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:
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!
Love wings, crowds and competitive gorging but not so keen on the Wing Bowl? Or are you just a big fan of alternative comedians eating way too much and talking trash on each other as they do it? Man oh man, have Hillary Rea and Thunderfoot Larry got a show for you.
WitOut: Who came up with this amazing thing?
Thunderfoot Larry: Hillary Rea has had a burning urge ever since she was a young lass to be a competitive eater. Unfortunately, she does not eat the flesh of the beasts therefore she was shunned from many eating competitions as a youngster. Then the revived vegetarian movement of the late 1990s came along enabling many militant veggie groups to start their very own binge eating competitions. Within the last year, the burning urge has returned to her. She voiced her desire to train for competitive eating on the social network. Whenever someone says they want to try something challenging my first instinct is to personally challenge them in whatever it may be. I really don’t know why, I’m an idiot. I once burnt my eyebrows off because my friend wanted to be a sword-swallower/fire-breather for the circus… So I challenged Hillary to an “eating duel.” She accepted—well at first she didn’t reply, then I cornered her at a gallery art auction. I spat out all the weird (Double Dare game show influenced) daydream ideas I had for if we were to put together our own eating competition. We both love comedy and eating stuff so much and we wanted to make our Veggie Wing Bowl event the complete opposite of the original stadium stripper Wing Bowl in South Philly. So after some emails and Facespace messages we had a meeting at this awesome place that sells coffee and beer at the same time. As we both left the meeting a beautiful sparrow flew over our heads in a figure-eight formation. At that point we both made eye contact and simultaneously blurted out “1st Annual Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular!” Then we held hands and skipped down the street (to the tune of the Perfect Strangers theme song) to Adobe Cafe and booked the muthafuckin’ show! That’s the long answer.
Short answer: Hillary secretly always wanted to be a competitive eater; I secretly have a weight problem and love food. We both are involved in and love comedy. Put ’em together and what do ya get!?…Sprinkle in a Man-Pageant, Alagazambo! The Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular. HOLLA!
Hillary Rea: The 1st Annual Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular started as a bit of a joke. I am not jokingly obsessed with the real Wing Bowl and this year tickets went on sale and sold out in the same day. I was so upset. I missed it last year because I was performing at the NCCAF. But the previous two years I went and was horrified/amazed/excited/impressed/obsessed with what I saw. Larry joked about doing a veggie wing-off one day on Facebook and then I contacted Adobe Cafe on a whim (they have wonderful seitan wings) and the owner was super agreeable to our idea.
WO: Why veggie wings? Is real chicken too expensive?
TL: If we went with real chicken wings there might have been a strong concern there for a minute.
Hilla is a vegetarian person and I wanted to be able to eat the same thing she is in the competition. Good news, no bones to worry about. Plus it goes with being the total opposite of the original Wing Bowl ,which uses real chicken wings. It does not bother me; I’ll eat anything as long as it will not kill me. Can’t eat strawberries, I am allergic; if I were to eat strawberries my throat would close up and I would get plate-sized welts on my body. That sucks. Other than that I’ll eat anything: vegetables, unknown aquatic life, bugs, cow eyes, duck hearts, pussy, pig intestines, exotic fruits, the list goes on.
HR: According to the owner of Adobe Cafe, Mariano, seitan is actually incredibly expensive. He was concerned initially with the number of wings we were going to eat.
WO: This show has a lot going on—rounds of competitive eating, stand-up sets, hecklers, a beauty(?) competition…how do you plan to bring all these things together for one beautiful, continuous flow of delicious entertainment?
TL: A.D.D and the power of funny people.
HR: I’d like to think the event will just ebb and flow organically. But Larry and I as hosts will make sure that everything weaves together into a seamless show. Well…there might be some seams. But they will be funny seams. Seams that burst at the seams with funny.
WO: Who is judging the wing bearers for the Mr. Wing Man 2013 competition? What sort of criteria will they be using, and what do you think the individual competitors can do to make themselves stand out?
TL: You should be the judge. Mr.Wing Man should be a sophisticate, a charmer…The Man should be able to clean my pool thoroughly without fucking my wife. And the guy has gotz to have talent.
HR: The Mr. Wing Man 2013 competition will have both a talent portion and a Question and Answer portion. The individual competitors should really look to the Wing Bowl’s Wingettes for advice and inspiration.
WO: Follow-up question: Who came up with the term “wing bearers”? And why do I love it so hard?
TL: Ghostface Hilla came up with that one, she’s so smart.
HR:Ha! The term popped into my head one day and I asked Larry if he thought it was cool. And he said yes. I am glad you love it!
As the year winds down, WitOut collects lists from comedy performers and fans of their favorite moments, comedians, groups, shows, etc. from the last year in Philly comedy. Top 5 of 2012 lists will run throughout December–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at firstname.lastname@example.org!
#5: Lost and Found: Andrew Whitmire
Andrew tells a story about a re-gifting incident with his mom, Velma.
Here’s the latest video from local comic Aaron Nevins, which premiered at this past Sunday’s Bedtime Stories Presents: Christmas Eve at a Delco WaWa. The video stars comedian/storyteller Hillary Rea, stand-ups T.J. Hurley and Chris O’Connor, and two adorable children.
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!
The Philly Improv Theater at the Shubin Theatre saw the last installment of the Rant-O-Wheel this Monday night. As the night got started, host Jaime Fountaine filled the wheel up with ten nouns shouted out by the audience and began bringing the finest Rant-o-wheelers in Philadelphia onstage to tell a story, real or made-up, in five minutes or less using three of these words.
First up was the pair of Darryl Charles and Sue Taney, tackling six words instead of three. Using “creamed corn,” “tortellini,” “Steve Buscemi,” “Jersey Shore,” “Skittles,” and “sabotage,” Darryl and Sue told the story of a boy who began an anti-Willy Wonka campaign. Jaime played the role of conductor and had some sadistic fun that really upped the laughs, switching the narrator every word at times or pointing to both of them and forcing them to speak in unison.
Next up was Tom Whitaker, who used “rain dance,” “lava lamp,” and “candle” to deliver a superb monologue, in the form of a video message to a recent ex, lamenting the fact that he’ll never find real love in the City of Brotherly Love. Perhaps most remarkable was his delivery, which consisted of a believable and consistently straight face and a stare into the distance, addressing his ex as “you” the entire time.
Following Tom was Larry Napolitano, who quickly breezed through his words of “donkey lips,” “nothing,” and “Dustin Hoffman” in a rant about how he is miserable regarding his aging to get to what was apparently on his mind all along—a hilarious tirade against Ferris Bueller that eventually ended in the murder and defiling of his corpse on his father’s broken car.
Next up was Hillary Rea who used “swing,” “guffaw,” and “side boob” to recount her childhood fears and embarrassments, which included earthworms being thrown at her and a perpetual fear of boys seeing her incorrectly worn Days of the Week underwear. While hearing her memories, the audience couldn’t help but laugh along with Hillary as they remembered their own rough patches in childhood.
Cara Schmidt came next, using “band,” “Jellies,” and “Aquanet” to reveal one of her deepest darkest secrets to the audience—she’s not that good at driving, as evidenced by her twelve cars in seven years. Throughout her monologue, the audience got a very funny peek into the mind of sixteen-year-old Cara and her six attempts at the driving exam, including her various attempts to sway (or bribe) the system.
Finally, Jaime herself finished the rest of the words on the wheel, using “vagrant,” “chicken soup,” “artichoke,” “yellow,” “burp,” and “Rain Man” to tell the story of Rant-o-wheel itself, in a final monologue that was both heartwarming and laugh-inducing. She then ended the show by saying that Rant-o-wheel isn’t dead, it’s just going into hibernation. So if and when the Rant-o-wheel comes out of its slumber, do yourself and these performers a favor and make sure to check it out and support some great local comics telling some very funny stories.
Fibber is a monthly storytelling show produced by Philly Improv Theater and hosted by Hillary Rea. Each month four storytellers swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But one of the four is the Fibber, weaving a web of lies with a totally made up story. It’s the audience’s job to listen to the stories, interrogate the performers, and vote for the person whose pants they think are on fire. After a secret audience ballot, the Fibber is revealed and those who chose wisely are rewarded with a smug sense of satisfaction and free tickets to a future show.
Get to know the storytellers for the upcoming show, Monday May 7th at 9pm at the Shubin. Host Hillary Rea interviewed each one and asked the question: Give me three reasons why the audience should believe your story.
T.J.is a full time hack and part time comic. He lives and works in Philadelphia.
Why you should believe me:
1) I was raised Catholic and am haunted by an almost transcendent sense of guilt.
2) Look at this face. This is an honest face.
3) Why would I lie? I don’t need to impress you people.
Andrew writes, eats salads, and cries easily at movies. He teaches college English in order to justify the amount of corduroy jackets he owns.
Why you should believe me:
1. I try exceptionally hard to be an honest person.
2. I check my bed every night to make sure there aren’t any spiders under my covers.
3. One of these three sentences is a lie.
Sue is an amazing preschool teacher by day, and improv comedian by night. She makes the hour long journey from Jersey several times a week to Philly to practice and perform in Comedysportz, Hate Speech Committee, and Rookie Card because she super loves it.
Why you should believe me:
1. Look at this face
2. (Points to face)
3. Would I lie to you?
During the day, Andrew is the Program Director at Destination Imagination, Inc., where he, on a daily basis, can be found developing and implementing fun and educational programming based on teamwork and creativity for kids in more than 30 countries worldwide. At night, he loves to sleep.
Why you should believe me:
1. I work at a non-profit so I’m not in it for the money.
2. As a 5-year-old I accidentally stole Werther’s Originals from the grocery, got away with it (accidentally) and still returned them. Well, my mom did.
3. I am an Eagle Scout.
Check out these stories from past Fibber shows. One of these storytellers is telling the truth and one is the Fibber. Guess who.
Signups have already begun for the second annual March Madness Comedy Competition. Comedians will compete in opening rounds held at various open mics throughout the city where audience vote will determine who moves on to the next round. To sign up, send an email with your name, phone number, email address, and how long you have been performing stand-up to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Improvisers can throw their names in the hat for the 2012 Troika tournament. Nine teams of three performers will be chosen at random to form new trios and compete to be named champion. Interested performers can send their name, contact info, and names of groups they have performed with (one interesting twist, the teams will be made of people who have never performed together before) to email@example.com.
Finally, this week marks the return of a full two-week schedule of shows at Philly Improv Theater. You can find their full schedule on the PHIT website and, as always, the shows are also listed on our calendar.