Interview with Ronaldo Spettacolare, aka Yung Creamed Currency Panty Dropper Billionaires

Ronaldo Spettacolare, of PHIT’s house team Outside Voices, will be performing his character based/musical/performance art act Yung Creamed Currency Panty Dropper Billionaires this Thursday at the independent comedy-showcase-who-could Hey, We’re Cool.


WitOut: What exactly is the YCCPDB?

Ronaldo Spettacolare: The Yung Creamed Currency Panty Dropper Billionaires, is a one person, eight member rap group starring myself as Uncle Jungle, Hustle Sproutz, Fifi Dundutta, Pup E. Luv, Spettacoloco, Rapeshaun Biermot, Drapes, and Jozay Pesos. Makes sense, right?

So, basically, I’m all eight members of the group whether they’re live on stage on in the studio.

WitOut: Did you start doing YCCPDB before you started Improv or vice versa?

Spettacolare: The YCCPDB came into fruition roughly a year before I started taking Improv classes at the Philly Improv Theater, but it/they were created within a manner consistent with Improv. It started out with my buddy making beats on a beat machine and me rapping in different voices. We recorded it on my phone, and after laughing at the song, I decided to create names for the members and for the group.

WitOut: How does one medium inform the other?

Spettacolare: Improv and the YCCPDB have been able to complement each other immensely, both behind the scenes and live on stage.

Every YCCPDB song, since their inception, has been made up on the spot. It’s safe to say you won’t find any real handwritten YCCPDB lyrics on eBay in fifteen years going for a whopping sum of money. The entire first album (and the soon-to-be-released-because-it-isn’t-finished-yet second album) consist of songs that are all Freestyle, or “off the top of the head” if you will.

Although the songs performed at their shows are the ones you’ll find on the album, everything about the show, from the dialogue between members on stage between songs to the dance moves during them is all improvised. Being an improviser has made being on stage an even more comfortable thing, and it shows in every performance.

WitOut: How would you classify YCCPDB? Is it parody? Is it homage?

Spettacolare: The YCCPDB is pure satire. Each member is basically poking fun at the real “rappers” you’d find in mainstream music today. For example, upon seeing and hearing Fifi Dundutta first time, you’ll see he clearly spoofs Lil Wayne with his high pitched whiny voice and braided hair whereas Drapes just straight up makes fun of Drake.

Honestly, I feel as if the music that you’ll find out there today is absolutely terrible. So, the idea with the YCCPDB was to make something worse, ultimately making it so that the only option the world would have left after the YCCPDB makes their mark is to try to and make things better.

WitOut: YCCPBD is getting a reputation for larger than life performances. What should people expect when they come to see you perform live?

Spettacolare: There’s only one thing to expect at a YCCPDB live performance: ANYTHING. Yes, anything goes at a YCCPDB show, and that’s usually made apparent within the first thirty seconds. The goal for the live shows is to create a feast for both the eyes and the ears that’ll have you leaving fully satisfied with what you just witnessed.


Follow the YCCPDB on Twitter @YCCPDB and on Soundcloud . YCCPDB will be performing this Thursday at Hey, We’re Cool (8pm, L’etage, $5).

DuoFest 2014: Virginia Jack

Virginia Jackby Mike Muller

DuoFest closed out Saturday night with Vancouver’s Virginia Jack (Briana Rayner and Nicole Passmore) literally taking us where no man has gone before. Giving the audience suggestions more consideration than the other acts of the evening, the two eventually decided that “space ship” was the location around which they would build a one-act play.

If you’re unfamiliar with Virginia Jack, they’re one of the more erudite and fantastically bizarre duos working the fest, and their take on character development is uniquely weird in the best way possible. They start off by introducing us to the cast of characters, then sprinkling seedlings of ideas on top of them which germinate throughout the show.

On this particular evening, we had the privilege of meeting starship captain Reginald Aloysius Pump, a man’s man celebrated in Bill Brasky-like fashion. We also met his first mate, Jackson Malone, a huge cartography fan whose multiple lobotomies left him unable to say the word “vagina,”. Finally, the ship’s engineer, Piper Spaghetti was the bombshell dingbat who loves intercourse and her illegal houseplant she keeps in her cabin.

As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that Jackson Malone plans to usurp control of the ship as revenge for Captain Pump taking the ship into uncharted territory, rendering Malone’s cartography useless. Piper is shot in the attempt to save Captain Pump’s life/seduce him and the audience roared when Malone says they’ll, “never find the cure for his space bullets.”

Briana and Nicole’s unique way of switching roles really helps flesh out fully realized characters instead of simply place-holding comedic archetypes used to get to a punchline. They build on each other’s ideas well and have a knack for bringing the small details back around before wrapping up. Virginia Jack showed a full spectrum of what is possible with the Duo format.


Mike Muller has written for Phillyist and

VIDEO: Mike Rainey and Tim Butterly on The Tonight Show

Philly comedians Mike Rainey and Tim Butterly were on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night.  Tim answered trivia, poorly... And Mike paid the price in chest-hair. You know... just like Johnny Carson always dreamed!

Rainey hosts The Dirty Dozen show Saturdays at Midnight at Helium Comedy Club, as well as a streaming radio show "Rainey Sundays" on Butterly was a finalist in last year's Philly's Phunniest competition, and is a favorite going into this year's contest.

DuoFest 2014: From Justin to Kelly

by Mike Muller justintokellyduofest2014

NYC’s From Justin to Kelly (Justin Peters and Kelly Buttermore) were deliciously silly.  They took the audience’s suggestions of “Chipotle” during their Saturday night show and built an ever-expanding world of heartbreak, homelessness, and food service.

Kelly and Justin have a frenetic energy and breakneck speed between bits without missing a beat. Their visual communication adds to the frenzied atmosphere as they quickly gesture to each other to move on or jump between characters. They use their sex to their advantage; switching characters mid-routine allows them to do some hilarious and creative things with gender identity.

As a harried Chipotle team member complains to her boss about her recent ex literally taking the bathroom sink with her, both Kelly and Justin play the jilted lover and they continue to have fun with all of the outgrowths of that initial absurdity.

There are more jilted lovers living and working at the local YMCA, which just passed its third out of nine health inspections (“We’re batting .333!”), and having first dates at Alfredo’s, where the stereotypical Italian chef doesn’t understand why people don’t like “the eponymous I-ah put on everything.”

Slightly more successful lovers reminisce about good movie dates, where they had their minds blown by White Chicks. In fact, this show was chock full of lovers of all stripes. It all came back to Chipotle, though, when one of our heroes has to report to the big boss, Joel the Great and Powerful Wizard of Chipotle, who was Justin’s disembodied voice from behind the stage curtain.

When “Joel” told the homeless Kelly that, “There is no living in Chipotle!” it was one of the great bookend payoffs of the evening.


Mike Muller has written for Phillyist and

Podcast Pickins with Intern Lisa

This week's podcast is Comedy Film Nerds!

The podcast Comedy Film Nerds, hosted by comedians and film connoisseurs Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini, combines two of my favorite things: comedy and movies. The only thing better than hearing funny people talk about movies, is hearing funny people who know their shit talk about movies. Guests, such as Marc Maron, Jimmy Pardo and Chris Hardwick, come into the Nerd garage and talk about their favorite movies and movies currently out. This fun podcast doesn't just stick to the classics, they review the good and the bad (yeah, and I mean Step Up Revolution). What's awesome about the podcast is that their completely aware that movies are subjective (what a new idea)!  Although I disagree with some of their reviews (this is 'Merica after all), Chris and Graham give thoughtful and poignant explanations about what they do and do not like about these movies. So instead of talking to your Transformers loving friends, listen to a few episodes and your sure to get your Netflix Queue full.

My top 5 Comedy Film Nerds Pickins

5. Ric Meyers

I've never really watched Kung Fu movies so I was pleasantly surprised about how interested I was to watch them after listening to this episode. Kung Fu film expert, Ric Meyers, sits down with Chris and Graham to talk about how you don't want to fight someone who knows Kung Fu, The Dark Night martial arts aren't so accurate, and the extravagance of Comic-Con. This episode will surely get you interested in the art of martial arts and kung-fu movies.

4. Jackie Kashian

This episode is just fun. Jackie Kashian, host of The Dork Forest, brings in her "DVD closet." What I love about this episode is that it covers an array of  different movies and genres such as superhero movies, classics, comedies, and guilty pleasures. What's great is that this episode makes you feel better about the randomness of your DVD collection; it's OKAY to have a copy of Mr. Magoo and Robin Hood: Men In Tights and not have The Jerk, we won't judge (okay maybe a little).

3. TJ Miller

TJ Miller is a hilarious human being. Fact. The episode covers a little bit of the 2012 Oscar nominations and holds some great rifs about movies that were currently out such as The Grey and Man on a Ledge. Also, TJ Miller has perhaps the best, and only firsthand Tom Cruise story I have ever heard. The story itself is enough to listen to the episode.

2. Doug Benson

The king of comedy and movies, Doug Benson, drops on by the garage to talk about holiday movies. The episode is full of Christmas movie bashing, victims include movies such as It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. It's an interesting conversation because you don't often hear reviews about movies you've watched and enjoyed every year since you were a child. The guys also play the ridiculously hard Leonard Maltin game, which leaves me feeling incredibly stupid or young.

1.  Dark Knight Rises

OKAY, feel free to judge me, but yes I have chosen an episode fully dedicated to the Dark Knight Rises and #1! Here me out reader, this is a good one. I love this episode because podcasts don't usually go into detail about movies or television shows because they don't want to spoil it for any of the listeners, but this episode is full of spoiler awesomeness! Since Dark Knight Rises was perhaps the best movie of the year (don't you dare deny that) the guys with guest Mike Schmidt go into detail about their likes and dislikes about the movie. What I also love about the episode is that you can really hear how much these three grown men love the Batman universe and what this trilogy has sincerely meant to them. Movies are so much more than moving image on a screen, they can really hold great importance in our lives. Great episode, great conversation.

If you to check out more, visit their website or buy their book The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies.

Reasonable Discourse With Jerks

Description: The panel: ERIC TODD RYAN SHANER STEVE REES And some skinny hipster hopefully.

Style: Panel Comedy

Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Time:  9:00PM - 10:00PM

Admission: $10 at the door $8 in advance

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: WebsiteBuy Tickets Here

A Few Answers Short

Description: A Few Answers Short is PHIT's monthly answer to the accusation that we are too funny. One-part parody of America's obsession with gameshows and competition, one-part chairman Greg Maughan's homage to the British Radio programs he was raised on, and one-part total nonsense, AFAS is a panel-based gameshow featuring Philly's top comedians in a meaningless competition filled with a series of challenges that test talents as varied as self-censoring ability, recognizing product barcodes, and naming songs played by the audience on kazoo.

Style: Panel Comedy

Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Time:  10:00PM - 11:00PM

Admission: Free (with 9pm show) $10 (at the door)

Location: The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia

Contact: WebsiteBuy Tickets Here