Upcoming Shows

  • October 31, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • October 31, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 31, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 31, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 1, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 1, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 1, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 1, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 1, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • November 5, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • November 6, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 6, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 7, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 7, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 7, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 8, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 8, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 8, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
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“I Can be an Obnoxious Pontificator” – Interview with Mike Rainey, author of ‘Terrible Advice’

Sometimes in our lives; we all have pain; we all have sorrow. But, if we are wise; we know that there’s always tomorrow. Or maybe we need some advice. Unfortunately for most of us there is a lot of terrible advice out there. Comedian Mike Rainey noticed the vast amount of bad information available in the world and decided to dole out his own in his upcoming book Terrible Advice. We caught up with Mike to ask him a few questions about his credentials as an advisor.

WitOut: When and how did you discover that you would be an expert on giving out terrible advice?

Mike Rainey: I decided I wanted to dish out terrible advice after thumbing through some book on a shelf in Target whose focus was to instruct the reader on how to be happy 24/7. Aside from the absurd notion that a person should be happy all the time, the advice that the author was giving was utterly horrendous and under no circumstances could I envision their advice being able to improve someone’s life. The more I thought about it, the more I was amused by how you could sell these self-help books without needing to put any real substance on the pages. I can be an obnoxious pontificator so why shouldn’t I come up with as much terrible advice as possible and put it into book form to make some dough?

WO: How did you go about choosing what topics to give advice on?

MR: I would simply write about whatever topic popped into my head from the instant I decided when I wanted to write each day until the time I sat down at my desk. Topics range from buying a helper monkey to finding the right gal. Whatever felt funny to write is what I chose to write about. Plus, I have a paralyzing amount of failure in my background so I believed that I could offer impractical advice on literally anything.

WO: Who are your mentors in the field of terrible advice-giving?

MR: James Arthur Ray is a New York Times best-selling author and a total chimp who caused the death of two people and injured nineteen others in a sweat lodge ceremony gone awry. This is the same gentleman who authored a book entitled “The Science of Success.” So, yeah. He’s the Michael Jordan of terrible advice.

WO: What are some of your favorite bits of terrible advice you have ever received?

MR: I once read a book on business etiquette where the author instructed the reader to listen to clients and then respond by making “I” statements including personal information and incorporating the information that the client relayed. The purpose was to make the salesperson seem relatable. I was desperate for people to like me and I still have that struggle often so I started doing it. I still do it, but whenever I catch myself doing it, I stop immediately because I can only imagine how unbearable it is for whatever poor soul that has to listen to me. I was never a salesman and I never aspired to be one so I don’t know why the fuck I read that piece of shit in the first place. I guess I was so desperate to be liked that I was willing to try anything. I wasn’t far from doing pro bono snuff porn.

WO: What results would you expect someone to get if they followed all of the tips in your book religiously?

MR: If a reader follows the advice in this book, their life would gradually become a trainwreck. I would like to see at least one person follow this terrible advice verbatim. Maybe I’ll try to get ahold of one of those sweat lodge goofballs.

WO: Do you have any good advice you’d like to give?

MR: Be good to people and good things will come your way. Also, if you Google the words “child porn,” you probably won’t find what you’re looking for.

Mike Rainey is a stand-up comic and author from Philadelphia. He is also a cat lover, a great friend and opinionated asshole. His book, Terrible Advice, will be available on February 14 via download through Amazon.com ($5) or the print version ($10) can be purchased by contacting him via Facebook, Twitter, Email (mrainey82@gmail.com), or in person. Mike will be giving ten percent of all sales to St. Jude’s Pediatric Cancer Research Center.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 73

Remember we told you to check out the latest issue of Philadelphia Magazine for an article on Juliet Hope Wayne and the Philly comedy scene? Well, now that article is available online.

Philadelphia will have three chances to see Louis CK at the Merriam Theater (250 South Broad St.) this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Comedian Deconstruction returns to L’etage this Thursday with their annual Dirty Show. This month stand-up comedians Dave Terruso and Kricket Lee will be deconstructed by improv groups Cock Hat and Bed Savage.

This Friday Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show) will perform at The Trocadero Theater (1003 Arch St.) Tickets are available online.

The Day Drinking Americans Comedy Tour will make a stop at The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.) for a show featuring John Tole and Ian Stuart with locals: Ryan ShanerJohn Nunn, and Tim Butterly.

The Sideshow returns to The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St.) this Friday with a show featuring stand-up comedy from Trevor Cunnion, improv from Cake Bear and Whisper, and necrosexuality from The Necrosexual.

Saturday is Durty Comedy Night at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub (701 E Macdade Blvd Folsom, PA) with a show featuring stand-up from: Kricket Lee, Mike Rainey, Rick Mirarchi, James Hesky, John McKeever, and Mike Jansen.

Philly’s Comedy Underground comes to Circa 1212 (1212 South St.) this Saturday for a show featuring comics Mikey Garcia, Lou Misiano, Alejandro Morales, Pete Steele, and Caitlin Feeney.

This Sunday comedian Todd Barry brings his Crowdwork Tour to The Urban Saloon (2120 Fairmount Ave.) for two entire shows of riffing and bantering with the audience. The 8pm show is already sold out, but tickets are still available online for the 10pm show.

If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to contact@witout.net

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 15

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Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 72

Local comedy website It’s Always Funny In Philadelphia, with some help from some favorite local comedians, released their list of Comedians to Watch in 2013.

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 ScenesThose Two Nice LadiesBad JamesThe Five “Best” Male ImprovisersGross ButlerAngry People Building ThingsCock 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.”

Philadelphia’s own Big Jay Oakerson will headline Helium Comedy Club this week. The comedian will perform six shows from Wednesday to Saturday at the club. Tickets can be purchased online.

The Sideshow returns to The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.) this Friday with a night of variety comedy from Lizzie Spellman, Chaperone, The Necrosexual, Kristen Schier, and more!

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.

Don’t forget The 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy are this Sunday at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.) Tickets can be purchased online.

If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to contact@witout.net

Top 5 of 2012: Mike Marbach’s Top 5 New-to-Me Bits of 2012 + Top 5 Acts Ruined By Members Selfishly Moving Away To Explore Other Opportunities

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, and slightly beyond, if we deem it necessary–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at contact@witout.net!

Top 5 New-to-Me Bits of 2012

These are things that have been going on for a while here in Philly, but that I just had my first real experiences with this year. And I find myself, my life and my future better as a result.

5. John Kensil’s Joke Photos of People that Just Died. Like JUST died.
I don’t talk to John often. Actually, I’m not sure we’ve ever had a conversation. Maybe we’ll fix that this year in an episode of the GETTIN CLOSE PODCAST. For now though, we are simply friends on Facebook. It’s worth being his friend on Facebook just for the pictures he posts after someone with at least a moderate amount of fame dies. The pictures are usually close enough to be a mistake, but different enough to be on purpose. Most recently for Stormin Norman Schwartzkopf he posted a photo of Jonathan Winters which made me laugh out loud and for some reason feel bad about doing so. The pictures define “too soon” and somehow make me think I’ve waited too long each time a death report pops up.

4. “Not for Nuthin Podcast” with Tim Butterly and Mike Rainey
I was sitting in the Shubin basement before the theme show. While simultaneously using my script to study lines and swat flies something caught my ear. It was a sound that to me is as at once nails on a chalkboard and sweet mother’s milk at the same time: two super thick Delco accents. They were just kind of riffing on the “iggles” and whatnot for a couple minutes. I asked if they would want to do it as an act in an upcoming Sideshow at the Arts Parlor. They did a set where they debuted the “Not for Nuthin” podcast . And they killed. It was the perfect blend of sports talk, topical humor, ignorance of topics and racism. Brilliant.

3. Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez and Bing Supernova
I’ve heard about these two for a while, but it wasn’t until Friday night that I actually got to witness the spectacle of each. The stars aligned to get them in not only the same show, but the same set. It was equal parts hilarious and disturbing. The uniforms of each from beret to knee highs to glasses and grease(?) were enough to make people laugh, but also serve to soften the blow of the foul shit that each would say. These two really are the DEANS of comedy.

2. #Friendship
I’m sure this has been going on for a while with Aaron, but I had my first experiences with the chants this year and it’s happened several times since. The first time I remember is at the Friendship Labor Day picnic on the parkway. Each time a tour bus would go by Aaron led the “Friendship! Friendship! Friendship!” chant. It happened all afternoon. At least 6 times with different tour buses, but same tour guides who also came to enjoy it. The funnest time for me though was when the Friendship chant was heard not as a tour bus was passing, but an ambulance. If an ASTEROID! had hit Earth after that moment I’d have gone a happy person.

1. Roger Snair
HERE’S JOHNNY.

Top 5 Acts Ruined By Members Selfishly Moving Away To Explore Other Opportunities

5. Tap City
4. Half Life
3. Camp Woods
2. Camp Woods
1. Beirdo

Mike Marbach is the Education Director for Philly Improv Theater, director of PHIT House Team Asteroid!, creator and host of the Gettin’ Close podcast and producer of The Sideshow variety showcase at The Arts Parlor.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 13

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Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Top 5 of 2012: Mike Rainey’s Top Five Offstage Moments

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 contact@witout.net!

1. Tim Butterly shattering his own windshield with a mini-football using his non-throwing arm. An absolute act of God. Tim, Carl Boccuti, Jim Grammond, Darryl Charles and myself were on the set of a Bird Text sketch that was being filmed. We were passing time by throwing a mini-football around outside. During which time, Tim said something to the effect of “Let’s see what would happen if I threw this with my left hand” and he proceeded to slowly lob this stupid, half-deflated ball into the air towards Carl, yet directly into his own windshield, shattering it. Quite possible the funniest thing I have ever seen.

2. Joe Mayo simulating sex no less than 13 times during one period of hockey at the Wells Fargo Center. I had the pleasure of sitting roughly ten rows behind Joe at one of the Flyers playoff games against the Penguins. At random segments of the game, Joe would hop up, yell something about the on-ice action, then simulate various sex acts to accentuate his points. Worth the price of admission.

3. James Hesky coming over to my house to play Apples to Apples with my kids hours before he won Philly’s Phunniest. My kids love Hesky for various reasons and they had been bugging me to ask him to come over for awhile. Even though James had to prepare for the finals of the Philly’s Phunniest Competition at Helium this particular day, he made time to come to my home, treat my family to pizza and play Apples To Apples with my kids before heading home to go over his set. A class act who truly deserved the spoils of victory.

4. The Legendary Wid performing in front of my girls for their first comedy show. I was scheduled to perform on the final Chip Chantry’s One Man Show and I saw it as a great opportunity to have my girls watch me perform. They were 8 and 5 years old and hadn’t seen me perform comedy yet. They got their money’s worth.They watched me feed Chip ice cream, heard Andy Nolan’s machete rape bit, interacted with Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez and they saw The Wid at his finest. They enjoyed the whole show, but talked about Wid for some time. Every performer did a great job, but Wid gave a performance for the ages.

5. Any and all of the awkward hugs that Mary Radzinski and Lisa Yost endure.

Mike Rainey is a stand-up comic from Philadelphia. He is also a cat lover, a great friend and opinionated asshole. Follow him on twitter @mikerainey82.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 10

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 5

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Tweets of the Week, Vol. 4