, Comedian Deconstruction returns to L’etage where improv groups will base their shows around the sets of some of Philly’s funniest stand-up comedians. This month will feature opening stand-up from Phyllis Voren and TJ Hurley while Paul Eason and Joey Dougherty’s sets will be deconstructed by Whisper and Bed Savage.
This Friday, comedian Sean Green (The Green Room podcast) returns to Philadelphia for a night of stand-up comedy at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) Tickets for the show are available online.
The second opening round of Troika was held Friday night at The Sideshow with the team of 3AM (Rob Baniewicz, Maggie Keegan, Jason Stockdale) moving on to the finals. The third and final opening round of Troika will be this Friday, March 23 at 9:00 at The Sideshow and will feature Chaperone (Frank Farrell, Meredith Weir, Steve Kleinedler) Virginia Clemm Sideburns (Cara Schmidt, Claire Halberstadt, Dennis Trafny) and Pickle (Jen Curcio, Mike Marbach, Scott Hinners).
The second annual March Madness Comedy Competition is in full swing, with the second round beginning last night at The Famous International Variety Show at Drinker’s West. Moving on to the third round from last night are: David Terruso, Rachel Bensen, Mike Logan and David Ray Ageykum. The contest continues at open mics throughout the week.
The first ever NYC Improv Fest will be taking place this week at The PIT in New York City and Philadelphia will be well represented. Performing at this year’s festival will be Iron Lung (Wed. 7pm Striker Theater), Mayor Karen (Wed. 7pm, PIT Underground), Hey Rube (Wed. 9pm, PIT Underground), King Friday (Sat. 5pm, Striker Theater), Michael Loves Greg (Sat. 6pm, Striker Theater), and Asteroid (Sat. 8pm, PIT Underground). Full schedule and ticket information are available online.
Following the popular internet meme format, some Philly comics wrote and produced this Sh!t Philly Fans Say (part 2) video. The video is written and directed by comedian Katie Kohler and features Philadelphia area comedians Chris Smith, Bob Marsdale and Sidney Gantt.
Philly Improv Theater’s run of shows at The Shubin continues this week with a full schedule of shows. This Wednesday, at 10pm you can catch a preview of The Monthly Hour with James Hesky, the new variety show taking over for Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) which ended its run last week. The Monthly Hour promises sketch and stand-up comedy from some of the city’s best performers, as well as a topical monologue from Hesky, and sketches produced by the show’s team of writers (which include Jim Grammond, Pat House, Mary Radzinski, Darryl Charles, and Mike Gleason).
The second annual March Madness Comedy Competition kicks off at the open mic at Drinker’s West on Sunday March 11. This year 72 comedians will compete at Drinker’s West, Laughs on Fairmount, Noche, and The Raven Lounge to be named champion of the tournament style competition.
Mary Radzinski and Carolyn Busa host Laughs on Fairmount every Monday night at The Urban Saloon. Comedians gather to sign up in the front room of the bar and move to the beautiful back room when the mic starts at 8. The show always runs smoothly as Mary and Carolyn handle their ever growing sign up sheet excellently.
Center City Comedy
For more than three years, Thursday nights at The Raven Lounge has been the home of Center City Comedy. Chris Cotton, H. Foley, and Tom Cassidy pack the upstairs room every week with comics waiting their turn to take the stage in front of the full crowd. The mic usually runs late into the evening giving comics the chance to test out their material in front of an always evolving (getting more drunk) group of audience members.
Helium Comedy Club
Philadelphia’s premiere comedy club opens its’ stage every Tuesday for their Open Mic Extravaganza. Sign ups have recently moved online but before the new system comedians would gather at the club starting at 6:30 every week to sign up and then wait until the lineup was announced at 7:30. Many would stay to watch the show even when they didn’t get on – making Tuesday nights at Helium a favorite hangout for many local stand-ups.
Taking advantage of the surplus of comedians in the area on Tuesday nights due to the Helium open mic, Jack Martin and Paul Goodman started their own, late night open mic around the corner at Noche. Starting at 9pm, Rittenhouse Comedy provides those that don’t get on at Helium a chance to perform on Tuesday nights, and gives a second set to the lucky ones that do.
Sketch Up or Shut Up
The lone non stand-up open mic to be nominated, Sketch Up or Shut Up is Philly Improv Theater’s open stage for sketch groups, or those that just want to test out sketch material in front of an always welcoming crowd. Hosted by Brian Kelly of Secret Pants (after taking over for Meg Favreau) Sketch Up or Shut Up is a late night Friday free for all on stage at PHIT. Some favorite Philly sketches have made their debuts at Sketch Up, along with some one time, if you miss them you’ll never see them again gems.
We told you last week that Center City Comedy would be celebrating it’s third anniversary of Thursday night open mics at the Raven Lounge with a special show that would bring together hosts from open mics all over the city, along with some of Philly’s favorite comics. Well, it happened, and our friends at Super DPS were there to capture the action on video. Below are some clips from the night – and you can see more on Super DPS’ Youtube Page.
Three years ago Chris Cotton, H. Foley and Conrad Roth started a new Thursday night open mic at The Raven Lounge. They saw Philly as a city with a lot of talent, and a shortage of stage time – and decided to take matters into their own hands. In the three years that have passed a lot of mics have come and gone but Center City Comedy is still going strong as ever on Thursday nights. Roth has since moved to San Francisco, but his departure made way for Tom Cassidy to join the group in helping run the open mic. The Thursday night mic at The Raven Lounge has been a place where more established comedians can work on new bits, where new guys can get up and join the Philly comedy community, and has become a room where visiting comedians love to do drop in sets. Various comedians from out of town have commented on how great the crowd is, and how lucky Philly comics are to have a spot like the Raven as an open mic room. The guys have also branched out, helping other comics start their own rooms at various places in the city and Philly has gained a strong open mic scene since. Center City Comedy has also started to produce their own sketch videos, and has become an LLC.
Tonight, the third anniversary of Center City Comedy at the Raven Lounge will be celebrated with a show in which favorite comics from the past three years as well as hosts of other open mics around the city will perform. The guys will also give out awards throughout the night, and the show will end with a party in the upstairs room at the Raven. Festivities start, as usual, at 9pm and the party will probably last all night.