Upcoming Shows

  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 1, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 1, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 1, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 1, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 1, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • November 5, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • November 6, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 6, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 7, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 7, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 7, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 8, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 8, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 8, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 8, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 8, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 8, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 8, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • November 12, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • November 13, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
AEC v1.0.4

Gregg Gethard Has Some Ideas About Girl Parts

by Gregg Gethard

I was at an open mic recently when no less than six straight comedians did a bit about vaginal smell. This is not uncommon. Every open mic has a lot of comics who talk a lot about vaginal smell.

This is a problem.

Here are the reasons why this is problematic:

  1. If at least half of the performers are doing material about a topic, you should probably not do material about that topic. The main point about open mics is to get better and to find a way to get booked at an actual show. You think doing the same exact thing as everyone else is going to get you there?*

  1. If the material is something a doofus high school kid would say in the locker room, you should probably not do material about that topic. (I put something on my Twitter about this. A response from someone: “What, is everyone in Philly comedy 16?”)

  1. Doing bits about vaginal smell essentially boils down to saying “girls are icky.” Confusion about sex is a great concept for a bit that’s incredibly relatable. However, the joke should be about how confusing it is for both parties (or, even better, the performer). The joke shouldn’t be about vaginal smell. You’re just coming off like some creep wanna-be lothario bragging about doing a sex act.

  1. I put something about this on my Facebook wall. Here is a comment my friend Alanna (a girl and not my wife) said about vaginal smell jokes: “Anecdotally, I have found that men who trash women and their vaginas the most are the men who seldom have the opportunity to get inside one.”

    Just a head’s up as to what a girl who frequents comedy shows thinks about your jokes about girl parts.

  1. Making a joke about smelly girl parts is making fun of someone’s body. Would you make a joke about someone in the crowd who is overweight? I would hope not.  And I’m not saying this to be sensitive or PC. I’m saying this because making fun of an overweight person (or something similar) is just bullying.

  1. Stage time is precious. Open mics give you, what, five minutes at the most? You’re going to use five minutes of stage time to talk about something almost everyone else is talking about that most men have stopped talking about when they hit college? Be better than that. Respect the stage. Try to do something different and unique and new. That’s why I love going to comedy shows.

I’m not god’s gift to comedy. I know this. I’ve done really well at some shows and I’ve bombed at a lot more. But anytime I get on a stage I try to do something that the audience hasn’t seen or heard before that reflects my personality. You really want to tell a group of mostly strangers that your personality largely revolves around high school lunch humor?

* To show I’m not a PC prude – there have been a lot of pro-gay marriage bits lately. I support gay marriage. But again – if 10 people are talking about gay marriage, do you really want to talk about gay marriage?

Vaginal smell jokes are not a problem as serious as rape jokes, which has become the dumbest controversy in modern comedy because it shouldn’t be a controversy since no one should tell a rape joke. I have to applaud the Philly open mic community because the amount of comics telling rape jokes at one point approached the 50 percent mark. It’s now down to roughly 25 percent, and it appears that most of the comics telling jokes about committing sex crimes with punchlines at the expense of victims are new to the scene.**

**I talked with a young comic who had a rape joke up front in his otherwise pretty brainy set and told him he (and hopefully he took it in the right way – I was trying to offer advice and hopefully I didn’t come off like a dick, but I probably did) should get rid of it because he was better than that. He seemed to agree with my statement. But he said he was nervous since the night was sort of dead and he knew that he’d get a laugh. I get that – god knows my earliest comedy used shock nonsense (and probably a rape joke) as a safety blanket. But then I learned the difference between a shock laugh and an earned laugh and I think this kid will get that difference soon. Respect.

Gregg Gethard has been performing comedy in some form since 2007 and is best known for hosting/producing the long-running Bedtime Stories and co-hosting The Holding Court Podcast. He will be hosting A Comedy Tribute to Boston on Sunday, June 23 at L’Etage (624 S. 6th Street) at 7 pm. He will also appear live on the Used Wigs podcast on May 21st at 8 pm (also at L’Etage). He can be followed on Twitter @holdingcourtpod.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 28

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.

Interview with Crazy Carol the Kenzo Mom, Winner of the 2013 Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular

photo(3)

Crazy Carol the Kenzo Mom with stand-up Carolyn Busa

If you weren’t at the 1st Annual Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular this past Saturday, you missed one hell of an event.  In addition to a great line-up of stand-ups and excellent hosting by Hillary Rea and Thunderfoot Larry, the Veggie Wing Bowl also showcased some brand new and recently created characters that have popped up in the Philly comedy scene, like Faberge Gregg (Gregg Gethard), The Necrosexual (Jimmy Viola), Some Penn Douche (Paul Easton), Andre (Andrew Jeffrey Wright), Despiria (Rose Luardo) and Crazy Carol the Kenzo Mom (Nicole Yates), who took home the competitive-seitain-wing-eating championship belt.  Here’s Carol reflecting on her victory:

WitOut: You won the 1st Annual Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular! How does it feel? And what are you going to do with your belt?

CCTKM: When GhostfaceHilla asked me to be in her eatin’ thing, there were two things I had to think out: 1. If my lucky pajama pants were clean and 2. If my boyfriend Frankie has weekend DUI jail that weekend because then who would watch the kids. The DHS lady says I can’t just leave them in the laundry room anymore with an electronic football game from 1981 anymore.

But it all worked out, my neighbor had time to kill before his methadone wore off and he crashed out and my lucky pajama pants were clean! The good feeling from that was nothing like the RUSH I felt when I won! It was like the day I drank 9 Arctic Splash iced teas. I couldn’t slow down!

I will be starting my parade of winning down Kensington Avenue starting Monday at 2pm (as soon as I get up) at K&A and walk down to my home at F and Allegheny where the short bus drops off my kids. From then on it is viewing by appointment.

WO: How did you train for the competition?

CCTKM: It was real easy ta train. My man Frankie has a hookup at the dollar store and I’ve been eating my weight in expired hot dogs for months. I recommend it to anyone who is attempting this. The date on that package ain’t worth shit.

WO: Would you like to comment on the efforts of your fellow competitors?

CCTKM: That Necrosexual guy needs to let me know where he gets his makeup. I like that he shows restraint with it. My competitor Some Penn Douche was a good eater, but that Thunderfoot Larry guy would have eaten me out of house and Access card if he lived with me. Ghostface Hilla really chowed down for a tiny girl. Girl got a hollow leg or some shit.  That New Dreamz couple was some big thinkin’ smart people, Channel 12 stuff. Everyone tried their best but they ain’t gettin’ a piece o’ me!

Oh, also, I wanna give a shout-out to that Fastball Pitcher guy. That’s one hot mustache that he can rub on me anytime! Rock those shorts, baby!

WO You look just stunning in the photos from the match. Who were you wearing? Do I recognize that housecoat from the Alexander McQueen show at Spring/Summer 2013 Paris Fashion Week?

CCTKM: Actually, the housecoat was from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Forman Mills. The pajama pants were my lucky ones (purchased at the big clearance sale at the Delaware Avenue Walmart). Three out of four of my kids were a result of the luckiness (the fourth one was due to a bottle of Old Crow Whiskey and a hockey strike). I always said, Lucky got me into that mess and Luckys got me through the pregnancies.

WO: What’s next for Carol the Kenzo Mom? Do you have any comedy shows or eating competitions coming up?

CCTKM: I will be participating in the Kensington 9th Annual Soft Pretzel and Arctic Splash Chow Down on Valentine’s Day. I will also be in the Taste Of America Wawa 20-Foot Hoagie Eating Contest on the 4th Of July. That’s a one-person contest, where I sneak in after they close the tent and I go to town until Carl the Burly Security dude catches me and tries to throw me out. But, every year, my lucky pajama pants save me. Well, that and my flair for lunch meat seduction. And extra mayo. ALWAYS. EXTRA. MAYO.

 

We were also able to grab some post-game quotes from some of Carol’s competition:

Some Penn Douche. Photo by Gretchen Schwegler.

“It was difficult losing to Carol, but you just can’t compete with someone that has that kind of focus and desperation. I congratulate her for winning the Veggie Wing Bowl championship and becoming the most accomplished person to ever come out of Temple.” — Some Penn Douche

Andre and Despiria of The New Dreamz. Photo by Gretchen Schwegler.

“Art is subjective. How do you judge an art of eating contest? I do not know. It’s like trying to judge a wet legs contest, it cannot be judged, nor should it. It is simply meant to be appreciated, like a tea cup lined with animal fur.” — Despiria

And from Alejandro Morales, who won the Mr. Wing Man 2013 competition by appearing as his more voluptuous, buxom self:

alejandro

L to R: Thunderfoot Larry, Alejandro Morales, Hillary Rea. Photo by Gretchen Schwegler.

“Going into the Mr. Wing Man 2013 competition, I knew that I’d be up against the sly brilliance of Robert X, the handsomeness of Todd Shaeffer, and the sly brilliance AND handsomeness of Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez.  The only way to come out on top was to do the Wingmanliest thing possible, and that thought process naturally led me to wear a dress and sing the Star Spangled Banner. Next year’s Wing Man has some pretty big shoes to fill now, especially if he’s trying to find them in a woman’s size.”

 

Yep, it was quite a night! See y’all there next year!

Gregg Gethard Has Some Ideas

Are you producing a comedy show in Philadelphia?  Bedtime Stories creator Gregg Gethard has some ideas he’d like to try to make Philly comedy more attractive to new audiences, and he’d like to see the rest of us trying ‘em out, too. Read below, and feel free to add your own opinions and suggestions in the comments.

by Gregg Gethard

The Holiday Inn in East Somerville, MA is located in the absolute ass end of greater Boston. Do you know where the car rental return places are down near the airport? That’s essentially where this Holiday Inn is located.

However, this past weekend, it was the home of a joint comedy show between The Union Square Roundtable and The Chris Gethard Show. Over 80 intrepid comedy nerds made the trip to a part of the area that is a vortex of nothing. And while both the USRT (which is to Boston comedy what Bedtime Stories and The Theme Show are to Philly) and The Chris Gethard Show have their followings, the main selling point for the show was the swimming pool.

The USRT folks rented out the hotel’s pool area, which also has wall-climbing, ping-pong, foosball and a basketball hoop. It also had space for a video projector and for a band to play. It was a comedy show in one of the most bizarre venues imaginable.

It also taught me a valuable lesson: We need to do a ton better in marketing our product to the Philadelphia audience. And one of the ways to do so is in our choice of venues.

We often complain in Philly comedy about our audiences, which are in most cases other performers and family and friends. We’ve complained at length about a lack of media attention (although that has gotten a LOT better) but we really need to do a lot on ourselves to market our shows beyond “Facebook invites/e-mails/press releases.”

Here are some thoughts. I plan on doing a lot of these with Bedtime Stories but feel free to steal them (or give me ideas to steal) because it’s for the greater good:

Continue reading Gregg Gethard Has Some Ideas

“Do You Like Magic?” – Interview with Gregg Gethard, Creator of ‘Bedtime Stories’

by Brandon Ryan

“Imagine every comic in Philadelphia is a marble, and all of us together make up a bag of marbles. My mentality is, if all the marbles in the bag are black, what can I do to be the white marble? I don’t want to just be up on stage telling jokes, I don’t want to just be up there in a sketch. What I want to do is mess with, tinker with, the format of stand-up.” —Gregg Gethard

On Sunday evening Philadelphia’s Italian Market is a beast laid to rest. The produce stands that dot the length of Ninth Street are silent and still, bound over with tarpaulin and tattered sheets of plastic. Bags of garbage line the alleys tucked between shuttered storefronts. They rustle in the night’s gusts. The gutters blossom odors rich and reeking: spoiling flowers and meats, industrial grade sanitizers a macabre imitation of lemon, the unmistakable fetor of urine. Neon light puddles on the sidewalk in front of what few restaurants and bars, most advertising deeply discounted cervezas and food, remain open. It is here, to the sidewalk, to the street, that Gregg Gethard, or, perhaps, more accurately, his alter-ego, Jaykob Strange, has led the whole of Connie’s Ric-Rac.

“Do you like magic?!”

Gregg/Jaykob’s voice is tremulous. On a night where the air’s chill hovered just below menacing, he stands in nothing more than boxer shorts and a kimono, a golden sash loosely knotted at his waist.

“I was once the official street magician of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels!”

Gregg/Jaykob raises his staff skyward. Had I not mentioned his staff? The one topped with a skull and whose length is meant to resemble a human spinal column. The staff is plastic, be assured, the kind sold by the dozens in Halloween costume outlets. He alternates between waving it at the crowd and the traffic passing just inches behind him. At one point he stops his act entirely to kindly direct traffic down a one-way street.

“Tonight I am here to declare my revenge on Auntie Anne’s!”

Revenge is the theme of tonight’s Bedtime Stories, a monthly show that Gethard originally started in 2007 and is, after a nine-month hiatus, now relaunching. He and I, along with his wife, Ilana, at the show’s close walked to Underdogs to talk about Bedtimes Stories’ development and evolution, why it disappeared, and why he’s ready to bring it back.

Brandon Ryan: How did Bedtime Stories come about?

Gregg Gethard: When I originally started Bedtime Stories there was this explosion of… There were always a lot of people doing stand-up, there weren’t really a lot of people in sketch, but even that was starting to pick up, and a lot of people started improv, but what happened more than anything were those worlds, those disciplines started combining.

BR: Is that why the show has such an eclectic feel to it?

GG: That is exactly why the show has such an eclectic feel to it. I initially wanted it to be just comedy storytelling, but there weren’t enough performers to support that or who could do it, and so I opened it up which worked out in a major way because then a lot of interesting, cool, smart, and funny people all started doing the show.

BR: What made you decide to end Bedtime Stories when you did in 2011?

GG: It went away for a few reasons. The main reason was that at the time I was commuting to New York for work, and there was the stress not only of organizing a show, but then also of writing my own material to perform. But another reason, and maybe the more important one to me was that the show got stale. I mean, a lot of people took the show seriously and did really well, but then there were also people who just kind of like, like it was just there for them and they took it for granted. See, the show was a lot of fun and a lot of magic when we were getting to know one another, but more importantly when everyone was working to discover their voice, and how they were going to perform.

BR: So you liked, when the show first started, how vibrant and different and kind of disparate the acts were?

GG: Exactly. And so a couple of month’s ago I performed in the Philly Improv Theater’s PRO-MANIA 2K12 at the Adrienne, and I had such a blast working on this show, and it was great and it was so much fun, I met so many new people. And then I also started working in Philadelphia again and started going to open mics, meeting all these new comics and they were trying to find… They were in that phase, trying to find their voice.

BR: And you felt like you wanted to give these new voices a chance to develop?

GG: Well since there’s this new crop of kids coming up, they are having a lot of fun with it, I feel like since I’ve organized and held shows before that I can help them, can kind of give them a structure to work within. I want to help people who don’t have a chance to perform their stuff elsewhere, to have a spot for them. And even tonight, my friend Kevin, that was the first time he ever performed comedy. He lives up in the Lehigh Valley, there’s not a ton of places to perform comedy up there… So I thought he was a funny dude, I wanted him to do it. And there’s this other thing that I used to do with Bedtime Stories and then I stopped doing and I’m going to hold myself to it this time, is I want to get as many new people to do it as possible. I want people to see how great comedy can be in Philadelphia, I don’t want people to get tied into this whole contest that it can a lot of times be. I want people to see that you know, “I can do comedy. It can be as weird as I want it to be. And I don’t have to worry about impressing So&So to try to get X-stage time at Y-venue.”

BR: Was there something that kind of spurred this sentiment? That you wanted to help new comics?

GG: Well, I was at this open mic. And it was this kid’s first night. And it was big for him. And so he performed, did his stuff, he started to stumble and stammer, he took out his phone to see his notes. He’s, for all intents and purposes, having your average first performance. This is nothing new. We’ve all been there. But then the kid leaves the stage, and one of the guys who was hosting the open mic just starts ripping on him. And I thought, like, how would this help this kid at all? So I want to do the opposite of that. I want new comics to feel safe, and like they’re supported. And I mean, there’s this thing that the veteran comics do, and I’m guilty of it to, where they kind of exclude the newcomers, but I feel like it’s our job, kind of, to help these new kids, to help them step up to the table and talk with them and help them figure things out and give pointers and advice. And that’s one of the reasons I want to do Bedtime Stories. To give them that.

BR: What do you have slated for Bedtime Stories?

GG: There’s one Bedtime Stories I’m really excited for. It’s going to be in February and it’s going to be called “The Feral Millionaire.” And so what it is is I came up with this idea of…

Ilana Gethard: Um, No.

GG:

IG: You had been researching feral pets!

GG: I’m really into feral animals and feral pets.

IG: And then I would come home and he would explain to me what you would have to do to have a pet raccoon.

GG: Or like a pet ocelot. Like the licenses you need.

BR: And this brought you to “The Feral Millionaire.”

GG: Yes! So what it is is from there I came up with this idea… I’m kind of obsessed with rich people, rich people come up in my comedy a lot. I kind of own a monopoly on faberge egg-related comedy. So we came up with this story of this boy who was abandoned by his mom, who had a dream of becoming an Assistant Human Relations Manager for a regional supermarket chain. And he was adopted by owls. He receives this kind of genteel, owl upbringing. And so one day his owl brother goes to retrieve an egg, which turns out to be a faberge egg, and so the family goes to find this faberge egg and finds this Owl-Boy. And so now he’s torn between two worlds. But what really excites me is that what I’m going to do is outline the plot and every Bedtime Story or sketch or video will be a plot point. And I’m pairing with a group in town called Mighty Writers, and we’re going to raise money for them, but we were also talking about having come of the kids write some of the stories and performing. I think it’ll be great for the kids and I’m excited to see what the other comedians and writers bring to the show.

The next ‘Bedtime Stories’ (“A Christmas Eve at a Delco WaWa”) will be on December 16th at 7pm at Connie’s Ric-Rac (1132 S. Ninth Street, Philadelphia). Admission is $5.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 64

David Ray Agyekum has been named one of Comedy Centrals Comics to Watch (page available at 4pm today) for 2012. David and the other comics on the list will be live tweeting about the show today at 4pm. You can follow David on Twitter for more.

This week, Comedy Month Philadelphia continues with the 5th Annual Philly Sketchfest. The festival kicks off tonight at 8:00 at The Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) and continues through Saturday night. Tickets are available online.

The Philadelphia Citypaper ran a cover story last week on comedian Corey Cohen. The article covers Cohen’s background in comedy and current work as a promoter and host of The Big Show at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.)

This Sunday, Gregg Gethard‘s comedy-show-based-around-a-theme Bedtime Stories will make its return to Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) This month, the theme of the show will be Revenge and will feature performances from many Philly comedy favorites. The show will also feature the final episode of The Holding Court Podcast, a comedy and basketball show co-hosted by Gethard and Aaron Hertzog.

Nominations are now open for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. Performers may nominate up to three choices in 13 different categories for the awards, which will be held on January 13, 2013 at World Cafe Live. Nominations will be open until November 30.

WitOut is now accepting submissions from performers and comedy fans for our Top Five of 2012 list series. We are encouraging anyone to write about their favorite moments, shows, performers, sketches, quotes, or anything at all to help us recap and remember the past year in Philadelphia comedy.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 31

The Philly Improv Theater will be holding auditions to cast two new House Teams on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM at The Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia). To secure an audition time please email your name, phone number, and a preferred time (if any) to: contact@phillyimprovtheater.com. More information can be found on Facebook.

Last week’s episode of CheaPodcast featured special guests John Oliver (The Daily Show) and Kurt Metzger (Ugly Americans). Darryl Charles and James Hesky found time to talk with the headliners after their shows at Helium Comedy Club and, in true CheaPodcast form, asked them their thoughts on bizzarre news stories from the past week. You can check out the episode at the link above, and also Like CheaPodcast on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe on iTunes.

Gregg Gethard of The Holding Court Podcast was featured as a guest on last week’s Best Show on WFMU. Gethard, a regular caller to the show, was in the studio along with his brother Chris who talked with host Tom Scharpling about Chris’ new book A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and fielded some calls from some regulars who are not exactly fond of the Greggulator’s antics on the show. You can listen to the episode online.

Keeping with the podcast theme we have going, Luke Giordano has started a new podcast through his website, Everything You Like is Stupid. The Newsmakers Podcast will feature weekly interviews between Giordano, and some of the most famous and influential people in the world. You can listen on his website, or subscribe in iTunes.

Camp Woods + returns for its’ second show at L’etage (624 South 6th St. Philadelphia) on Tuesday, January 31. This time, Camp Woods teams up with Secret Pants for a not-to-be-missed sketch comedy show. More details can be found on Facebook.

Tomorrow Night: The Ministry of Secret Jokes

Doogie Horner’s monthly show returns tomorrow night for another of what was named Best Funny Night Out by Philadelphia Magazine. You can check out information at The Ministry’s Website, or on the Facebook Event for tomorrow night’s show, but we’ve decided to just post it here for your convenience.
STANDUP COMEDY: Juliet Hope Wayne, Josh Rabinowitz, Mike Rainey, and Animosity Pierre (although Animosity will be sketch, not stand-up. Or maybe they’re doing an inspirational speech? Unsure.)

THE RUBY HATS OF DEATH: Chip Chantry, Pat Barker, and Daryll Charles dip their hands into the blood red hats and see what jokes they must tell. Can they survive the ordeal?!

ALSO: A man wearing a red carnation will tell you a secret joke if you tell him the correct password.

OMNIANA BATTLE: Reigning champion Brendan Kennedy battles Gregg Gethard, in a very special appearance as himself instead of a weird character, for once.

The show begins at 8:00PM at is held upstair’s at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St. Philadelphia.