Upcoming Shows

  • December 23, 2014 9:00 pmSecret Pants Presents: Cuban Tinsel Crisis
  • December 24, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • December 25, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 26, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • December 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 26, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 26, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • December 27, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • December 27, 2014Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
  • December 27, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 27, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • December 27, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • December 27, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • December 27, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • December 31, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • January 1, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 amNationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Helium
  • January 2, 2015 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • January 2, 2015 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • January 2, 2015 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 2, 2015 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • January 3, 2015Nationally Touring Headline Comedians @ Heliun
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Top 5 of 2011: Alejandro Morales’ “Fiona Apple Song of Top 5 Lists”

So! I saw these WitOut top five lists and I wanted in. But! I can’t bring myself to type words of praise for people or generally anything at all. Therefore! I’m going to talk some shit out of school. Kissing and telling your way through stand-up isn’t the only way to comedy, but if you do the Google for “comedy and dating” there’s like a lot of stuff. With all the exaggerations and downright falsehoods that pepper a stand-up routine, it might be easy to take for granted that all — or at least many — of the nightmare ex-girlfriends and idiot ex-boyfriends we hear about on stage are based on real people. Real people, who probably don’t like to be the butt of jokes. But too bad! Because that’s what you get when you date a comic, unless you date that rare performer who doesn’t talk about their personal life, opting instead to talk about the mathematics of pizza or fantasize about sex with eagles. Anyway here are five slabs of love roadkill I left in my wake this year. Maybe you’ll recognize one or two.

5. The Artist - Me and this Droopy Dog looking motherfucker went on a handful of dates and then he tried to U-Turn me into the Friend Zone. Which is completely against the rules of Friend Zone. You have a window of time after meeting a person to detour them into the Friend Zone, but you cannot retroactively be like “I un-fuck you” and then go backwards in life and have friend beers at JB’s like it’s no thing. It is a thing! Artists are clueless about rules and you can’t say boo to them. These guys are like the male equivalent of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. They lure you in with their creative spirit and passion and their “aesthetic” or whatever, and then they spring you with their bland everyday doucheyness and you remember that they’re just people and not glittering wood-gnomes like Rupert Everett in that Shakespeare movie.

4. The Premature Commitment-Phobe – This guy! I met him at the after-hours club, which, okay, yellow flag, but I was there too. Anyway we spent a couple nights that week watching movies he got off Pirate Bay, and we had an inside joke where one of us would say “Winter’s Bone” to the other and the other would say “Winter’s Bone” back, the joke being that he didn’t enjoy the movie Winter’s Bone so much. It was very low-tech. But then, a week after we’d met, we were back at the after-hours, and he had taken an Ecstasy pill, because that’s still a thing somehow, and he decided that 2:45 in the morning on Ecstasy was a good time to talk about, in his words, The Status of Our Relationship. 2:45 in the morning on Ecstasy, by the way, is a terrible time to have an adult conversation about anything beyond, “Could you be a lamb and get me some Vick’s Vapo-Rub at the CVS? I’m rolling my face off.” But nonetheless we had The Talk. And it turns out we didn’t have a whole lot to talk about, having only gone out on two teenage stoner dates in a week, but since he was having a such a violent mouth seizure of commitment-phobia anyway, he said, “You make me feel butterflies, but I don’t want to feel things, because I’m cold and dead inside.” So much Emo and Club Drugs! It was like being on a date with a Hot Topic store. So I said, “Later corpse, I’m not a necrophiliac.” I mean, I said that onstage after I had written a bit about it. In that moment I think I asked if we could still do it, because it was getting late and I didn’t want to take a chance on somebody else’s beer goggles. The point is, The Premature Commitment-Phobe is like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He can detect movement, so if you do anything at all he is going to flip out and chew you up right out your Jurrasic Park outhouse, with his words of Emo.

3. The New Age Full-Body Hugger – Just to start off with a “duh,” there are many different ways to touch people and not touch people based on feelings. For example, if I am your casual acquaintance, I do not kiss you full on the mouth and press my body from knees-to-shoulders against yours when I am saying hello to you at a bar. That is not a friend touch. That is a something else touch. The New Age Full-Body Hugger is someone I’ve known casually for some years, and who surprised me with his very forward body-hug/lip-lock maneuver at a bar this one time. And me being just barely human, my body experienced a response to that touch. So I got his phone number and I did the practical thing: I sexted him. And don’t you know this motherfucker *emailed* me a full three days later, in the most passive toothless pop-psychology terms you’ve heard since “show on the doll,” that I had misunderstood his intentions. The New Age Full-Body Hugger, cousin to The Artist, is too ethereal and free spirit-y to be taken to task. He just doesn’t have your, like, hangups? And if you started taking yoga maybe you’d be like, a more centered person? And less likely to jump to weird “Western” conclusions just because someone was harmlessly trying to align chakras with you? You can never be mad at this guy, because he couches his aggression in warm fuzzy babble. But seriously fuck him and his collection of pewter dragons. I don’t know how they do things in French Canadia, but in America you shake your friend’s hand.

2. The Hooker – This guy and I didn’t get to a first date either, but it still made for a good story. We exchanged numbers at a piano bar, and when I got home I Googled his phone number and the top result was his escort profile on RentBoy.com, complete with nudie pics. Then I was like, I’ll still date him because in the end at least I’ll get some free hooker, but then he asked me how old I was and I said 30 and he didn’t talk to me anymore. But I got the catch phrase “Your taint is on the internet next to your phone number!” from that, and I can’t wait to put that one a boutique line of t-shirts and outerwear. It’s gonna be the next “Git’r Done!”

1. The Successful Ex
 – What’s the opposite of Schadenfreude? Like when someone’s accomplishments make you miserable? There’s no kick in the stomach like the knowledge that your ex is flourishing while you flail your way from one boozy venue to the next, trashing all the weirdos you dated after he dumped your ass like a sack of unemployed potatoes. Still, it could be worse. You could be dating another stand-up comic, for example, and that’s just Russian Roulette with all the bullets in.

Top 5 of 2011: Darry Charles and Sue Taney’s Favorite Pinnacles

Think just because it’s 2012 we’re going to stop running Top 5 of 2011 lists? Nope. As long as you keep sending them, we’ll keep posting them. Well, maybe not, “as long as” maybe for just a week or two. Go ahead, try us.

We’re not talking about the Appalachian Trail or even Kilimanjaro… (Sue starts singing “Africa” by Toto, Darryl says “That’s racist!” And runs off crying) We’re talking vodka. America’s Sweethearts, Darryl Charles and Sue Taney, agreed to take on the arduous task of tasting *almost all of Pinnacle’s 34 flavors to bring you the “TOP 5 PINNACLES LIST.”

5. Cake - We’re gonna eschew some kinda “Have your cake and eat it too” or a “Let them eat cake” or “Like a fat kid loves cake” (who are you calling fat?! Sue runs off crying…) reference and just say birthdays will no longer be spent in Applebee’s like the slobs of suburbia anymore. We wanna spend it alone, in a dirty wife-beater, watching reruns of intervention drinking this stuff. It’s that good, even if it is the most alcohol-like tasting thing on this list. Also, Darryl wants to say this is probably the only food stuff available on set at a Max Hardcore shoot. Well, that and shame.

4. Marshmallow - Less alcohol taste than #5 and it tastes like friggin marshmallows! And not in a nasty, super sweet way either. You can almost taste the powdered sugar that should surround each shot of this stuff. You’ll feel like the stay-puff marshmallow man just jizzed in your mouth, in a good way.

3. Whipped - The OG of the flavored vodkas could have been number one based solely on nostalgia. We could write loving essays about all the memories this wonderful creation has made hazy and forgotten. It comes in 3rd though, but if there’s any place to start the flavored vodka journey, it’s here.

2. Le Double Espresso - Move over Bloody Marys, there’s a new breakfast drink in town! Like coffee? Good, now imagine all that taste (and some of the caffeine) but as a vodka! Looking to get smashed at work? Just add a shot to your coffee (or add a shot of coffee to your vodka) and mum’s the word. This flavor leaves your breath smelling like coffee, not booze.

1. Butterscotch - “This is gonna be a problem” are the words of any serious drinker who tastes this stuff. Others will say “wow, this tastes like butterscotch,” or “This is amazing,” or “I need an adult!” That good. We’ve compared it to the taste of butterscotch smart water, if such a thing existed. See the problem? Neither do we.

BONUS LIST!
TOP 5 CHASERS for the TOP 5 PINNACLES LIST aka WHAT TO GET THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING: Are you still chasing shots with a drink? Pfft. That’s so 2010. We’ve moved onto the diabetes type 2 approved, solid chaser list. All of these chasers compliment any of the vodkas perfectly but some are just slightly more yum than others.

5. Meats! -  Preferably ham or bacon but steak would do just fine if you’re in a pinch. Just a smack of meat is all you need to achieve the delish salty/sweet combo, no need to eat the entire animal.

4. Chocolate chip cookies - Many of our favorite vodkas are almost sugary sweet  so it’s nice to chase it with something that’s more of a mellow sweet. Bake ‘em from scratch or get left-overs from your holiday party, pop ‘em in the microwave, and you’ll be well on your way to morbid obesity.

3. Chocolate covered pretzel - It’s pretzels and beer for the new Willenium. Bonus points if the pretzel has jimmies or nuts on it or if you dipped the pretzel in chocolate yourself… because we’re keeping score, right?

2. Chocolate and peanut butter granola bar - An entire bar is a little much but cut one of these babies into sixths, stick a toothpick in each one and the whole affair turns super classy. Pinkies up!

1. Reese’s cup/pieces/fast break/big cup/whipped/minis/sticks - Anything the Reese’s company poops out makes the best chaser for these tasty vodkas because what goes better with sweet vodka than more sweets?! Now all you have to do is pick out what color Hoveround you want when you become too obese to walk.

*after tasting many of the Pinnacle fruit flavors, we decided that they were pretty similar to other fruit vodkas on the market and just weren’t tasty enough to make the list. Mix any of them with cranberry juice and have a good f’n time.

Top 5 of 2011: Dennis Trafny’s Favorite Laughs

5) Luke Field – “Hehehe”

You want high energy and high octave? Hear no further than this gem of a chuckle. His giggle is so adorable, it would make a flirtatious school girl just give up on chasing the prom king. Usually positioned in front, you cannot mistake it.

4) Tom Whitaker – “HA!”

Hide grandpa when this character is laughing, because just short of the sirens it could be mistaken for an air-raid. Keeping with the combat terminology, it also isn’t just the low frequency but the positioning. Tom Whitaker is a flanker. Rarely seated, almost always standing on the side, this laugh-vigilante will sneak up and strike when you are least expecting it. No one is safe.

3) Mike Marbach – ______

This is the only qualifier whose laugh can not be transposed onto paper: . That’s right, silence. Nothing. Like a beautiful comedic nymph whose laugh was stolen against his will, it is unclear what he did to upset the Gods. But it is there, and if you listen close enough, it can be magic to your ears. Listen. Closer. Can you hear it? No? Then you are not listening.

2) Cara Schmidt – “HeeHaw!”

More refined than a cackle, just short of a shriek, this lovely ladies laugh could overpower the collective audiences of Dane Cook and Carrot Top combined*. Her to-herself-laugh while reading Sunday comics would embarrass any of your at-the-expense-of-others laughs* (*research pending). You want to feel like a champ? Just tickle this girls funny bone and you have the inside track to “killing it”. Legend has it, she is a big pun connoisseur.

1) Joe Gates – “ggggggha ha”

There are two parts to the Frank Sinatra of Philadelphian laughter. As any good symphonic orchestra, it starts of slowly like a spring-time brook receiving the melting snow from the mountains above. A steady, constant flow of warmth and sincerity. Just when you think its about to end, it crescendos. This vocal maestro smartly adds more bass and the volume climbs until you are in the middle of the Mississippi River, next to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, laughing too much to realize they are a little bit racist. I would literally perform only for this gentleman and be OK with it.

Top 5 of 2011: Chip Chantry’s Best, Funniest, Most Glorious Moments

5. Everything John Kensil does/says.

4. When Fastball Bob dressed like a baby angel or something.

3. Some Peanut Butter bullshit song.

2. When Secret Pants killed Snoopy or whatever.

1. WHEN BENNY MICHAELS PULLED THE CHAIR OUT FROM UNDER MR. TARTAGLIA AT CONNIE’S RIC RAC. This was seriously the most funny/immature/base humor/brilliant moment in my life. Rainey and Mayo were doing a benefit show at the Ric Rac a couple of months ago. From what I remember, those two, Benny Michaels, me, the Feekos, and I’m sure some other funny folks were on the show- it was a fun time. At one point, Mayo was onstage. I was sitting  in the back row of folding chairs, at the end of the aisle. Christian Feeko was sitting a few seats down from me. Benny walked over from the bar, and naturally wanted to sit next to me, because I am awesome. I was at the end of the row, so Benny decided to pull back the chair from the end of the row in front of us. As he does this, he goes to whisper something to me. He is so focused on whatever the contents of that whispered message are, that he does not see/realized that Mr. Tartaglia, a man in his 70’s, I’d assume, was attempting to sit down in the chair that Benny was now pulling out from under him. Christian and I both saw it happen in slow motion, but were powerless (according to us) to do anything to stop it. Mr. Tartaglia went down hard. Benny was shocked and horrified at what he had just done. Mr. Tartaglia then pops right up and yells, “WHAT IS THIS, SOME KINDA MAGIC SHOW???” Benny grabs the chair, sits the gentleman down, and makes sure he is OK, which, thank God, he was. Meanwhile, Christian and I were in tears, hyperventilating, like a couple of 12 year olds. We both had to leave the room. Benny Michaels, as many of you know, is one of the sweetest, kindest human beings you will ever meet, and funny as hell besides. And he felt AWFUL for what he inadvertently had done. But in doing that, he gave Christian Feeko and I the greatest gift you could ever give another person. Besides your virginity. Or a Lexus. Or a kidney. Speaking of kidneys and body parts, it should be noted that Mr. Tartaglia had undergone heart surgery just two weeks prior to the incident. As of this post, he is in wonderful health, and is, as many of you know, a great man with a great big heart.
Thank you, Benny Michaels, for all you have done, in this, 2011, the year of our LORD.

Top 5 of 2011: Joe Moore’s Favorite Pictures

My name is Joe Moore and I go to comedy shows in Philadelphia.

At a good deal of those shows, I like to drink beer. When I drink beer, I like to take pictures with my iPhone. People who drink beer and have an iPhone know that most often, these pictures are awful – upside-downer’s, close up’s of one of my fingers, and most of all, BLURRY’s!

I just spent a good deal of time going through all of the pictures (some shows have one or two shots, and a few notable cases where I have close to 100!) and have selected my 5 favorite photos.

Out of the approximately 80 shows I went to and the many many shots, I’ve narrowed those down to my top 5:

In no order, here they are:

#1: “Changing of the Guard” Sketch Up or Shut Up – 3/4-5/2011

I think I killed most of a 6-pack (shared the rest) during “Meg and Rob – Quality Value Convenience: The Final Meg & Rob Show.” I know that I went to BOTH the Friday and the Saturday shows. I remember getting my shirt signed by BOTH Rob and Meg after one of the shows. I DO NOT remember putting the shirt in the washing machine that stole the signatures. And I just barely remember sticking around in front of the Shubin Theater after the Friday Show long enough to catch my second Sketch Up or Shut Up. A free show, Sketch-Up is just as nice at twice the price and one of my favorite shows each month.

This photo depicts Meg passing the proverbial torch to Brian.

 

#2:Bird Text Comedy Showcase – 4/1/2011

The first Bird Text Show! This was one of my favorite nights of comedy all year, for 3 reasons: 1 – It was my first time seeing The Feeko Brother’s Jay PeeBee’s PB+J. / 2 – It was my first posted submission to WitOut.Net. / 3 – It was an incredible night of brilliant comedy. Easily the best line up I’ve ever seen on stage at Helium.

A packed crowd got to see a killer line up of comedy and I drank a lot of beer.

Close readers of WitOut.net will note: I totally called the outcome of Philly’s Funniest and lit the match that became the Tommy Pope wild fire when I reported: ” 9:02 – Tommy Pope takes the stage. Is funny.”

#3: The Theme Show – 7/29/2011

The First Theme show was a really fun night for me as well as a funny night for Philly Comedy. After taking the reigns of the fabled Bed Time Stories, an amazing legacy which I unfortunately didn’t drink enough to take pictures of, I’m sure both performers and audience were expecting some hiccups. Rob Banewicz had Gregg Gethard’s funny shoes to fill, and filled them well with an entertaining show that went off without a hitch.

#4: Hate Speech Hall’s Jesus is Really Galactus – 5/20-21/11

I took this picture at 2:35 AM. I have no idea what is going on here.

I think I’ve said enough.

#5:  The Final Bully Pulpit – 6/29/2011

My sustained adoration for Luke Giordano is VERY WELL documented on WitOut.Net. That being said, I was on stage this night which means it was probably the best night to be an audience member of anything ever. This was a photo I took from the stage, something I normally shouldn’t be able to do, but did anyway.

DISQUALIFIED #5A:  TV PARTY – 3/30/2011

Once a month, The Shubin hosts what I believe to be the most fun a person can ever have – Guilty Pleasures w/ Brendan Kennedy and Roger C. Snair followed by TV Party Paul Trigg and Rob Baniwicz. Hands down the best $10 I’ve ever spent, and the best $1,010 I plan on spending for the next 101 months.

They have an old hollowed out TV they use as a cooler… which also can sometimes be a hat.

Disqualified because I didn’t take the picture, but me wearing the TV/Cooler from TV Party on my head is pretty cool.

Top 5 of 2011: Mark Leopold’s Favorite Improv Moments

Luke Field in Adrift.

During the Philadelphia Improv Festival this year, Adrift was featured. It was pretty star studded and I remember sitting there thinking what an amazing cast I was seeing. Tara DeFrancisco, Jill Bernard, Brian McConnell, plus some of Philly’s most experienced improvisers. Then there was Luke Field. I had only seen Luke perform once before and I knew he was good, but in a boat that full of talent I was afraid he might not be up to the challenge. And for a long time, it looked like it might turn out that way. Luke sat perfectly quiet for the whole first “day” of the show, not saying a thing. The second “day” started and things were moving along at a gentle pace, when the conversation in the boat quieted and reached a natural lull. Then Luke softly spoke up with an amazing offer, “I’d just like to reiterate my offer to hear anyone’s confession if they would like to.” It made the show for me. It was just a great, simple, strong move. Good job Luke.

Kristin Finger’s in The Real Housewives of Philadelphia.

The Real Housewives also performed during PHIF. It was a great show with many awesome moments, but one stood out to me above the rest as just a fantastic moment where a performer understands the audience completely. Throughout the show, various characters would step forward and do “confessional” scenes to the audience. Kristin’s character was very masculine. I’m not sure if she was a man, used to be a man, wanted to be a man or what, but it was pretty fantastic to just get to watch her duding it around stage. At one point, she stepped forward into the confessional, sat down uncertainly on the very edge of the chair and just tucked her chin back and said, “Uh…” in the character’s deep voice. The audience immediately exploded into a roar of laughter. But that isn’t what impressed me about that moment. What impressed me was what she did next. She read the audience perfectly and simply shrugged and walked offstage, which elicited yet another roar of laughter. Perfect timing, perfect offer, perfect delivery. Great stuff.

Billy Thompson’s cartwheel.

ZaoGao plays with a lot of intensity and I’m always impressed with the effortlessness of their constant support for one another. This was never more apparent than in a show during their Fringe run. Billy Thompson had established the character of an impertinent and lazy king who had other people do things for him. As the show progressed, two other characters challenged one another to a cartwheel race. No sooner had they finished their race than Billy ran forward and commanded his minions, “I want to be in the cartwheel race!” The whole team then proceeded to cartwheel him across the stage and it was wonderful. Great job ZaoGao, great job Billy.

Kristin Schier’s clowning at Sideshow.

At Sideshow this year, we all we treated with Kristin Schier’s clowning act. I loved it. I had never seen a clown before then. Not at the circus. Not at children’s party. Not at a party for clowns where you just invite clowns because that’s going to automatically be a pretty great party. So I didn’t know what to expect. Clowns have a reputation for being either terrible or terrifying. Kristin was neither. Her clown was this wonderful child-like creature who interacted so openly with the audience it was intoxicating. Everyone in the room was on the edge of their seats the entire time. She went through a wide range of emotions during her set, but one moment in particular stood out to me. Along one side of the stage the wall was covered in mirrors with a curtain obscuring them. Kristin’s clown, exploring the space, peeked behind them and discovered that there were mirrors there and gradually pulled back the curtains with growing delight. When the curtains were finally drawn, she caught sight of herself and reacted with surprise and confusion, turning to the audience as if to say, “Is that really me?” She then turned back to the mirror and simply looked at herself, becoming sadder and sadder…as the audience came on that emotional trip with her. Just amazing patience and control and willingness to go where that moment took her. Awesome job Kristin.

Dangerous Fools.

If you watch commercials you’ve probably seen Tom Fowler. He’s pretty great. If you’ve come to Comedysportz you may have seen Mary Carpenter. She’s pretty terrific too. Together they performed this year as Dangerous Fools. I caught their show this year when they performed at the Shubin and it was basically a seminar on patient scene work. One moment which really stood out to me was a scene where they were playing a husband and wife, trapped in a crazy female neighbor’s bathroom after their attempt to invite her into their newly open marriage had gone wrong. She had turned out to be way too into it and things had gotten intense and surprisingly racist. They had tried the open marriage because Mary’s character couldn’t bear the thought of touching him. So while they’re trapped in the bathroom, furiously arguing with each other in frantic whispers, Tom points out that it was all her idea to begin with, to which she respond, “I don’t want to touch you, but I can’t bear the thought of anyone else touching you either!” After that offer, Tom simply looked while Mary clapped a hand to her mouth. Then they stayed like that for about FORTY FIVE SECONDS. It was amazing. It was just insane to watch two performers have the balls to just stay there, silent, and allow their characters to react emotionally to an offer. So great. Then, after the tension had built to an unbearable limit, Tom simply said, “That is the sweetest thing you have said in a long time.” Great stuff Mary and Tom!

Top 5 of 2011: Aaron Hertzog’s Favorite Sketches

Camp Woods – Sick Door

A door that gets sick. What a simple, yet hilarious idea. I watched this over and over and over.

Secret Pants – The Red Baron’s Christmas

This sketch just debuted at Keep The Change Ya Filthy Animal: A Yuletide Variety Show – Secret Pants’ now annual holiday sketch show at Johnny Brenda’s. I stood in a room full of laughing audience members and fellow comedians who were amazed at the consistent, fresh, hilarious concepts and execution Secret Pants always brings to the table. This sketch is a prime example of that. Do yourself a favor and just enjoy this sketch, don’t do as I did and sit there wondering who plays the back of Paul Triggiani’s head (my guess is Brian Kelly).

Bird Text - The Real Househusbands of Philadelphia Occupy Philly

The Bird Text fellas combine their breakout characters with the hot-button-issue-of-the-later-half-of-the-year-that-disappeared-as-soon-as-the-cops-chased-everybody-out to make for some great moments in man-on-the-street comedy. This was the perfect third act for the Househusbands characters, a great way to keep the idea fresh and branch out to new territory.

Camp Woods – Detective Berry

Camp Woods has been killing it lately. Every show is packed with tightly written sketches that start with strong premises and are full of fearless performances from each of their members. I probably spend too much time over-analyzing comedy, and lately I’ve been thinking about Camp Woods and their group dynamic. The group is full of versatile performers who know how to write for each other and where they all fit in. They also know how to take a great premise and squeeze every laugh out of it with a combination of big, balls-out performances, and small nuanced hilarious moments. This sketch is a great example of that. The idea it self is laugh-out-loud silly, but the sketch is jam packed with little moments that make it great. From Billy Bob Thompson’s facial expressions to Brendan Kennedy’s reaction shots to JP Boudwin’s bewilderment to Sam Narisi’s great delivery of the line “it all makes so much sense”. Even the way Billy says the word “cum” makes me laugh.

The Feeko Brothers at Philly Sketch Fest

I’m sort of cheating here by including The Feeko’s entire set from this year’s Philly Sketch Fest. Only “sort of” because the entire show ran together and was connected beautifully so it seemed like one complete sketch. The show started with a “body switch” premise, so I was hooked from the start. The set continued with a mix of new and previously seen ideas blended together to take us on a trip to see the Feeko Brothers’ British counterparts, watch Billy as he became possessed by a Demon hell bent on getting some marijuana, and watch as Billy and Christian frantically tried to return to their own bodies. Plus, the whole thing was sponsored by a quaint little restaurant on the corner of Market and Fifth.

 

 

Top 5 of 2011: Greg Maughan “$5 Passwords for PHIT Shows”

For the rest of the year, we are going to run lists from you, our readers (and some that we wrote ourselves) of our Top 5 of 2011. You’ll hear from many Philadelphia comedians, as well as some fans of comedy about their favorite sketches, bits, shows, and moments of the past year. If you’d like to write a list – go ahead, do it! and send it to us at contact@witout.net

Our first list comes from Executive Director of the Philly Improv Theater, Greg Maughan, and includes his favorite $5 passwords for PHIT shows from the past year.

5. “Everything You Like Is Stupid Dot Com”: I can’t say this password was really all that funny, but I do read Luke Giordano’s website as a result of having it’s domain merciless pounded into my brain every time I went to his show. (By the way Luke, I’ll be sending you an invoice for this product placement).

4. “Meatspin”: Alex Gross‘ passwords for The Gross Show have taught me more about obscure – and in the eyes of religious conservatives, deviant – sexual practices than anything else since Steve Babcock’s asides in my 8th Grade Health class. For the love of God, please don’t say I didn’t warn if you decide to Google this one and end up offended.

3. “I am the Dread Pirate Roberts, there will be no survivors.”: I think there were actually people who came to TV Party‘s show dedicated to Fairy Tales just for the privilege of getting to say this line and then give us $5.

2. “Boehner? I hardly know her!”: It was hard picking my favorite Chip Chantry pun-based password, but the political junkie in me won out on this one (even if it does require you to mispronounce the House Speaker’s last name). A close second was August’s “So IRENE’S Over, and I Says to Him…” the day after the hurricane hit Philly.

1. “Friendship”: Aaron Hertzog completely ignored my rule that the $5 password had to be different each show all year long, but he was so friendly about it I didn’t have the heart to tell him he needed to stop. Now I’ve told him so publicly though, so if I had money to bet I would say that his next show will have a different word… but the root will still be “friend”.