Chip Chantry has one of the most impressive resumes of any Philadelphia comedian. He tours the country as a feature act, has been a finalist in Helium Comedy Club’s Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest every year, and won last year’s Best Stand-Up Comedian at our very own Witout Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. Now he, along with Mary Radzinski, plans to share some of their knowledge about the art of stand-up comedy by teaching a class at Philly Improv Theater. We asked Chip some questions about his class, and what he plans to share with his students.
WITOUT: It may be a little known fact that your comedy career got started with help from a comedy class, do you hope to create some future Chip Chantrys with your class (and what, in your own opinion, would that mean)?
CHIP CHANTRY: Yes, it did. And it may be a little known fact that your full name is Aaron Gregory Jamiroquai Hertzog. But no. The world does not need any more Chip Chantrys- insecure, yet totally lovable and sexy comedians.
WO: There are some that say “funny can’t be taught”. Do you agree with this statement? If so, what are you going to teach in your class?
CC: Absolutely. Being funny (on purpose) is something that I feel you either have or you don’t. I’m just trying to help people hone the craft of stand up comedy. But I can’t MAKE someone funny. I can just give them some tools and encouragement. And people generally get out of a class what they put into it. Some aspire to be famous comedians and writers. Others might take the class for fun, or to conquer a fear of public speaking. To put it in terms that you would relate to, Aaron, it’s like teaching the craft of crocheting, or pottery. I’m never going to be great at those things, because I have the fine motor skills of a frightened goat. But I can learn some of the ins and outs and have some fun with it.
WO: How do you think your experience as an elementary school teacher will help you with teaching fresh-faced, hopeful, stand-up comedians?
CC: The classroom has given me some patience. It’s also taught me to break more complicated concepts down into simpler terms, and convey them in a more basic way at first, and then build up to the complicated mess of stand up comedy.
WO: Say some nice things about your co-teacher, Mary Radzinski? How do you plan on splitting up your teaching duties? Good cop/bad copy style, perhaps? Which one of you is which?
CC: Mary is one of my favorite comedy writers in this here town. Her joke crafting (as seen onstage and on the twitters) have a word economy and voice that are top-notch. Her tweets are like jazz. But, like, not the shitty kind of jazz that everyone’s mom has programmed on station #5 in her 2006 Hyundai Sonata. But we are splitting it down the middle. We are each trying to be good cops. I was thinking more Good Cop/Hot Cop, because I just bought myself a new pair of break-away pants.
WO: What have you learned in your years as a stand-up that you hope to share with your students? Are there some things you think it would be better for them to learn on their own through experience?
CC: I think I’ve learned just as much what NOT to do, than what to do. So hopefully I can help people avoid pitfalls, and take the right steps on their path… to GREATNESS. But, you also have to fail sometimes to learn, so some lessons can’t be taught by me. They’ll have to learn them on their own.
WO: Can you give some free stand-up advice here as a teaser for those on the fence about taking your class?
CC: Yes. BABY STEPS. I still tell myself this to this day. Write five minutes of new material. Try it out at an open mic. If everything bombs, except for ONE joke, you have succeeded. Do the same thing the next week. If everything bombs except for ONE joke? Great! Now you have TWO jokes. BABY STEPS.
I’m full of this crap, Aaron.
Stand-Up 101 at Philly Improv Theater begins this Saturday, October 6th from noon until 3pm and will run each week until October 27th.
Tonight beginning at 8pm, ten comedians will take the stage to compete for the title of “Philly’s Phunniest Person 2012” at Helium Comedy Club. Tonight’s winner will become the seventh person to earn the title, following in the footsteps of David James, Steve Gerben, Kent Haines, Anton Shuford, Doogie Horner, and Tommy Pope. Last year’s winner Tommy Pope was just featured as a New Face at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. The ten comedians performing tonight will be: Darryl Charles, Pat House, Tommy Highland, Vince Patterson, Sean Jackson, Chip Chantry, James Hesky, John Nunn, Ed McGonigal, and Kevin Hurley. Tickets can be purchased online.
By: Alison Zeidman
Back in July at Joe Gates’s apartment, I met with the producers of Polygon
(Joe Gates, Marc Reber, Milkshake and Rick Horner via phone) to talk about how they got started, how they’ve blown up, and what’s next for their beloved monthly variety show. During our chat, Joe offered me cherries he’d received in the mail from his mother, Rick was interrupted several times, Milkshake shared his views on circumcision, and I learned that the men of Polygon have a…special…place in their hearts for my own improv team, Malone.
Alison Zeidman:Can you guys tell me how Polygon started?
Joe Gates: My group Rintersplit, which is Marc Reber, myself and Matt Akana, and Rick Horner with Claire Halberstadt as Suggestical, a little over a year ago had a show out at Milkboy in Bryn Mawr, and then we went out to a diner afterward and we were talking and it was like hey, it would be really great to start something up for people coming out of classes who really want to perform and really want to form a group, but aren’t finding spaces.
AZ: Is that still the primary goal, or mission, for Polygon? To be a place for new groups, or groups that struggle to get shows elsewhere?
Rick Horner: I might say our purpose is to encourage new comedic technique and encourage the performances of groups that are in the Philadelphia area at a pretty professional level, and focus on group dynamics as opposed to individual abilities, and really kind of provide a framework for the administrative operational side to encourage the integrity of the folks that are performing to perform in a professional way.
JG: We’ve actually been doing the Polygon show for over a year now; our birthday was back in April. We started out at another venue and ever since we’ve moved to L’etage we’ve just sort of upped the ante. I have more of a theater background [and at L’etage] we can just run it like a theater show.
AZ: Where were you guys before, and why did you move to L’etage?
JG: We were at Tabu before, a sports bar, and it was more of a…it was difficult to work with the sound of the bar behind us and it was a converted area that was sort of a stage but not quite, and we thought well we could get a place with an actual stage, and that’s where L’etage came in. We have a tech booth there, and we can do lighting, so instead of waving a phone madly at somebody to be like you have five minutes left, we can actually dim the lights and make it very professional. Originally we were only improv, but we saw a lot of things like storytelling really growing, and sketch, so we thought let’s include everybody.
AZ: Do you do most of the outreach to find those performers and groups, or do they come to you?
JG: Originally it was more of us doing the outreach, but we started to post on Facebook and just kind of put the word out there. So some of it’s kind of coming from the community now, now that we’ve kind of established ourselves a little bit.
AZ: So it’s new groups, developing teams, and also people trying to test things out a little bit.
JG: Yeah. I mean we’re not an open mic [laughs]. It’s different from an open mic in that you don’t get just three minutes and then somebody cuts you out. Again it’s more professional; we’re trying to make this like an actual show.
AZ: And where does the name come from?
RH: I think there was a strong push to make it Voltron because of the idea that Voltron is a bunch of pieces that get pushed together, but I thought that was just a little bit too straight on the money, so we kept discussing it until we came up with Polygon, which is just many different facets of something that’s all one thing.
AZ: Rick, you’re involved with so many different projects, your own groups, and F Harold, too. What do you feel sets Polygon apart, or what’s different about it for you as a producer?
RH: I think Polygon is just another piece of the puzzle. I would say that these things, whether it be Incubator or F Harold or Polygon, these are all levers that are designed to provide growth, whether it be with a mentor, or a venue. Whatever type of thing is needed. And I think for Polygon it’s really switching the lever of connecting folks and exchanging ideas and information with a bunch of people who are actively involved in the sketch community and the improv community and the stand-up community. So it’s a meeting point, and some of our shows have been really fluid like that, but it hasn’t always been that way. Thus far we have sought people out; it’s just now that folks are realizing that we’re more than just a monthly show, and they’re starting to seek us out.
AZ: And it seems like as much as it is for the community, the Polygon shows that I’ve been to usually have a lot of non-performers in the audience, so I’m curious about how you guys go about marketing your shows.
RH: Marketing is definitely a big focus for us. It’s fun to perform, and it’s more fun to perform for an audience, but given a choice between an audience of your peers, who are also doing it, and people who have never seen you before, it’s more fun and yet more challenging to perform for people when they have really no idea what to expect.
JG: I think the last Polygon we had maybe thirty people who were non-performers.
AZ: And why do you think that is? I work for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and I know from communicating with Marc that you guys are advertising on Phillyfunguide. Has that been successful for you guys? Or maybe it’s not just that, but do you know how these outside people are finding out about you?
Marc Reber: We had a bunch of people mention that they’d seen us online, and Phillyfunguide does come up high when you search on Google.
RH: I think we are working on market research and figuring out who’s coming to our show and who our target audience is, but we’re kind of locked in on what we feel like people might be willing to pay, and frankly I think that it’s less than what is being charged at other theaters. I feel better about having a well-attended show that costs less, as opposed to a medium-sized show that costs more.
MR: And I think the last three months, we’ve tried to branch out our marketing, and I think it has improved things because we’ve definitely seen more and more people, who aren’t just improvisers.
AZ: So besides Facebook and Phillyfunguide, if you were going to make a recommendation for somebody else trying to market their show, could you say more about what’s worked for you guys?
MR: I think the next step is seeing what actual advertisement does. The online stuff is very voluntary–like someone has to actually be looking to go to an event to happen to be on Phillyfunguide, as opposed to seeing an advertisement as they’re reading a newspaper or something. But either one of those, the online or the advertising, is just a way to expand your audiences.
JG: I think opening up Polygon to more than just improv has helped the numbers, too. I spoke to a couple at the last show and they said we’re just here to have a good time. We have no idea what’s going to happen, we just like to get out of the house. And I was like, this is the perfect place for you.
MR: And I want to second that to the extent that opening up to all forms of comedy in Philadelphia has made it easier to find acts, and that leaves more time for things like marketing.
AZ: Do you think the venue has anything to do with it?
MR: Yeah, it’s just a really great venue. It’s hard to deny that. And the bar is right there, it’s a very nice bar, it’s just a pleasant…it’s a total experience. And that venue has always been very popular, so we’re very lucky to be in that space.
AZ: Can we get into the specifics of what it takes to put on your own show? What are some of the technical challenges of just producing the show the night of, or leading up to it?
JG: Getting a variety of acts to come in, that’s the main challenge I think. And I think one thing that people talk about often on the Philly Comedy Network on Facebook is getting the shows to start on time, so curtain is always at 8:05 just as a courtesy, but performers have to be there ahead of time. So call time is at 7, and then doors open at 7:30, and you let people in and really I think the call time for the performers was the most difficult thing, but it was also the best thing for the show in terms of structure. Because they have time to warm up, sort of situate themselves, look at the stage instead of coming in maybe five minutes after one group has already started and seeing oh that stage isn’t going to work for us, or the lighting is wrong, or we need more chairs. So getting everybody there ahead of time, it just makes everything work kind of like clockwork. And definitely getting a space that you love and other people love coming to and love performing at, that’s pretty important. And I guess just kind of organizing the groups is kind of fun too. You want something really powerful and awesome, you want something that people have never seen before but will really make them think about coming back, and you want new people too. We love new people, we love their lovely faces. And I think [your team] Malone is an excellent example of that; you guys are kind of really climbing the ladder.
RH: Yeah don’t forget to mention Malone, say something about how great they are.
JG: Malone is one of the most attractive…
Milkshake: They’re really good looking, is the thing. It’s hard to compete. No matter how good your team is, you have to compete with the fact that Malone is a very, very fuckable team.
MR: And there are more than five of them, so.
Milkshake: There’s more to choose. As if you needed to choose. Any one of them, male or female, they’re all..
AZ: One of our members is under 18…I’ll just point that out.
Milkshake: I don’t care! I don’t discriminate!
MR: Let’s say very kissable.
Milkshake: Very kissable!
JG: I would hold hands with any member of that team, on a date, in a meadow.
AZ: Let’s talk about what upcoming things you guys have planned.
JG: Well I’m really looking forward to the October show. October is one of my favorite months. I grew up with ghost stories and things like that, so I want to get Rintersplit to perform in October because we’re kind of more ghost-oriented, and there are a couple of storytellers I would really like to get in and tell some gnarly ghost story stuff.
AZ: Do you usually try to do themed shows?
JG: I’m getting more into it. Like our last show we had at Tabu, it was all ladies’ night, lady-oriented, and it was Mani Pedi’s first show and they are fantastic.
MR: But that’s not really our point, our point is more just to have a show that everyone can enjoy, that performers can enjoy, and an opportunity for us to perform, because we are among the independent comedy community. So if the theme works out great, and if there are opportunities like October and Halloween, then it’s like hey, why not go for it.
AZ: Can you guys talk a little bit more about some of the new components of the show, like Philly Secrets?
MR: Well Milkshake is the director and he had the idea of doing something along the lines of Post ecret, where the idea is that people send in their secrets and essentially they’re shared but still secret because they’re anonymous. And to the extent that these are very moving pieces, they provide a lot of emotion and a lot of background, things that are all in improv.
Milkshake: I think just one nice thing about the Secrets show is that the source material itself, the secrets that we use, particularly when they come from PostSecret it’s a very visual experience, it’s a quick snapshot of somebody’s situation that they’re having difficulty dealing with. So they create this anonymous art, and they send it to Frank Warren in Baltimore and they get it off their chest and they share it with other people. Just those in and of themselves are so interesting that to do theatrical work that’s inspired by that, wow, you’ve got a great diving board into a beautiful swimming pool to kick off from.
AZ: Are you using the secrets from PostSecret, or are you soliciting your own?
Milkshake: We’re soliciting secrets from Philadelphia, however the method by which I had chosen to do that was insufficient and I wasn’t getting the responses that I need. We’re still working on acquiring more, but yeah, the first two performances were entirely reliant on secrets from the PostSecret website. And I have no beef with that, but I want to do the show about secrets of people from Philadelphia. And the scenes that we see can be usually funny but not necessarily, especially with somebody like Kristen Schier on the team, who loves any opportunity to do improvised dramatic work. And a nice thing that was pointed out to me is when you take a secret that’s difficult to deal with, like one that’s about abuse or addiction, that usually won’t be a funny scene, but the scene after that, as long as it’s remotely funny, the audience is so ready to laugh that the response is usually pretty explosive.
AZ: How was it determined that Phily Secrets would be a good feature for Polygon?
JG: It’s so fresh, and so new, and it’s a very rich format and it’s laden with dramatic scenes.
Mlikshake: And there’s a lot of sexual ones. There are a lot about penises.
JG: [whispering] This is going in the paper!
Mlikshake: Well, she’ll snip and cut. Edit.
AZ: I don’t want to snip and cut any penises…
Milkshake: Don’t, no! Don’t do that, it’s not necessary. It has no medical benefit. But I was going to say, I would like to do an entire Secrets performance where we’re free to choose the sexual material if we want to, but not have it foisted upon us. And that’s kind of my job as host and curator, to choose the secrets that we’ll work from. But then I think to myself, it would also be cool to have a show where every scene is of a sexual nature.
JG: I’m going to go back and try to answer the question that you asked. I think another one of the reasons that we picked Secrets as kind of a Polygon mainstay is because there’s so many different things that come out of it that we don’t really see in improv, and that’s kind of what we’re all about, the new stuff, the fresh stuff.
AZ: And it sounds like Secrets also has this level of built-in theatricality and drama, and sort of that elevated level of theater that you’re trying to present with Polygon.
JG: When I was a student of dramaturgy, three of the questions that we always asked ourselves of a play where why this play, why now, and why this audience?
Milkshake: We did go over those questions. Did I answer them well?
RH: You answered them. I don’t know how well.
Milkshake: Were you dissatisfied, Rick, with my answers? Do you remember dissatisfaction?
RH: Well you seemed dodgy and unconfident, that’s all.
Milkshake: OK, that sounds like me.
JG: You mentioned at many times during your presentation that people are fascinated by real people’s lives. But also these people are opening themselves up to us. And kind of trusting us with a secret.
Milkshake: And in turn I feel like the work the cast is doing by improvising a scene is kind of metaphorically putting their arm around that person and embracing them. We’re exploring it and experiencing it with them, sort of, to the best of our ability, through theatre.
AZ: So just to wrap up, Polygon is once a month at L’etage, and the best way to book a show is to…
JG: Contact Joe or Mark.
AZ: And if you have a secret that you want to see explored in Philly Secrets?
Milkshake: The best way is to go to formspring.me/phillysecrets.
MR: And Polygon is once a month, at L’etage, but we’ll also be part of Fringe again this year, and I’ll let Rick talk a little bit about that.
RH: We’re finalizing the venue, but I expect that this year there’s going to be some good surprises, which I’m not certain I’m ready to divulge quite yet. I might describe the Fringe this year as more opportunities for people to get involved. And there’s likely to be some sort of a process specifically to submit to the Fringe shows which will be coming out pretty soon, so people will have slightly more control over their involvement.
JG: So look for updates online, and if you have something new and beautiful and need a space to do it, we’d love to check you out.
The next Polygon show is Tuesday, August 14th at 8 pm at L’etage (624 S. 6th Street). Tickets are $5.
This Friday, Camp Tabu’s A Comedy Thing will feature performances from Erin Mulville, Sarah Morawczynski, Trevor Cunnion, Rachel Bensen, and Blythe Wimbush. Alejandro Morales will host and be joined by this months’ cohost Ayanna Dookie. Camp Tabu is held at Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th St. Philadelphia. Doors open at 9 and the show begins after.
By: Becca Trabin
Eddie Pepitone performed on Friday night at Underground Arts–an enormous, multi-purpose art space in the basement of the Wolf Building on 12th and Callowhill, where Corey Cohen Comedy Productions (C.C.C.P.) has recently been putting up comedy shows. C.C.C.P. has brought Hannibull Buress, Neal Brennan, Todd Barry, and Dave Wait to Philly since opening two years ago. With openers Lisa Yost, John Nunn and Alex Grubard, Pepitone performed to a warmed-up crowd, one that was about twice the size of the crowd at his Ric Rac show last spring.
Pepitone hit the stage dancing and kept himself and the crowd amped up throughout the hour-long set. He brought in a young, hip audience, many of whom know him from his performances on Marc Maron’s WTF. A lot of his stuff was material he did last year, but most was still as funny.
Pepitone can get away with a lot. He does characters in his bits, and each one is just him flatly barking at the back of the room with all his heart. Lesser comics might get pegged as one-trick ponies for doing the same basic yell over and over, but Pepitone kept the audience wanting more. He periodically broke character and laughed along with everyone while trying to deliver his tags. It came off as well-earned and joyful. Pepitone does his thing so well that he makes other angry comics seem like the poor man’s Pepitone.
And if watching a guy spew his well-crafted rage upon us for an hour wasn’t already fantastic, the crowd was invited to stay for experimental electronic band Black Dice’s show across the hall afterward.
Aaron talks with Mary Radzinski about her start in comedy, her open mic Laughs on Fairmount, her status as a celebrated Twitter user and more in this week’s episode of The Witout Podcast. Listen below or subscribe on iTunes.
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
6pm Salutatorian (long form improv) Salutatorian is: Adam Siry and Brian Rumble
6:30pm Whisper (long form improv) Whisper is: Maggy Keegan & Jason Grimley
7pm Becca Trabin / Tyler Shuman / Charles Rosen (stand up comedy)
7:30pm Hey Rube! (long form improv) Hey Rube! is: Aaron Hertzog, Alex Gross, Dennis Trafny, Jen Curcio, Lizzie Spellman, Mark Leopold, Rob Cutler, Scott Shepherd, and Tara Demmy
8pm ManiPedi (sketch comedy) ManiPedi is: Shannon Brown, Briana Kelly, Madonna Refugia, Kaitlin Thompson, Aubrie Williams
8:30pm Mayor Karen (long form improv) Mayor Karen is: Nora Algeo, Rob Gentile, Michael Hochman, Dan Jacquette, Alan Kaufmann, Steve Swan, Michael Tomasetti, Becca Trabin
9pm Adrift (long form improv) Adrift is: a cast of improv veterans assembled from across Philadelphia, the show is a comedically raw exploration of characters, relationships, and emotions that rise or break in the face of extreme circumstances.
9:30pm Carolyn Busa (stand up comedy)
Wednesday 4/25/12 Hosted by: Mary Radzinski
6pm Bed Savage (long form improv) Bed Savage is: Anthony Fedele, Nick George, Allison Homer, Dan Jaquette, Steve Klarich, Sean Landis, RJ Payne, & Caroline Rhoads
6:30pm Cock Hat (long form improv) Cock Hat is: Stephan Clanton, Hannah Datz, Frank Farrell, Sunny Kanneganti, Matt Lambson and Sam Scavuzzo
7pm Grimmacchio (long form improv) Grimacchio is Ralph Andracchio, Jason Grimley
7:30pm The N Crowd (short form improv) The N Crowd is: Mike Connor, Rob Cutler, B.J. Ellis, Vegas Lancaster, Kristen Schier, Jessica Snow, Jessica Ross
8pm King Friday (long form improv) King Friday is: Ralph Andracchio, Shannon Devido, Jason Grimley, Jenna Leigh, Maggy Keegan, Jana Savini, Andrew Stanton, Kaitlin Thompson, Aubrie Williams
8:30pm Safe Weird (long form improv) Safe Weird is: Rob Gentile, Kaitlin Thompson, Andrew Stanton
9pm Rookie Card (long form improv) Rookie Card is: Jake Alvarez, Darryl Charles, Marc Reber, Sue Taney, Tom Whitaker
9:30pm EAT CANDY STAY UP LATE (sketch comedy) EAT CANDY STAY UP LATE is: Rob Gentile, Kaitlin Thompson, Andrew Stanton, Chris Schofield, Scott Spivack, Bobby Lang, Dave Piccinetti, Rob Caso, Kyle Reichert, Harrison Lichtner
Thursday 4/26/12 Hosted by: Pat House
6pm Kevin Ryan / Martha Cooney / Sarah Morawczynski (stand up comedy)
6:30pm Apocalips (long form improv) Apocalips is: Mandy Dollar, Karen Coleman, Jen Curcio, Lizzie Spellman, Becca Trabin, Cara Schmidt
7pm Alejandro Morales / Bradley Beck / Rohit Kohli (stand up comedy)
7:30pm Beirdo (long form improv) Beirdo is: Dan Jaquette, Dennis Trafny, Kevin Pettit
8pm Patrick Dodd / Joe Dougherty (stand up comedy)
8:30pm Horner & Davis (long form improv) Horner & Davis is: Rick Horner, Emily Davis
9pm High School in 51 Jokes / Jared Bilski (stand up comedy)
9:30pm Rintersplit (long form improv) Rintersplit is: Matt Akana, Joe Gates and Marc Reber
10pm Alex Grubard / Ian Fidance (stand up comedy)
Friday 4/27/12 Hosted by Cara Schmidt
6pm Iron Lung (long form improv) Iron Lung is: Carly Mauer, Corin Wells, Dennis Trafny, Ellen Qualey, Jess Carpenter, Kevin Petite, Maureen Costello, Simon Burger, Tara Demmy
6:30pm Freddie Heinemann / Josh Bennett / Phyllis Voren (stand up comedy)
7pm Gross Butler (long form improv) Gross Butler is: Alex Gross, Mike Butler
7:30pm Grandma Hates Technology (long form improv) Grandma Hates Technology is: Mike Weiss, Jessica Weiss
8pm Rosen & Milkshake (long form improv) Rosen & Milkshake is Charles Rosen and AJ Horan
8:30pm Hillary Rea / James Bradford’s Live Nude Clothes (storytelling)
9pm Judo Range Are About To Die (sketch comedy) Judo Range is: Matthew Jay, Joe Gates (director), Chris Caletta, Mike Dieva, Chris McGrail, Ian Vaflor, Josh Higham, Pat Szostak
9:30pm / LaTice Mitchell-Klapa (stand up comedy)
10pm Asteroid! (long form improv) Asteroid! is: Jessica Ross, Aaron Unice, Caitlin Weigel, Bert Archer, Luke Field, AJ Horan, Brent Knobloch, Lora Magaldi, Caroline Rhoads
Saturday 4/28/12 Hosted by Emily Davis
6pm Hate Speech Committee (long form improv) Hate Speech Committe is: Christian Alsis, Rob Baniewicz, Jp Boudwin, Darryl Charles, Aaron Hertzog, Brendan Kennedy, Sue Taney, Billy Bob Thompson
6:30pm Mike Weiss / Alex Pearlman (stand up comedy)
7pm The No, Buts… (short form improv) The No, Buts… are: Vahan Berberian, Jack Dibeler, and Steve Murphy
7:30pm The Dream Machine (long form improv) The Dream Machine is: Alex Gross, Bert Archer, Steve Kleinedler
8pm WhipSuit (long form improv) WhipSuit is: Rick Horner, Cubby Altobelli
8:30pm Pete Kuempel / Aaron Hertzog (stand up comedy)
9pm Zao Gao (long form improv) Zao Gao is: Matt Akana, Karen Coleman, Nathan Edmondson, Scott Hinners, Erin Pitts, Tom Powers, Brian Ratcliffe, Billy Bob Thompson and Rachel Whitworth.
9:30pm MEDIC! (long form improv) Medic!! is: Nick Gillette, JP Boudwin, AJ Horan, Luke Field, Billy Bob Thompson, Emily Davis
10pm Camp Woods (sketch comedy) Camp Woods is: Rob Baniewicz, JP Boudwin, Patrick Foy, Brendan Kennedy, Sam Narisi, Madonna Marie Refugia, Billy Bob Thompson
Sunday 4/29/12 Hosted by Ryan Carey
6pm Erik Whitacre (stand up comedy) / Jessica Tandy (long form improv) Jessica Tandy is: Jessica Ross, Andy Moskowitz
6:30pm Kids With Rickets (sketch comedy) Kids With Rickets is: Steve Miller-Miller, Chris McGrail, Alex Pezzotta, Oliver Yu, Mike Madden, Dan Vetrano, Ivo Thomas
7pm Comedian Deconstruction (long form improv) Jess Carpenter deconstructs Bed Savage. Bed Savage is: Anthony Fedele, Nick George, Allison Homer, Dan Jaquette, Steve Klarich, Sean Landis, RJ Payne, & Caroline Rhoads
7:30pm Nielsen (long form improv) Nielsen is: Brad Zinn, Dan Corkery, Jacqueline Baker, Kate Banford, Katie Monaco, Meredith Weir, Molly Silverman
8pm Vegas Lancaster / Shannon DeVido (stand up comedy)
8:30pm Really Big Shew (long form improv) features many of the performers of the F. Harold
9pm Hans Gruber (long form improv) Hans Gruber is: BJ Ellis, Dave Warick, and possible special guest.
Temple University‘s comedy team has advanced past 2011 defending champions Penn State in Rooftop Comedy‘s 2012 National College Comedy Competition. The team, which consists of Alex Grubard, Tim Ryan, Paul Kenton and Chris Whithair beat Penn State in online voting to move on to the next round which they will compete against the winner of NYU and Columbia. The contest started with a showcase at Temple, in which a team of eight comedians were chosen to perform at Helium Comedy Club in another live showcase at which judges narrowed the team down to it’s current four person status. Now, online voting will determine which schools keep advancing for their chance to be named champions and win a performance at the 2012 Just For Laughs Chicago Comedy Festival. If you’d like to do your part in voting to help Temple move on, keep your eyes on Witout’s Facebook and Twitter for updates on when the next round of voting begins.
Eight stand-ups will take the stage tonight at Helium Comedy Club to participate in the final round of Rittenhouse Comedy’s 2012 March Madness Comedy Competition. The month-long event started with 72 comedians competing at various open mics throughout the city to move on week by week to make it to tonight’s final eight. Each open mic was a wing in the bracket- style competition with comedians advancing each week until only two remained from The Famous International Variety Show, Laughs on Fairmount, Rittenhouse Comedy and Center City Comedy. Tonight’s final eight comedians are: David Ray Ageykum, Mike Logan, Alex Grubard, Tim Ryan, Gordon-Baker-Bone, Steve Lichtenstein, Omar Scruggs, and Trevor Cunnion. Comedians will be give six minutes to perform and the show will be judged by audience vote. The show will be hosted by Ryan Shaner. Tickets for tonight’s show are available online.
I have a theory that all of the planet’s most awesome people are fueled by pizza. I recently had an opportunity to test this theory by talking with one of the awesome-est people of all, Mr. Todd Glass. Todd’s the host of a killer podcast, The Todd Glass Show, and you can see him be awesome live on stage here in Philly at Helium Comedy Club on March 21-24. After a brief conversation with him, I can safely say that my theory still stands:
Pizza Pal Joe Moore: How much do you like pizza?
Todd Glass: I… fucking LOVE pizza. I’ve lost a lot of weight now, but my favorite thing to do on the road used to be ordering a large pizza, and then sitting in the hotel watching TV, and eating the whole thing. The first 3 slices are heaven, but the last… 11 slices are tough. It’s amazing that you can smoke a little pot, make a phone call, and in a half an hour, someone just brings you a pizza.
PPJM: What is your favorite topping?
TG: Well, I guess there are two kinds. I like ham and pineapple. But I also like chicken, olives, ham and pineapple. I figure the restaurant has chicken and probably olives, so I have them throw that on there too.
PPJM: When is/was your family’s “Pizza Night”?
TG: We always had pizza on Sunday nights when I was growing up. Now that I’m an adult… well every night could be pizza night.
PPJM: Do you have a favorite slice in Philadelphia?
TG: We used to go to Sal’s in the Gateway Shopping Center. I can remember scrambling for change to get a slice as a kid there. That’s probably my favorite, and I think it’s still there. (PPJM Note: It is!)
PPJM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
TG: I’m still on the fence about “breakfast pizza.” I think that’s just the major chain’s way to getting you in the morning. But you know, even still, once I start eating a pie, I’m not going to stop. Even if it means taking a 10 minute break and telling myself I’ll finish it in the morning… I know I won’t.
And so the Todd Glass Pizza was born: Large pie with chicken, olives, ham and pineapple. I’m down with it, are you?!? See you at Helium!