Upcoming Shows

  • April 16, 2014 7:30 pmMILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN @PHIT
  • April 16, 2014 9:00 pmTHIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN + SABOTAGE @ PHIT
  • April 16, 2014 10:00 pmTHIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN @ PHIT
  • April 17, 2014 7:30 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 17, 2014 7:30 pmMILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN @ PHIT
  • April 17, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • April 17, 2014 10:30 pmTHE SIDESHOW @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • April 18, 2014 7:30 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • April 18, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • April 18, 2014 9:00 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 10:30 pmATOMIC CINEMA VAULT @ PHIT
  • April 18, 2014 11:00 pmSKETCH UP OR SHUT UP @ PHIT
  • April 19, 2014 7:30 pmSarcasm Comedy Club
  • April 19, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • April 19, 2014 7:30 pmTHE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS… @ PHIT
  • April 19, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • April 19, 2014 8:00 pmBye Bye Liver: The Philadelphia Drinking Play
  • April 19, 2014 9:00 pmDR. SLEEPOVER @ PHIT
  • April 19, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • April 19, 2014 9:30 pmSarcasm Comedy Club
  • April 19, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • April 19, 2014 10:30 pmBIG BABY + MAYOR KAREN @ PHIT
  • April 20, 2014 4:00 pmPHIT PRESENTS: MILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN
AEC v1.0.4

Photos from Secret Pants Presents: “Do The Peppermint Twist” — A Yuletide Variety Show!

Secret Pants xMas 13 - Chip Chantry courtesy Alex Pearlman

Chip Chantry | photo courtesy Alex Pearlman

Secret Pants xMas 13 - Chip and Fastball courtesy Jaime Kelly

Chip Chantry & Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez | photo courtesy Jaime Kelly


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Bryce Remsburg and members of Secret Pants courtesy Jaime Kelly

Bryce Rembsburg & members of Secret Pants | photo courtesy Jaime Kelly


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Daring Daulton courtesy Alex Pearlman

Daring Daulton | photo courtesy Alex Pearlman


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Jen Curcio staple by Aubrie Williams

Jen Curcio stapling money to a dude | photo courtesy Aubrie Williams


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Kensil Alsis by Alex Pearlman

John Kensil & Christian Alsis | photo courtesy Alex Pearlman


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Paul Triggiani staple courtesy Paul Trigg

Paul Triggiani staples money to a dude | photo Courtesy Paul Triggiani


Secret Pants xMas 13 - members of Secret Pants and We're Matt Weir courtesy Jaime Kelly

We’re Matt Weir w/ members of Secret Pants | photo courtesy Jaime Kelly


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Secret Pants courtesy Jaime Kelly

Secret Pants | photo courtesy Jaime Kelly


Secret Pants xMas 13 - Brian and Samantha Craig courtesy Joe Moore

Brian & Samantha Craig | photo courtesy Joe Moore

It’s Elementary with Dave Metter: Paul Triggiani

“It’s Elementary” is a monthly column every first Wednesday that asks comedians to share funny memories from their elementary school years, or “periods” (get it?? Like moments in time, but also like in school!) from those formative years that have informed their personal and comedic identities. Or, they’ll just submit some random anecdotes. Whatever they want, really.

by Dave Metter

I have long been fascinated by what has influenced and inspired other comedy writers, especially during their youths when their comedic senses were still so nascent and less judgmental.  This month features writer/director/performer/tech man/backslash abuser Paul Triggiani.

 

Dave has kindly asked me to write about my time in elementary school for this installment of “It’s Elementary.” So, yes, I’d love to tell you about one of the darkest, most repulsive periods of my life that isn’t right now.

1st Period: The Move
When I was in third grade, my parents moved my brother and I from a private, progressive school that we had been in since kindergarten to a public school. It was the hardest, least pleasant time in my life. I’ve never spent any significant time in prison, but it was probably a lot like that (adjusted for scale of life experience and emotional preparedness).

2nd Period: From Apple Orchard-come-Commune School
The school we had up and to that point spent our entire lives at was an apple orchard-come-commune. The inhabitants of that commune didn’t want to go out and find square jobs so they just said, “Fuck it, let’s be a school.” I remember once asking a teacher how the Native Americans came to be in North America, and she just stared into the ceiling and said, “Nobody knows.” It was a really nurturing place to grow and find your emotional center, but by the time we transferred to public school in third grade, I didn’t know how to read or tie my own shoes.

3rd Period: To Public School
The next year, I transferred to public school and was immediately met with a series of sobering truths—1) the rest of the world had a shared popular culture, it extended beyond 1974, and everyone knew about it but me 2) this was not a warm and inviting place where my ideas and opinions would be welcomed by everyone; to the contrary, every word I said and every thought I decided to share would be judged and used against me by some juvenile scumbag and 3) the other students were sometimes just as bad. It was an emotionally rocky time for me, and I spent a lot of time rolling around on the ground with a jacket over my head. Not sure why.

4th Period: Kids Corner
I can’t remember much about grade school that was positive, except for Kids Corner. If you’re from the area, it’s possible that you’re familiar with the long-running children’s call-in show hosted by Kathy O’Connell and produced by Robert Drake. If you listen to the show today, you’ll hear a lot of music specifically geared toward children, but in the late eighties and early nineties, it was a very different show. From what I could tell, they had maybe ten records that they cycled through—two Dr. Demento collections, a bunch of “Weird Al” Yankovic, They Might Be Giants’ Flood and The Dead Milkmen’s Beelzebubba. So this is how I managed to be exposed to almost nothing but novelty music for the better part of a decade.

5th Period: A Weirdo Unchained
But there was also an underlying message to Kids Corner, and one that I didn’t fully recognize until I was in my late teens. It came through the music they played, but also through the guests that they chose to feature—artists, musicians, nerds of every variety. The novelty music that I was exposed to through the show helped to shape my interest in comedy and show me where my sensibilities were, but the part of Kids Corner that had the biggest impact was that they managed to say “It’s okay to be a little weird. There are weird people everywhere, and they’re doing great” at a time when I needed it most.

Dave Metter is a comedy writer, and member of sketch comedy collective Iron Potato. See Dave’s show “Your News, Philadelphia!” at the Shubin Theater today, June 5th, in the finals of PHIT’s Variety Sweeps Week. Follow Dave on Twitter @DaveMetter.

Quizzo Bowl IX – Opening Song

By all accounts, this past Saturday’s ’80s-themed Quizzo Bowl IX presented by Johnny Goodtimes (with help from special guests Secret Pants) was a rip-roarin’ success.  And video of the opening number—”Wake Me up Before You Quizzo,”  featuring Johnny Goodtimes and Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez—has hit the internet:

If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at contact@witout.net so we can share it!

Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Sketch

It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ‘em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Sketch are:

The Outlier (Camp Woods)

The Return of Pat Burrell (Bird Text)

Rollersketch Presents “Johnny Fifties” (Secret Pants)

 

Mystery Science Andre 3000 (Camp Woods)

The Incredible Imbroglione (Secret Pants)

 

Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Sketch Group

It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ‘em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Sketch Group are:

The Feeko Brothers
The Feeko Brothers are a sketch comedy duo from Philadelphia, PA formed by Billy Bob Thompson & Christian Alsis in 2008 as an excuse to hug each other in front of strangers. Here’s what the Philadelphia City Paper said about their last show: “Their writing decisions are so strong they seem to create the in-the-moment phenomena of improv theater with the razor conceptuality of modern sketch greats.” The Bros have performed at Chicago Sketchfest, Philly Sketchfest, and are regulars at Philly Improv Theater and Helium Comedy Club. Separately they’ve performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Fest, and The Boston Improv Festival. Recently, the Feeks have studied under Steve Kleinedler of ImprovBoston fame and Kevin McDonald of the “Kids in the Hall” fame. Their online vid-bits have been featured on the front page of FunnyOrDie.com and the duo won Best Sketch Group and Best Sketch at last year’s WitOut Awards.

Cast:
Christian Alsis
Billy Bob Thompson

Camp Woods
Camp Woods is a sketch comedy troupe from Philadelphia, PA that was formed in 2009. The group blends sharp absurdism and energetic performances with homemade props, sets, puppets, and costumes to create a memorable live experience that is sometimes smart, sometimes stupid, and always fun. Camp Woods has performed shows in Philadelphia and New York, and as part of Chicago Sketchfest, The North Carolina Comedy and Arts Festival, and the Boston Improv Festival.

Cast:
Sam Narisi
Rob Baniewicz
JP Boudwin
Pat Foy
Brendan Kennedy
Madonna Refugia
Billy Bob Thompson

ManiPedi
ManiPedi was pieced together in the summer of 2011. Nominated for last year’s WitOut Award for Best Sketch Group in Philadelphia and featured in the Ladies are Funny Festival 2012 in Austin, TX, ManiPedi brings on the laughs with their combination of irreverent wit and inherent un-femininity.

Cast:
Madonna Marie Refugia
Shannon Brown
Briana Kelly
Kaitlin Thompson
Aubrie Williams

Secret Pants
Secret Pants shows are like “TV sketch comedy on a stage.” The members of the group all come from a film and video background, so when they’re putting together a live show, they approach it the way you would sketch comedy for live (or live-to-tape) television. Secret Pants tries to replicate the TV experience live, even if that means building a seemingly unnecessary set piece or painting themselves black and white. And when they do it well, it can be pretty magical.

Cast:
Brian Craig
Brian Kelly
Bryce Remsburg
Larry Wiechecki
Paul Triggiani
Samantha Russell Craig
Steve Thorne

The Flat Earth

Gathering talent from the improv, sketch, standup and theater worlds, The Flat Earth debuted this year as Philly Improv Theater’s first house sketch team.  Their sketch revue show had a five-night run at the Philly Fringe Festival, a two-night encore at the Shubin Theater, and received great praise from audience members they asked in the lobby afterwards.

Director: Paul Triggiani

Head Writer: Steve Swan

Writers:
Vincent DiCostanzo
Luke Field
Sean Landis
Jess Ross
Matt Schmid
Adam Siry

Actors:
Jacqueline Baker
Jim Grammond
Brent Knobloch
Rich Lee
Jess Ross
Molly Silverman
Harry Watermeier

Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Short Run/One-Time Show

It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ‘em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Short Run/One-Time Show are:

The Improvised B-Movie Double Feature (Asteroid!)
This fully improvised show celebrated the fun of the low-budget sci-fi/horror films from the golden age of Hollywood. The cast of Asteroid! performed not one, but two fully improvised B-movies, each based on a single audience suggestion with low-budget staples like aliens, monsters, Soviets, and mad scientists.

Fringe Festival Sketch Revue (The Flat Earth)
Philly Improv Theater’s first-ever sketch comedy revue featured The Flat Earth, some of the theater’s top writing talent and a cast of local comedians. The show brought audiences a darkly comic yet strangely sweet take on everything from the obvious targets to the bizarre tangents in everyday life.

ProMania 2K12 (PHIT Fringe Festival)
ProMania 2K12 was a sport-stravagant celebration of the larger-than-life spectacle that is professional wrestling (with only some of the wrestling). Philly comedians paid homage to the flashy trash talking promos, slick video packages, and bitter rivalries of the squared circle.

Myths & Monsters (PHIT Fringe Festival)
Myths & Monsters was an hour-long improvised hero’s adventure following a basic structure parsed by Joseph Campbell. A team of actors moved and breathed in tandem to depict monstrous beasts and terrifying deities encountered during a spontaneously created theatrical tale of trials and transformation of a lone hero. Directed by Philadelphia actor and improviser Nick Gillette.

The David Lynch Show (Camp Woods and Secret Pants)
Camp Woods and Secret Pants presented a special David Lynch themed sketch show lampooning the work of quirky film director David Lynch.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 71

Still looking for plans for New Year’s Eve? Last week we gave you this round-up of comedy shows around Philadelphia tonight.

Chip Chantry wrote this piece about his ten most awkward moments of 2012 for Philly.com.

In case you missed it (or if you want to see it again) Emily and Micah McGraw‘s set from Secret Pants‘ Christmas show A Banner Year at the Ol’ Bender House has made its way online.

Pick up a copy of this month’s Philadelphia Magazine to check out an article on comedian and storyteller Juliet Hope Wayne. The article also talks about the comedy scene here in Philly and mentions a certain website that reports on it (it’s us!).

The Sideshow: Happy New Year! show will take place this Friday at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.). The show will feature performances from improv groups Gross Butler and Malone and sketch group Daring Daulton plus more!

This Friday will mark the first of three shows of The New Dreamz Experimental Residency Performance Art Program. The New Dreamz is the comedy performance duo of artists Andrew Jeffrey Wright and Rose Luardo. During the residency, the audience can expect to engage with material that will never be performed again and material that will be indoctrinated into The New Dreamz fat folds. Each of the three performances will be unique. The residency will be held at Space 1026 (1026 Arch Street) a Philadelphia collective art community and institution that was established in 1997.

New Free/Pay-what-you-wish Sketch Comedy Album from The Stonewall Players

Local sketch group The Stonewall Players just released their new album on Bandcamp on December 21st, and it’s available to fans for the low, low price of $FREE.99. (Or whatever you’d like to pay—might be nice to throw the group a few bones, right?)

Not familiar with the Players?  Here’s a little background and more info on the album from team member Matt Schmid:

“The Stonewall Players are Andrew Kramcsak, Joe Pantalone, and myself.  We filmed some shorts here and there after high school but never really tried to do anything live, as none of us were aware of a live sketch comedy scene until I took the sketch 101 course with [Secret Pants'] Brian Kelly at PHIT.  After that we began attending Sketch Up Or Shut Up regularly which, so far, is the only live performing we’ve done of our material.  We decided to record these sketches as an album because we sort of wanted to flush them out and start writing new material.  I think it’s a good format for us because we have more of capacity for writing than, I’d imagine, performing.  Also, jokes can be layered differently and more nuanced when you don’t have to get that instant big laugh on a stage;it can be more low key.

As for the material itself, Andrew and I wrote everything on the album and then punched up each other’s sketches.  We write in a really complimentary way, he’s really good with details and specific phrasings and I really like the big picture, so it’s easy to hand off stuff.  I also write a little more darker and absurd stuff and Andrew, who is very bookish, brings a sweetness and a sophistication to the characters.

We definitely look forward to performing live in the new year.  I was one of the writers for the PHIT Sketch House Team The Flat Earth and it was really awesome witnessing the show come together.  Watching [Secret Pants'] Paul Triggiani direct was bonkers and intimidating and an amazing learning experience, so I hope to bring what I learned from that show into our material.”

Secret Pants’ “The Red Baron’s Christmas” + Q&A with Team Member Paul Triggiani

WitOut: How would you describe Secret Pants for someone who’s never seen one of your shows before?

Paul Triggiani: I would describe one of our shows as “TV sketch comedy on a stage.” We (both as individuals and as a group) come from a film and video background, so when we’re putting together a live show, we approach it the way you would sketch comedy for live (or live-to-tape) television. We try to replicate the TV experience live, even if it means building a seemingly unnecessary set piece or painting ourselves black and white. We have a lot of fun with it, and if we do it well, it can be pretty magical.

WO: Can you give a brief history of your annual Christmas show?

PT: We brought our previous variety/sketch show, Welcome to the Terrordome, to Johnny Brenda’s in 2009. We had a couple of successful shows there, and that led to Johnny Brenda’s offering us a slot a couple days before Christmas (which I guess had been historically difficult to bring in an audience for). We all agreed at the time that we might be committing event suicide, but we took on the challenge and put up our first all-Christmas show, Nobody Ever Dies on Christmas (Except Toshiro Mifune), on December 23rd, 2010. We got a good crowd that year, and more importantly, people drank a lot, so Johnny Brenda’s asked us back again. Honestly, it’s just the absolute worst time of year to put together a show, but as long as people keep showing up and Johnny Brenda’s keeps asking us, we’ll probably keep doing it. Until we finally decide to give up this silly, expensive passion project.

WO: What are you most excited about for this Sunday’s A Banner Year at the Ol’ Bender Household? (Alternatively, you can also just name everything that excites you about it.)

PT: It’s hard to name something we aren’t excited for. For starters, we’re all pretty jazzed about our set. It’s very different from any set we’ve ever done; it’s a bit of an experiment and we hope the experiment is a success. We love and respect all of the groups that are on the show— and it’s up to like, seven now—and we wish we could come and just watch instead of being in charge (sorta). We pride ourselves on putting together a show that more than delivers for the price, and we honestly don’t think that you can get more entertainment and fun for $10 anywhere else, ever. Also, PS, Mad Elf on draft.

This year’s Secret Pants Christmas show, ‘A Banner Year at the Ol’ Bender House’, is THIS SUNDAY, December 23rd at 9pm at Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Avenue).  The show will be hosted by comedian Chip Chantry, and will also feature sketch groups Camp Woods, ManiPedi and Specific Jawns; a burlesque showcase with Randi Warhol; music from Emily and Micah McGraw. Admission is $10.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 69

Chip Chantry’s debut comedy album Across From the Adonis is now available on iTunes. The album was recorded live in front of a packed crowd at Helium Comedy Club and can now be downloaded and enjoyed from the comfort of your own home for $9.99.

On Tuesday A Bunch of Improv at The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) returns with a show featuring improv from Nielsen, No Wait, Matt&, and Cock Hat and will be hosted by Rob Gentile. Doors open at 8pm with the show starting at 8:20.

This Thursday Comedian Deconstruction presents Girls Girls Girls (and Bed Savage) at L’etage (624 S. 6th St.) This month’s show will feature stand-up comedy from Mary Radzinski, Cecily Chapman, Erin Mullville, and Nicole Yates and improv sets from The Amie and Kristen Show and Bed Savage.

This Friday The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.) will host The Sideshow: Short Attention Span Theater. The show will feature shorter acts (no longer than 15 minutes) and will hosts a mix of magic, stand-up, improv, sketch, storytelling, music, and more.

Secret Pants’ annual Christmas show at Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) is this Sunday, December 23 at 9:00pm. A Banner Year at the Ol’ Bender Household: A Yuletide Holiday Extravaganza will be hosted by Chip Chantry and will feature sketch performances by: Camp WoodsManiPediSpecific Jawns, and Secret Pants as well as music by Emily and Micah McGraw and a burlesque showcase with Randi WarholTickets are available online.

Just another reminder that the WitOut Caption Contest for this month is live.  To enter  submit a caption in the comments section on the  caption contest post. The winner (as chosen by the editors of WitOut) will receive two free tickets to a ComedySportz show of their choice.