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, and slightly beyond, if we deem it necessary–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. Opportunities for Performance and Growth
OH MAN have you seen how many opportunities for performance and growth that you, the Philly comedian, have?! If you’re a stand-up there’s a pretty great open mic somewhere almost every night of the week (Helium‘s Tuesday night show is uber-polished, and Monday night’s Laughs on Fairmount r0x0rs my b0x0rs). If you’re an independent comedy act then Polygon is ALL ABOUT giving you an opportunity to perform in a well-put together show (that is literally what they are ALL ABOUT). If you want to beef up your improv chops, cool dudes and ladies want to practice with you at Incubator on Sunday nights, or jam with you late nights at Philly Improv Theater. If you want to beef up your improv chops AND PAY FOR IT (who doesn’t?), PHIT has been pumping out talented improvisers through their apparently well-taught classes faster than I pump out…Well, I’ll let you finish that sentence. Also, for those of you like me who love paying for things but hate committing to more than one day of a thing, PHIT’s been offering some pretty sweet workshops (Kristen Schier’s clowning workshop and Jill Bernard’s Fireball Theory taught me a lot this year, there I said it!). In conclusion, Philadelphia has many opportunities for performance and growth, hooray!
2. Consistently Good Performances Across the City
OH MAN have you noticed all the consistently good performances across the city? If you like comic theater, 1812 Productions puts on great stuff! If you like stand-up, our professional clubs are always hosting great acts! If you like long-form improv, PHIT hosts fun shows most nights of the week! And if you like short-form ComedySportz and The N Crowd have been putting on great shows every week for YEARS!
3. Innovative Shows!
Did you see Asteroid!‘s B-Movie? It was a great idea and really well executed! Did you see Myths & Monsters? It was a great idea and really well executed! ALSO OTHERS. Look I don’t get out as much as you guys, whatever.
4. Sweet Dudes and Ladies
OH MAN have you noticed all the sweet dudes and ladies in the Philadelphia comedy community?! Here I am using the definitions of “sweet” that connotate niceness AND awesomeness AT THE SAME TIME, WHAT UP?! My crippling social anxiety and poor hygiene typically make me reclusive (not unlike the Brown Recluse, which does not typically reside in Philadelphia, this is bonus awesome thing about Philly number six), and yet I still feel welcome in the community! That’s pretty SWEET of you, dudes and ladies!
5. New York Stinks
Seriously, it is the stinkiest!
Vegas Lancaster is a stand-up comedian and a member of The N Crowd. His opinions about New York City are his own, and should not be taken as an endorsement of anti-New York sentiment by WitOut. WitOut has no beef with you, New York City.
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 email@example.com!
I started losing my hair in high school. All of the fun things I got to do in the 1980s with hair dye are long gone. On top of that, I never had to shave regularly until I was in my late 30s. In the late 1980s all I wanted was cool sideburns, and I had to wait until the trend came back around a couple years ago to almost be able to take advantage of it. I didn’t even have armpit hair until I was in my 20s. I spent most of my teen years too mortified to wear a tank top. I view most men with hair and the ability to grow facial hair wistfully. They have something I’ll never have.
Whenever I see these five guys, I can’t help but think about their hair. And how much I want to possess it.
5. Vegas Lancaster (improv team The N Crowd)
4. Jp Boudwin (sketch group Camp Woods)
3. Jess Carpenter (improv team Iron Lung, Comedian Deconstruction)
2. Dennis Trafny (Philly Improv Theater House Team Hey Rube)
1. Chris Calletta (Philly Improv Theater House Team Hot Dish)
Steve Kleinedler started doing improv in 1982 and studied and performed off and on in the 1980s and 1990s. He began performing at ImprovBoston in 2001 and teaching and directing there in 2004. He performed with IB’s Harold Team Marjean for three years. Steve directed numerous improv troupes and shows at IB, including The Family Show (2004-2007), Backstory (a ‘Memento’-inspired improv show, which he reprised with Hot Dish for the Philly Fringe festival in 2012), and IB’s sketch ensemble The Ruckus (2007-2010). He’s directed numerous one-person shows and scripted plays. At PHIT he currently directs PHIT house team Hot Dish and has appeared onstage in numerous guises, including Half-Life with Nathan Edmondson. He is also a founding member of Shattered Globe Theatre in Chicago.