Secret Pants: Murder Knife!

And The Winners Are...

The 2011 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy were last night at World Cafe Live. The Philadelphia comedy community gathered together to hand out the awards which they themselves nominated and voted for. In case you missed it, here's a full rundown of the winners in each category.

Best Host: Chip Chantry - host of Chip Chantry's One Man Show (with Special Guests) and Facetime with Chip Chantry

Best Venue: Philly Improv Theater

Best Podcast: CheaPodcast

Best Open Mic: Laughs on Fairmount (hosts Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski)

Best One Time Show: The Roast of Meg Favreau

Best Short Run Show: Pro Mania (Ian Vaflor and Alex Gross)

Best Regular Show: The Ministry of Secret Jokes (Doogie Horner)

Best New Group: Hey Rube (Alex Gross, Dennis Trafny, Jen Curcio, Lizzie Spellman, Mark Leopold, Rob Cutler, Scott Shepherd, Tara Demmy, Aaron Hertzog, director: Matt Holmes)

Best Improv Group (1-3 members): The Kristen & Amie Show (Kristen Schier and Amie Roe)

Best Improv Group (4+ members): Hate Speech Committee (Brendan Kennedy, JP Boudwin, Rob Baniewicz, Darryl Charles, Sue Taney, Christian Alsis, Billy Bob Thompson, Aaron Hertzog)

Best Stand-up Bit: Darryl Charles - Hatchet

Best Sketch: The Feeko Brothers - Jay Peebee's PB&J

Best Sketch Group: The Feeko Brothers

Best Stand-up Comedian: Chip Chantry

Special thanks to World Cafe Live for allowing us to have our "clown friend clubhouse goofball jerkoff party" in their establishment. Also thanks to everyone who helped produce the show. The writers: Aaron Hertzog, Chip Chantry, Doogie Horner, Rob Baniewicz, Mary Radzinski, Jim Grammond, Becca Trabin, Joe Moore, Luke Giordano, Billy Bob Thompson, Greg Maughan. The video spots were put together by Rob Baniewicz and Shannon Devido. Also thanks to all the presenters and of course, the host of the evening Joe Moore.


The N Crowd

Description: The N Crowd wants you to share a laugh at the Actors Center. They perform improv entirely dependent on suggestions provided by the audience. When you come, you’re expected to have a slew of things to yell out when asked for suggestions. You can purchase tickets in cash at the door or online with a major credit card. Doors open at 7:30 pm. RSVP’s are held until 7:50 pm.

Style: Improv

Host: The N Crowd

Date: Reoccuring, every Friday

Time: 8:00PM – 10:00PM

Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at door

Location: The Actors Center – 257 N. 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA

Contact: Website

The 2011 WitOut Awards

Description: A night celebrating Philly comedy and skewering award shows featuring appearances by many of Philadelphia's top stand-ups, improvisers, and sketch comedians. Hosted by the lovable Joe Moore.

Style: Awards Show
Date: Tuesday, January 10
Time: 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Admission: $12
Location: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. Philadelphia
Contact: Facebook Event

Comedians Survey

Hey all you wanna-be professional comedians, take this survey to help determine what social services will be available for professional comedians in the future through the newly-created American Comedy Fund (put together by the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Comedy Central). Those of us who want to call comedy our profession can provide useful feedback to the ACF so that they can build a safety net for present and future American comedians. It's anonymous, it takes 15 minutes, and it's actually a useful way to do a personal inventory on your career path.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 30

Philly Weekly is talking about us! Today's music section has an article about WitOut, and the upcoming WitOut Awards. You can pick up a copy at PW boxes throughout the city or read the article online. We suggest both.

This weekend, Camp Woods and The Feeko Brothers are heading west for the Chicago Sketchfest. The groups will perform two sets each while visiting the windy city for the festival and will be sure to represent Philly as only they can. You can check out sketches from the groups on their websites.

The Philly Improv Theater is looking for interns. Students who are enrolled in a degree granting college or university program are eligible to apply for Winter/Spring (January through April), Summer (May through August) or Fall (Sepember through December) internship experiences with the Philly Improv Theater on an unpaid or college/university credit basis. Interested students can get more information online.

This Friday you can check out a pair of back-to-back shows in South Philly. At 8:00pm at The Arts Parlor is The Sideshow featuring improv from Kait & Andrew, Martha Cooney, and Town Hall. Then at 10:30 you can check out High Note Humor for stand-up from Doogie Horner, Tommy Pope, Anton Shuford, Aaron Hertzog and Kevin Hurley.

Saturday night will bring back the Laughs on Fairmount Showcase to The Urban Saloon. Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski have branched off their weekly open mic into a booked showcase featuring some of their favorite comedians. This month's show will feature Chip Chantry, Aaron Hertzog, Jim Ginty, TJ Hurley and Mike Roberts.




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, 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.

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.