Tomorrow night, comedians, friends, roommates and ragtag group of rapscallions Alex Grubard, Joey Dougherty, Lou Misiano and Tommy Touhill bring you three shows in one: Comedy Bonfire at The Fire. For seven greenbacks, you get a stand-up showcase hosted by Alex (featuring Ryan Shaner, Mary Radzinski and Dave Topor); a live taping of the Trailer Trash Podcast (with Joey and Tommy as guests); and to close the night, the ComeDIYorDIE open mic hosted by Lou. Here they are answering some questions about Comedy Bonfire, comedian-produced comedy shows, and living together:
WitOut: Alex, you used to do a different show at The Fire, right? What’s bringing you back?
Alex Grubard: It was called All Ages Comedy. Why you gotta bring up old shit? The Fire is a simple, solid rock venue so their showroom is separate from the bar. We thought Northern Liberties could use more comedy. Also it’s down the street from the house we live in so it’s easy to get to for all of us. What Joey doesn’t understand is that some of us don’t have bikes.
WO: Is this going to be an ongoing show? And if it is ongoing, will you always do the three-shows-in-one format?
Lou Misiano: March 26th is a one-off show to start out, but the idea is to keep the three shows for $7 aspect. It’s a comedy night at a rock venue. The shows could change, sure. We’ll likely first play around with the 11PM time slot, but who knows what kind of unique but done-to-death show it could wind up being? What Tommy doesn’t understand is that there are plenty of open mics and no one will miss one that doesn’t exist yet.
WO: You live with the other three producers of this show. What’s it like living in a house full of comedians? Do you think working with the people you live with will put any stress on your home life?
Joey Dougherty: Living with comedians is great as long as you’re also a comedian. Non-coms are always like, “Why does every ‘touring comedian’ seem more like a ‘homeless person crashing on our couch for two weeks?’” What Lou doesn’t understand is that comedy is hard, shelter is harder.
WO: The open mic portion of the show is called “ComeDIYorDIE.” Can you explain why/how you feel a DIY aesthetic/attitude lends itself to stand-up comedy? What do you like about independent comedy and comedian-produced shows?
Tommy Touhill: There’s pros and cons to doing things yourself. There are four of us running Comedy Bonfire so it’s more like just a great pun to call it an open mic. Stand-up comedy does have the benefit of making comedians feel like individuals and a part of a community at the same time. Writing and performing stand-up comedy is about as DIY as you get, but finding people who you work well with is important. A comic’s ability to bounce around projects and try different things with different people besides performing alone on stage is a powerful resource. What Alex doesn’t understand is that it’s more than an image; it’s a business model.
WO: Please pick a soundtrack for the evening using only songs that have the word “fire” in the title and/or lyrics written around the theme of “fire.”
“Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
‘Comedy Bonfire’ is this Tuesday, March 26th at The Fire (412 E. Girard Avenue). Show starts at 8PM. Admission is $7.
Philebrity is starting an Ask Juliet Hope Wayne advice column in which you can anonymously ask for the guidance of the comedian and storyteller.
Space 1026 Comedy Nightz Presents Martin & Lawrence and Others this Tuesday at Space 1026 (1026 Arch St. 2nd floor). The show will feature comedy from Martin & Lawrence, Joey Dougherty, Aaron Nevins, JP Boudwin, and The New Dreamz.
Also this Tuesday you can check out Polygon Comedy: The Perfect New Year at 8pm at L’etage (6th and Bainbridge) featuring stand-up from David Piccolomini and Vegas Lancaster and improv from Nielsen, Steve Rogers is Dead, and Grimacchio. Or you can go to Free Improv at Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) at 9pm to see improv from Deleted Scenes, Those Two Nice Ladies, Bad James, The Five “Best” Male Improvisers, Gross Butler, Angry People Building Things, Cock Hat, and Vertical Scream.
This Wednesday a new Open Mic at Liberties Restaurant & Bar (705 N. 2nd St.) will debut. The mic will be produced by Sonny Vellozzi and Michael O’Donnell and promises to be “a room with a lot of potential” as well as having “beer specials and other benefits in the coming weeks.”
The Humor Has It Comedy Show (Maximillian’s Restaurant, 3001 Naaman’s Creek Road, Boothwyn, PA) this Saturday will feature performances by: Bradley Beck, Fastball Pitcher Gob Gutierrez, Mike Rainey, John McKeever, and headliner Tommy Pope. Reservations can be made by calling 610-485-3500.
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Last night, the seventh annual Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Aaron Hertzog, Joey Dougherty, and Paul Easton moving on to the semi-finals. The competition continues Sunday, July 29 and the opening round continues until August 13 (full schedule here).
Submissions for Philadelphia’s Comedy Month are now open. Interested groups can apply for the 8th annual Philadelphia Improv Festival (November 7-11, 2012) and the 5th annual Philly Sketchfest (November 12-17, 2012) online. More details on the month-long City Spotlight will be available later. Early submission ($20) for groups is open until until August 17 and the final deadline ($30) is August 31.
This Wednesday, Camp Woods Plus returns for another show at L’etage (624 South 6th St. Philadelphia) This month’s show will feature the debut of Philadelphia sketch duo Tap City along with New York group Listen, Kid! As always, the show will feature brand new material from Camp Woods.
Also this Wednesday, comedy variety show Accidents Will Happen returns to Adobe Cafe (1919 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia) for a night of stand-up from Jim Grammond, Omar Scruggs, John Nunn, Rachel Bensen, Lisa Yost, storytelling from Jamie Fountaine, sketch comedy from The New Dreamz and “Black Metal Legend” Necrosexual. The show is free and begins at 9pm and is followed by an open mic at 11.
This Saturday, The Sideshow makes another appearance at The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St. Philadelphia). The show will feature improv from Chaperone, Hot Dog, and Iron Lung as well as clowning from Kristen Schier. The show begins at 8pm and is $5.