The 2011 Witout Awards: Best Improv Group (1-3 Members)

Beirdo

Beirdo is a group made up of Kevin Pettit, Dennis Trafny, and Dan Jaquette - three men with fine faces full of hair.

Grimacchio

Grimacchio is a duo comprised of King Friday members Ralph Andracchio and Jason Grimley.

Jessica Tandy

Current Cage Match Champion Jessica Tandy is a duo comprised of Andy Moskowitz and Jess Ross.

The Kristen and Amie Show

The Kristen & Amie Show (or The Amie & Kristen show) is a duo comprised of Kristen Schier and Amie Roe, both equally deserving of top billing.

Matt&

Matt& is when Matt Holmes invites a stranger, usually brand new to improv, on stage with him to perform a full comedy set.


The 2011 Witout Awards: Best Improv Group (4+ members)

Asteroid!

Asteroid! is a House Team at Philly Improv Theater comprised of members Aaron Unice, AJ Horan, Bert Archer, Brent Knobloch, Caitlin Weigel, Caroline Rhoades, Jessica Ross, Lara Magaldi, and Luke Field. Improv comedy for the end of the world.

Fletcher

Fletcher is a House Team at Philly Improv Theater featuring members Zac Chase, Emily Davis, Andy Moskowitz, Gillenne Nadeau, Dan Rich, Joe Sabotino, Kristen Schier, and Andrew Stober.

Hate Speech Committee 

Hate Speech Committee is the self described "laziest supergroup in the world" and features members from the Philadelphia sketch, improv, and stand-up communities Aaron Hertzog, Billy Bob Thompson, Brendan Kennedy, Christian Alsis, Darryl Charles, JP Boudwin, Rob Baniewicz, and Sue Taney.

Medic

Medic is a fantastic five person improv group with members from many other of Philly's best groups featuring AJ Horan, Emily Davis, JP Boudwin, Luke Field, and Nick Gillette.

Iron Lung

Iron Lung is a multiple time Cage Match Champion featuring Corin Wells, Carly Maurer Kaufman, Kevin Pettit, Maureen Costello, Jess Carpenter, Dennis Trafny, Simon Burger, Tara Demmy, and Ellen Qualey.


The 2011 Witout Awards: Best Host

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski

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

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.

Aaron Hertzog

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 Horner

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.

 


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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia0QnXqHc4g

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." 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0xzntPdp3I&feature=related

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MubB27B0g3M

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."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCA2RNkKr5M

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdKdhZ7hQpk


The 2011 Witout Awards Nominations

The nominations are in for the 2011 Witout Awards. After a week long nomination process the ballots have been counted and each category narrowed down to their five finalists. In the upcoming week, we will post an article detailing each award and the nominees, with links, videos, and more. But for now, here are the list of nominees.

Best Stand Up Comedian
Chip Chantry
Aaron Hertzog
Steve Gerben
Tommy Pope
Brendan Kennedy

Best Host
Chip Chantry - Chip Chantry's One Man Show (With Special Guests) and Facetime with Chip Chantry
Rob Baniewicz and Paul Triggiani - TV Party
Doogie Horner - The Ministry of Secret Jokes
Aaron Hertzog - Hey Everybody!
Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski - Laughs on Fairmount

Best Stand-up Bit
Darry Charles - Hatchet
Pete Kuempel - Dolphin Rape
John McKeever - Buying a Magnum Condom
Aaron Hertzog - $30,000
Steve Gerben - Being Manly watching sports

Best Sketch Group
Camp Woods
The Feeko Brothers
Secret Pants
Local Holiday Miracle
Mani-Pedi

Best Improv Group (4+ Members)
Iron Lung
Hate Speech Committee
Fletcher
Medic
Asteroid

Best Improv Group (1-3 Members)
Jessica Tandy
The Kristen & Amie Show
Matt&
Grimmachio
Beirdo

Best New Group
Nielsen
Beirdo
Iron Lung
ZaoGao
Hey Rube

Best Sketch
The Feeko Brothers - Jay Peebee's PB&J
Secret Pants - Juggalo Sunday
Camp Woods - Eduardo the Crab
Camp Woods - Sick Door
Camp Woods - Space Shuttle Endeavor

Best Open Mic
Laughs on Fairmount at The Urban Saloon
Center City Comedy at The Raven Lounge
Rittenhouse Comedy at Noche
Helium Comedy Club
Sketch-Up or Shut-Up

Best Regular Show (due to a tie there are six nominees)
Guilty Pleasures
The Ministry of Secret Jokes
TV Party!
Chip Chantry's One Man Show (With Special Guests)
The Theme Show
The Gross Show

Best Short Run Show
Friends of Alcatraz
PRO Mania
twenty-four
Quality Value Convenience: Meg & Rob's Last Show
Stagefright: An Improvised Homage to Hitchcock

Best One Time Show
The Roast of Meg Favreau
The Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia Contest
The Trashing of Luke Giordano
Hate Speech Hall's Jesus is Really Galactus
The Theme Show Presents: The Twilight Zone

Best Podcast
CheaPodcast
The Holding Court Podcast
The Panic Hour
The Donkey Show
The Blake Wexler Show

Best Venue
Philly Improv Theater
Helium Comedy Club
The Adrienne Theater
The Shakespeare Theater
The Raven Lounge

Interview with J-L Cauvin

J-L Cauvin is a comedian based in New York who will be recording his third album live next Wednesday, November 9th at Helium Comedy Club. We caught up with him to ask him some questions about Philly, and the process of recording a comedy album.

Why did you choose Philly as the place to record your album?
I opened for Steve Rannazzisi in May at Helium and I felt such a great energy from all the shows.  Plus I have a decent number of friends in the Philadelphia area so I thought it would be a perfect place where I have good mix of a growing fan base and friends.  I am from NYC, but I just really wanted to do it somewhere else besides my home so that I did not have to rely solely on family and fellow comedians to fill seats.  And then I can just go home and tell everyone I crushed even if I tank.

What makes a Philly crowd different from crowds in other places?
I felt like the audiences in Philly have a mean streak in them that makes doing comedy really fun.  They are not dumb mean, they are smart mean.  My material is generally not too evil, but Philadelphia was the first city I ever performed in where if a joke was funny, no matter how mean it might have been, it was greeted by unanimous laughter.  There were no "oooooo's" or "awwwwwww's"  which I loved.  I hate when crowds pretend to be offended. If you are truly offended, leave. If not, then stop making sounds and laugh like everyone else.

Bill Burr recorded his Emotionally Unavailable album here in Philly and opens it up with some local reference jokes. Of course his rant on Philly at the Opie and Anthony Travelling tour ater became a mega-hit. Do you plan on having any jokes or rants specifically about our town?
No - don't have anything Philly specific really.  My experience has been so good in Philly so far that I have not been motivated to dump on the city.  Famous last words.  There are plenty of other groups of people that I verbally assault so Philly will have to wait its turn I guess.

This is your third album - how have you changed as a comedian since recording your first? Is there anything on your first two albums that you wish you didn't release to be out in the public forever?
My first album, Racial Chameleon, was definitely the friendlier album in that a lot of the material was light-hearted.  I did a lot of impressions on the album, a lot of pop culture observations and I was dating a woman with a kid so the jokes were probably more sitcom-ish.  I am proud of the album, in part because I believe it was really good for a comedian 3 years in.  The second album, Diamond Maker, was a little bit darker.  About half the CD was dedicated to the story of my failed engagement and I think the only thing I regret is that I did not dig even deeper.  Not to be mean (maybe that would have been a pleasant bi-product), but because there was really dark humor in the story of our relationship that I kept exploring after the CD was recorded.  But I have basically buried most of that material now because I don't feel like re-living some of the experiences on a nightly basis.

I am really excited for this CD recording because I feel like I am fully developed as a comedian (of course I probably thought this three years ago also).  I know what I believe, I know how I like to deliver my material and I think I am finally at that point where people will be able to tell if they love me or hate me.  Not everyone will be a fan, but I believe that my material is strong enough and comes with enough force that the people who are fans will be dedicated fans.

Do you have a plan to release a new album every so often or do you just work until you have enough to record?
I have a personal goal of doing one every 3 years or so.  I seem to be averaging about 35-40 polished minutes per year so after 3 years and some trimming I can put out an excellent hour.  Since my last CD I have been doing comedy full time since that CD was released.  So I have had 3 years of travelling and working with some great comedians like Patrice O'Neal, Dave Attell, and countless other lesser-known, but really professional and funny people. I feel like I have learned to be more brave and honest in my material, a process that really began with my second CD.  This CD is really going to be all me, in that it it will be less about how I interact with other people, and more how I see the world, including a look at life as a comedian.  One of the things I have worked hard on is writing material about being an up and coming comedian, but making it funny to people who are not comedians or in entertainment.  I think it is often a story that is not told and it is one I won't be able to tell with as much authenticity if I ever do make it big.  I remember reading Lenny Bruce's autobiography and was struck by how much fresher it felt than Steve Martin's or George Carlin because Bruce was writing it when he was 40 or so.  He had just "made it" so all his struggles and hustles felt more in the moment, whereas some of the other greats who have written of their beginnings wrote decades removed from the actual experiences.  I want this CD to be in part the way I look at the world in 2011, but also a look into the world my life as a comedian in 2011.

Do you prepare for an album recording differently than you do for a regular headlining set?
Only in one way.  I will not censor myself at all for a CD recording because I know people there are there to see me.  On other sets I will sometimes leave out my more harsh or political material because the crowd may not be there for me, but just there for some generic laughs, so I try to get crowds like that to meet me halfway.  But to quote my favorite show Breaking Bad this CD will not be a half measure.  And that is what I am really excited about.

J-L Cauvin will be recording his new album Too Big to Fail live next Wednesday, November 9th at 8:00PM at Helium Comedy Club. Tickets can be purchased online.