Clips from Main Street Comedy at Mad River

From SuperDPS--

The folks at SuperDPS posted some clips from the Main Street Comedy show at Mad River in Manayunk this past Wednesday. And here they are for you, also.


Chris Cotton


Conrad Roth


Tom Cassidy
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TEN QUESTIONS WITH... Aubrie Williams

Aubrie Williams is an improviser on Philly Improv Theater's house team King Friday and her own sketch group, Local Holiday Miracle.

How and why did you get into comedy?
I saw my first improv show st UCB when I was 18, and was so impressed at how this piece could be created from just a one word suggestion. I continued to love watching improv from then on, but was scared to death to try it. I was a theater major, so inevitably we had to do some improv in classes -- and I bet if you took my pulse on those days, my heart rate was equivalent to someone about to jump out of a plane. Long story short, I decided to face my fears when an improv class was offered at Temple. I quickly realized that the fear was irrational and that I now got to have playtime as an adult, which was awesome. I even started my college improv club cause I didnt want the fun to end after class did. Improv also acted as my gateway drug into sketch comedy.

How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that?
I guess in comedy I draw from what I like watching and find the funniest, which makes some of what I do a product of all of my influences. Stella, Tina Fey, David Cross, UCB, Gilda Radnor and anyone ever involved in a Christopher Guest movie are some of my biggest influences.

Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you?
I'm quite partial to the Shubin, cause it kind of feels like home now. I had my fist improv show there in '07, and now between class shows, Sketch Up or Shut Up, and King Friday, Ive gotten to spend a good amount of time up there. It's intimate and you get to see a lot of familiar faces. It's like the "Cheers" of BYOB comedy venues.

As for shows, there are tons of great ones that happen monthly, but I'll try and narrow it down. I'm going to say Sketch Up or Shut Up. It is always great because you get to see what everyone's been up to between shows and see how an audience reacts to what you've been working on.

Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out?
For me, it was this past July at DCM (Del Close Marathon) '12 in NYC. It was my first DCM, and I got to see Philly represent improv hard in a city where there is so much of it going on, and that was a great feeling. It was also my first time performing in NYC, and to get to do that with King Friday on the UCB stage (two hours before the original UCB performed on the same stage) was pretty freakin' awesome and lots of fun.

Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Or a sort of method that you use to develop comedic material?
It's funny because every time I tell a non-improviser that I have improv rehearsal, they always respond with, "How do you rehearse improv? Isn't it all made up?" With improv, it's important to stay in practice cause the more that you do it, the more comfortable you get in doing it, and from there I think you definitely get better at it. Also, with a group, you can really build a group mind through being around each other a lot so it's very important to have steady rehearsals. I also like to take different workshops and revisit old notes and reread Improvise by Mick Napier and The Small Cute Book of Improv by Jill Bernard.

What is it about sketch and improv that draws you to it?
If I had to sum it up, probably the people and the laughter. It is a great community filled with so much talent, and everyone seems to be constantly inspiring each other. I love that. Also, I enjoy laughing, and if you've ever witnessed me as an audience member, I bet you know this.

Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites?
Rare Bird Show was the first Philly improv group I had ever seen, and I was so impressed. Everytime I watch them they make me want to work harder as an improviser. I am very much loving The Amie & Kristen Show and Grimmachio. Both duos are always so on and connected and present. You can learn a lot from watching great improv. Man, this is tough. I also love watching all of the PHIT House Teams (YAY to house team night for letting me do this all in one night!), BWP and Cubed who do amazing premise based improv, Whipsuit, Horner & Davis, Medic, Stranger Danger, Rosen & Milkshake, Passiones ... to name a few, haha.

For sketch, I love Secret Pants, Meg & Rob, The Feeko Brothers, Camp Woods, Bare Hug, Hate Speech Comittee. Again, tough question cause there is so much awesome going on. I have many favorites.

Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire?
I think my first show with King Friday I was having way too much fun watching them perform that I literally had a moment where I was like, "Oh crap, I'm performing too. Get out there." I also laughed so hard on the sidelines that I missed out on a few key details. I have since worked on not doing either of those things.

What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow?
I think It is at a great, promising place right now. People are really dedicated and working hard, and there seems to be a constant interest from new people in joining the comedy community as well. It's great to see so many new faces popping up onstage all of the time, and different combos of people from various disciplines of comedy joining forces and starting new groups and projects. I think if it stays on this track, and I have no doubt it will, that we will be taking over the world in no time. Muahahahaha.

Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy?
I would like to do more festivals and such for both sketch and improv. With improv, I would like to continue to study and also study different forms and genres, and keep performing consistently. Just get more and more comfortable and more and more brave. I think I have in the past few months, but I know I can oush myself even further. With sketch, I would like also to perform more, but I'd like to film more sketches as well. We just shot our 1st one and had a blast, so I'd like to do way more of that for sure! I also play guitar and ukulele, and have joined forces with some other lovely ladies who do the same, so I'd like to eventually get up on stage and perform some musical comedy!


PIZZA PALS with Joe Moore …this week: ROGER C. SNAIR

Having a few minutes to pick the mind of Roger C. Snair is the most predictably unpredictable things I’ve ever done. I’ve seen Roger perform, and had a pretty good idea of his talents -- actor, playwright, dramatist, poet, and so much more ... but was he a pizza nut? After a passionate conversation about New Jersey geography, we got the answer to that question.

How much do you like pizza?

A lot. I love to be devastated and torn by a pizza with real pizzazz.

What is your favorite pizza topping?

Extra cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, Pepto-Bismol.

What was your family’s “Pizza Night?"

I’m Jewish. We had a gefilte fish night. Hey, that would make a far better topping than anchovies.

Favorite slice in Philly?

Olympus on South Street

Favorite slice elsewhere?

Bellmawr Pizza, Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ.

Anything else you want to add?

I like to eat pizza until I turn into a flatulent bomb. It isn’t pizza unless it makes you fart like a machine gun. Great pizza rips your GI system to shreds and leaves you in an entirely gaseous state.

So for those of you keeping score -- Roger is one of us, a certified pizza-haulic. You can catch Roger doing what Roger does at Brendan Kennedy’s Guilty Pleasures this Wednesday, May 4th at 8 PM at the Shubin Theater, alongside Kristen Schier, Andy Moskowitz, Doogie Horner, and JP Boudwin. You can bet I'll be there (and probably Lorenzo's later in the night!) Cool!


PIZZA PALS with Joe Moore ...this week: CAMP WOODS

In an effort to combine two of the worlds best things, pizza and comedy, I split a couple of steaming pies with Philly Sketch-Gang Camp Woods. Anyone who is paying attention knows the fabled role pizza plays in Camp Woods folklore. Who better to sit down and chat with over a few pies?

In between slices, I asked Sam Narisi, JP Boudwin, Brendan Kennedy, and Patrick Foy all the hard-hitting questions…

How much do you like pizza?

Sam Narisi: The most.

JP Boudwin: I wish it lived in the wild so I could kill it, and feel it die in my hands. Then feed it to my weird forest family.

Brendan Kennedy: A whole lot. Too much, even.

Patrick Foy: 1,000,000.00

What is your favorite pizza topping?

SN: I’m in a big white pizza phase right now. Also: bacon, mushrooms, and anything with ricotta cheese.

JP: Extra cheese -- other cheeses.

BK: Pepperoni.

PF: Sausage, avocado, spinach, chopped tomato, pesto.
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JUST THE MINUTES with Joe Moore (March Madness Comedy Competition Final Round)

The following is a report on last night's March Madness Comedy Competition Finale, the Rumble in Manayunk. The undertaking of "March Madness" has been as great as it is large. Center City Comedy took on an arduous task, and this show went on witout a hitch. For the last month we have been asking the great question: what happens when you pit 72 comedians against each over the course of a month in a competition to see who can win the audience over?

The great answer: this...

7:02 - 9:18 -- Emily and I arrive at Mad River. We are two hours early. We go to dinner, get coffee, buy some CDs, listen to them in my car, and then go to the show.
9:19 -- In patriotic fashion, the crowd at Mad River is treated to a rendition of the National Anthem, beautifully delivered by Erin Hess.
9:22 -- Host Tom Cassidy takes the stage.
9:24 -- Tom introduces the commentators, Shifty-Man Foley and Waddles Washington.
9:31 -- Tom removes his sweatshirt revealing zebra striped ref shirt and introduces the first contestant, Brendan Kennedy.
9:35 -- A man standing near me makes an awkward squatting gesture. I catch it but don’t know what happened, like a nervous twitch.
9:36 -- Brendan compliments Tom Arnold.
9:39 -- The man squats awkwardly again, and I realize he is trying to adjust his underwear with out using hands.
9:40 -- Jamil B is introduced.
9:41 -- Third squat from this stranger. Guys, just go to the bath room and use your hands. Whatever that is, it’s weirder than just tugging at your crotch.
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FIRST AND LAST WORDS with Joe Moore (Laughs on Fairmount)

In order to bring you inside the minds of some of Philadelphia's greatest stand-ups, below is a recap of last night's Laughs on Fairmount open mic hosted by Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski -- presented with the first and last words of each comedian's set.

Comedian - "First word of set" / "Last word of set"

James Hesky - "Hey" / "Thanks"

Jim Grammond - "Thanks" / "Once"

Ed Scanlan - "Thanks" / "Night"

Karen Meshkov - "Take" / "Guys"

Oliver Yu - "Hey" / "So"

John Kensil - "Keep" / "Carolyn"

Tom Cassidy - "Give" / "Thanks"

Rick Robotin - "Man" / "Comedy"

David Terruso - "I" / "Thanks"

Ed McGonigal - "Eyy..." / "On!"

Luke Giordano - "Thank" / "Radzinski"

Logan - "Check" / "Night"

Sean Preston -  "Hey" / "Everybody"

Carolyn Busa - "Thanks" / "You"

Mikey Gleason - "Hello" / "Carolyn"

Chris Whitehair - "Hey" / "Carolyn"

Mykal Carter-Jackson - "Hey" / "Money"

Mary Radzinski - "Oh" / "Show"

Matt McCusker - "Hey" / "Lot"

Steve Fielding - "Hey" / "Thanks"

Jess Carpenter - "So" / "Time"

Dan Eastman - "Hey" / "Eastman"

Nick Baker - "Mary" / "Time"

Joey Dougherty - "Hey" / "Mary"

Sydney Gantt - "Alright" / "Time"

Joe Moore is a comedy fan and sometimes-performer. You can follow him on Twitter.


STAND-UP FASHIONISTA with Joe Moore (Laughs on Fairmount)

Laughs on Fairmont. Like a Hollywood award show, or that time I was mugged -- it was an epic event I will never forget. But when I try to recall what happened -- now two weeks later -- I realize it isn't what they said that left the largest impression on me ... it's what they wore.

Here is a brief, fair and balanced run-down on what each of the 30+ stand-ups wore:

John Kensil -- A straw-colored flannel rolled two inches above his elbows, a black watch, blue rubber band, blue jeans, and black dress shoes with a squared front.

Mary Radzinski -- A purple blouse with a comfortable-looking gray robe over, blue jeans, and silver hoop earrings.

Luke Giordano -- A gray bed-looking shirt, buttoned except for the top two buttons, blue jeans with three small holes, one larger hole, tucked into the back of his left sock.

Carolyn Busa -- Denim shirt, a torquoise charm necklace, a brown dress, and brown boots.

Ryan Marley -- A mostly white with darker striped bed shirt, black dress shoes with no laces, right pant leg tucked over the right shoe.

LaTice -- A purple blouse over a black shirt that covered to the wrists with 3 pearly buttons, blue jeans, and gold earrings that looked like little caterpillars.

Jason Hazelwood -- Gently worn jeans with a pocket chain, a black bowling shirt with black lettering that spelled "Motel" in a Ren-And-Stimpy-esque font, with tan and black Adidas.

Scott Terry -- Off-white t-shirt over a white t-shirt, black shoes, jeans.
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TEN QUESTIONS WITH... Kristen Schier

How and why did you get into comedy?
I got into comedy cause it was always a good feeling when I made people laugh as a kid. I was a bit shy and weird so it was a quick way to be accepted. I certainly did not get into for the money. There is no money in comedy, folks. Anybody got a dolla?

How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that?
I am brash. I like to play old ladies, and funny guys. I am physical. My training has caused me to slow down a bit and not worry so much about getting a laugh. I mostly just try to have a blast on stage and play with the people I work with, and make them laugh.

Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you?
I love playing in an intimate house where people are close. I love also going out into the crowd if the tenor of the show calls for it, so its always exciting when that is a possibility. Some place like the Shubin is great when it is packed with folks, it feels so cozy and allows for shared experience. Don't get me wrong, I have played on bigger stages and enjoy it too, but that feedback from the audience is so important, as a comedian, and I just get a better sense of it in a smaller theater.

Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out?
Hmm ... I remember a scene that Adsit and Gausas did where they playing characters on a date. They were warming up to an awkward kiss, and as they got closer and closer, they kept speaking to each other and they gradually were touching lips and talking at the same time. It was very funny. I would like to see more of that kind of risk taking form Philly teams. I loved it.

Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance?
Or a sort of method that you use to develop comedic material? I do not write, but I do direct some. I think it is important to be very aware of the source. I like starting with the performer, and going from there. A line coming from one stand-up or actor / improviser will go over much differently that from another. I think it is important to know how you are seen as a comedian in just about any genre of comedy.

What is it about improv that draws you to it?
The collaborative spirit and the instant gratification is what draws me to improv. The empty space to create that it provides is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I love the freedom involved in non-scripted work and as the challenges it poses to me as a director, a writer, and actor, choreographer, lyricists, and composer of my own work.

Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites?
I like to watch Marc Reber, Jess Ross, Matt Holmes, AJ Horan, Ralph Andraccio, Nathan Edmondson, Amie Roe, Emily Davis, Brandon Libby and pretty much anyone who gets up there to have fun.

Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire?
Ugh, yes. Plenty of bad shows. An improv troupe I was part of did an improv show at the Happy Rooster once. No one wanted to see us. They wanted to have dinner. We were being rude. Ugh. Terrible.

What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow?
The comedy scene needs to continue to invest in its own development by seeing the shows that are doing it right, be there in other cities or our own. Also a permanent home for comedy would be a great help to developing and audience for the scene, which in turn, will develop the scene.

Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy?
My goal is to take bigger chances as an artist, to be more comfortable with not knowing what comes next. Any who knows me also knows I want to push for performers to get paid more for what they do. I eventually want to make a living at this stuff.