Upcoming Shows

  • October 31, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • October 31, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 31, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 31, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 31, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 1, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 1, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 1, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 1, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 1, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • November 1, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • November 5, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • November 6, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 6, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 7, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • November 7, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • November 7, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 7, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • November 8, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • November 8, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • November 8, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
AEC v1.0.4

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 65

Comedian LaTice was a guest on The View last week, where she was featured in their “Hilarious Housewives” stand-up competition. You can see her set from the show online.

You can read reviews of night three and five of last week’s Philly Sketchfest from Philadelphia Weekly online.

Philadelphia’s own Dom Irrera will be headlining at Helium Comedy Club this week. The home-grown comedian is known for his many stand-up specials, television and film work, and is a fixture at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.

The Laff House’s Thanksgiving Weekend line-up will feature headliner Alex Thomas, known for his appearances in films such as Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Just Married, and Don’t be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. The show will feature 2011 Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest winner Tommy Pope and will be hosted by TuRae.

The final Hey Everybody! at PHIT will take place one week from today at 10pm at The Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia). Host of the show Aaron Hertzog is moving to Los Angeles and will be sending his show off in style with performaces by: Chip Chantry, Brendan Kennedy, Joe Dougherty, Mary Radzinski, Jim Grammond, Christian Alsis, Alison Zeidman, and Rob Baniewicz.

Nominations are now open for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. Performers may nominate up to three choices in 13 different categories for the awards, which will be held on January 13, 2013 at World Cafe Live. Nominations will be open until November 30.

WitOut is now accepting submissions from performers and comedy fans for our Top Five of 2012 list series. We are encouraging anyone to write about their favorite moments, shows, performers, sketches, quotes, or anything at all to help us recap and remember the past year in Philadelphia comedy. You can pitch your Top Five of 2012 idea to contact@witout.net

Interview With Tommy Pope, New Face at the 2012 Just For Laughs Festival

In case you haven’t already heard the news, 2011 Philly’s Phunniest Person Tommy Pope has been selected to perform as a New Face at the prestigious 2012 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. We caught up with Tommy to ask him some questions about his recent achievement.

WITOUT: First of all, congratulations on being selected as a New Face for the 2012 Just for Laughs Festival. What was the audition process like?

Tommy Pope: Thanks buddy. It was fun. Auditions are fun, right? Like contests! Comedy contests are fun too, right? Do you like murder? Murder is fun. So, there were 3 rounds of auditions in NY and it lasted around 6 months. The tough part is that you don’t receive any feedback after your set. You just hope to get a callback months later. But receiving the invitation is worth all the stress. And blood.

WO: How did you choose your audition set? Did you pick your favorite jokes, or try to pick a set that had a theme, or that would best represent your own specific voice? Did you change it for each callback?

TP: I learned a lot about constructing a short set from performing in Philly’s Phunniest. I’d say it’s a mixture of all those things. Its my favorite jokes that have a theme as well as represent my voice. Btw, I would never say that last sentence out loud for fear of turning into an actual asshole. Throughout the 6 months I definitely wanted to change it. I have newer bits that I enjoy telling but you know the previous round worked so I just added chunks and tags.

WO: When did you find out that you were selected? Was it hard to keep the big news a secret?

TP: I found out May 30th, 4:07 pm. Seriously, I took a screen shot. It was terrible holding it in. It’s my first credit and you can’t share it with anyone. I didn’t even tell loved ones outside of the comedy circle for fear that they would post it on my Facebook wall. The last thing I need is my Aunt Mimi fucking up my dream with a simple post like, “Your Mom told me about Canada, you should bring a girl over for cake. Neil’s cutting the lawn.”

WO: Since knowing that you’re going to Montreal, have you made any changes in the way you approach stand-up in preparation for the festival?

TP: Not a thing. If it ain’t broke…keep drinking every night till your anxiety makes you question your existence.

WO: Have you talked to any other comedians who may have been New Faces in recent years for any pointers or advice? If so, what are some of your favorite words of wisdom?

TP: I’ve spoken to a few but not about advice, just well wishing. The most memorable quote came from Mark Normand, who described Montreal as “Comedy Disneyland”.

WO: Historically, Montreal has been a place where many comedians have arrived as unknowns and left with television deals. Do you have any pitches in your brain in case they come a-knocking? 

TP: I have a pitch idea about a sitcom where John McKeever and I get married and make videos from the comfort of our own Jet-skis. It’s (loosely) based on real life.

WO: What’s next for you? Do you have any specific plans or goals for the near or long-term future?

TP: I plan on doing standup and continuing to make quality videos with BirdText. We have some great things in the pipeline. But we need money. Seriously. Do you like murder?

You can see Tommy perform at Helium Comedy Club hosting and closing the Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest. He also produces sketch comedy videos as a member of Bird Text.

Aubrie Williams has Coffee with Comedians: Tommy Pope

I am not, nor have I ever been a New Year’s Resolution person. Of course, every year I make an excuse to eat and drink more and call it a resolution, but this year is different. You see, at about the same time one would make a resolution, I realized how many comedians in the city I’ve never met (or at least never had an in-depth conversation with). So here, in front of you all, I state my 2012 resolution: to have coffee with comedians and get to know them better. I love coffee, and comedians, and forging friendships. Some comedians I will meet for the 1st time, and some I’ll know to say hello to and get to know them better.

My first cup of coffee (not ever…just for this project) was with Philly’s Phunniest 2011 Winner Tommy Pope. I had seen Tommy in video and on stage numerous times, but had never met him until now. We are both from good old Delco, so this interview may include a lot of “dudes”, “mans”, and “yous guys”es. Yous guys have been warned.

Aubrie: You’ve been doing comedy for awhile now, do you or did you ever have pre-show rituals?

Tommy: I remember someone telling me-I started around four years ago- and someone noted that I had all of my jokes written out. So the way my process works is I’ll bullet point some ideas in a notebook or my phone or I’ll voice record it the way it comes out naturally in the car or onstage and then I’ll put it on paper. So my pre show ritual is to blindly look at the words- if it’s a big show like Helium or something I think I’m trying to regurgitate information but it never really sinks in. So I guess it’s like nervously reading jokes that I’m not actually reading. Actually, Hesky had a good point to that- right before when Helium plays that terrible music, that sadistic jingle- I kinda black out right before I go onstage. And I always look at my set-list, and he pointed out the same exact thing- that you keep just looking at the words but you’re not reading them and nothing’s hitting. You just keep thinking about walking onstage and getting hit with the lights.

Aubrie: So it’s the same for all comedians then. I often have a moment where I forget all lines backstage, but once I step on, they come right back to me.

Tommy: Yeah, it should be.

Aubrie: So, BirdText- how long has that been going on? Because I’ve heard your name and seen your videos for awhile now.

Tommy: Luke Cunningham and I started a show about three years ago where we used to tour Delco actually and it was called Philly Pub Crawl. We went around to all the popular Delco spots because at that time I didn’t really know anyone in Philadelphia- I was getting on Helium once every three or six months so I wasn’t really entrenched in the comedy community, so the best venue option was to go towards home where you know  people would show up for shows. Luke would invite some great New york comedians to come down cause he had been in New York for five years and I would bring some people in from Philly, and that went on for two years. And then I met John McKeever at the Raven Lounge’s open mic a little over a year and half ago. From there we joined forces and changed it to BirdText because Luke went back to LA and New York to do some cool stuff like writing for Norm Macdonald, and John and I took the reins with setting up some shows around here. Luke would still help us from wherever he was at the time. So it’s been about a year and half for BirdText. Now we have Darryl- he’s been in it for the past three months. He was a really good friend of ours and he started out at Helium the same time as I did, and he was great at acting and helping us out with a lot of our videos, so it was just natural fit.  We’re going to kick him out next week so this is the last BirdText interview before he’s done.

Aubrie: His head is getting too big for him after all of those WitOut award wins.

(Hey, guess what yous guys!! Darryl isn’t kicked out, those were just some JOKES!! Hahaha.)

Aubrie: So how did you guys come up with the name BirdText?

Tommy: So once we decided we were gonna rebrand our “Philly Pub Crawl”, we liked that there were a lot of popular shows with two uncommon names that are just memorable and something that stands out- simple terms that I always liked and admired. We wanted to come up with something that really didn’t matter and didn’t have too much connotation to comedy or anything specific to Philadelphia or New York so it’s pretty universal and people will remember it. So, John and I do a lot of g-chats at 3 or 4 in the morning. He texted me and he has that magnum condom joke, and he said, “If I had a magnum condom on I’d have to put my cell phone in with it so that it would fit better.” And in response I said, “Yeah, but your dick would still be texting me.” And his response was, “That’s it. BirdText.” I think it was a day or two after we said it were gonna change our name that we came up with that. And now there’s a connection now with the name and our videos and our faces,  and it’s working. And it’s only been a year and a half or so since we came up with that.

Aubrie: Impressive! And speaking of impressive, I wondered if any of you studied film? Your videos are great.

Tommy: No,  I went to Drexel and studied IT and engineering. But me and John have very similar tastes and we just mesh. It just works, so when it comes down to  the shoot day, I’d say 85% of our work is improv. We’ll see angles and then it’s almost like we speak words without saying them- we just know. And we have the same appeal of the shooting style. Sometimes when you don’t have an education in it you just create a style that works for you. I don’t want to compare it to scumbags in sales- and I know this cause I worked with a lot of them and probably was one at some point- you know, when they hired you for a new position they didn’t really care about that cause they would have to untrain you and then retrain you the way they thought was the necessary way to sell. So we came in crisp and uneducated and do it our own way. That’s also why I like stand-up- like, I never knew forms of stand-up existed til after college. I never knew about comedy clubs and all of that stuff. But you can’t mock or emulate someone’s style because you don’t have any previous exposure to it.  Someone once said “You can’t worry about being too much like another comedian if you just go up there and be yourself. Always do what you find is funny.”

Aubrie: Nice, I was going to ask you the best advice anyone ever gave you next, and that seems to be pretty great advice.

Tommy: Yeah, that’s pretty much it. It was just like, do what you think is funny. Eventually it’ll be funny- you’ll work it to make it better. And you gravitate towards people who are like your style and like your humor, and that’s important to gain some confidence. You get easily kicked down but you’ve got to group up with some people that’ll support you. I’m mean, you’re still gonna beat yourself up. I’m still going to be puking in a toilet over those 3 jokes I shouldn’t have told tonight.

Aubrie: We are our own worst critics. But that is the good thing about Philly- it is such a supportive community.

Tommy: Yeah, they all pick you up.

Aubrie: And to end this interview: a note completely unrelated to comedy. Facebook tells me you just got a dog.

Tommy: I did, I just got a dog! I’ve had a couple growing up- I had a pug which isn’t a dog, it’s a toy with a heartbeat. But I loved it cause I wasn’t a human- I was like six. It worked out for both of us. Then my dad talked my mother into getting a real dog- half Lab, half Irish Setter, and she was wonderful. But the dog we got is a Vizsla- it’s a Hungarian hunting bird dog. It’s like a  weimaraner, but it’s auburn. Or like a rhodesian ridgeback, but without the reversal of hair up the spine. You know, I’m not done- I have other dog associations that will bore the fuck out of you. He’s 8 weeks. Just got him. We got him from a breeder, so they take it seriously. She interviewed us- we had to pass a series of interviews. But you get a real dog. She asked if we were going to show him, and I was like, “Yeah, I’m going to show him.” To my neighbors, when I take him outside to use the bathroom.

You can find more info and videos from Tommy Pope online at Bird Text.com

Aubrie Williams is a member of improv group King Friday as well as sketch groups Mani Pedi and Local Holiday Miracle.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 33

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.

Tonight at L’etage, the second monthly Camp Woods Plus will feature the namesake group plus Philly favorites Secret Pants as well as visitors from New York Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 8:30. You can hear Camp Woods talk more about their comedy in last week’s inaugural episode of The Witout Dot Net Podcast.

Tomorrow at L’etage marks the return of improv showcase Polygon. This month’s show will feature sets from Gross Butler, Apocalips, Rintersplit, and Angry People Building Things. Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8:00.

The lineups for the first annual NYC Improv Festival have been announced and several Philadelphia teams have made the cut. The festival, which will take place from March 21-24 will feature Philly groups Mayor Karen, King Friday, Asteroid, Hey Rube, and Iron Lung.

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 2011 Witout Awards: Best Stand-Up Comedian

Chip Chantry

Chip is a fixture in the Philadelphia comedy scene. He performs as a feature act at Helium Comedy Club (and clubs around the country) and is also the host of two monthly shows. Facetime with Chip Chantry is a variety talk show at Helium Comedy Club that lets Chip showcase his monologue and interview skills. Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) is a Monday night variety show at Philly Improv Theater that features performances by many of the best acts in Philadelphia. Chip also recorded his first comedy album in 2011 at Helium Comedy Club. Chip seems to find himself a finalist in Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest every year and was named one of the top ten comedians in Philadelphia by Comedy.com.

Steve Gerben

Steve is a former Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest winner and a feature act at Helium Comedy Club as well as clubs around the country. He was also named one of the top ten comedians in Philadelphia by Comedy.com. He is the writer and producer of several short sketches that became popular online this past year including “New Age Medic.” 

 

Aaron Hertzog

Aaron was the third place finisher in the 2010 Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest and performs as a host at Helium Comedy Club. In addition he hosts his own stand-up comedy showcase Hey Everybody! at Philly Improv Theater. In 2011 he performed in the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin, Texas. He too was named one of the top ten comedians in Philadelphia by Comedy.com. Aaron is also a member of improv groups Hate Speech Committee and Hey Rube.

Brendan Kennedy

Brendan was a semi-finalist in this year’s Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest and hosts his own show, Guilty Pleasures at Philly Improv Theater where he finds horribly written scripts and performs stage readings of them along with some of Philly’s best comedians. Brendan is also a member of sketch group Camp Woods and improv group Hate Speech Committee.  He was most likely best described by comedian Kent Haines as “a silly misanthrope.”

Tommy Pope

Tommy was the winner of the 2011 Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest at Helium Comedy Club, where he also performs as a host. He is a member of Bird Text, a group that produces sketch comedy and live stand-up shows. Bird Text was behind the popular sketch series “The Real Househusbands of Philadelphia.” Tommy also produces regular comedy shows in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

Philly’s Phunniest Reunion Show

It’s been almost an entire month since Helium Comedy Club crowned Tommy Pope 2011’s Philly’s Phunniest Person – and it’s already time for a reunion of some of the comedians that made the final round of this year’s contest. Tonight, the club will host the Philly’s Phunniest Reunion Show featuring sets from Pope, along with runner up Darryl Charles and third place finisher John McKeever, as well as comedy from fellow finalists Chip Chantry and Andy Nolan. The show starts tonight at 8 and you can buy tickets online or (and I would recommend this option) call the club at 215-496-9001, mention any of the performers names, and get free admission. Check out some videos from tonight’s performers below.

First and Last Words with Joe Moore (Philly’s Phunniest Person Finals)

A packed crowd at Helium witnessed the cream-of-the-cream of Philadelphia comedy last night during the finals of the Philly’s Phunniest Competition.  Beginning almost 2 and a half months ago with 165 comedians, the field had been whittled down to 10 Finalists, who took the stage in order to see who would walk away with the title.  The was a true spectacle – each comedian was worthy of raucous laughter, wild applause, and probably a $1,000 prize, but there can only be one winner.  Surely those who missed out on this will be kicking themselves for a long time… for those unfortunate souls, here’s a taste of what you missed:

Below are the first and last words spoken on stage by each of 2011’s Philly’s Funniest Finalists:

(Comedian – First Word // Last Word)

Host Dave Smith – Thanks // Night

Pat Barker – Thank // Thanks

John McKeever – Hey // You

Chip Chantry – So // Everybody

Gary Vider – Thanks // Evening

Andy Nolan – Alright // Much

Mike Rainey – Alright // Rainey

Tommy Pope – Hey // Thanks

Gordon Baker-Bone – Yeah // Night

Pat House – Thank // Night

Darryl Charles – Yay // Everybody

Headliner Big Jay Oakerson – Thank // Around

Congratulations to all ten finalists, but a little extra congratulations to Tommy Pope who deservedly was named winner of 2011’s Philly’s Funniest.  And to everyone who missed the show – you’re welcome!

Philly’s Phunniest Semi Finals (Show Two)

Last night, in the second semi final round of Helium Comedy Club’s Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest, five more comedians moved on to tonight’s final round. The five finalists are:

Chip Chantry, Darryl Charles, Andy Nolan, Tommy Pope and Pat Barker.

They will be joining John McKeever, Pat House, Mike Rainey, Gordon Baker Bone and Gary Vider in tonight’s finals.

The ten comedians will take the stage at Helium tonight at 8PM. The show will be hosted by Big Jay Oakerson, and tickets can be purchased online.

Clips from Main Street Comedy at Mad River

From SuperDPS

The folks at SuperDPS posted some clips from the Main Street Comedy show at Mad River in Manayunk this past Wednesday. And here they are for you, also.


Chris Cotton


Conrad Roth


Tom Cassidy
Continue reading Clips from Main Street Comedy at Mad River