Aaron sits down with Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall to talk about his comedy career, his process, and the improv to sketch workshop he taught in Philadelphia. Later, Aaron talks with Brian Kelly and Paul Triggiani of Secret Pants about their experience in the class and working with someone who was a great influence on them. Listen below or subscribe on iTunes.
We let you know a while ago that Philly sketch group Secret Pants named Narragansett their “official beer”. Now, the group is helping with the launch of Narragansett’s Cream Ale. In addition to these hilarious spots featuring Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez, Secret Pants will also help host a launch party for Cream Ale at Bar (1309 Sansom St. Philadelphia) this Thursday, March 29 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM.
Writer and comedian Ryan Carey posted this detailed ranking of 17 George Carlin albums on his blog. Carey gives each album two ratings, one based on laughs and one based on philosophy. 17 albums is a lot to dig through, but this type of stuff is right down Ryan’s alley.
This Wednesday will mark the debut of the Philebrity Showcase, a free monthly evening of comedy and music, hand-selected by the Philebrity staff, at Fergie’s Pub. This month’s show will feature comedian Tommy Pope along with music from Ladies Auxiliary.
The Philly Improv Theater will be holding auditions to cast two new House Teams on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM at The Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia). To secure an audition time please email your name, phone number, and a preferred time (if any) to: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on Facebook.
Camp Woods + returns for its’ second show at L’etage (624 South 6th St. Philadelphia) on Tuesday, January 31. This time, Camp Woods teams up with Secret Pants for a not-to-be-missed sketch comedy show. More details can be found on Facebook.
4. When Fastball Bob dressed like a baby angel or something.
3. Some Peanut Butter bullshit song.
2. When Secret Pants killed Snoopy or whatever.
1. WHEN BENNY MICHAELS PULLED THE CHAIR OUT FROM UNDER MR. TARTAGLIA AT CONNIE’S RIC RAC. This was seriously the most funny/immature/base humor/brilliant moment in my life. Rainey and Mayo were doing a benefit show at the Ric Rac a couple of months ago. From what I remember, those two, Benny Michaels, me, the Feekos, and I’m sure some other funny folks were on the show- it was a fun time. At one point, Mayo was onstage. I was sitting in the back row of folding chairs, at the end of the aisle. Christian Feeko was sitting a few seats down from me. Benny walked over from the bar, and naturally wanted to sit next to me, because I am awesome. I was at the end of the row, so Benny decided to pull back the chair from the end of the row in front of us. As he does this, he goes to whisper something to me. He is so focused on whatever the contents of that whispered message are, that he does not see/realized that Mr. Tartaglia, a man in his 70′s, I’d assume, was attempting to sit down in the chair that Benny was now pulling out from under him. Christian and I both saw it happen in slow motion, but were powerless (according to us) to do anything to stop it. Mr. Tartaglia went down hard. Benny was shocked and horrified at what he had just done. Mr. Tartaglia then pops right up and yells, “WHAT IS THIS, SOME KINDA MAGIC SHOW???” Benny grabs the chair, sits the gentleman down, and makes sure he is OK, which, thank God, he was. Meanwhile, Christian and I were in tears, hyperventilating, like a couple of 12 year olds. We both had to leave the room. Benny Michaels, as many of you know, is one of the sweetest, kindest human beings you will ever meet, and funny as hell besides. And he felt AWFUL for what he inadvertently had done. But in doing that, he gave Christian Feeko and I the greatest gift you could ever give another person. Besides your virginity. Or a Lexus. Or a kidney. Speaking of kidneys and body parts, it should be noted that Mr. Tartaglia had undergone heart surgery just two weeks prior to the incident. As of this post, he is in wonderful health, and is, as many of you know, a great man with a great big heart.
Thank you, Benny Michaels, for all you have done, in this, 2011, the year of our LORD.
This sketch just debuted at Keep The Change Ya Filthy Animal: A Yuletide Variety Show – Secret Pants’ now annual holiday sketch show at Johnny Brenda’s. I stood in a room full of laughing audience members and fellow comedians who were amazed at the consistent, fresh, hilarious concepts and execution Secret Pants always brings to the table. This sketch is a prime example of that. Do yourself a favor and just enjoy this sketch, don’t do as I did and sit there wondering who plays the back of Paul Triggiani’s head (my guess is Brian Kelly).
Bird Text - The Real Househusbands of Philadelphia Occupy Philly
The Bird Text fellas combine their breakout characters with the hot-button-issue-of-the-later-half-of-the-year-that-disappeared-as-soon-as-the-cops-chased-everybody-out to make for some great moments in man-on-the-street comedy. This was the perfect third act for the Househusbands characters, a great way to keep the idea fresh and branch out to new territory.
Camp Woods – Detective Berry
Camp Woods has been killing it lately. Every show is packed with tightly written sketches that start with strong premises and are full of fearless performances from each of their members. I probably spend too much time over-analyzing comedy, and lately I’ve been thinking about Camp Woods and their group dynamic. The group is full of versatile performers who know how to write for each other and where they all fit in. They also know how to take a great premise and squeeze every laugh out of it with a combination of big, balls-out performances, and small nuanced hilarious moments. This sketch is a great example of that. The idea it self is laugh-out-loud silly, but the sketch is jam packed with little moments that make it great. From Billy Bob Thompson’s facial expressions to Brendan Kennedy’s reaction shots to JP Boudwin’s bewilderment to Sam Narisi’s great delivery of the line “it all makes so much sense”. Even the way Billy says the word “cum” makes me laugh.
I’m sort of cheating here by including The Feeko’s entire set from this year’s Philly Sketch Fest. Only “sort of” because the entire show ran together and was connected beautifully so it seemed like one complete sketch. The show started with a “body switch” premise, so I was hooked from the start. The set continued with a mix of new and previously seen ideas blended together to take us on a trip to see the Feeko Brothers’ British counterparts, watch Billy as he became possessed by a Demon hell bent on getting some marijuana, and watch as Billy and Christian frantically tried to return to their own bodies. Plus, the whole thing was sponsored by a quaint little restaurant on the corner of Market and Fifth.
The sketch community is close knit, driving each other and suffering with that always comical combination of camaraderie and competition. We had members of each of the nominated groups comment on the other groups. Here are some of the comments:
Members: JP Boudwin, Sam Narisi, Pat Foy, Brendan Kennedy, Billy Bob Thompson, Rob Baniewicz and Madonna Refugia
“Camp Woods have quite literally grown a lot in the past year. They’re the “Katamari Damacy” of our comedy scene. Absorbing some of the best performers and writers in Philadelphia, their voice has only gotten stronger and sharper, and I can’t wait to see what they bring going forward.” – Brian Craig, Secret Pants
“Our community is privileged to have a group like Camp Woods in its ranks. We all want a proper comedy community in Philadelphia but Camp Woods defines the proper pursuit of it. Their work ethic is unparalleled. If they aren’t on stage performing you can bet they are in the crowd watching. They are genuine. They are respectful. They are involved. Their love of comedy and the craft is undeniable. And where most groups would falter with so many different voices and performing backgrounds (stand-up, theater & improv), Camp Woods is only stronger for it. They effortlessly weave in and out of concepts both silly and cerebral and when they do it, they do it well. Camp Woods is a deliberate, thoughtful, humble and consistently hilarious sketch comedy troupe and they deserve your attention. Oh, and I almost forgot… they can do almost anything with cardboard.” – Brian Kelly, Secret Pants
“Camp Woods is unique. Their sketches are weird, funny, and most importantly smart. Their homemade costumes, props, puppets and sets paired with their constantly new material makes them both entertaining and admirable.” – Shannon Brown, ManiPedi
The Feeko Brothers
Members: Billy Bob Thompson, Christian Alsis
“I think the biggest reason why I, and everyone else, loves the Feekos is that they’re such a joy to watch. Billy and Christian have such great chemistry together onstage, and they always commit to everything 100%, as anyone who’s seen them at the Dirtiest Sketch Competition can tell you.” – Patrick Foy, Camp Woods
“The Feeko Brothers are bat-shit brilliant; they’re sick, insane, and fearless. ” – Madonna Refugia, ManiPedi & Camp Woods
“I’m gonna go way back to LHM’s 1st Sketch Up, when we hadn’t been exposed to much Philly sketch, and the Feeko Brother’s performed Coach and Kid. We were really blown away by the commitment to the performance and how awesome of a song it was, and it just made us really excited about deciding to do sketch in Philly.” – Aubrie Williams, Local Holiday Miracle & ManiPedi
Local Holiday Miracle
Members: Andrea Kuhar Isom, Aubrie Williams
“I’m really glad LHM is around; they add a unique voice to the scene and they’re a blast to work with. They’re offbeat and hilarious and I look forward to watching them continue to do good things.” – Pat Foy, Camp Woods
“I think I almost hurt myself laughing at their Expectations video. It had such a weird pacing that gave it that up all night watching tv feel. And the extended pickle-ice cream porn at the end was nice. I love seeing how duos play off each other and these guys are an awesome match.” – Rob Baniewicz, Camp Woods
Members: Madonna Marie Refugia, Aubrie Williams, Shannon Brown, Briana Kelly, Kaitlyn Thompson, and Jen Curcio
“A staple of shows at Tabu and Sketch-Up or Shut-Up, this supergroup of ladies from improv and sketch keeps growing and growing. I’m really excited to see what they come up with and where they’re going to next.” – Rob Baniewicz, Camp Woods
Members: Brian Craig, Brian Kelly, Paul Triggiani, Larry Wiechecki, Steve Thorne, and Samantha Russell
“I think the main thing that makes Secret Pants so great is their attention to detail. Props, costumes, makeup, lighting, cinematography — they always get everything right. All the grunt work that comes with being in a sketch troupe, they nail it every single time. Plus they’re great performers, every last one of them. I think Samantha Russell is one of the most underrated comic performers in the city.” – Patrick Foy, Camp Woods
“Secret Pants was the first group I ever saw at the Philly Improv Theater, and I remember walking away being so inspired by how smart, and also not afraid to be totally silly – their sketches were! They have such a balanced and strong ensemble. Plus, their videos are just beautiful. There is a fun artfulness to their work that puts them at the top of my list. “ – Andrea Kuhar Isom, Local Holiday Miracle
“Holy shit. These guys are the reason I do sketch. They’re so consistently good and they’re my favorite group — so to say I’m competitive with them is an understatement. They drive me to try to out do them – in production, acting, and laughs – because they own all three on a regular basis.” – Rob Baniewicz, Camp Woods
Tonight at the Shakespeare Theater Philly Sketchfest will continue a tradition started in 2007 at Don Montrey‘s Die Actor Die – The Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia contest. Sketch groups from Philadelphia and beyond will gather to perform their filthiest, most disgusting, most depraved sketches in order to gain the hearts and minds of the audience and win the grand prize, along with the bragging rights of being the dirtiest minds in a group of supremely dirty minds. Defending champions The Feeko Brothers will take the same stage they actually vomited on last year, along with two-time champ Secret Pants, Camp Woods, out-of-towners Angel Yau and Thunderstood, Philly stand-up Joe Mayo and more. To make sure you know what you are getting into, we’ve put videos of some of the previous Dirtiest Sketch winners (and Secret Pant’s second place finish from last year) below. Enjoy.