Q&A With Comedian and Writer Dana Gould at Helium Comedy Club

Dana Gould at Helium Comedy Club
The calm before the storm. The storm being when Gould runs around the stage attacking like a chimp.

Dana Gould has written for The Simpsons and Parks and Recreation. He currently acts in the TNT series Mob City. Gould will be performing at Helium for four shows from Wednesday through Saturday. We caught up with him to talk about writing for television and his career in comedy.
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WitOut: What was it like working for Parks and Recreation? Can you tell us about a memorable contribution you made to the show?

Dana Gould: I wrote during Season 2 in the awkward years when it was taking a while for the show to gel. I coined the name "Duke Silver" for Ron Swanson's saxophone playing alter ego and created his album name "Memories of Now." It's funny because Largo, a place where I perform stand up in L.A., has a framed copy of that album that they had made up and put on the wall.

WitOut: What was one of your favorite creative contributions to The Simpsons?

Gould: I wrote an episode from Season 16 called "Goo Goo Gai Pan" where Homer and Marge go to China and adopt a daughter for Marge's sister which was based on my own experience of adopting my two daughters.

WitOut: Do you have any advice for comedians that want to write for TV?

Gould: My advice is to just do it. Don't take a class or anything, just do it. A writer who isn't writing isn't a writer. It takes discipline. You have to make a habit of getting up every day and doing it. Make it your top priority and don't leave the house until you get it done.

WitOut: What have been some of the highs and lows of your career?

Gould: When I first started out in stand up I was obsessed with Albert Brooks. Albert was at a Simpson's Party later in his career and I had met him several times before in a professional setting, but one time at this "Hollywood Party," all the sudden he just said, "Hi Dana." He was always this hero of mine and in this moment I saw him as a peer. Oh and everything since then was a low.

Dana Gould at Helium Comedy Club
"God only hits the Midwest with tornadoes because he's really far away and he must think farmers look like lesbians."

WitOut: Did you make any New Year's Resolutions this year?

Gould: It's strange because 2013 was terrible, personally. I got divorced. But, professionally, I released a new album that was number one on iTunes and I am getting to do amazing stuff on Mob City.

I'm just hoping for something in the middle this year.

WitOut: Any comments on the Chris Christie scandal?

Gould: I assumed the lane was blocked because Christie wanted people to know how it feels for him to squeeze down the aisle of an airplane.

Check out Gould tonight (7:30p.m & 10:00p.m.) and tomorrow (10:00p.m.) at Helium Comedy Club


Aaron Nevins Interviews Marc Summers

Check out this hilarious interview Aaron Nevins did with Marc Summers, from a recent installment of Hang On with Aaron Nevins. Don't miss the next show Friday, February 21st at the Adrienne Theater!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfI5a_T0VAY


Q&A with The Comedy Attic Hosts @ The Raven Lounge

raven lounge

 Brian Six, Jon DelCollo, Matt McCusker and Setoiyo sat down to talk about their new role as hosts of the Raven Lounge.

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WitOut: Can you refresh our readers on the Raven Lounge and its history?

Comedy Attic: Absolutely. Center City Comedy (CCC) started comedy shows at the Raven Lounge five years ago. Raven Lounge follows a seniority format. The structure is performance-based, in terms of who gets to go first. It’s a place where you can earn your way up. Whoever gets the most laughs gets to go first.

WitOut: What is like to be the new hosts at the Raven Lounge open mic?

Comedy Attic: We are just four good guys keeping up the momentum that has been built over the last five years. In the beginning, when we took over the show we decided to keep the show the same format as CCC. Comedians start signing up around 8:30pm when they come in. We look at the list at 8:50-8:55pm. We have about 14-18 comics during the first half of the show. We take a ten minute break before the second part of the show and make a list of comics for the second half. The second half usually consists of 20-27 comics. Then, we have a third part for new talent where we try to squeeze in as many fresh faces as we can.

WitOut: What are some challenges of hosting a show?

Comedy Attic: The hard part is putting the list together. We know everybody and we have to make decisions for the crowd and make sure they enjoy the show. It is an intimidating show to host. Even though it is once a week, it is a long night. We just have to make sure we promote the show, and keep the comics as well as the audience happy.

WitOut: Are there any changes in the structure of the show?

Comedy Attic: Every Thursday we have a variety of acts coming big and small. The most consistent people are the ones that go first. Apart from that, the structure of the show will remain the same as it has the past five years.

 WitOut: Any new faces or comedy acts coming to the Raven Lounge?

Comedy Attic: Us four (laughs). It is hard to single out one person, there are about 20-30 really good comics. We have all different types of acts, big and small. It is great for the younger guys to see. We have a headliner from Helium come in. We try to make it a good show for everybody.

WitOut: What are your comedic styles?

Comedy Attic: Well Matt talks about relationships, Setiyo likes to talk about himself (laughs), DelCollo talks about the Olive Garden and I (Brian) am trying to prove that Mayor Nutter is an alien and not from this planet.

WitOut: Well, so much for being politically correct!

Comedy Attic: He passed a law banning outdoor feedings for the homeless, a plan that hates homeless people!

WitOut: Fair enough!  What advice would you give to aspiring comedians?

Comedy Attic: Well to aspiring comedians in general, write everyday keep writing. And to those that perform at the Raven Lounge, keep coming out and don’t ever think the hosts aren't watching. Keep coming out, it’s gonna happen!

**The Comedy Attic hosts weekly comedy shows at the Raven Lounge every Thursday. Sign-up starts at 8:30p.m. and the show starts at 9:00p.m.


Nominees Announced for 2014 WitOut Awards -- Vote Now!

2014 WitOut Awards voting

Vote now for the funniest comedy acts in Philly!

(If you noticed that there are a varying number of nominees per category, this is because we opted to include each nominee which received at least 3% of the nominations of its respective category. Ensure the validity of your votes by voting once!)


David Koechner @ The Troc -- Tickets Currently 2 for 1 Online

KoechnerIn case you were thinking of checking out David Koechner this Saturday at the Trocadero, there's a promo code "Champ" to enter when you buy tickets online which lets you get two tickets for the price of one.

This promo-code is a reference to his character's nickname from the popular comedy film Anchorman, which has a sequel currently out called Anchorman 2. If you're thinking about seeing Anchorman 2, it has really funny parts but it's a bit too long. If you're not a die-hard Anchorman fanatic, I'd say you can wait for it on Redbox or Netflix. If you ARE a die-hard Anchorman fanatic, well you've probably already seen it.

And if you're an anchor-man Die Hard fanatic, I'd say you're Jim Gardner at a John McClane marathon.

Jim Gardner Anchor-man

Seriously though. Never pay full price online.


"How To Write An E-mail" by Philly Comedian Mikey Gleason

http://youtu.be/329yst058Io

For more video shorts by Gleason, visit www.michaelgleason.net.


The Sideshow Moves to PHIT

sideshowMike Marbach's two and a half year old improv and variety comedy showcase The Sideshow is moving from The Arts Parlor on Broad Street to the new permanent Phit location at the Adrienne Theater.

Writes Mike Marbach on his website, "Two of the reasons I started Sideshow are now no longer relevant. The first is Beirdo has scattered to the ends of the Earth with occasional (and awesome) shows. The other is that starting later in January 2014 The Philly Improv Theater will have a permanent home at the Adrienne Theater with shows 52 weeks a year! So the need for The Sideshow to fill in the gaps of PHIT weeks will no longer be there and as [Philly Improv Theater's] Education Director I didn’t want to be running a “competing” effort. So, after some talks- The Sideshow is moving to PHIT starting January 23rd!" (You can read the full article at MikeMarbach.com).

brewery comedy

Meanwhile, The Sideshow's space and time will be filled at the Arts Parlor with a new showcase called The Brewery (visit the facebook event page here).

The Brewery will be run by a local improv group called Bill Parks, which is comprised of current PHIT students (Erin Coffey, Erica Paradisi, Adam Perkins, Sofya Piro, Stacy Sanseverino, Rajiv Sharma, Adam Steiger, Sean Sullivan, Joe Tuzzi) and directed by Alex J. Gross.

Members of Bill Parks told Marbach, “Our view of the show is that it will emulate a brewery in more than name alone. Experiment, collaborate and enjoy the results. In general, the show will be similar to the Sideshow. Established comedic talents and budding new acts will take to the stage, bringing a consistently great show to the Arts Parlor twice a month.”

The first Brewery will be on Friday, January 11th at 8pm.