Tweets of the Week, Vol. 26





Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.

Pizza Pals with Joe Moore featuring...Beirdo!

by Joe Moore

What's ups, Pizza Nuts?! So my entire life I have never liked black olives. I don't know why, but they just tasted like high-class garbage to me. For some reason this all changed...and that reason is pizza. I called in an order to pick up and out of nowhere just blurted out "A large pie with peppers, onions and black olives." The pie changed my life...and now I can eat olives.
Well enough talk about miracles, let's talk about Beirds. Philly improv group Beirdo features Dennis Trafny, Kevin Pettit and Daniel Jaquette. Dan moved to Minneapolis a few months back, but these gentlemen are still together in spirit. The power-trio will be physically reassembling for this year's Chicago Improv Festival and they are holding a fundraiser TONIGHT at 8PM at the Arts Parlor, which will feature one metric ton of fun from a bunch of great acts. In order to celebrate the event on Friday, Beirdo let me inside their inner circle to talk a bit about pizza. 
Ever wonder what would be on a "Beirdo" pizza? Answer below:

Pizza Pal Joe Moore: How much do you like pizza?

Dennis Trafny: This much (Joe, if you could include a picture of a person holding his or her arms like shoulder-width apart) 
Kevin Pettit: A whole Bunch!
Dan Jaquette: I like it like a mountain man likes bear traps and being alone with his thoughts.

PPJM: You are going to Chicago. What are your opinions on "Deep-Dish Pizza"?
DT: I think there should be a giant layer of sausage patty on everything. 
KP:  Deep Dish Pizza I view as the fat cousin of East Coast Pizza.  I haven't seen him in awhile and I'm very excited to rip into his saucy middle with my teeth.
DJ: I have a high opinion of them because they look more like pie, and I also love pie. Especially pizza pie!
PPJM: What day is/was "Pizza Day" in your house?
DT: I lived in a home so not sure about house. (Joe, I lived in an apartment complex. If you reword it I can maybe answer better.) 
KP:  Pizza day was Fridays and I assume my parents still order pizza for five every Friday to fill the void me and my two brothers have left.
DJ: For a long time, every Friday was pizza and movie night for my wife and I. Now we are trying to be more spontaneous, so it could be any night.
PPJM: If there were a pizza named "The Beirdo" what kind of pizza would it be? What kind of toppings?
DT: sawdust + maple syrup + chainsaw oil + arm hair  
KP: The Beirdo SHALL be a pizza.  I'm upset it isn't already.  It will have bacon, pepperoni, jalapenos, and sweet BBQ rib meat on it and should be served with a side of ranch for dipping.
DJ: It would have extra sauce because we are so saucy and also extra cheese for the same reason. Also, a stuffed crust.
PPJM: What is your favorite appearance of pizza in pop culture (music, TV, movie, etc...)
DT:  It's appearance in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game was beyond unrealistic but notable. 
KP: Pizza's best role in television would have to be in the cartoon series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Michelangelo sure loved his pizza and that love was contagious!
PPJM: What is your favorite pizza place?
DT: Gino's East in Chicago. Kevin, would you like to go there with me? No? Dan, do you want to go there with me? I did ask you first.  
KP: Tacconelli's has been one of the greatest pizza experiences of my life.  AND it is BYOB so, you can have as many balloons as you want!  This ensures a fun pizza experience.
DJ: In Philly it was Little Italy, here in Minneapolis it's Pizza Luce.
PPJM. Anything else you'd like to add?
DTAdd to what? The pizza? Our statements? Have you ever conducted an interview before Joe? You need to be more specific.  (Also, don't include any parathenicals; those are for you only.)
KP: There is a midnight showing of TNMT at the Ritz or somewhere the night of our show.  I propose we party after the show, get some pizza and go see the movie!
DJ: I lived in Japan for 2 years (no big deal) and they put strange things on pizza. Once I had tuna and corn. Tuna wasn't great, but corn was surprisingly good. Also, I always think I'll like BBQ sauce on pizza, but then I never do. I do not like "white pizza" because I like sauce a whole lot. I've tried gluten-free pizza before and I don't like that either, but I'm glad that those with gluten intolerance still have a pizza option that won't terrorize their innards. I once saw a squirrel eating a pizza like a human and I laughed at that, I think my wife took a picture, but I don't have access to her photos so I can't send it along, but I'll describe it for you. First, to set the scene. It was in Madison, WI. For those that have never been to the Midwest, I'm sorry you won't be able to accurately envision this anecdote. Anyway, there was a tree with bark and everything. In this tree there was a squirrel. He had in his little squirrel hands a piece of pizza and he was holding it by the crust and eating the cheese parts like a human. I sometimes wonder if it was a human who was Kafka'd into a squirrel but didn't want to give up pizza. I hope that squirrel survived the winter and lived to eat more pizza the following spring. 
Awesome! One of the best groups of Pizza Pals a fellow could ever ask for, hands down. Be sure to come out and wish them well TONIGHT at the Arts Parlor at 8PM!! 
Joe Moore is a pizza enthusiast, host of 'Guilty Pleasures' and head writer for sketch comedy team Dog Mountain.

Head of the Class Comedy Showcase

Description: A showcase of some of the best stand-up comedians in Philadelphia and rising talent in one of the most popular spots in the city. Performing on this showcase are:
Mikey Garcia
Bobby Lorello
Omar Scruggs
Feature: Jim Ginty
Headliner: Chris Cotton

: Stand-up

April 9th

 Doors at 8PM, show at 8:30PM


 Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St Philadelphia, PA 19123

Tickets - Facebook

Get $5 Tickets for this Friday's 'ComedySportz Presents'

In case you missed it in our interview with Mary Carpenter on Wednesday, we thought we'd let you know again: If you're an improviser, you can get discounted tickets to this Friday's ComedySportz Presents double-header, featuring Til Death Do Us Part and Wisdom Teeth. Just use the password "I Do," and you'll see the show for $5 instead of $12.

double feature

Comedy Around the Web, Vol. 30

The first episode of Norm MacDonald Live, the comedian's new video podcast, is available to watch online. New episodes will debut every Monday at 9pm.

Time released this list of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.

Comedian Amy Schumer was interviewed by Vulture about her new Comedy Central show and the sexual dynamics of stand-up.

The Awl interviewed Jason Ross, a writer for The Daily Show, about writing for free and breaking into comedy.

Cable channel FX is going to launch an all-comedy channel FXX this September anchored by It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League.

?uestlove and "Captain" Kirk Douglas of The Roots made another appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as "Black Simon and Garfunkle".

Stephen Colbert is set to interview Bill Clinton for the first time on April 6 on The Colbert Report.

Watch Louis CK explain the title for his new HBO special Oh My God.

Promo Video for 'Chaos Comedy' + How to Get on the Show!

Note the special announcement: You can tweet your name @SummonChaos for a chance to perform in the show.

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 so we can share it!

"I Got Down on One Knee, and the Rest is History" - Interview with Mary Carpenter of Til Death Do Us Part

On the last Friday of every month, ComedySportz is bringing in original outside acts for their 8PM time slot, ahead of their 10PM adults-only The Blue Show.  This month, ComedySportz Presents features two groups: Til Death Do Us Part, the improv duo Mary Carpenter and Steve Roney (both ComedySportz players), and Wisdom Teeth (Alli Soowal, Maggy Keegan, Kristin Finger and Mary Carpenter again).   Here's Mary to talk about what it's like to improvise a marriage:

WitOut: How did Til Death Do Us Part form, and how long have you and Steve been performing together as a duo?

Mary Carpenter: I guess we started about 3 years ago.  We've been in ComedySportz together for over 10 years.  I just always loved watching and performing with Steve. He's incredibly selfless and brilliantly funny.  He is always 100% present and working with him is effortless.  We often talked about working on something outside of ComedySportz, and we realized that we often wound up playing couples on stage. So, we decided to take our improv relationship to the next level.  I got down on one knee, and the rest is history.

WO: Your show is described as "an improvised take on wedded bliss."  Is it always "bliss," or do you also explore other states of marriage—like unhappy, stressed, etc.?

MC: Oh, we explore all the fun, stress, awkwardness. Those are the juicy nougat-y parts of marriage. And we don't always play a couple, we try and hit it from all angles.

WO: Can you describe the format for your show? Do you play two-person scenes as a couple, or create a wider cast of characters?

MC: We use this brilliant book that Steve's in-laws gave him: How to Start Your Marriage from the Catholic Church.  We give it to a member of the audience and have them skim through it until we say stop.  They then read a few sentences from the page they're on and we use that to inspire our scene.  We have them read 3-5 times during a typical show. Sometimes we revisit characters if the opportunity arises.

WO: How does being married in real life (though not to each other) inform your performance?
MC: It informs everything. Between the two of us, there's years of marriage to draw on.  The good, the bad, the surprising, the weird.  It's not a conscious choice to include what we know, but what comes out in the moment is inevitably filtered through the experiences we've had. And since we're not married to each other, there's no fear of potentially offending the other person and ultimately sleeping on the couch that night.

Catch Til Death Do Us Part at ComedySportz (2030 Sansom Street) this Friday, March 29th at 8pm. Tickets are $12; $5 for improvisers who use the password "I Do."

Interview with Figment Theater Artistic Director Maggy Keegan re: 'Vagabond Sessions'

New improv production company Figment Theater kicks off their season this Thursday with the first edition of the Vagabond Sessions, a show that'll be put on every two weeks, but never in the same place twice.  Here's Figment Artistic Director Maggy Keegan with more about this show as well as other plans for the theater.

WitOut: What do you think are some of the advantages of doing a series of pop-up shows like this, as opposed to a regular show at a set location?

Maggy Keegan: One of the reasons we chose to do pop-up shows is that we liked the idea of improv being ephemeral; something that we create for a moment and then it's gone. So we wanted that concept to echo throughout everything we did from our venues down to the name of the theater itself. It's the idea that what we do—from our longer-running season to our one-night shows—all have this sense of being in the moment.

WO: Will the format for the Vagabond Sessions always be the same—AD Showcase, then a special guest, and then the Table?

MK: We wanted the Vagabond Sessions to be a place for improvisers and ensembles to take risks so the structure of the line-up hopefully pairs risk-taking and exploration along with really fun, strong work. For the Table, I wanted to bring together a group of improvisers who I really admire and who I thought might work well together in a particular form to anchor the night. And the AD Showcase is the Artistic Director's Showcase, which essentially is just me playing with different people each time. There are tons of improvisers in Philadelphia that I really would love to play with so the AD Showcase is my selfish wish to do that in action. I don't know that this will always be the same structure. Mostly I am in for whatever makes sense for the night and whatever is feeding that sense of pushing the boundaries of what we think we can do and how it can make us better at what we do.

WO: The group you're playing in for this session's AD Showcase is Rowbit.  Was that a group formed just for this show, or do you guys plan to perform regularly?

MK: Luke Field, Alex Newman, Emily Davis and I formed Rowbit because we all love game-based improv and we wanted to put together a group that could study it together. We have our first performance Thursday and then we are going to get to perform again in May at PHIT. I am incredibly excited. I have admired the three of them for a long time in terms of their intelligence and moves they make on stage and so I can't wait to play with them.

WO: This is the first official show for Figment Theater.  Can you describe the mission of the theater, and some of your long-term plans?

MK: The official mission statement of the theater is: " cultivate and nurture quality improvisational theater with artists and audiences through shared experiences rooted in fearless performance and nimble innovation." We see comedic improv as an art form so for us this means that we want to provide a place for improvisers to explore whatever this art form means to them through different improv forms (such as the Deconstruction or Close Quarters), with people they're interested and excited about working with, and within constructs that we find interesting to us, such as an Improvised Slasher Movie or by pairing improvisers we would love to see together with our Courtship Series in the Summer. I would also have to add that for me the audience is an integral part of why we do what we do. So, with all the risk-taking and boundary-pushing we're interested in doing, we're equally interested in creating work that is accessible to the audience. I am proud to be an improviser and I would like to introduce more people into that. It's one of the major reasons I moved back to Philadelphia from Los Angeles.

WO: What are some other things coming up for Figment that you're excited about?

MK: I'm really excited about some of the projects improvisers have sent me for the Vagabond series. There is some really cool innovative stuff that is happening. I also am excited for our season; Matt has some wonderful things planned for that in terms of the summer and fall. I can't wait to see and be scared by the improvised Slasher movie.

But mostly, I have to say that I am incredibly excited to be working with some wonderful people. Matt Nelson, who is the Managing Director for Figment, is an incredibly talented producer and he's wonderful to work with. We have a wonderful Board who has been helping us shape who we are more fully—Mary Carpenter, Jen Curcio, and Brian Rumble and their thoughts and insights into how we do what we do have been really important. We also have Hilary Kissinger and Kate Banford helping us with Marketing and Kate Banford and Cait O'Driscoll have been finding us really fun spaces to play. The fact that they take time out from what they're doing to be a part of this is incredible and what they bring has been integral to the launch and the vision of what we're doing. Theater is a collaborative art and being able to work with talented, committed people is what energizes and excites me about the theater.

Figment Theatre's first 'Vagabond Sessions' is this Thursday, March 28th at Fleisher Art Memorial (719 Catherine Street). Show starts at 8PM. Admission is $5.