The seventh annual Troika Tournament, presented by Figment Theater in partnership with The Sideshow came to a conclusion this Saturday with Law and Order: LOL (Alex Newman, Andrew Stanton, and Nicole Labrecque) taking home the title, along with a cash prize. The group performed a show with scenes and characters stylized after the popular television franchise including detectives, assistant district attorneys and CSI personnel.
The group bested efforts from Round One winners Improv Against Humanity (Alli Soowal, JP Boudwin, and Kevin Pettit) and Round Two champs Craft (Jason Grimley, Marc Reber, and Sue Jay)
If you have any Philly comedy news for us to mention – send it our way with an email to email@example.com
Julia Scotti wrote this post about moments of awakening, understanding, and her evolution as a comedian and person.
The Not Just Comedy Show brings its mix of stand-up, improv, and music to The Grape Room again this Tuesday for a show featuring performances by: Mikaela Hamje, Chris Wood, Scott Speegle, Dr. Tony, Bed Savage, and musical guest Rev. TJ McGlinchey.
Metro Comedy Live comes to Helium Comedy Club this Wednesday for an evening of stand-up comedy from Nema Williams, Ed Blaze, and Vince Barnett.
This Wednesday through Saturday ComedySportz Philly Presents: Friends of Alcatraz at The Playground at The Adrienne Theater. The improvised puppet show for grown-ups returns with a cast featuring Kelly Vrooman, Dave Jadico, Joe Sabatino, Rob Cutler, Caitlin Weigel and Rachel Whitworth.
This Thursday the Lawnboys Comedy Showcase comes to Puck in Doylestown for a show featuring stand-up comedy from Aaron Hertzog, Omar Scruggs, Tim Raymus, Fady Khalil, and Matt Lips.
Figment Theater’s bimonthly Vagabond Sessions is back this Thursday; this time at The Maas Building (1325 N. Randolph St.) The show will feature improv performances by: The Chain, Half-Life, The AD Showcase with Andrew Stober and Maggy Keegan, and The Table.
Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie will play this Thursday at The Keswick Theatre. After the feature the audience can participate in a question and answer session with Jay and Silent Bob themselves, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
This Friday short-form improv group The N Crowd celebrates their eight-year anniversary with a show at RUBA Hall.
The Sideshow returns to The Arts Parlor this Friday to once again team up with Figment Theater for the third and final first-round match of in the annual Troika Tournament. This week will feature improv from teams comprised of: Cait O’Driscoll, Ryan Barlow, and Shannon Devido; Karen Coleman, Mike Butler, and Quinton Alexander; and Jason Grimley, Marc Reber, and Sue Jay.
ComedySportz The Blue Show returns this Friday night for the improv group’s monthly visit to a magical land where there are no penalties for being dirty.
The Captain Action Comedy Show returns to the Conshohocken Cafe this Saturday with a show hosted by Sidney Gantt and Dave Terruso featuring stand-up from: John McKeever, Ben Fidler, and Mike Logan.
The Troika Tournament comes to a conclusion this Saturday at The Sideshow when the three winners from the opening rounds battle in a head-to-head-to-head final round to determine the 2013 Troika champion.
Saturday is Jerzee’s Comedy Night at Jerzee’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria (2609 Mount Carmel Ave. Glenside, PA) with a show featuring: Pat Kelly, Dan Manhon, Darin Martinez, Lou Misiano, Bobby Lorello, Bryan Leichter, and Erik Whitcare.
The second Comedy is Liberty Weekend Show is this Saturday at Liberties Bar & Grill. This month’s show will feature comedy from Chip Chantry, Steven Bryan, and Alison Zeidman.
Gorged! returns to The Bean Cafe this Saturday night with a free stand-up show featuring: Aaron Hertzog, Jon DelCollo, Joe Bell, Nikki Black, and Rob Zawatski.
Baltimore’s Wham City Comedy Tour makes a stop in Philadelphia this Saturday at Goldilocks Gallery (723 Chestnut St., 2nd Floor). The show is described as “a two-hour cross-genre variety show, showcasing the very best from Baltimore’s award-winning artist collective and fabled party starters. Expect stand-up sets, videos, dramatic monologues, and ensemble sketches in a tightly-run, visionary performance.” Philly’s own The New Dreamz will also perform.
If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The new, monthly, Head of the Class Comedy Showcase debuts this Tuesday at Silk City. The show will be hosted by Oliver Yu and Mike Alloy and will feature stand-up from: Mikey Garcia, Bobby Lorello, Omar Scruggs, Jim Ginty, and Chris Cotton.
This Tuesday Helium Comedy Club will host an MTVU stand-up comedy showcase featuring comedy from area college students including: Seth Simons, Tyler Wolf, Chris Whitehair, Tim Ryan, Siraj Iqbal, Noah Goldstein, Jackie Koehn and Alex Grubard.
Alex Pearlman and Corey Cohen will host Always Remember, a night of comedy headlined by Dave Hill this Tuesday at Connie’s Ric Rac. Also performing on the show are: Ryan Shaner, TJ Hurley, and the Necrosexual.
Second Stories Presents: Temporary Madness this Tuesday at The Dive. The show will feature storytelling from: Alejandro Morales, Nicole Yates, Alanna Kennedy-Gorman, Larry Napolitano, and Vickie Fernandez
This Wednesday, Helium Comedy Club will host a stand-up showcase to audition local comedians to host at the club. Performing on the show are: Alex Grubard, Kevin Hurley, Joey Dougherty, Omar Scruggs, and Dave Temple.
The Sideshow returns to The Arts Parlor this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with their Musical Revue – a show featuring local improvisers and comedians performing songs around the theme of love.
Also this Thursday, Figment Theater’s roaming, bi-monthly Vagabond Sessions will make a stop at the Adrienne Theater’s Second Stage for a show featuring: Wisdom Teeth, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the A.D. Showcase with Max Sittenfield and Maggy Keegan, and The Table.
This Friday Chris McDevitt, Benny Michaels, and Alex Magakis will perform at Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery (1830 West Point Pike, Landsdale PA) for The Laughing Barrell.
A second Sideshow on Saturday night will feature the first round of this year’s Troika tournament. The event features randomly drawn teams of three that each have a month to come up with a team name and style of play. Round One will feature teams comprised of: Chris Calletta, Erin Pitts, and Jessica Ross; Alex Gross, Dan Corkerey, and Joe Spampinato; and Alli Soowal, JP Boudwin, and Kevin Pettit.
McGilliCOMEDY At McGillicuddys debuts this Saturday at JD McGillicuddy’s in Manayunk. The show will be headlined by Sidney Gantt, featuring Dan Scully and Keane Cobb and hosted by Sylis P.
Comedy-Gasm! A Night of Multiple Climaxes is this Saturday upstairs at The Irish Pol. The show will feature performances by: Rachel Fogletto, Walter, Brandon Gorin, Elise Thompson-Hohl, L.U.M.P., and Alejandro Morales.
Also this Saturday comedian Ron White headlines The Keswick Theater. Tickets are available online.
If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to email@example.com
In case you haven’t seen it – the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com wrote this article on Philadelphia’s “burgeoning comedy scene.” Check it out for quotes from Todd Glass, Doogie Horner, BJ Ellis, and WitOut’s own Alison Zeidman.
Performer submissions are open now through Sunday, March 3 for the annual Troika tournament. Interested performers should email their name, contact information and list of current and past performance groups to firstname.lastname@example.org. Performers will be placed in groups of three and will have one month to come up with their group’s name and performance style. The tournament will be held at The Sideshow with preliminary rounds taking place on April 13, 19, and 26 with the championship round on Saturday, April 27.
Submissions are now open for High Note Humor’s South Jersey Stand-up Championship - which will be held at The Taproom Grill (427 W Crystal Lake Drive Haddonfield, NJ). Three comics from each preliminary round (April 4, 11, 18) will advance to the finals on April 26 for a chance to win cash prizes, future paid work, and a championship belt! Interested comedians can sign up by sending their name, comedy experience, and availability for the preliminary rounds to HighNoteHumor@gmail.com by the deadline of March 12.
Luke Giordano wrote this piece on the importance of failure for his site Everything You Like is Stupid. Luke has recently switched the format of the site from a humor page to one where he writes essays on his ideas, process, and other thoughts behind writing and comedy. As someone who also likes to think a lot about the process or writing and creating comedy I can say that it is worth checking out.
Due to a fire in the Valley Forge Beef and Ale, all shows at Chuckles Comedy Club have been put on hold. We will update you on any news about the venue as soon as more information is available.
Philly Improv Theater will host the first of a two-week-run of shows at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St.) this week. You can see their full schedule online to check out all the improv, sketch, panel, and variety shows PHIT has to offer.
The Not Just Comedy Show returns to the Grape Room (105 Grape St. Manayunk) this Tuesday with a show featuring stand-up from Dan King, Tommy Highland, Darryl Charles, Danelle Lamar, Dan Mahon, Pat Kelly, and Dr. Tony; improv from Bed Savage; and music from Borrowed Instrument. Doors open at 7:30 and the show beings at 8:00.
Philly’s own Todd Glass will be headlining at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.) this week with shows from Wednesday to Saturday. Also performing on the show will be comedians Chip Chantry and Blake Wexler.
This Wednesday Tight Six presents: Not Jazz 3 at Chris’ Jazz Cafe (1421 Sansom St.) This month’s show will feature comedy from John McKeever, Alex Pearlman, Omar Scruggs, Jon DelCollo, Caitlyn Feeney, Chris O’Conner, and promisses to have a secret special guest.
The Taproom Sports Bar & Grill (15 S Morton Ave Morton, PA) will host their second Totally Free Comedy Night this Thursday with a show featuring performances from James Hesky, Tommy Pope, Darryl Charles, Chris Dolan, Jake Mattera, and Michael Brooks.
Mike Rainey will be hosting a party and comedy show to celebrate the release of his book Terrible Advice this Friday at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.) The night will feature comedy from Sean Clay, Joe Mayo, James Hesky, Tim Butterly, Tommy Pope, and more! Mike will be selling and signing copies of his book for $10.
Sketch group Comic Energy will be performing a show this Friday at The Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom St.) The group will put on two performances at 8:00 and 10:00, with a ticket price of $5 for any of their friends on Facebook.
This Sunday Eddie Brill Presents the Great American Comedy Audition Showcase at Helium Comedy Club. The show will be headlined by Brill and will feature performances from: Doogie Horner, Dave Terruso, Jim Ginty, Andy Nolan, Darryl Charles, Chip Chantry, Mary Radzinski, Roger Weaver, John McKeever, Pat Barker, Tommy Pope and James Hesky. Tickets can be purchased online.
If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to email@example.com
As the year winds down, WitOut collects lists from comedy performers and fans of their favorite moments, comedians, groups, shows, etc. from the last year in Philly comedy. Top 5 of 2012 lists will run throughout December–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at firstname.lastname@example.org!
#5 – Sue Taney in Mother Truckers at Troika
03.09.2012 | Sideshow at the Arts Parlor
The concept for this Troika trio was pretty clear: Square Meg, Sweet n’ Sassy Cassidy & Star-Spangled Sharlene were three truck-driving, sass-talking long haulers who conversed via CB radio. The characters were great, and the costumes were a sight to behold. But what really made this show something for the books was Sue’s character and her obsession with snack foods. Planting herself in the bucket seat of her trusty big rig, Sue had packed a ridiculous number of munchies into a bag, which she proceeded to chow down on, dialogue be damned. This series of side-bits heightened to the point that Sue genuinely got her hand stuck in a tube of Pringles while diving for the last chip. A good part of the show was spent with a can shaped nub, and the resounding and so-satisfying pop that came with the eventual release of her hand was then instantly topped once more by Sue licking the Pringles seasoning off her arm.
#4 – Davenger at PHIF8
11.07.2012 | Prince Music Theater
As one of the newest house teams from PHIT, at this point I’d only had occasion to see Davenger a handful of times. Having been a fan of their coach Maggy Keegan for years, I knew this team was going to have “Harold” drilled deep into them, but I was hardly prepared for what would happen on the opening night of PHIF8. Shows like this remind me why the term “beats” is so spot on. Constructing their piece, they had a rhythm, pitch and level of synchronicity that is normally reserved for groups that have been playing together for years. All of these disparate moments became anchored to and eventually informed by a fantastic group game. Every cast member was leaning so far into every moment, that it felt like they couldn’t even be bothered with gravity.
#3 – Aaron Hertzog at BCCAF
09.09.2012 | ImprovBoston Mainstage
Admittedly, this one may be a bit of a cheat, as it took place in Boston; but it featured (then-Philly resident) Aaron Hertzog, and to be honest, this moment transcended any particular place we might have been, because we were no longer in this world. The night before, Aaron had featured at The Brattle (the largest venue of BCCAF). I was in the All-Star set right after and got to take in most of his current act. It was a great set, and he lived up to the stage. But this wouldn’t be his crowning moment. The following night IB had a showcase of comics featured throughout the week. Good stuff from Mary Radzinski, Pete Kuempel and many others. And they had to earn every bit of it… this was the last show on the last night of what had been a long festival. Even the locals had mostly bailed, and we were left with a few die-hards, staff, other comedians and a few randoms. Anyone who was feeling zapped and pulled thin was about to unknowingly receive a comedy face slap courtesy of Mr. Hertzog. Aaron came out and from the top injected more energy than I’ve ever seen from a comic not fueled by coke and living in the ’70s. It’s hard to describe what I heard and saw that night, but he went totally through the roof and off the rails in all the best, most captivating ways. I’ve never before or since seen a comic jump start and hold firm dominance over a room like Aaron did that quiet little Sunday night in Cambridge.
#2 – Kristin Finger’s Ref debut at ComedySportz
10.13.2012 | Playground at the Adrienne
This entry is great example of what can happen when an improviser and an audience member create a perfect storm that you wish could be bottled (then hidden in a trunk and locked away forever). Kristin has been a ComedySportz player for years now, but made her debut as a Ref only two short months ago. The night had gone well… player challengers, ref challenges, 5-things… the teams had battled and laughs were flowing. As you might imagine, many family, friends and fans were in attendance on this particular night—but fortunately, so was a random man. A random man with a random suggestion. At one point towards the end of the show, she asks the audience for a noun, and this man shouts, “black!” Now, granted this fell more into the adjective category, but Kristin shrugged it off and took it, for a game called 185. Which she had already announced as the next game. For those unfamiliar with the game, this means nothing to you. For those that do, and most of the audience in attendance that night, what almost came to pass is quite clear. You see, the setup of 185 is a groaner-style punchline game where improvisers take a suggestion, and fit it to a pre-established formula: 185 suggestions walk into a bar. The bartender says “we don’t serve suggestions in this bar,” so the suggestions reply “pun punchline.” Now go back and fill the blanks with that man’s suggestion. The whole place lost it, especially as we saw the full scope of pending doom and shocked reaction crawl across Kristin’s face. It was a show-stopper. After about two minutes of trying to gain the composure of eye-tearing laughter from everyone in the place, Kristin decided to get a new suggestion.
#1 – Kait & Andrew at PHIT
12.02.2012 | Shubin Theatre
My top spot goes to a show that probably had the smallest audience of any on my list. A few short weeks ago Kait & Andrew did a 7PM show at the Shubin, sharing a bill with Matt&. Kait & Andrew had a pretty decent show, punctuated by their classic fourth wall-breaking banter that makes them so endearing and honest. It was fun, but not exceedingly stand-out—until the last scene, where everything changed. Kaitlin started the scene off by coming unglued at Andrew… startlingly so. Andrew came right back at her. The scope of the argument was that he had spent 8 years training to be a hide-and-seek champion, meanwhile she’d felt completely neglected in their relationship. In turn, he felt she wasn’t supporting his training, which he was doing for the betterment of their relationship. Over the course of the next few minutes, the two would spew accusations at one another, managing to pull out callback after callback of damn near every element of the show up until then. From fantastical gifts like Mayan Bee Fighting to seemingly insignificant expressions and sighs, everything was ammo. And during this escalating vitriol volley, neither forgot for a moment to ground everything to the characters, their shared relationship and raw emotions. It was like the first 20 minutes were merely a set up to this moment of explosion. The slow fade to black as Andrew moved to cover his dog’s eyes left me with shivering excitement and disbelief at the high-stake magic I’d just been witness to.
Matt Nelson is Executive Producer of the Philadelphia Improv Festival and Managing Director of Figment Theater. In addition to running the annual improv competition Troika, Matt can be seen performing in the touring show Adrift. You can follow him on Twitter at @ma77nelson.
The 2012 Troika championship was held Saturday at The Sideshow with 3AM (Rob Baniewicz, Maggy Keegan, Jason Stockdale) taking home this year’s title. The team utilized a more traditional style of improvised scenes with their hook being that they all took place at, you guessed it, 3:00 AM. Runners up in this years competition were the CB Radio improv of the Mother Truckers (Mandy Dollar, Jess Snow, Sue Taney) and the improvised first date of Chaperone (Frank Farrell, Steve Kleinedler, Meredith Weir)
Rittenhouse Comedy‘s 2012 March Madness Comedy Competition continued last night at The Famous International Variety Show with Mike Logan and David Ray Ageykum moving on to the finals. Round 3 continues this week where four comedians will compete each night to move on to the finals, held on Tuesday, April 3 at Helium Comedy Club. Tonight, Laughs on Fairmount will feature Josh Bennett, Tim Ryan, Kevin Hurley and Alex Grubard. Tuesday’s show at Rittenhouse Comedy will feature Gordon Baker-Bone, Jeff McManus, Steve Lichtenstein, and Alex Pearlman. Thursday’s show at Center City Comedy will feature Steve Miller-Miller, Lisa Yost, Omar Scruggs, and Trevor Cunnion.
Tonight is the start of another two-week run for Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia). Tonight will mark the premiere of new show The Monthy Hour with James Hesky (9pm) and will be followed by the new night and time for Aaron Hertzog‘s monthly stand-up showcase Hey Everybody. At 7:30 the theater will kick off the night with a Comedians for a Cause Fundraiser Show. You can find the full PHIT schedule online.
Submissions are still open for the 2012 F. Harold Comedy Festival. Interested stand-up comedians, sketch groups, and improv groups can email festival producer Rick Horner at email@example.com. This year’s festival will be held April 24 through 29 at The Walnut Street Theater’s Studio 5.
Tonight, Rookie Card‘s monthly show returns to the Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St. Philadelphia) with Rookie Card Presents: Obsessive and Compulsive. Tonight’s show will feature improv comedy from Rookie Card and Angry People Building Things and the stand-up comedy of Hillary Rea.
The second opening round of Troika was held Friday night at The Sideshow with the team of 3AM (Rob Baniewicz, Maggie Keegan, Jason Stockdale) moving on to the finals. The third and final opening round of Troika will be this Friday, March 23 at 9:00 at The Sideshow and will feature Chaperone (Frank Farrell, Meredith Weir, Steve Kleinedler) Virginia Clemm Sideburns (Cara Schmidt, Claire Halberstadt, Dennis Trafny) and Pickle (Jen Curcio, Mike Marbach, Scott Hinners).
The second annual March Madness Comedy Competition is in full swing, with the second round beginning last night at The Famous International Variety Show at Drinker’s West. Moving on to the third round from last night are: David Terruso, Rachel Bensen, Mike Logan and David Ray Ageykum. The contest continues at open mics throughout the week.
The first ever NYC Improv Fest will be taking place this week at The PIT in New York City and Philadelphia will be well represented. Performing at this year’s festival will be Iron Lung (Wed. 7pm Striker Theater), Mayor Karen (Wed. 7pm, PIT Underground), Hey Rube (Wed. 9pm, PIT Underground), King Friday (Sat. 5pm, Striker Theater), Michael Loves Greg (Sat. 6pm, Striker Theater), and Asteroid (Sat. 8pm, PIT Underground). Full schedule and ticket information are available online.
Center City Comedy has released another video in their Blitzkrieg Vodka series. The second commercial parody can be viewed online.
Following the popular internet meme format, some Philly comics wrote and produced this Sh!t Philly Fans Say (part 2) video. The video is written and directed by comedian Katie Kohler and features Philadelphia area comedians Chris Smith, Bob Marsdale and Sidney Gantt.
The second annual March Madness Comedy Competition kicked off last night at The Famous International Variety Show at Drinker’s West. Moving on to the second round of the competition are: David Ray Ageykum, Josh Guarino, David Primiano, Rachel Bensen, Erik Whitacre, John Deal, David Terruso, Mike Logan. The first round continues tonight at Laughs on Fairmount (The Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Ave. Philadelphia).
Last Friday at The Sideshow this year’s Troika competition kicked off with a show pitting The Mother Truckers (Jessica Snow, Mandy Dollar, Sue Taney) against Rogue (Alan Williams, Corin Wells, Mike Butler) and WKKM Channel 17 Action News (Karen Coleman, Katherine Banford, Maureen Costello). The Mother Truckers emerged victorious moving on to compete for the 2012 Troika championship. Round two of Troika this Friday at The Sideshow will feature Operators Standing By (Bert Archer, Michael Hochman, Steve Cohen) 3/9 (Alli Soowal, BJ Ellis, Katie Monaco) and 3AM (Jason Stockdale, Maggy Keegan, Rob Baniewicz)
This Wednesday brings a pair of great independent comedy shows for you to enjoy. Camp Wood Plus returns to L’etage (624 S. 6th St.) and will feature Camp Woods along with Animosity Pierre and Pink Axe. Doogie Horner’s Ministry of Secret Jokes takes its’ usual spot at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St.) and promises more of the same comedy, games, and ritual.
This Thursday at L’etage Comedian Deconstruction’s March Madness will feature improv groups Grimacchio and Nielsen performing sets based off the stand-up of Sidney Gantt and Pat Barker.
This Friday marks the premiere of a new regular show from Philly Improv Theater House Team Mayor Karen upstairs at Plays and Players Theater (1714 Delancey St.). The show will feature James Hesky, Medic and music from Friends with Murder. The show will cost $10 and proceeds will go to a Mayor Karen festival travel fund.
Signups have already begun for the second annual March Madness Comedy Competition. Comedians will compete in opening rounds held at various open mics throughout the city where audience vote will determine who moves on to the next round. To sign up, send an email with your name, phone number, email address, and how long you have been performing stand-up to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Improvisers can throw their names in the hat for the 2012 Troika tournament. Nine teams of three performers will be chosen at random to form new trios and compete to be named champion. Interested performers can send their name, contact info, and names of groups they have performed with (one interesting twist, the teams will be made of people who have never performed together before) to email@example.com.
City Paper’s weekly comedy column LOL With It featured this interview with comedian Alex Pearlman last week. Pearlman is hosting stand-up showcase Head First at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk Ave.) this Wednesday, January 25 at 9:00PM.
The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival is rapidly approaching and Philadelphia will be sending some representatives from their stand-up and improv communities. The stand-up week (February 1-4) will feature Aaron Hertzog, Hillary Rea, Ian Fidance, Mary Radzinski, and Pete Kuempel. The improv week (February ) will feature local groups Death By Improv, King Friday, Mayor Karen, Nick & Nathan, Rookie Card, and The N Crowd.
Finally, this week marks the return of a full two-week schedule of shows at Philly Improv Theater. You can find their full schedule on the PHIT website and, as always, the shows are also listed on our calendar.