Tomorrow night, stand-up comic frenemies Mike Alloy and Oliver Yu debut their new monthly showcase at Silk City, Head of the Class. Here they are with more info:
WitOut: For people who may not already know you, can you give a brief history of how you got into comedy and how long you’ve been performing in Philly?
Oliver Yu: I’ve been doing stand-up in Philly for a little over 2 years. I started out as an audience member, watching open mic guys of all levels at Helium. The ability to connect with a room full of strangers, even for a few minutes, is something I decided to pursue and make a part of my life.
Mike Alloy: I was actually inspired to start doing stand-up about a year ago after I saw Oliver first perform. Seeing him command the room was really riveting and made me want to try my hand at this craft.
WO: How did you come up with the name for this show?
MA: Originally, I was going to call it Smooth Comedy Showcase because it’s being held at SILK city, get it? But then Oliver told me that was stupid. He told me to change it to Head of the Class since we are trying to attract a young adult crowd, many of whom are students, and we are showcasing what we believe to be the best comics in the city. He is truly a brilliant man!
OY: Thanks Mark.
MA: It’s Mike.
OY: …Are you sure?
MA: Yeah, but do you think I should change it?
OY: No, Mike Amoy is a fine name.
MA: It’s Alloy.
OY: Like the metal composite? You know, a change might not be so bad.
MA: I’ll call the clerk’s’ office after the interview.
WO: In the show’s description, you guys describe Silk City as “one of the most popular and best reviewed venues on Yelp in Philadelphia.” Was it hard to convince them to let you do a show there?
MA: I tried for a very long time to get the venue to host a comedy show, but to no avail. I showed up unannounced to concerts with my own microphone; in the middle of the set I would hop on stage and start telling joke to unsuspecting patrons. Eventually, Oliver sat me down and we put together a promotion plan with which we approached the management.
OY: Actually, I had Mar—I mean Mike, wait in a car while I spoke with the management. They still don’t know he’s involved with the show.
MA: He is a genius!
WO: Your publicity for the show also mentions “prize giveaways.” How will that work? Are you running some sort of contest throughout the show?
OY: The management at Silk City was kind enough to provide some really cool prizes for us. We came up with a contest that we think will be really entertaining for the audience and the comics as well. You’re going have to come out to the show to see what it is.
MA: Yeah we asked every comic to sub—
OY: Shut up, Mark!
MA: I am so sorry!
WO: There are five different comedians on the line-up. Can you explain why you chose each of them, and what makes you think they’ll work well together in one cohesive show?
OY: We wanted to put together a show that people who have never really been exposed to Philadelphia comedy will enjoy. We also wanted to give newer comedians a chance to perform in a great room in front of a solid audience. Bobby Lorello and Mikey Garcia are a couple of young guys who already have some really funny material and are comfortable onstage. Omar Scruggs and Jim Ginty are two comics that can always win over a crowd. Last but not least, our headliner, Chris Cotton, is one of the most respected comedians in the Philadelphia scene; we were so excited to book him for this show.
MA: Oliver is so wise.
OY: Hey buddy, do you have ten bucks I can borrow?
MA: All I have is a twenty.
OY: That’s fine.
The first ‘Head of the Class Comedy Showcase’ is this Tuesday, April 9th at Silk City (435 Spring Garden Street). Show starts at 8:30PM. Admission is $10.