You like being a stand-up comedian. You enjoy the lifestyle. You get to hang out in bars, hear great jokes and spend time with funny people. There’s only one problem: You suck. No one likes you or your stupid act. Your joke about phone booths makes no sense. When was the last time you saw a phone booth, dummy?
So now you feel bad about yourself. But what can you about it? Well, you can work hard to improve but that sounds like a lot of hard work. And let’s face it; you probably won’t improve much anyway. So now what?
Have you ever thought about making fun of a comedian who’s worse than you?
Well, why not? Critizing others is a great way to feel better about yourself! It’s fun! It’s easy! But most of all … okay, I can’t think of a third thing. But fun and easy should be enough. Plus, it’s a great way to build confidence and self-esteem. And research has shown, probably, that pointing out the flaws of others helps draw attention away from our own flaws. Rolling your eyes, for example, is not only a great way to express yourself; it’s also good for your eyes!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about heckling. You don’t want to look like a jerk.
I’m talking about quiet heckling. Snide comments made just loud enough for your friends at the table to hear. Things like, “That joke was funny when the three wise men told it to baby Jesus.”
“That guy totally killed! …My love of comedy!”
“I have a spot on my lung that’s funnier than him.”
Now who’s getting laughs? Not the guy on stage, that’s for sure!
Try it! Just a few well-timed barbs at the expense of another and before I know it, I’m feeling like a pretty big man.
Continue reading OPINION: POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE by Colin O’Brien
We receive this message from the mysterious Ministry of Secret Jokes:
the Ministry of Secret Jokes is a suppurating wound of comedy!
Where: upstairs at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA, USA
How: Can’t say
Standup comedy from: Mark Normand, Anton Shuford, Christian Alsis, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, James Hesky, Doogie Horner, and more!
Pie Eating Contest: Who will win: the person or the pie?
Omniana Battle: Steve Gerben defends his title against Anton Shuford. [People sitting in front are encouraged to bring ponchos.]
Ed McGonigal reads John Kensil’s tweets: John Kensil’s award-winning tweets have redefined the medium and shocked and amazed millions. See consummate showman Ed McGonigal interpret them as only a thespian of his pedigree can.
Less info at ministryofsecretjokes.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.
9:19 — In patriotic fashion, the crowd at Mad River is treated to a rendition of the National Anthem, beautifully delivered by Erin Hess.
9:22 — Host Tom Cassidy takes the stage.
9:24 — Tom introduces the commentators, Shifty-Man Foley and Waddles Washington.
9:31 — Tom removes his sweatshirt revealing zebra striped ref shirt and introduces the first contestant, Brendan Kennedy.
9:35 — A man standing near me makes an awkward squatting gesture. I catch it but don’t know what happened, like a nervous twitch.
9:36 — Brendan compliments Tom Arnold.
9:39 — The man squats awkwardly again, and I realize he is trying to adjust his underwear with out using hands.
9:40 — Jamil B is introduced.
9:41 — Third squat from this stranger. Guys, just go to the bath room and use your hands. Whatever that is, it’s weirder than just tugging at your crotch.
Continue reading JUST THE MINUTES with Joe Moore (March Madness Comedy Competition Final Round)
Master Conrad Roth Tsu say, “He who go to bed with skanky waitress, wake up with itchy peepee, and shitty room.”
Believe it or not, gang, that is the first rule of a good open mic. You can’t fuck the waitresses, especially if you blow them off afterwards. It will slowly eat away at the room and your relationship with the establishment will die. Other than that, it is pretty straight forward. Wait, you know what? No, that is bullshit. Let’s take this back to a couple days ago. I get an e-mail from WitOut asking me to add my half a cent about running an open mic. I thought very hard about it. Here you go:
Running a good open mic is something you literally have to slave over. It is a brutal, thankless job — that is, if you want it done right. I mean any jerkoff could run a show, just ask Mike Casey, whose open mic ran up against one of our rooms — and that lasted about a week, and we were doing our show out of a gay bar. What does that tell you? It tells you that I just wanted to put Mike Casey’s name in this article so I could break his balls because I love to do that, that is true, but it is also a comment on the intensity that must go into a room to make it a success, and not even all of our rooms have been successes. We got fired from the gay bar a couple months later over politics, and by politics I mean someone said an anti-gay slur during their set, and the owners freaked out. (Thanks Mykal). Also, a couple of us tried to bang the manager, which takes us back to the first rule. Anyway … music is also a key factor. You have got to have music between the acts. Otherwise it is so depressing to watch comedian after comedian banging away at a half empty, half asleep crowd and you’re so depressed that you get all tweeked upon vodka Redbull and Vicodin and start wondering why Steve Miller-Milller‘s ass looks so good in those cowboy jeans. It’s bad — a bad open mic is like a funeral, a funeral for a dog nobody liked.
On top of that you got new comedians breaking your balls every two minutes wanting to know when they are getting on. New comedians think because they have brought three people they know that they have got the right to torture you, and when they do get on stage, surprise, they suck, and you can’t give them the light. God forbid, after seven minutes of hell, you hear the phrase everybody loves: “Is that the light?” Fucking kill me. Come to think of it, why would I give the secrets to a great open mic away? So two other jerkoffs can go start up a room, and now I am waiting at the back of the line to go on, fuck that, I’m keeping the secret formula to myself.
I’m sorry, that was the mustache talking. Apologies aside, I am still not going to tell, but I will do you one better, I will show you. The comedic talent in this city is boiling over right now and there are open mics five days a week and they are all done right. Conveniently enough, WitOut does such a great job with this website that they are all listed for you, so I encourage you to go out and enjoy one. For those of us who want more from an open mic besides getting too drunk and leaving in the middle of the set, if you’d like to start an open mic, call me at (917)699-9806 and we can talk, but regardless, remember what I said about the waitresses.
H. Foley is a stand-up comedian and is one part of Center City Comedy, which hosts an open mic from The Raven Lounge every Thursday at 9:00. His opinions are his own.
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.
Continue reading STAND-UP FASHIONISTA with Joe Moore (Laughs on Fairmount)
From Paul Goodman:
Half of the Sweet 16 is set for the March Madness Comedy Competition. Moving on from the X-Change Bar Region: Brandon Ketchup Wilson, Jon Delcollo, Noah Houlihan, and David Agyekum.
Well. There it is.
The comedians moving on to the next round from last night at the Raven Lounge:
The second round begins Sunday night at the Famous International Variety Show at Connie’s Ric Rac, with four comedians advancing from each night.
Here’s an update from contest organizer Paul Goodman:
Another great audience turnout at Noche. The show for the competition was packed–standing room only. The comedians who advanced are listed below. Thanks again.
Sean Quinn, Brendan Kennedy, Ryan Shaner, Alex Pearlman, Neil Carroll. Bob DeSantis, Mike Casey, Nick Baker, Nicole Churchill, Lisa Yost.
The competition’s first round continues Thursday night at 9 at the Raven Lounge.
The organizers of several of the city’s stand-up open mics (The Famous International Variety Show, Comedy X-Change, Rittenhouse Comedy, and Center City Comedy) have put together a seventy comedian tournament-style stand-up comedy competition to coincide with college basketball’s March Madness this month. Across four nights each week, the first seventy will be narrowed down to 40 the first week, to 16 the second, then to eventually to the Elite 8 on the third week, who will compete in the finals — taking place at the end of the month at Mad River in Manayunk.
The first round began this week, with eighteen competitors being narrowed down to ten on each night at The Famous International Variety Show Sunday and Comedy X-Change on Monday. Here are the results from Sunday night:
Brandon Ketchup Wilson
And from Monday night:
Continue reading March Madness Stand-up Competition in full swing.