Upcoming Shows

  • October 24, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • October 24, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 24, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 24, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 24, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 24, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 25, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • October 25, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • October 25, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 25, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 25, 2014 9:00 pmComedy Train Rek presents Awkward Sex and the City
  • October 25, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 25, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 25, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • October 29, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • October 30, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 30, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • October 31, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 31, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 31, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
AEC v1.0.4

Helium Announces New Open Mic Sign-up Procedure

HeliumComedy.com

HeliumComedy.com

An announcement on HeliumComedy.com describes the comedy club’s new sign-up policy for its award-winning open-mic happening every Tuesday night.

Starting March 5th, online signups will start at Noon on Wednesday, and remain open for 24 hours. There will also be an old-fashioned in-person signup on Tuesdays from 6-7 before the mic.

Proprietary algorithms on loan from U-Penn will still decide the composition of the final list (duh) but hopefully this method will give more people an opportunity to sign-up for stage-time.

Philadelphia’s Will SPANK Horton at Helium Comedy Club (Review)

Will “Spank” Horton & WitOut.net's Priyanka Oza

Will “Spank” Horton & WitOut.net’s Priyanka Oza

Philly native, Will “Spank” Horton’s performance at Helium this past Saturday can be perfectly summed up by his very tongue-in-cheek closing line:

“Bye, everyone! I am not Hollywood and I never will be.”

After meeting him, I couldn’t agree more. Completely cool, laid back and friendly are just a few words I would use to describe this humble and talented comic.

Opening acts included comedians Anthony Moore and Darryl Charles. The absolutely amazing and adorable Moore had the audience roaring with his introductory line, “I am graduating this semester, so if y’all don’t laugh at this shit, I got a back-up plan.”

Both supporting comedians hilariously chronicled modern racial misunderstandings like professors asking for “black input” in classes as objective as math (Moore) or numerous requests to have his picture taken with locals during a trip to China (Charles). If you ever get a version of the Chinese Facebook, Charles warns you that you may see pictures of him awkwardly posing with the Chinese. He reminds us in this 2014 WitOut-Award-nominated bit that, this is not by choice.

Our headliner has been busy. You may have caught Spank on Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out, on tour with Kevin Hart during Let Me Explain and Laugh At My Pain, or in the recent hit movie Ride Along. However, Spank started his comedy career at the just-closed-down Laff House. And if y’all didn’t know, Spank has officially moved into the township. The energetic and well-projected comedian weaved the little tid-bit into every joke, reminding us every chance he got. “I can’t get into it with y’all, I live in the township now, we don’t do that!” he joked with a particularly charming group of hecklers.

Philly is glad to know things are going well for Spank. I honestly cannot think of one topic Spank did not cover during his show–relationships, marriage, college life and his own personal life. Spank’s method of comedy flirts intimately with the line between appropriate and inappropriate, pushing the boundaries of racial humor.  Experiencing his comedy live, it becomes obvious that this acclaim is very much well-earned. Tame one minute, risqué the next.

“I don’t want any trouble now, my wife is in the audience,” he joked. But I’m sure Mrs. Horton knows, all is forgiven in love and comedy!

Philly Comedy Weekend Photos

From the Desk of Chip Chantry…

Chip Chantry Desk (3)

Chip’s middle-school buddy reads the passive-aggressive post-cards he’s sent Chip over the years…

Chip Chantry Desk (6)

Chip’s animal expert (on head-lice) finds audience members to interact with.

Chip Chantry Desk (7)

Chip’s head-lice expert assails an audience member who would make bad head-lice parents.

Chip Chantry Desk (11)

Chip is visited by the ghost of Martin Van Buren.

Chip Chantry Desk (12)

Martin Van Buren shares his enthusiasm for NBC’s The Voice.

There was also a grass-roots rally at FDR Park for the comedic-yet-technically-impressive pro-wrestling promotion Chikara…

chikara nov 2 (3)

Wrestlers put on an exhibition to rally support for the recently shut down promotion.

Human ice-cream cones (with Mexican accents?) make their way to the ring.

Human ice-cream cones (with Mexican accents?) make their way to the ring.

A human ice-cream cone clicks his car-alarm.

A human ice-cream cone clicks his car-alarm.

chikara nov 2 (7)

High-flying (and hilarious) action ensues.

chikara nov 2 (8)

The Daily Show’s Rory Albanese performs at Helium… (check out our interview).

Rory Albanese (1)

“I Don’t Like Girl Comics Either” – Interview with Mary Radzinski

by Alison Zeidman

Mary Radzinski is the sassiest lady-comic to ever hoist up a pair of ovaries and get ‘erself up on a stage full o’ people ready to laugh at her unique lady-take on wimmin stuff and—just kidding, I’m not going to do that to her.

Mary Radzinksi is the co-host of the Monday night open mic Laughs on Fairmount at Urban Saloon (along with friend and fellow funnyperson Carolyn Busa), and one of the newest additions to the Helium Comedy Club hosting roster.  She’s one of the friendliest faces in the Philly comedy scene, an exceedingly talented writer and performer, and really, really funny.

In short, Mary is swell.  For further proof, read on:

 

Alison Zeidman: For people that maybe aren’t familiar with you, can you talk about how you got started in comedy?

Mary Radzinski: Six years ago I took a comedy writing class as part of Main Line School Night, and there was a graduation show at the end.  So the first time I did stand-up it was a graduation show, and then I did a couple ones-y little things with people in the class because we were like “We’re rockstars, this is amazing!” And then I didn’t do anything. I waited a couple years, and four Julys ago I got onstage at an open mic and I’ve been religiously doing that since.

AZ: What made you want to get started again?

MR: My best friend lives in Fairmount and at the time there was [another] open mic here [at Urban Saloon]. And she was like, “Oh let’s go to this bar, there’s an open mic, it’s Monday nights”—which is funny, same night—and that got me to do it.

AZ: You’re one of the newest Helium hosts. Did you do anything special to prepare for your audition?

MR: I think having done the audition a couple years ago and then…you know, we’re all still so new in this game, but I think just getting onstage all the time [was the most helpful]. In terms of specific preparation for that show, just being confident in my jokes and trying not to second-guess myself. When I first heard about the audition again, I was like “I need to write all new material!” The self-doubt sets in and stuff. But then I was like no, and I just tried to tweak a few jokes and maybe  strengthen some things that had been going well, and just tried to do my jokes and get out of my own head.

And I have hosted in some clubs, so I think that’s helped more in preparation of that longer set for a club show, and knowing like what’s a good five minutes, what’s a good ten minutes, what’s a good fifteen minutes.  And being at Helium while my friends are hosting and watching it, more than anything, I think has given me a little confidence and prepared me.

AZ: Now I’m going to try to not ask you the question you’re not going to like—because I think it’s a touchy question for any female comic.  So I don’t want to ask, “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?” or even “What’s it like to be the first female comic on Helium’s regular host rotation?”, but more like, how do you celebrate that accomplishment, and acknowledge that, yeah, that is significant, but at the same time, keep the focus on the fact that comedy should be comedy, regardless of gender? How do you strike that balance?

MR: I think about it all the time, because I do think it’s a numbers game. Helium in Philly has not had a female host [in their regular hosting roster] yet—but I mean, I know Helium’s not against females by any means—so I’m excited and I’m proud and I hope that it’s because it’s at the time that I’m a good comic, or that I will be a good host or an asset for whoever they pair me with as the headliner and that sort of thing.  I do think it’s a numbers game where—I was just talking to somebody about this, where if in a lineup of ten comics, there’s only one girl, and if that girl’s not funny, that just leaves a bad taste for a lot of audience members [in terms of female comics in general].

But I’m trying not to let that “girls aren’t funny” thing get me down, and knowing that I wasn’t going to become a host there until I was a funny comedian, regardless of gender, makes me feel confident now. I do have as one of my openers, “I don’t like girl comics either,” and that can be taken several ways—some females can be like, “Why would you do that?”—but I also feel like it’s just sort of knocking that sort of preconceived notion…

AZ: Oh totally. It’s commenting and poking fun at the idea that that’s even a thing.

MR: Yeah. And a lot of times, when people ask, “Who are your favorite comics?” I don’t necessarily immediately think of women. I think of people who have made me laugh.  So I want that. And I think that stereotype can be negative, but I also think it’s a fun challenge to break through.  There’s always going to be someone who’s like “You’re really funny for a girl, I don’t usually like girls,” and you get that all the time, and I’ve learned not to take that the wrong way because there are fewer female comics, and so a lot of times when people don’t see a ton of comedy—it’s totally a numbers game.

AZ: Your first hosting gig is going to be with Hal Sparks, right? What are you excited about for that week?

MR: Honestly it’s so funny, in my head I’m just like “I don’t care who it is! I would want to open for anyone there!” But I’m excited. I don’t know a ton about Hal Sparks—I’ll clearly do my homework—but from what I understand I think he does have a decent female following, and you know, could that be why they paired me with him? Probably, but I also like that—because I’m just looking forward to a full room.

AZ: OK, and this will hopefully be a fun question: What would be your fantasy hosting gig?  Who would feature, who would headline, who would heckle that you would get to shut down, and who would come up to you afterwards and tell you that they really liked you? Anyone in the world.

MR: Oh my god…that’s amazing. Oh god, there’s so many. I mean my favorite comedians, like I love Louis CK, to open for someone like that…this is going to get me!

AZ: Have you ever seen High Fidelity? This is going to be like at the end when that reporter interviews him and asks for his all-time top 5 songs or albums or whatever it is, and he’s calling her every fifteen minutes to change his list.

MR: Yeah! I will definitely think about this…

AZ: You can send it to me later if you want.

MR: Can I? Because I definitely love that question, and I totally…if I give you an answer now, I would be texting you later to change it.

 

A week later, after a lot of thought and apologies for the delay, Mary sent me her responses. She reserves the right to change them at any time.

Headliner: Louis CK
Feature: Hannibal Buress or Kyle Kinane
Heckler: Some self-important dick from Everywhere, USA, or Adam Carolla
Person Who Liked Me: Seth MacFarlane or Bill Murray, or Sarah Silverman—along with the entire waitstaff from the venue. And then long after the show was over, Adam Carolla.

 

See Mary weekly at Laughs on Fairmount at Urban Saloon (2120 Fairmount Ave.), and this week at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.) with Hal Sparks from Nov. 29th-Dec. 1st.

Alison Zeidman is a stand-up comedian, improviser, and Editor for WitOut.net.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 42

Signups have started for Helium Comedy Club‘s 2012 Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest. Past winners of the title include David James, Steve Gerben, Kent Haines, Anton Shuford, Doogie Horner and Tommy Pope. Preliminary rounds for this year’s contest run from June 3rd through September 9th. Contestants must be from the Philadelphia area and perform between four and half to six minutes of original material. Comedians can sign up online by clicking this link.

This Tuesday at L’etage Polygon Comedy Celebrates their birthday with a show featuring Jimmy Viola, Beirdo, Dream Machine and Kait & Andrew. Doors open at 7:00 and the show begins at 8:00.

Wednesday brings another edition of Mayor Karen Presents in which the PHIT House Team hosts a show of stand-up, improv and music. This week’s performers include New York stand-up comedian Erin Judge, PHIT House Team Hey Rube, and a surprise musical guest.

Also this Wednesday Philly Sketchfest presents: Characters – a night of character based sketch comedy at Helium Comedy Club. The show is a fundraiser for this year’s sketch fest and will feature performances by Animosity Pierre, Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez, Bing Supernova, Hillary Rea, Rob Baniewicz, and The Feeko Brothers.

Camp Woods Plus returns to L’etage Thursday with a show featuring all new material from Camp Woods plus sets from New York sketch group Unisex and Philly’s own ManiPedi.

Speaking of ManiPedi – this Friday the sketch group is holding their own fundraiser for their trip to the 2012 Ladies Are Funny Festival in Austin, Texas. ManiParty will feature performances from Aaron Hertzog, Brendan Kennedy, Mary Radzinski, The Kristen and Amie Show and ManiPedi themselves. They will also be auctioning off items (which you can bid on here via email) and having a bake sale. $10 gets you into the show, all the beer you can drink, and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped them get to Austin.

This Saturday at Connie’s Ric Rac The Chris Gethard Show comes to Philadelphia. The show, dubbed NY is Better than Philly will feature a series of competitions between Chris Gethard’s crew of New York Comedians and Gregg Gethard‘s squad representing Philly. The Philly team consists of Brendan Kennedy (Man’s Man Competition), Aaron Hertzog (Freestyle Rap Battle), Ian Vaflor (Music Competition) Alex Gross (Dance-off) and Mike McNeil (Sports Trivia). Tickets for the event can be purchased online.

Weekend Comedy Guide

It’s a busy weekend for comedy here in Philly. Here’s a handy guide to all that’s going on around our fair city.

Helium Comedy Club – Anjelah Johnson – Friday and Saturday, 8:00, 10:30

Johnson, known for her viral video Nail Salon, and her time as a cast member on MadTV takes the stage at Helium with her stand-up act full of characters, stories, and high energy material centering on her family and life growing up and living in Southern California. Nate Bargatze (Conan, Comedy Central) is the feature act and Aaron Hertzog is the host.

Philly Improv Theater – Friday

7:00 – Hey Everybody – Aaron Hertzog’s showcase will be without it’s usual host this week as he is at Helium – filling in will be Christian Alsis of The Feeko Brothers. This week’s show will feature comedy from Philly’s Phunniest winner Tommy Pope as well as Pete Kuempel, Ed McGonigal, and Ryan Shaner.

8:30 – The Feeko Brothers and Angel Yau – Fresh off their second consecutive Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia title, Christian Alsis and Billy Bob Thompson take the stage with a mostly new show they premiered last week at Philly Sketch Fest. Joining them at PHIT will be New York sketch comedian Angel Yau.

10:00 – The Kristen and Amie Show with Nielsen –  The improv duo comprised of Kristen Shier and Amie Roe bring their high energy, crazy character, fun filled playing to the stage at PHIT along with fun to watch indie group Nielsen.

Philly Improv Theater – Saturday

7:00 – Brick with Ebony and Ivory – New York’s Magnet Theater House Team Brick comes to Philly to perform along side the duo comprised of Iron Lung members Corin Wells and Maureen Costello.

8:30 – House Team Night, King Friday and Mayor Karen – Two of PHIT’s own house teams perform.

10:00 – House Team Night, Asteroid and ZaoGao – Two more PHIT house teams perform.

11:00 – Late Night Improv Jam – Improv open stage hosted by PHIT house team Fletcher.

The Laff House – Ted Carpenter – Friday (8:30, 10:45) Saturday (8:00, 10:00, 12:00)

 The veteran of Showtime at the Apollo and Russel Simmon’s Def Comedy Jam performs at The Laff House on South St.

City Spotlight – Friday

8:00 – Broad Comedy – The all women comedy show kicks off the night of laughs at the Philly Shakespeare Theater. Featuring performances by Mary Radzinski, Carolyn Busa, Hillary Rae, Sarah Morawcynski, Erin Mulville, and more.

10:00 – Bing Supernova’s Cavalcade of Fools – Everyone in the world’s favorite comedian hosts a show packed with performances by  Roger Weaver, John Kensil, The Lucas Brothers, The Feeko Brothers, Jaykob Strange, and Alex Dingley.

City Spotlight – Saturday

CIF National College Improv Tournament – Mid Atlantic Division Regional – All day long college improv teams compete for a chance to represent Pennsylvania in the National College Improv Tournament in Chicago.

 

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 13

The first round of Helium’s Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued Sunday, with John McKeeverJoe Dougherty and Tim Grill moving on to the semi-final round. Preliminary rounds continue each Sunday until August 21st. Tickets available for any of the remaining preliminary rounds HERE.

Speaking of contests, this Wendesday The Ministry of Secret Jokes will play host to the Philly’s Punniest Contest where comedians will do battle for the crown Doogie Horner says we all know is really The Legendary Wid’s. Also performing on the show are Luke Cunningham, David James, Billy Bob Thompson, Roger C. Snair and the Omniana Battle will pit Emily and Micah McGraw against street magician Jaykob Strange.

The fouth annual Philly Sketch Fest is now accepting submissions. This year, the festival will be held from October 10th through 16th at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater as part of the second annual Comedy Month. Interested performers can find the application HERE.

This Friday will mark the debut of the Sideshow Improv Showcase at The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St.) The show aims to feature “new groups, old groups doing new things, or new and/or old groups doing odd things.” The first show will feature improv groups Beirdo and The Hendersons as well as some acts yet to be announced.

Last week, Center City Comedy hosted the BONERoo stand-up comedy show at Mad River Manayunk. Super DPS was there to cover the show, and posted video online that you can check out HERE.