Upcoming Shows

  • 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 pmThe N Crowd
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • 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
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • January 2, 2015 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • January 2, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 2, 2015 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 3, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
AEC v1.0.4

“I’m Just Going to Let People Have Their Own Reactions” – Interview with Ryan Crawford, Host and Producer of ‘Nervous Breakdown’

Brandon Gorin, David Piccolomini and Ryan Crawford are putting on Nervous Breakdown at PhilaMOCA this Friday, a show that will feature stand-up comics (Ryan Shaner, Chris Wood and Tommy Pope), live-tweeting (Steve Miller-Miller), and possibly angry tears. Read what Ryan has to say about the long, strange adventure it’s been to set it up, then be there on Friday to find out what happens.  It sounds like it’s going to be a real shit show—in a good way, though.

WO: The description for this event is “a comedy show, but tonight it’s OK to cry.” Do you expect the audience to be moved to tears? Or are the comedians on the show really sad about something?

Ryan Crawford: At this point, I can make no confident predictions about the type of emotions Nervous Breakdown will dredge up for people. But I’ve come to a place of acceptance about that. Cry, cheer, make love in the aisles at our comedy show. Whatever happens I’ll be by the side of the stage smoking a cigarette, all like, “Cool.”

Here’s the deal. This is the first creative collaboration between Brandon (T.) Gorin and David Piccolomini, unless you count how Brandon used to get up on stage and explain to people why Dave was bad at comedy. (They keep telling me they’re friends, but I’ve never seen any proof.)

Around the time we started discussing doing a show, Brandon had been thinking a lot about contemporary art and watching too much professional wrestling. He earnestly wanted to put on something that was part Dadaist performance piece, part SummerSlam. On the other hand, all of Dave’s cultural references consist of podcasts produced by marginally successful comedians. He just wanted to make a fun, goofy Friday night out for people. And me, I’m a gambler. The prospect of combining these two visions and actually pulling it off made me all tingly and breathless, because it struck me as the longest long shot in Comedy Town.

So we booked some fantastic stand-ups like Ryan Shaner and Tommy Pope. That was a big win for Dave. However, Brandon is still dead-set on chewing razor blades while he screams about the meta-modern art of CM Punk. The last time he showed me this trick, he actually sliced himself pretty bad, so – I’m just going to let people have their own reactions. Go ahead, cry. No judgments.

WO: Can you explain the format for the show? There’s a line-up of stand-ups, but you mentioned in an email you also want the show to have a premise and arc.

RC: It’s a stand-up comedy show followed by a Billy Cosby dance party. For those without any game, Bill Cosby did record several musical albums. And yes, they are totally danceable.

We got ambitious with the parts in between stand-ups. We started asking questions like, why do you have to have an affable host keeping the crowd warm between acts? Why do skits? Why not have two guys working out their very real creative and personal differences, live in front of strangers? When we asked these questions, we were drunk, and they were rhetorical. And now it’s too late for anyone to answer, or stop us.

WO: What can we expect from the other component of the show: “The projected thoughts of Steve Miller-Miller”?

RC: All three of us are big fans of Steve Miller-Miller. Brandon is particularly a fan of Miller-Miller’s workman-like approach to mocking Dave. We’re having him live-tweet the event from the booth, and projecting the tweets onto a screen behind the stage.

WO: All three producers are going to share the hosting duties, correct? How will you guys be splitting that up?

RC:
Well, initially Brandon and Dave were set to co-host. Honestly, I think three hosts is a bit crowded. But a few days ago Dave texted me and asked whether I’d be comfortable possibly replacing Brandon. The same day Brandon called and begged me to replace Dave. So yes, all three of us will be sharing hosting duties, and we will be allocating those duties according to who is the least butt-hurt at any given moment.

Full disclosure: Brandon and Dave aren’t currently on speaking terms. They had a blowup when we visited the venue, PhilaMOCA, the other day, in which Dave got so mad he stormed off into a North Philly sunset, abandoning his own car on Spring Garden with Brandon and me still sitting in it. Brandon said he was proud of Dave for finally standing up for himself. Then he stole Dave’s spark plugs, and we took the Broad Street Line back.

WO: Have you ever had a nervous breakdown? And/or do you expect/hope to have one by the end of this show?

RC: Do I hope to have a nervous breakdown? Sure, the same way I enjoy grinding my teeth in my sleep. Lady, this is my life. But yes, putting together this show has been a major stressor. Odds are that by show time we’ll all pull together under the symbol of mental instability for laughs, but I want it on the record that organizing this hasn’t been pleasant and the experience is getting filed under the broad category of suffering for one’s art.

Other odds associated with the show:
3.5-1 The comics band together and storm the projector to stop Steve Miller-Miller’s tweets.
4-1 Dave secretly hopes that Brandon cuts himself.
10-1 Brandon cuts himself.
15-1 Brandon cuts himself, and it turns out to be hilarious.
30-1 Dave gets his spark plugs back.
100-1 People make love in the aisles during the show.
1000-1 The people making love in the aisle aren’t two desperate comedians.
Even money someone cries.

Nervous Breakdown’ is this Friday, March 15th at PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th Street) at 8PM. Admission is $10.

“You Don’t Even Need the Real Flyer” – Interview with Mike Logan of ‘We Can All Change’ (Friday – Just $3 with Flyer)

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.

And here’s a promo video!