This week, Aaron talks with original member of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Matt Besser. They talk about improv, sketch, Matt’s upcoming visit to Philly to give a lecture at Philly Improv Theater – and Matt’s projects including his podcast, Improv 4 Humans and his upcoming movie Freak Dance. Listen below or subscribe on iTunes.
This week sketch groups Local Holiday Miracle and Kids With Rickets will join forces for a two show run at Philly Improv Theater. Thursday night the two groups will take the stage at 9:00 where they will each present a half hour of sketch comedy and Friday they will reprise the show at 8:30. The groups got together to film this promo video for their shows.
Tickets for Local Holiday Miracle and Kids With Rickets can be purchased in advance online.
Next week, the second annual F. Harold Comedy Festival will take place at Studio 5 in The Walnut St. Theater in Philadelphia. Over 200 performers will take the stage giving audiences a healthy sample of Philly’s stand-up, sketch and improv comedy. Tomorrow, we will be posting a podcast with festival organizer Rick Horner, but for now, take a look at the entire schedule for next week, as well as the list of performers in each group.
Tuesday 4/24/12 Hosted by: John Kensil
Wednesday 4/25/12 Hosted by: Mary Radzinski
Thursday 4/26/12 Hosted by: Pat House
Friday 4/27/12 Hosted by Cara Schmidt
Saturday 4/28/12 Hosted by Emily Davis
Sunday 4/29/12 Hosted by Ryan Carey
Philadelphia sketch group ManiPedi (Aubrie Williams, Briana Kelly, Madonna Marie Refugia, Shannon Brown, Kaitlin Thompson) have been accepted into the 2012 Ladies Are Funny Festival in Austin, Texas. To help with the cost of travel and expenses the group is holding a fundraiser, this Friday at Circa 1212 (1212 South St. Philadelphia). We caught up with the group to ask them some questions about themselves, their show, and the plans for Austin.
WITOUT: Tell us about the formation of the group. How did you all meet and decide to work together?
Madonna: I was asked to do an all-female night at Camp Tabu and I needed a sketch group. I knew Shannon from working with Brendan Kennedy in Camp Woods and I met Kait at a Sketch Up. So I forced them to be in a group with me. From there it was just a matter of finding more people to work with.
Briana: I’d seen ManiPedi at Sketch Up and Madonna was in my Sketch 101 class so we decided to collaborate.
Madonna: And Aubrie is just so awesome it was only a matter of time before we asked her to join us.
Shannon: I remember Madonna and I were at Bonner’s drinking free beers(Madonna does not think they were free.). She told me she was thinking about asking Aubrie to join us, and after whispering to eachother like a pair of middle school girls, she asked Aubrie. Also, I was not forced into the group. I like food and making people listen to my neurotic rambling. They like eating, and will listen to me.
WO: Who are some of your comedic influences?
Madonna: My grandma and dad, Camp Woods.
Aubrie: Showalter, Stella, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Sedaris
Briana: Generalissimo Franco
Kait: The State, My Dad, Louis CK, anything with a mid-day re-run on Comedy Central during 2002.
Shannon: My Mom and Aunts, The Kids In The Hall, and as corny as it sounds, my friends from Philly.
WO: How do you write and workshop ideas?
Shannon: Typically we work on things individually and then bring them to the group when we’re ready.
WO: How would you describe your comedic style?
All: we like fart jokes with heart.
WO: What member of the Wu-Tang Clan best represents each member of Mani Pedi?
Briana: Ghostface (Madonna” Oh, man..”)
Aubrie: ODB, cause he was in the fantasy remake…I also shook his hand once.
Madonna: I’m Beyonce.
WO: Other than performing comedy – do you have any plans for when you get to Austin?
Kait: Get really burned..like, by the sun, see Bill Hick’s grave(if he’s buried there), eat lots of food. And do the thing from Pee Wee herman where he goes into a bar and sings The Stars at Night.
Aubrie: Eat a lot of food. I;m going to do monologues as Hattie Dealing(she was drunk off bourbon the whole time. It’s a good play.) Get a belt buckle. That spins maybe?
Madonna: Meet a bunch of other comedians, eat gourmet donuts from the gourmet donut truck, and flirt with all the guys that will be at an all ladies comedy festival. Endure racism.
Briana: I am going to get a real genuine cowboy hat. I am not going to buy one… I am poor. Instead, I am going to dress myself as Santa Anna and “haunt” everyone I see wearing a cowboy hat. Hopefully one of them will run away in fear, leaving their hat for the snatching.
Shannon: I also would like to get a belt buckle, eat a bunch of food, drink way too much, meet some other groups/people, and manage to return home not broke, sunburned and sans asthma attack.
WO: What kinds of things do you have planned for the ManiParty Fundraiser?
All: BEER. DANCING. FOOD. STANDUP BY: Aaron Hertzog, Brendan Kennedy, Mary Radzinski. Improv by: Kristen and Amie, and sketches by us. We’re also auctioning off Phillies Tickets, Zoo tickets(with a behind the scenes tour that we did that kicked ass) and a sketch voucher from PHIT. and booty clapping.
It’s only $10, and you get all that stuff. It’s awesome.
ManiParty is this Friday, April 13 at 10pm at Circa 1212. Bids via email are being accepted now for auction items. You can also see ManiPedi perform this Thursday night at L’etage as part of Camp Woods Plus.
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is now accepting online applications from improv groups, sketch groups, and stand-up comics. The festival will take place in Austin, Texas from August 28 to September 3 and will feature comedians from all over the country. A few performers from Philadelphia attended the festival last year, one of which was Becca Trabin, who had these things to say to encourage more of our city’s finest to apply for this year’s festival.
Online applications are now open for the 2012 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. Submission fee is $20 until 3/27 and $30 until the 4/30 deadline.
Camp Woods – Eduardo the Crab
A hermit crab takes up life in the butthole of a beach bum.
Camp Woods – Sick Door
It’s a door that gets sick.
Camp Woods – Space Shuttle Endeavor
The Space Shuttle Endeavour is a dead beat dad.
The Feeko Brothers – Jay Peebee’s PB&J
A five-minute radio commercial for a restaurant that sells only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… with an infamous, overbearing and ridiculously catchy jingle.
Secret Pants – Juggalo Sunday
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