"Everyone in Comedy is a Jerk in One Way or Another" - Interview with Jim Grammond of 'Reasonable Discourse with Jerks'

Philly comedians aren't just funny—they're consistently up on current events and super well-informed on what's going on in local and national news.  Or at very least, maybe they bone up a bit when they're about to be guests on Jim Grammond's monthly panel show Reasonable Discourse with Jerks.  Here's Jim with more details on the concept, how he puts the show together, and this month's jerks:

WitOut: To be honest, I get most of my news from your Twitter feed. What drives you to turn current events into jokes?

Jim Grammond: The misguided belief that I can turn making jokes about news into money.

WitOut: Is some of that joke writing "research" for topics that will end up on Reasonable Discourse with Jerks?

JG: Honestly, the joke writing process for the show is so much better than how I write for stand-up or anything else. I take a news story or interesting bit of trivia, try to come up with a funny headline for the PowerPoint presentation, and then make bullet points that are jokes about the topic. It's methodical, whereas my regular, daily joke writing is more stream of consciousnesses, which means a lot of my regular, daily writing is garbage.

WitOut: This month's panel is Jess Ross, Alex Grubard, Paul Triggiani and Mike Rainey. How did you assemble that line-up? And what makes each of them a jerk?

JG: Actually, Paul Triggiani had to cancel because he has a prior engagement that probably involves him dressing as a Nazi, so Philly's Phunniest™ 2012 James Hesky will be taking his place. Jess is a fellow member of The Flat Earth and a stand-out funny improvise, Alex is a very funny, very loud comedian, Rainey is one of the best of people with one of the darkest (and best) of senses of humor, and Hesky is a dynamo in the sack.

Everyone in comedy is a jerk in one way or another. Either we think we're better than most people, or we use humor as a weapon on people who don't deserve it. A lot of us are paranoid and insecure, which makes us lash out in weird, jerky ways. Liz's high school reunion episode of 30 Rock is the best reference material for this.

WitOut: I don't want to ask you to give too much away, but can you give us a preview of what might come up at this Wednesday's show?

JG: You can't give away what you don't know. I almost never come up with the topics until the day before and the day of. I'm always putting the presentation together up until near show time.

WitOut: Are there any news items that have come up between the last show and this one that you'd love to talk about, but aren't recent enough? If so, can you give it the RDWJ treatment here? Or just pick any historical event you want—e.g., how would RDWJ break down the War of 1812?

JG: One story that broke earlier this month that I would've been all over but is too far gone is that Vladimir Putin hired Boyz II Men to play concerts in Russia explicitly to get Russians in the mood to procreate. I don't know if it's 100% accurate, but that doesn't matter because it sounds so great and believable.  I can just picture Putin getting on the jumbotron at the concert, taking his shirt off and having women oil him up, saying "Da, you in crowd, you do like me now, okay? Pants removal now. Go on, Moscow, get freaky." Also, unlike his policies on breakaway Russian republics, I guarantee in nine months we'll see that this plan worked.

The next 'Reasonable Discourse with Jerks' is this Wednesday, February 27th at Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin (407 Bainbridge Street).  Show starts at 8:30pm. Tickets are $10 at the door; $8 online in advance.


Quizzo Bowl IX - Opening Song

By all accounts, this past Saturday's '80s-themed Quizzo Bowl IX presented by Johnny Goodtimes (with help from special guests Secret Pants) was a rip-roarin' success.  And video of the opening number—"Wake Me up Before You Quizzo,"  featuring Johnny Goodtimes and Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez—has hit the internet:

If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at contact@witout.net so we can share it!


Kricket's Comedy Presents: Durty Comedy Night

Description: Featuring comedy from: Chip Chantry, Dave Terruso,  Corson & Typhoon, Larry Jansen, and Chris Mas

Style: Stand-up

Date: March 30

Time: Doors-7pm Show-7:30pm

Admission: $10 (includes one free beer)

Location: Durty Nelly's Irish Pub - 701 E MacDade Blvd Folsom PA 19033

Contact: Facebook Event


Free Improv at Connie's Ric Rac

Description: See 8 improv groups perform on the first Wednesday of every month for free at Connie's Ric Rac.

Style: Improv

Date: The first Wednesday of Every Month

Time: Doors-8pm Show-9pm

Admission: Free

Location: Connie's Ric Rac - 1132 S. 9th St.

Contact: Email robjgentile@gmail.com with questions or to submit a group.


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 79

News:

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 troika@figmenttheater.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.

Shows:

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 contact@witout.net


The Flat Earth - Popeye's The Master

Philly Improv Theater House Sketch Team The Flat Earth made this parody video for The Sideshow's annual Oscars Jam. Enjoy!

You can see The Flat Earth perform their second sketch comedy revue featuring brand new material at Philly Improv Theater March 1-2 and 8-9. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.

If you are a Philadelphia comedy performer that produces a podcast, web series, sketch video, humor column, or any other online content let us know by emailing us at contact@witout.net so we can share it!


Comic Energy Sketch

Description: Comic Energy Sketch Comedy Live at the Adrienne Theater.

Style: Sketch

Date: March 1

Time: 8:00PM, 10:00PM

Admission: $5

Location: The Adrienne Theater - 2030 Sansom St. Philadelphia

Contact: Facebook Event


ManiPedi at PHIT

Description: Come see great independent sketch comedy from ManiPedi, joined by different openers each night!
3/28 - Angel Yau (NYC)
3/29 - Angel Yau (NYC)
4/4 - The Hold Up!
4/5 - The Hold Up!

Style: Sketch

Date: March 28 - 29, April 4 - 5

Time: 8:30PM

Admission: PHIT Ticketing Page

Location: Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge St.)

Contact: Website