We also toasted this failed attempt at a sitcom version of Ferris Bueler’s Day Off from 1990:
We also toasted this failed attempt at a sitcom version of Ferris Bueler’s Day Off from 1990:
Walking into the Shubin Theatre at 10 PM last Wednesday night, I had no idea what to expect. Approaching the main stage, a welcoming gift was a beer from what looked like a microwave turned into a cooler. The crowd was lively, you could tell the “regulars” from the newcomers right when you walked in. That the people were happy and talkative added comfort to watching an hour of television with strangers.
The lights dimmed and a clever intro played instructions setting the tone for the show. Paul and Rob, the hosts of TV Party came out with positive energy that matched the upbeat crowd. It was close to Halloween, so the show of choice was the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. Paul Triggiani and Rob Baniewicz took a seat and the commentary commenced. Not only were the two hosts adding in a quick jab at Paul Lynde’s choice of words, but the occasional witty comment from an audience member would make for good laughs. The best part of the show was when the musical guest came to perform. Lynde had a good eye, so none other than KISS would be on the Halloween special. Jokes were being fired off left and right from the hosts and the guests.
The name “TV Party” could not fit more perfectly.
I asked Triggiani about the show’s history. He explained that the idea around TV Party is that television was awful in the past and no one thought that it would be seen again. They were of course wrong, and now you can see a variety of hilariously awful shows dating all the way back to the 70’s twice a month at Philly Improv Theater.
I asked what some of his favorite viewings have been so far. One was a show from 1983 called Zorro and Son. The series is self-explanatory, a show about Zorro and Zorro Jr. adventuring side by side. According to Triggiani, what made this even more interesting was how hard it was to get a hold of the show. “I had to lie to the girl that ran the Zorro Fan Club and said that I started a college class and needed a copy.”
Another of his favorites included a sitcom called Heil Honey I’m Home which starred none other than Adolf Hitler. This is what TV Party is all about… bad television for good laughs.
Tonight, Triggiani and Baniewicz will pay tribute to the late Marcia Wallace, whom you may know best as the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. In her day, she’d been all over the TV dial including the Bob Newhart Show, as well as presumably some pretty bad episodes of Hollywood Squares or whatever else the boys can dig up. Show starts tonight at 10pm @ the Shubin Theater right after Guilty Pleasures with Joe Moore. Tickets are only $5.
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.
#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.
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 email@example.com
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”.
Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (With Special Guests)
When Don Montry decided to end the run of his show Die Actor Die at The Khyber he handed the reigns over to the very capable Chip Chantry who continued the tradition of a Monday night variety show on stage at the Old City bar. When The Khyber decided to change their plans and eliminate live shows, Chip took his show to Philly Improv Theater, where it has flourished ever since. Mixing stand-up, sketch, improv, characters and games, Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) is one of the places crowds get to see the best of all genres of Philadelphia comedy.
The Gross Show
Alex Gross’ mock Trash Talk show has been grossing audiences out at Philly Improv Theater since its’ premiere earlier this year. A mix of characters, written bits, and improv, The Gross Show takes the best of the worst of human behavior and displays it for crowds ready and eager to laugh at how low down and dirty the minds of Philadelphia’s funniest people can get.
Part of PHIT’s appropriately named “found comedy night” Guilty Pleasures is a platform for host Brendan Kennedy to call people out for their bullshit on stage. Brendan loves to find the best examples of terrible writing and have some of Philly’s funniest people read the scripts for an audience with hilarious results. Brendan’s also found the perfect sidekick in Roger C. Snair – willing to rap on stage, write his own scripts for the show – and participate in reading of rewritten “classic” movie scenes, tailored just for him by Brendan.
The Ministry of Secret Jokes
Doogie Horner’s monthly Ministry of Secret Jokes has been one of the best nights of comedy Philadelphia has to offer for years. Doogie packs the show with not only great stand-up and sketch comedy but games, contests, and audience participation. The show is run like a meeting of a secret society, and Doogie often opens his shows by having the audience recite an oath that they will not reveal what they see to anyone. Judging by the packed in crowds upstairs at Fergie’s every month, many people have been breaking that oath.
The Theme Show
Rob Baniewicz hosts this monthly show with various acts all doing their take on one common theme. The successor to Gregg Gethard’s Bedtime Stories, The Theme Show is a great chance for audiences to see the variety that comes when different groups get the same general topic and are allowed to let their imaginations roam free. It’s always a treat to see how performers approach the theme and where they find humor in the topic of the month.
Rob Baniewicz and Paul Triggiani get together on stage at Philly Improv Theater every month and have a TV Party. They find the best worst television from the past available and present it to a crowd full of often drunk and always eager fans waiting to laugh – both at the shows and with the hilarious commentary provided by the two. Paired perfectly with Guilty Pleasures on PHIT’s “found comedy” night, TV Party brings to the stage an experience we all have – laughing at things that weren’t necessarily meant to be funny.
2011 Witout Awards: Best Host Nominees
Rob Baniewicz and Paul Triggiani
Rob and Paul get together on stage at Philly Improv Theater every month and have a TV Party. They find the best worst television from the past available and present it to a crowd full of often drunk and always eager fans waiting to laugh – both at the shows and with the hilarious commentary provided by the two.
Every Monday night Carolyn and Mary turn the back room at The Urban Saloon into one of the best open mics in the city, Laughs on Fairmount. The two take turns introducing acts and keep the show moving with their own charm and sense of humor. They often start the show with a short sketch that highlights the chemistry they have with each other and gets the audience ready for a night of great comedy.
Chip Chantry is a busy man. He is the host of two monthly shows at major Philadelphia comedy venues. Facetime with Chip Chantry is a talk show at Helium Comedy Club that features Chip performing sketches, jokes about the news, and conducting interviews with each of his guests. Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) moved to Philly Improv Theater after its’ successful run at The Khyber and features Chip hosting for many of the best acts Philly Comedy has to offer.
Twice per month on Friday nights Aaron Hertzog hosts Hey Everybody! an evening of stand-up comedy at Philly Improv Theater. The showcase features many of the best stand-ups in Philadelphia and the occasional visitor from out of town. Aaron is known for yelling “Hey Everybody” at the top of his sets, and getting audiences ready for the show with his jovial invitations of friendship.
Doogie’s monthly Ministry of Secret Jokes has been one of the best nights of comedy Philadelphia has to offer for years. Doogie packs the show with not only great stand-up and sketch comedy but games, contests, and audience participation. The show is run like a meeting of a secret society, and Doogie often opens his shows by having the audience recite an oath that they will not reveal what they see to anyone. Judging by the packed in crowds upstairs at Fergie’s every month, many people have been breaking that oath.