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.
Much can be, and has been, said about the Ministry of Secret Jokes. I was present for the show on August 8th, and since there was no oath taken beforehand, I am free to reveal events of the evening.
Below are the first and last words from each comedian who appeared on stage:
Comedian : First word / Last word
Steve Gerben: Hello / Story Doogie Horner: Thank / Night Chip Chantry: Hey / You John McKeever: Give / Attention Micah McGraw: Hi / Yeah Baby Doug McGraw: Is / Ok Corey Cohen: Yeah / Phone Conrad Roth: Thanks / Horner Bing Supernova: More / Not David Terruso: Hello / Much Black Wexler: You / Mother Brendan Kennedy: Something / University
It should be noted, some of the performers appeared on stage multiple times through out the night. The words listed are their first from when they first spoke into a microphone, last words are final words spoken in the entire evening.
Chip Chantry‘s naughtily-named Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) is tonight. Chip assures us that there will be comedy and then he and Johnny Goodtimes will do a thing and it’ll be fun and you should go and all that stuff. [Facebook Event]
Do you like Chip Chantry? No? Well, tomorrow, he’ll be hosting his other show that he put his name on, Face Time with Chip Chantry at Helium Comedy Club. He assures us that it will be very different from the first show, but equally as fun, so you should go to both. [Facebook Event]
The last Bedtime Stories ever was last night. It seems like we should have done something to cover it, which we very well may have. But news is coming in that the Rob Baniewicz-hosted sequel show has an official name, “The Theme Show.” The first show’s theme will be “Firsts” or “First Times” and will take place on July 8th. The location? TO BE DETERMINED.
The next Bully Pulpit is on Wednesday and the panel features the comedians who were in that Philly Weekly Ladies of Philadelphia Comedy cover story. Host Luke Giordano was not featured in that article, but as Mike Rainey put it, he is, “gonna use extra duct tape for his tuck.” [Facebook Event]
The first round of Helium’s Philly’s Phunniest Person Competition has been moved from Sunday, June 5th to Thursday, June 2nd. Presumably because of a scheduling conflict, but Chip Chantry insists it’s because Helium knows he’s “too big for Sundays.” [Helium Website]