The Cape May Comedy Festival is now taking submission for their stand-up comedy contest taking place July 26-28. The contest will accept 96 comedians to compete in 12 preliminary rounds where a panel of judges will decide which ten move on to the semi-finals. From there, judges will choose the final three to compete for the first prize package which includes $5,000, a website, head shots, and work at area clubs. More information can be found online.
Recently Conan aired their “Occupy Conan” episode, featuring fans and celebrity guests recreating their favorite bits from the show. A clip from local comedians Curt Riedy (of sketch group High Dramma) and Todd Schaeffer was featured during the broadcast. You can see the entire episode online (their bit appears at the 17:30 mark). You can also check out some of their submissions that didn’t make the air online.
This Tuesday Second Stories Presents: Love is a Battlefield at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk). The free show starts at 7:00pm and will features stories about victory and defeat from Alanna Kennedy-Gorman, Hillary Rea, Valerie DiMambro, Vickie Fernandez, and more.
Polygon Comedy’s Lincoln’s Presidential Mardi Gras Masquerade is also Tuesday at L’etage (624 S. 6th St.). The show will feature performances by stand-ups Alison Zeidman and Chris Illuminati ; improv groups Self-Esteem Motivators, Jen and Karen, and Hot Dish; and sketch from Calletta & McGrail.
Free Improv at Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) is this Tuesday. The monthly show will feature performances from: Deleted Scenes, Bad James, Cock Hat, Kait and Andrew and Brianna, Dennis, Alex, Rob, Stills, and Nash, Sleepwalker, House-Broken, and Kid Twist. Doors open at 8:00pm and the show starts at 9:00.
This Friday The Sideshow: Not for Nuthin’ will be at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.). The show will feature stand-up from Alejandro Morales; improv from Nielsen and Hot Dog; and the Not for Nuthin’ Podcast featuring hosts Mike Rainey and Tim Butterly.
Something Witty at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk) returns this Friday at 9:00pm for a free stand-up comedy showcase hosted by Alex Pearlman and featuring comedy from Alison Zeidman, Steve Miller Miller, NA Poe, Jess Carpenter, TJ Hurley, and more.
This Saturday Polygon Comedy premieres a new monthly variety show at The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.). The show will begin at 7:00pm and admission is $5. The show will continue on the third Saturday of every month.
If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Philly Sketchfest has released a few videos from the 2012 Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia Competition. Below you can see the winning entry from High Dramma as well as The Feeko Brothers‘ entry and Animosity Pierre’s contribution to the evening. You might not want to watch these at work, or if you’re eating, or squeamish. After all, it is a competition about who can get the filthiest.
If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at email@example.com so we can share it!
High Dramma just released this video sketch, which they premiered at their shows at the Walking Fish Theatre last week.
If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at contact@witout.
The first show of the season for High Dramma (winners of this year’s Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia competition) debuts next week. Here’s a little preview:
Photographer: Peter Rambo
Peter Rambo writes and performs with American Breakfast. (Catch them at the next Camp Woods Plus on Thursday, December 6th.) You can follow Peter’s quiet Twitter feed via @gunnarrambo.
by Pat Reber
I am truly disgusted. That doesn’t happen very often, but High Dramma has managed to do it. I’m watching a man, in his desperation to get laid, lick and suck on a young woman’s parasitic twin as it leaks a milky fluid onto his face and into his mouth. “It tastes like hot Miracle Whip!” he says in disgust. But this certainly isn’t the first liquid I’ve watched squirt onto the stage this evening. That’s right, I had the privilege of attending Philly Sketchfest’s “Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia” competition.
Let’s go back, though, about an hour. This audience is giddy. We know the show is starting in about five minutes, and we cannot wait. We have no idea what to expect. Tales of seeing real vomit and human testicles at past competitions are circulating the seats, and all we know is that every sketch tonight will try to top those stories. See, “Dirtiest Sketch” has become a staple of Philly Sketchfest over the last few years, developing a reputation for getting both grosser and funnier each time. Here we go.
House lights go down, stage lights go up, and we are welcomed to the show. We explode with applause. We’re ready. The first bit is to warm us up; make sure our gross/funny bones are in good shape. The hosts call two volunteers from the audience, who proceed to read a script transcribed from a pornographic film, line for line, including phonetic interpretations of every moan. It’s brilliant. The stilted dialogue can only be made more uncomfortable by the awkward readings from two audience members who had no idea what they were getting into. The laughter is already rolling.
Our first sketch comes from Accelerate Into Oblivion. Two groups of homeless people are feuding over a strip of land under I-95 that seems perfect for setting up camp, until one crustpunk goes into labor. The two groups are reminded of how valuable life is, and decide to share the land. The baby, of course, is dead, but the vagrants are already partying, so they (literally) toss it aside and become friends. Gross. Riotously funny. And this is only the beginning.
Next, pus shoots across the stage in Kids With Rickets’ sketch, as a doctor lances the boils caused by a man who has been wearing his zip-tie cock ring for a week straight. (“I got a little bit in my mouth!”) Merilyn Jackson reads us a medieval curse, loosely based on the Lord’s Prayer, about clergymen molesting children. (“Our Father, who art on top of me…”) Specific Jawns invites audience members to take part in a Rape/Murder Mystery Party. (The killer, we learn, is obsessed with young girls, genital mutilation, and the Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes.”) This night is going disgustingly well!
On comes High Dramma. An amorous young couple is ready to sleep together for the first time, when the woman reveals that she’s got a strange sexual preference. She takes off her robe to reveal her parasitic twin, googly-eyed and growing out of her hip. She insists that her date plays with it for her pleasure. Desperate for some action, he reluctantly starts kissing it, licking it, and sticking fingers inside of it. (“There’s teeth everywhere,” she says, “you’ll get used to it.”) And, as previously described, it squirts all over his face. Delightful! The applause, laughter, and appalled faces are all at their strongest yet!
The Feeko Brothers, reigning “Dirtiest Sketch” champs two years running, come out to close the set and do not dissapoint. We’re taken to the old West, where two men exchange murderous threats and prepare to fight. The sheriff pulls his hands out from his poncho to reveal two whole, defeathered ducks as fists. The other, ready to kill the sheriff, reveals that his fists are actually two giant catfish. The two men exchange dramatic dialogue while slapping themselves and each other with raw meat for a few minutes, until the sheriff emerges the victor. Tragically disturbing. Incredibly funny.
The lights go down, and the crowd goes nuts. These performers have done their job, eclipsing past performances and turning gross-out into an art form. We all vote for our favorites. As we wait for the tally, we’re treated to another audience-read adult script. Then, finally, High Dramma is announced as the winner! We all cheer and try not to throw up!
Afterwards, I interviewed a very excited High Dramma. The members present tonight are Jackie Wolfson, artistic director; D.C. Fisher, head writer; and the sketch’s two stars, Sarah Brown and Curt Riedy.
Pat Reber: First of all, how proud are all of you of yourselves?
All: Way too proud! Super proud!
D.C. Fisher: I just told Jackie that I am more proud than I was when I graduated college.
PR: Why were you interested in doing dirtiest sketch?
Jackie Wolfson: We did the dirtiest sketch last year, and we didn’t come in first, but we got a really good feel for how funny and how dirty it was. This year, since we’re doing the Sketchfest for the first time on Thursday at 8, we decided to enter again because we were already doing the festival. Why not do as much as we could?
Curt Riedy: We really try to go for broke as often as we can. For our full shows, we try to give a nice balance of filthiness and good, clever, PG comedy every once in a while, too. We never really get to go full, full nasty, and this is just a great opportunity to make that happen.
PR: That kind of answers my next question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. How much of a stretch was this for you, as far as writing and performing goes?
CR: I think we just kind of let ourselves be more unhinged than we [usually] do.
JW: This is definitely further, what we did. [D.C., Curt, and I] sat around and tried to come up with an idea, and then Curt and I mostly wrote it, and then Sarah graciously stepped in to act in it with Curt, and D.C. was there to lend a hand…We really, honestly, haven’t done as much dirty, dirty stuff in a long time, so we kind of had to go back to a few years ago and think of what we think is dirty. But still funny.
JW: That’s the line that we didn’t want to cross: going too far into dirty, and not being funny anymore.
CR: Sometimes, when you’re trying to go as filthy as possible, you try to just get the gross laughs instead of trying to mix a little bit of creativity in it.
DCF: You’re almost going for more of just a straight reaction when you go for the real gross stuff. As opposed to “Hahaha, that’s funny,” it’s “Haha, that’s funny and gross!” We always try to aim for, when we’re doing something like this, a really unique take on the grossness.
CR: An amalgamation, if you will.
JW: I do think that this year, though, the other groups did a really good job of finding that balance, too. The other ones were really funny.
CR: All around, it was a really solid evening. Everyone just brought a great level of both gross-out and creativity. The Feeko Brothers, I thought, killed it. I was dying the entire time that was happening.
JW: We want to win Miss Congeniality, too.
DCF: We were especially proud of ourselves for being able to beat them, the guys who had absolutely dominated the last two years with incredibly gross stuff. That is another level of our pride, that we managed to out-gross the Feeko Brothers, at least on this one night.
PR: What was the parasitic twin made out of?
JW: That prop was actually made by Matt Gussie, who is not in the group, but he’s very artistic. It is styrofoam, molding clay, googly eyes, and very milky vanilla pudding. And plastic, of course.
Passer-by: I don’t know what you’re talking about, but it sounds good!
High Dramma will be appearing at Philly Sketchfest on Thursday, November 15th at 8pm at Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia). They will also be at the Walking Fish Theater (2509 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia) from December 5th-8th.
Pat Reber performs sketch comedy with the Win Show, and also has his hands in a constantly shifting menagerie of other projects. He’ll be on twitter @patreberyeah and he think’s you’re nice.
Walking Fish Theatre
Thursday, July 12th 8:00pm Pay What You Want!
Tonight, Polygon Comedy continues their series of independent comedy shows at a new venue: Milkboy Philadelphia (1100 Chestnut St.). Tonight’s show will feature improv from ApocaLips, Rosen & Milkshake, Adrift, and Rintersplint. Doors open at 7:00pm and showtime is 7:30. You can purchase tickets for tonight’s show online.
Tickets are available now for a stand-up comedy benefit show for the Childrens’ Hospital of Philadelphia. Pat Barker has put together a lineup featuring Chip Chantry, Darryl Charles, Tim Grill, James Hesky, and Doogie Horner to perform on Saturday, June 2 at the Stone Grill (1300 Blackwood Clementon Rd, Clementon NJ). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by emailing Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t already seen it, Bird Text‘s new sketch The Return of Pat Burrell has been racking up the views on YouTube. Yesterday, the video was featured on Sports Illustrated’s website. The Bird Text guys are looking to capitalize on the popularity of their newest sketch, offering t-shirts for sale on their website.
Philly Improv Theater is offering two classes that begin this weekend. Improv 101 (with Jessica Snow) and Improv 201 (with Steve Kleinedler) will run Saturdays, May 19 through July 14 and will be held at The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St. Get your spots now, before classes fill up.
This Saturday, May 19, Rookie Card‘s monthly show at The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.) makes it’s weekend debut. The free show begins at 7:00pm and will feature stand-up comedian Tommy Highland, a secret improv team, and will end with an jam open to anyone in attendance.
This weekend, High Dramma Sketch Comedy will host another round of shows at the Walking Fish Theater (2509 Frankford Ave.) The show will run May 17-19 at 8:00pm and May 20 at 5:00pm. Tickets are $15 at the door and are also available online with a special “pay what you can” showing on May 17.