The second annual March Madness Comedy Competition kicked off last night at The Famous International Variety Show at Drinker’s West. Moving on to the second round of the competition are: David Ray Ageykum, Josh Guarino, David Primiano, Rachel Bensen, Erik Whitacre, John Deal, David Terruso, Mike Logan. The first round continues tonight at Laughs on Fairmount (The Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Ave. Philadelphia).
Last Friday at The Sideshow this year’s Troika competition kicked off with a show pitting The Mother Truckers (Jessica Snow, Mandy Dollar, Sue Taney) against Rogue (Alan Williams, Corin Wells, Mike Butler) and WKKM Channel 17 Action News (Karen Coleman, Katherine Banford, Maureen Costello). The Mother Truckers emerged victorious moving on to compete for the 2012 Troika championship. Round two of Troika this Friday at The Sideshow will feature Operators Standing By (Bert Archer, Michael Hochman, Steve Cohen) 3/9 (Alli Soowal, BJ Ellis, Katie Monaco) and 3AM (Jason Stockdale, Maggy Keegan, Rob Baniewicz)
This Wednesday brings a pair of great independent comedy shows for you to enjoy. Camp Wood Plus returns to L’etage (624 S. 6th St.) and will feature Camp Woods along with Animosity Pierre and Pink Axe. Doogie Horner’s Ministry of Secret Jokes takes its’ usual spot at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St.) and promises more of the same comedy, games, and ritual.
This Thursday at L’etage Comedian Deconstruction’s March Madness will feature improv groups Grimacchio and Nielsen performing sets based off the stand-up of Sidney Gantt and Pat Barker.
This Friday marks the premiere of a new regular show from Philly Improv Theater House Team Mayor Karen upstairs at Plays and Players Theater (1714 Delancey St.). The show will feature James Hesky, Medic and music from Friends with Murder. The show will cost $10 and proceeds will go to a Mayor Karen festival travel fund.
Comedy Month continues this week with the fourth annual Philly Sketchfest. Performing this year will be local favorites The Feeko Brothers, Camp Woods, Hate Speech Committee, Secret Pants, and Animosity Pierre as well as out of town acts including Angel Yau, The Chris & Paul Show, Last Call Cleveland and more. The full schedule, along with tickets can be found online.
There’s been a good bit of media coverage for comedy month. Articles have been written about the three week long string of festivals by The Philadelphia Inquirer, The AV Club Philly, Philly Weekly, and Citypaper.
The QComedy Fest is also set to take place this week with shows at various venues around the city including The Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater, Tabu Sports Bar & Lounge, and Club Voyeur. The festival will be headlined by Alec Mapa, of Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty fame.
Doogie Horner’s Ministry of Secret Jokes returns again this week with a show featuring new videos from Secret Pants and Joke Summer School and stand-up from Chris Cotton, Alex Grubard and Trey Galyon.
Brian Posehn is coming to Philadelphia to play the Trocadero Theater on Thursday, October 20 at 8:00PM. Tickets can be purchased online.
STANDUP COMEDY: Juliet Hope Wayne, Josh Rabinowitz, Mike Rainey, and Animosity Pierre (although Animosity will be sketch, not stand-up. Or maybe they’re doing an inspirational speech? Unsure.)
THE RUBY HATS OF DEATH: Chip Chantry, Pat Barker, and Daryll Charles dip their hands into the blood red hats and see what jokes they must tell. Can they survive the ordeal?!
ALSO: A man wearing a red carnation will tell you a secret joke if you tell him the correct password.
OMNIANA BATTLE: Reigning champion Brendan Kennedy battles Gregg Gethard, in a very special appearance as himself instead of a weird character, for once.
The show begins at 8:00PM at is held upstair’s at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St. Philadelphia.
Much can be, and has been, said about the Ministry of Secret Jokes. I was present for the show on August 8th, and since there was no oath taken beforehand, I am free to reveal events of the evening.
Below are the first and last words from each comedian who appeared on stage:
Comedian : First word / Last word
Steve Gerben: Hello / Story
Doogie Horner: Thank / Night
Chip Chantry: Hey / You
John McKeever: Give / Attention
Micah McGraw: Hi / Yeah
Baby Doug McGraw: Is / Ok
Corey Cohen: Yeah / Phone
Conrad Roth: Thanks / Horner
Bing Supernova: More / Not
David Terruso: Hello / Much
Black Wexler: You / Mother
Brendan Kennedy: Something / University
It should be noted, some of the performers appeared on stage multiple times through out the night. The words listed are their first from when they first spoke into a microphone, last words are final words spoken in the entire evening.
Joe Moore is a comedy fan and sometimes-performer. You can follow him on Twitter.
Yet another round of Helium Comedy Club’s Philly’s Phunniest Competition was last night with Mary Radzinski, Steven Bryan and Gordon Baker-Bone moving on to the semi-final round. The first round continues next Sunday, July 31st and each Sunday after until August 21st. Get your tickets HERE
New York comedian Kurt Metzger recently released a new album through Comedy Central Records called Kurt Metzger Talks To Young People About Sex. He talks in THIS INTERVIEW about it, as well as getting his start as a comedian in Philly.
This Tuesday, Philly Improv Theater will host their new, monthly fundraiser show at the Shubin Theater. This month, PHIT will donate all proceeds from the show to the American Association of Zoo Keepers. You can find out all about the charity, and the show, on the Facebook Event Page.
Also at PHIT this week is the debut of new panel comedy show Reasonable Discourse With Jerks. Wednesday night, Jim Grammond takes the reigns from Luke Giordano (host of PHIT’s previous panel show The Bully Pulpit) where he will be joined on stage by John Kensil, Mary Radzinski, Mike Rainey and Blake Wexler to talk about what’s going on in the world, and why it’s funny.
The Ministry of Secret Jokes has been doing a lot of work on it’s Flickr account, uploading pictures from the past few years of shows. Check it out to see, as Doogie Horner put it “how terribly all the Philadelphia comics have aged.”
Starting Monday, August 1st there will be a new Monday night open mic in Northern Liberties. Comedy at the Piazza will be hosted by Dan Vetrano and Chris McGrail, and will be a replacement for their now defunct Comedy X-Change. Show starts at 9:30 and is at King’s Oak, 1001 North 2nd St.
From Doogie Horner:
The Ministry of Secret Jokes is this Wednesday, July 13th,
Where: Upstairs at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St., Philadelphia
How: Nobody knows.
Performing standup: Roger C. Snair, Luke Cunningham, Billy Bob Thompson, and David James
Special Event: Philly’s Punniest Competition! Do you like puns? Of course you do! Watch as Andy Nolan, Christian Alsis, and Pat Barker take the most highly evolved form of comedy—pun making—to new heights.
Omniana Battle: Roxborough-renowned street magician Jaykob Strange battles dangerous pregnant music duo Emily and Micah McGraw.
Also: Ian David Vaflor on drums, Bazooka Joe on gums.
Less information at:
The first round of Helium’s Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued Sunday, with John McKeever, Joe Dougherty and Tim Grill moving on to the semi-final round. Preliminary rounds continue each Sunday until August 21st. Tickets available for any of the remaining preliminary rounds HERE.
Speaking of contests, this Wendesday The Ministry of Secret Jokes will play host to the Philly’s Punniest Contest where comedians will do battle for the crown Doogie Horner says we all know is really The Legendary Wid’s. Also performing on the show are Luke Cunningham, David James, Billy Bob Thompson, Roger C. Snair and the Omniana Battle will pit Emily and Micah McGraw against street magician Jaykob Strange.
The fouth annual Philly Sketch Fest is now accepting submissions. This year, the festival will be held from October 10th through 16th at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater as part of the second annual Comedy Month. Interested performers can find the application HERE.
This Friday will mark the debut of the Sideshow Improv Showcase at The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St.) The show aims to feature “new groups, old groups doing new things, or new and/or old groups doing odd things.” The first show will feature improv groups Beirdo and The Hendersons as well as some acts yet to be announced.
Last week, Center City Comedy hosted the BONERoo stand-up comedy show at Mad River Manayunk. Super DPS was there to cover the show, and posted video online that you can check out HERE.
Editor’s note — excerpts of this report were retracted before going to “print” for reasons we can’t explain, and even if we could we couldn’t possibly go into it now.
A few blocks away from Fergie’s last night, as my girlfriend I were walking to what we thought was a comedy show, we were stopped by what I believe to be a cloaked Druid. He said I wasn’t allowed to report on the minutes of the Ministry of Secret Jokes – the contents of the meeting couldn’t be revealed to the world. After a few quick rounds of “Riddles,” the Druid and I reached an agreement — instead of my notebook, pen and phone, he’d allow me to go with a quill, some parchment, and an hour glass.
Instead of Standard hours and minutes, time will be displayed in FHG’s or “Full Hour Glasses” as well as minutes broken into 57ths.
0 – Full Hour Glass – I get to Fergie’s early. I test out the hour glass and realize its bogus – 57 minutes worth of sand instead of the standard hour.
FHG – 5/57 – I receive a “Secret Booklet.” I open and read ahead, although I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to. I don’t finish reading all of it, feeling guilty for skipping ahead.
FHG – 8/57 – Beer 1 — Anchor Porter arrives.
FHG – 11/57 – An order of nachos is brought to our table. With it comes the first mystery of the evening — the guacamole that is supposed to be on the nachos has VANISHED!
FHG – 23/57 The room is packed. Standing room only. Some sit on the floor.
FHG – 42/57 – The nachos are as finished as they are going to get.
FHG – 47/57 – Gregg Gethard tells Emily and I story about him almost getting hit by a car at the West Orange Library. While he does that, someone [REDACTED].
FHG – 48/57 – Beer one finishes, and remains finished for a while.
FHG – 53/57 – Less than a thumbnail of sand. We are welcomed by the twice-familiar Andrew Nice Clay. We begin a call and response swearing-in led by Mr. Nice Clay. I say and saw things I thought I would never see or say.
1 FHG – I flip the hour glass for the first time since I sat down, 57 minutes into the show.
1 FHG – 2/57 – The swearing-in ceremony concludes. I’m in the Ministry.
1 FHG – 4/57 – [REDACTED]
1 FHG – 7/57 – Andrew Nice Clay takes note of an outsider named “Tom” in the table nearest to the stage. He makes Tom uncomfortable by showering him in compliments, which in-turn appears to make Mr. Nice Clay uncomfortable.
Continue reading JUST THE MINUTES with Joe Moore (The Ministry of Secret Jokes)