A new comedy show is coming to the Philly ‘burbs this weekend: It’s McGilliCOMEDY at J.P. McGillicuddy’s in Manayunk, hosted by Sylis P. Here’s Sylis to talk about how he got started doing stand-up, why he’s interested in taking comedy outside the city limits, and what you can expect on his show:
WitOut: For people who might not be familiar with you, can you give a brief history of your comedy background?
Sylis P.: Like most comics, I started doing stand-up out of jealousy and contempt for the comics I’d watch. I’m still a newbie since I’ve only been doing this for a year, but my soul has been dead for most of my life, so I think that’s an applied credit towards my resume. If you’re a recluse like me, you can find me on Twitter @SylisP and facebook.com/SylisP.
WO: Is this the first time you’ve hosted your own show?
SP: It is. I’m still expecting a call from McGillicuddy’s when they realize what they’ve done by giving me a show. Not that I’d disagree with them.
WO: What do you think makes a good host, and/or just a good show in general?
SP: I think having myself, Keane Cobb, Dan Scully and Sidney Gantt on your show is crucial. Luckily I have exactly that!
WO: This show is in Manayunk—there are a few other shows out in the Philly burbs as well, but we don’t often hear a ton about them. What do you think are some advantages of doing comedy showcases outside the city proper?
SP: I live in Manayunk and I think it’s a prime area for comedy for that very reason: There are so few shows here. There are a ton of young professionals (and unprofessionals) looking for something to do and a reason to get out of the house. Conshohocken, where Sidney does his show, is very similar. The proximity to Main Street is also a strong draw.
WO:Describe the styles of the other three comedians on the show (Sidney Gantt, SP: Dan Scully and Keane Cobb), in three words each.
This Friday, Mike Logan teams up with fellow local stand-ups Dan Scully, David Piccolomini and Setoiyo to present an action-packed showcase of stand-up and sketch comedy. It’s going to be just like Four Brothers, only with comedians, I assume, based partially on the fact that there are four of them involved but mostly just because I will use any opportunity I can to reference the movie Four Brothers (starring Andre Benjamin, AKA Andre 3000), a movie I have never actually seen. Has anyone else seen it? Please post your reviews and plot summaries in the comments.
Anyhoo, here’s Logan answering some questions about the show in a manner he described as “pretty douchey” but also “perfect.” Just read it—he’s a swell dude.
WitOut: What made you and your fellow producers decide to start your own show?
Mike Logan: Really simple. They just wanted to do their own thing. There aren’t many stand-up showcases going on right now, so they figured this was a prime opportunity to get one going. I haven’t been working with the show since it’s inception, though. I was brought in a little later, a sort of “out-of-retirement-but-I-never-actually-retired” type deal. Some real action hero shit. I was more than happy (after I passed through my jaded-action-hero-in-retirement phase) to come in and help these guys out. Piccolomini and Setoiyo had already been working together to put a show on, then Scully was brought in. Then everything smoothed into all four of us working together to put on a show at O’Neal’s.
WO: We Can All Change is being described (by you guys) as “a comedy revolution.” What exactly does that mean? And what is it you hope to inspire us all to change about ourselves?
ML: I honestly don’t know why it’s called that. Setoiyo made the event and just called it a comedy revolution. I think when I asked him he said something along the lines of “you Philadelphians love revolutions,” which is 100% true. More than likely, he was playing a bunch of Assassin’s Creed 3 at the time. Actually I’ll be that’s exactly what it was.
WO: There’s a lot going on in this city on Friday nights, especially around the show’s venue (O’Neals) on South Street. What are the top five reasons people shouldn’t miss We Can All Change?
ML: 5? No problem. Well, one, I’m in it. I mean, hey now. That’s reason enough.
Two, it’s gonna be a crazy show. We’ve written the show in a cool way to blend sketch and stand-up into one non-stop laugh train of, uh, laughter. Instead of “it’s a stand-up show broken up by sketches” it’s “it’s an awesome laugh-tastrophe of awesomely funny awesome.”
Third, we have 4 of the most different people working on the show, putting this together, writing it. To me, that makes it special, because it’s a really unique group of people.
Four, I’ve already seen the show, so I can tell you now, it’s good. Trust me. I know. I have insider information. Because I helped write it.
Five, the line-up. We stacked the deck here. The four stand-ups we booked (Pat Barker, Jared Rosado, Elise Thomson-Hohl, Lou Misiano) are fantastic performers and will really bring their A-game because we told them to. Not that we had to, we just needed to make sure.
WO: Rumor has it there’s a way to get a discount on admission to this show. Please explain.
ML: Allow that rumor to be fact. We’ve been handing out flyers for the show for two weeks. Mostly at O’Neals, but some other bars too. At the bottom on the flyer is a little line that says “Hey! Keep this flyer for $3 entry!” Real marketing stroke of genius, I think. And you know what, you don’t even need the real flyer. Print out the picture from our Facebook page, I don’t give a shit. Fuck it, write “We Can All Change” on a napkin with “$3 entry” scribbled on the bottom, I don’t care. Just show up.
Also if you’re a comedian and we know you it’s $3. And we probably know you.
WO: Wow! What a deal! Without giving away too many brilliant marketing secrets, what are some other creative things that you think you—and other shows in Philly—can or should be doing to reach new audiences?
ML: I think an untapped market here is actually talking to people. (What that’s crazy!) Yes. Comedians are “generally” pretty anti-stranger. I know I am. But I think if you go out and meet people, and talk to them, tell them a joke, hit on them, whatever, and hand them a flyer and say “Hey we’re doing a show here in two weeks, come hang out with us, keep this and get $3 entry,” it could go a longer way than plastering a bar with a flyer that people are going to use as a coaster instead.
Also, start a community [online] and keep them involved. Upload content, pictures, videos whatever. Anything to keep the name fresh in their heads for when it’s time to actually come out and support you.
The first ‘We Can All Change’ is this Friday, February 22nd at O’Neals Pub (611 S. Third Street) at 8PM. Admission is $5, or $3 with flyer, printout of flyer or bar napkin crudely disguised as flyer.
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 following is a report on last night’s March Madness Comedy Competition Finale, the Rumble in Manayunk. The undertaking of “March Madness” has been as great as it is large. Center City Comedy took on an arduous task, and this show went on witout a hitch. For the last month we have been asking the great question: what happens when you pit 72 comedians against each over the course of a month in a competition to see who can win the audience over?
The great answer: this…
7:02 – 9:18 — Emily and I arrive at Mad River. We are two hours early. We go to dinner, get coffee, buy some CDs, listen to them in my car, and then go to the show. 9:19 — In patriotic fashion, the crowd at Mad River is treated to a rendition of the National Anthem, beautifully delivered by Erin Hess. 9:22 — Host Tom Cassidy takes the stage. 9:24 — Tom introduces the commentators, Shifty-Man Foley and Waddles Washington. 9:31 — Tom removes his sweatshirt revealing zebra striped ref shirt and introduces the first contestant, Brendan Kennedy. 9:35 — A man standing near me makes an awkward squatting gesture. I catch it but don’t know what happened, like a nervous twitch. 9:36 — Brendan compliments Tom Arnold. 9:39 — The man squats awkwardly again, and I realize he is trying to adjust his underwear with out using hands. 9:40 — Jamil B is introduced. 9:41 — Third squat from this stranger. Guys, just go to the bath room and use your hands. Whatever that is, it’s weirder than just tugging at your crotch. Continue reading JUST THE MINUTES with Joe Moore (March Madness Comedy Competition Final Round)