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.
Rob and Paul get together on stage at Philly Improv Theater every month and have a TV Party. They find the best worst television from the past available and present it to a crowd full of often drunk and always eager fans waiting to laugh – both at the shows and with the hilarious commentary provided by the two.
Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski
Every Monday night Carolyn and Mary turn the back room at The Urban Saloon into one of the best open mics in the city, Laughs on Fairmount. The two take turns introducing acts and keep the show moving with their own charm and sense of humor. They often start the show with a short sketch that highlights the chemistry they have with each other and gets the audience ready for a night of great comedy.
Chip Chantry is a busy man. He is the host of two monthly shows at major Philadelphia comedy venues. Facetime with Chip Chantry is a talk show at Helium Comedy Club that features Chip performing sketches, jokes about the news, and conducting interviews with each of his guests. Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) moved to Philly Improv Theater after its’ successful run at The Khyber and features Chip hosting for many of the best acts Philly Comedy has to offer.
Twice per month on Friday nights Aaron Hertzog hosts Hey Everybody! an evening of stand-up comedy at Philly Improv Theater. The showcase features many of the best stand-ups in Philadelphia and the occasional visitor from out of town. Aaron is known for yelling “Hey Everybody” at the top of his sets, and getting audiences ready for the show with his jovial invitations of friendship.
Doogie’s monthly Ministry of Secret Jokes has been one of the best nights of comedy Philadelphia has to offer for years. Doogie packs the show with not only great stand-up and sketch comedy but games, contests, and audience participation. The show is run like a meeting of a secret society, and Doogie often opens his shows by having the audience recite an oath that they will not reveal what they see to anyone. Judging by the packed in crowds upstairs at Fergie’s every month, many people have been breaking that oath.
Friday night will be a celebration of women in comedy in Philadelphia. Broad Comedy is the City Spotlight‘s showcase of stand-up, sketch, improv and storytelling from some of Philly’s funniest females. We caught up with Mary Radzinski to ask her about the show, her comedy, and attitudes about women in comedy.
First off, Women doing Comedy, what is up with that? I know. It’s like, I’m hungry. Quit horsing around and make me a sandwich.
Obviously, my first question is a joke…what are your feelings about those kinds of attitudes that look at “female comedy” as a thing unto itself. I think it’s a limited view by limited people, but I sort of understand it. Comedy, like many things, has been male dominated. It’s a numbers game. As more and more women are becoming comedians, bringing hilarity to audiences of both men and women, hopefully “female comedian” will eventually become “comedian”.
Do you plan on introducing every act with a wink and a “this next performer’s a lady” line or any special variation on that time honored tradition – or would answering that be giving too much away. I’m actually not hosting the show, so it won’t really be up to me, but I assume there will be some poking fun at that. The introductions of female comics is of great amusement to me. I was introduced once as, “having a vagina”. As this is factually correct, I couldn’t argue with the host, however, I would have been more impressed if he had used “labia minora”. It’s annoying to me that this is how some comics get laughs and perpetuate a stereotype. Be smarter. Aim higher. Talk about our tits.
How do you feel about articles like this one from Fox News that say things like this - ”For women, frump isn’t funny any longer. The new female comedian has to be the sexual aggressor, sexually provocative, dominant and successful…” and ”Rosie O’Donnell and Janeane Garofalo will be relegated to playing the female versions of Chris Farley. Hollywood doesn’t want a woman that is not sexually enticing like Rosie; it wants the sexual alpha female…” Whatevs. Frump will always be funny. Frump is typically what nurtures the development of funny. Hollywood will always have it’s eye on sexy; sex sells. Writing funny scripts for pretty actors will never get old. I recently saw Jennifer Anniston on Inside the Actor’s Studio. During the interview she had the personality of an elderly chimp. Referencing Anna Faris as a face of female comedy is a jab at the more than likely frumpy person who wrote her most recent comedic script. There are no absolutes. Would it help your career to be beautiful, sexy, and hilarious? Of course. Necessary? Nah.
Where does your personal style as a comedian come from? I really try to be myself on stage. I’m not a very high energy person offstage, and this translates. I’m not entirely deadpan in my everyday life either, so I’ve been working on that as well. This has, and continues to be, my biggest challenge.
Your show is going to be a mix of styles of comedy, it’s going to have some stand-up, improv, sketch, and storytelling – traditionally these have been kept apart – do you see a growing trend in bringing them all together on one bill? I’m not sure I see a growing trend in doing this, but we wanted to represent different areas of Philly’s comedy scene. We were given the title, “Broad Comedy” as part of Sketchfest, so we thought we’d incorporate a “broad spectrum” idea into it to, through different types of comedy. I do think the variety jazzes it up for the audience.
Has running your own weekly open mic and booking shows given you any new insights or perspectives on comedy? Do you have any words of advice for someone looking to start their own show? It has definitely been insightful regarding the amount of work that goes into even an open mic. It’s not easy to please everyone but it’s a goal to keep trying. Words of advice: Get on stage every week and do time. Host to a room of a hundred (even if there are 5 people and they are all comics). Have fun and act like it.
You’re somewhat of a Twitter aficionado - do your best job of summing up and promoting Broad Comedy in 140 characters or less. Broad Comedy.Friday,October 21st. Shakespeare Theater. 8pm.Broads doing comedy. Broadly. Like their broad mothers taught them. Come watch.
Broad Comedy is part of the first annual City Spotlight at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater (2111 Sansom St.) Friday night at 8:00PM. Tickets can be purchased online.
This week, Comedy Month wraps up with the first annual City Spotlight, a week showcasing many of Philadelphia’s diverse comedic talents. Tonight, the Old Comedy Buffet features all comedians over 40 for a night of classic Philadelphia comedy. Later this week, Pat House hosts In The Beginning…, where comedians will show a video from their early days of comedy and roast themselves making fun of how far they’ve (hopefully) come. Friday night features Broad Comedy, an all female show hosted by Mary Radzinski and Carolyn Busa.
This Tuesday, Face Time with Chip Chantry returns to Helium Comedy Club. This month’s show will feature James Hesky, Brendan Kennedy, Darryl Charles, Glen Tickle, and as always will feature co-host and house band Amir Gollan and Chip Chantry doing the news.
Philly Improv Theater will feature a week of shows they are calling “Pilot Week” which will showcase all new shows looking for a permanent spot in the PHIT lineup. Tonight, Becca Trabin presents Town Hall a debate show in a mock town hall meeting format. Tuesday will feature True? The Roger C. Snair Interview Show hosted by Brendan Kennedy‘s Guilty Pleasures sidekick. Wednesday will be the debut of a new panel comedy show A Few Answers Short.
We told you last week that Center City Comedy would be celebrating it’s third anniversary of Thursday night open mics at the Raven Lounge with a special show that would bring together hosts from open mics all over the city, along with some of Philly’s favorite comics. Well, it happened, and our friends at Super DPS were there to capture the action on video. Below are some clips from the night – and you can see more on Super DPS’ Youtube Page.
Tomorrow night at 8pm at the Urban Saloon Mary Radzinski and Carolyn Busa will celebrate six months of their Monday night Laughs on Fairmount Open Mic with their first LOF Showcase. The two co-host the mic, held every week in the back room at the bar across the street from Eastern State Penitentiary and have now expanded to include a weekend showcase. The first show will feature comedians Sean Preston, Nicole Yates, Noah Goldstein, John Kensil and will be headlined by Pat House. The hosts of the show had a few words to say to encourage you to attend:
Carolyn: Hey, Mare, I’m super excited about this Saturday’s six month anniversary show of Laughs on Fairmount! I really need something like this to look forward to, especially after the dentist appointment I just had. Mary: Ginger-vitis? Carolyn: I hate you. Mary: No you don’t. Carolyn: Why don’t you go get a spray tan? Mary: Oh gosh, Carebear, not until Saturday morning. I want a fresh glow for the show.
The first Laughs on Fairmount Showcase will be held Saturday, September 17th at 8pm at The Urban Saloon (2120 Fairmount Ave.) Tickets are $10 at the door. More information can be found on the Facebook Event Page.