Comedians love giving advice, most of the time when they’re not even asked for it! Unsolicited Advice is WitOut’s chance to give Philly comics the opportunity to do just that, without looking like a know-it-all so-and-so.
If you are thinking of making a career in comedy, don’t start a family. However, if you are an immature, reckless, simpleton who has no qualms about shunning the lifestyle of a well-adjusted adult in order to pursue your dream of becoming an entertainer, then continue reading as I will gladly show you how I’ve done it. It’s of utmost importance to decide early on in life if one would like to pursue dreams or start a family and spiral into the abyss. Thirty two years into my life, I’ve decided I’d like to have a career in comedy, but I also enjoy providing for my family so I have to teeter somewhere in the middle.
I began my career in comedy over eight years ago. Around that same time, I found out my girlfriend and I were expecting a baby. I fuckin’ love babies so I was pretty excited about the whole deal. Fortunately, once the baby came, my lovely fiance Jaime handled the brunt of the responsibilities while I caroused from open mic to open mic and performed roughly one show per weekend. This continued for about three years until my second daughter came along. I had to contribute a bit more at home, so comedy had to take a backseat now. I would wander into the occasional open mic and only do about 15-20 shows a year for the next three years. Then, Jaime and I found out we were expecting our final offspring, my son. When it comes to safe sex, Jaime and I have the planning skills of middle school rave organizers. If Jaime and I ever started a White Stripes-type band, we’d call ourselves Reckless Fuckers. So, logically, once our family starting rolling five deep, I decided it’s time to dedicate myself to comedy.
Honestly, being a comedian with a family is an absolute trainwreck. I can’t sit at the computer to write without breaking up a fight, cleaning up a mess, commenting on whether an outfit looks alright or not, changing goddam batteries on toys, answering why I’m on the computer, answering when I’m going to be off the computer, figuring out why the fuck one of the other four people or two cats in the house is crying, or just simply having someone stand over my shoulder as I type. Also, when I announce that I have to leave to do a show, the responses from the ladies of my home range from tears to anger. All in all, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. But please, if you have a dream to be a comedian and you do not have a wife or children, run with that dream. For the love of God, run like the wind! Or don’t. The world is always in need of fresh roustabouts.
Mike Rainey is a Philadelphia comedian and host of The Donkey Show, a weekly comedy show on voltaradio.com. He is also one of the organizers of Comedians for a Cause.
If you’re a comic and want us to post your Unsolicited Advice, send us an email at email@example.com
The following is a report on last night’s March Madness Comedy Competition Finale, the Rumble in Manayunk. The undertaking of “March Madness” has been as great as it is large. Center City Comedy took on an arduous task, and this show went on witout a hitch. For the last month we have been asking the great question: what happens when you pit 72 comedians against each over the course of a month in a competition to see who can win the audience over?
The great answer: this…
7:02 – 9:18 — Emily and I arrive at Mad River. We are two hours early. We go to dinner, get coffee, buy some CDs, listen to them in my car, and then go to the show.
In order to bring you inside the minds of some of Philadelphia’s greatest stand-ups, below is a recap of last night’s Laughs on Fairmount open mic hosted by Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski — presented with the first and last words of each comedian’s set.
Comedian – “First word of set” / “Last word of set”
James Hesky – “Hey” / “Thanks”
Jim Grammond – “Thanks” / “Once”
Ed Scanlan – “Thanks” / “Night”
Karen Meshkov – “Take” / “Guys”
Oliver Yu – “Hey” / “So”
John Kensil – “Keep” / “Carolyn”
Tom Cassidy – “Give” / “Thanks”
Rick Robotin – “Man” / “Comedy”
David Terruso – “I” / “Thanks”
Ed McGonigal – “Eyy…” / “On!”
Luke Giordano – “Thank” / “Radzinski”
Logan – “Check” / “Night”
Sean Preston – “Hey” / “Everybody”
Carolyn Busa – “Thanks” / “You”
Mikey Gleason – “Hello” / “Carolyn”
Chris Whitehair – “Hey” / “Carolyn”
Mykal Carter-Jackson – “Hey” / “Money”
Mary Radzinski – “Oh” / “Show”
Matt McCusker – “Hey” / “Lot”
Steve Fielding – “Hey” / “Thanks”
Jess Carpenter – “So” / “Time”
Dan Eastman – “Hey” / “Eastman”
Nick Baker – “Mary” / “Time”
Joey Dougherty – “Hey” / “Mary”
Sydney Gantt – “Alright” / “Time”
Joe Moore is a comedy fan and sometimes-performer. You can follow him on Twitter.
Laughs on Fairmont. Like a Hollywood award show, or that time I was mugged — it was an epic event I will never forget. But when I try to recall what happened — now two weeks later — I realize it isn’t what they said that left the largest impression on me … it’s what they wore.
Here is a brief, fair and balanced run-down on what each of the 30+ stand-ups wore:
John Kensil — A straw-colored flannel rolled two inches above his elbows, a black watch, blue rubber band, blue jeans, and black dress shoes with a squared front.
Mary Radzinski — A purple blouse with a comfortable-looking gray robe over, blue jeans, and silver hoop earrings.
Luke Giordano — A gray bed-looking shirt, buttoned except for the top two buttons, blue jeans with three small holes, one larger hole, tucked into the back of his left sock.
Carolyn Busa — Denim shirt, a torquoise charm necklace, a brown dress, and brown boots.
Ryan Marley — A mostly white with darker striped bed shirt, black dress shoes with no laces, right pant leg tucked over the right shoe.
LaTice — A purple blouse over a black shirt that covered to the wrists with 3 pearly buttons, blue jeans, and gold earrings that looked like little caterpillars.
Jason Hazelwood — Gently worn jeans with a pocket chain, a black bowling shirt with black lettering that spelled “Motel” in a Ren-And-Stimpy-esque font, with tan and black Adidas.
Scott Terry — Off-white t-shirt over a white t-shirt, black shoes, jeans.
Mike Rainey has developed himself a reputation as one of Philly’s most brutal comics, as well as one of the quickest on his feet. He can be seen monthly with his segment Story Time with Mike Rainey at Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests).
How and why did you get into comedy?
How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that?
Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you?