The ManiPedi WitOut Awards Drinking Game

Not sure when/how to drink your drinks at this Sunday's WitOut Awards?  ManiPedi has you covered—check their blog for the full ManiPedi WitOut Awards Drinking Game (possibly inspired by the drinking game Amy Poehler and Tina Fey came up with for the Golden Globes?)

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Take a drink every time Aaron Hertzog says “Friendship”; finish your drink if he starts a chant.
  • Every time Grimacchio does a musical number, chug your drink for the entire duration of the number.
  • Take a drink every time someone mentions people moving to New York and LA.

Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Podcast/Web Series

It's almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we'll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year's nominees. Read all about 'em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Podcast/Web Series are:

CheaPodcast
Philadelphia comedians Darryl Charles and James Hesky talk about weird news stories and stuff.

Gettin’ Close with Mike Marbach
Philadelphia improviser and Philly Improv Theater Education Director Mike Marbach sits down with local entertainment personalities (and some national personalities) and talks about anything and everything. They get pretty in depth and often bounce from topic to topic. Always fun and always interesting, especially for those in the Philly comedy world.

Podcheese
Podcheese is a podcast hosted by Philly comedians Benny Michaels and Josh Bennett. They broadcast from their underground headquarters and take on the world's problems armed only with their wit, charm, and beer.

Super Crappy Funtime
Super Crappy Funtime is the illegitimate brain-child of Dan Scully and Kevin Lau. A weekly show about everything and nothing, SCF has become a hub for local artist to promote their craft and themselves.

Bob & Dave are Terrible People
Bob & Dave are Terrible People is a live internet radio program on laffcast.com hosted by high school friends turned comedians Rob DeSantis and Dave Primiano. Airing every first and third Wednesday at 9pm, Bob & Dave host an always irreverent, sometimes funny, and accidentally insightful hour-long show. Popular segments include "Bob & Dave are Terrible at the news," "The Rant," and comedians sharing their worst bombing stories in a segment called "The Bomb File."


Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Sketch Group

It's almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we'll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year's nominees. Read all about 'em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Sketch Group are:

The Feeko Brothers
The Feeko Brothers are a sketch comedy duo from Philadelphia, PA formed by Billy Bob Thompson & Christian Alsis in 2008 as an excuse to hug each other in front of strangers. Here's what the Philadelphia City Paper said about their last show: “Their writing decisions are so strong they seem to create the in-the-moment phenomena of improv theater with the razor conceptuality of modern sketch greats.” The Bros have performed at Chicago Sketchfest, Philly Sketchfest, and are regulars at Philly Improv Theater and Helium Comedy Club. Separately they’ve performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Fest, and The Boston Improv Festival. Recently, the Feeks have studied under Steve Kleinedler of ImprovBoston fame and Kevin McDonald of the “Kids in the Hall” fame. Their online vid-bits have been featured on the front page of FunnyOrDie.com and the duo won Best Sketch Group and Best Sketch at last year's WitOut Awards.

Cast:
Christian Alsis
Billy Bob Thompson

Camp Woods
Camp Woods is a sketch comedy troupe from Philadelphia, PA that was formed in 2009. The group blends sharp absurdism and energetic performances with homemade props, sets, puppets, and costumes to create a memorable live experience that is sometimes smart, sometimes stupid, and always fun. Camp Woods has performed shows in Philadelphia and New York, and as part of Chicago Sketchfest, The North Carolina Comedy and Arts Festival, and the Boston Improv Festival.

Cast:
Sam Narisi
Rob Baniewicz
JP Boudwin
Pat Foy
Brendan Kennedy
Madonna Refugia
Billy Bob Thompson

ManiPedi
ManiPedi was pieced together in the summer of 2011. Nominated for last year's WitOut Award for Best Sketch Group in Philadelphia and featured in the Ladies are Funny Festival 2012 in Austin, TX, ManiPedi brings on the laughs with their combination of irreverent wit and inherent un-femininity.

Cast:
Madonna Marie Refugia
Shannon Brown
Briana Kelly
Kaitlin Thompson
Aubrie Williams

Secret Pants
Secret Pants shows are like "TV sketch comedy on a stage." The members of the group all come from a film and video background, so when they're putting together a live show, they approach it the way you would sketch comedy for live (or live-to-tape) television. Secret Pants tries to replicate the TV experience live, even if that means building a seemingly unnecessary set piece or painting themselves black and white. And when they do it well, it can be pretty magical.

Cast:
Brian Craig
Brian Kelly
Bryce Remsburg
Larry Wiechecki
Paul Triggiani
Samantha Russell Craig
Steve Thorne

The Flat Earth

Gathering talent from the improv, sketch, standup and theater worlds, The Flat Earth debuted this year as Philly Improv Theater's first house sketch team.  Their sketch revue show had a five-night run at the Philly Fringe Festival, a two-night encore at the Shubin Theater, and received great praise from audience members they asked in the lobby afterwards.

Director: Paul Triggiani

Head Writer: Steve Swan

Writers:
Vincent DiCostanzo
Luke Field
Sean Landis
Jess Ross
Matt Schmid
Adam Siry

Actors:
Jacqueline Baker
Jim Grammond
Brent Knobloch
Rich Lee
Jess Ross
Molly Silverman
Harry Watermeier


Meet Your Hosts for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Jason Grimley and Ralph Andracchio

It's almost time for the WitOut Awards!  Today, we're introducing you to your hosts for this year's show: Jason Grimley and Ralph Andracchio—collectively known as improv duo and variety show enthusiasts Grimacchio.

Pictured: Ralph Andracchio and Samantha Brown. Photo by Tom Lovelund.
Pictured: Ralph Andracchio and Samantha Brown. Photo by Tom Lovelund.

WitOut: You're hosting this year's WitOut Awards! Try to describe your excitement—if it can be expressed in words.

Ralph Andracchio: We're really excited to have been asked to host this year's awards! Jason and I have gathered the old team together and have been working hard to make sure this year's show will be talked about for years to come. Remember the ending of Carrie? Yeah. Like that. But with more William Katt and PJ Soles.

Jason Grimley: I am more excited than a redneck with a fresh bag of meth. More excited than a nerd with a case of Mountain Dew and an unwrapped copy of Far Cry 3. More excited than I am about the new season of Bunheads. More excited than a Republican with a viable candidate for President. More so... I am honored to host. For reals.

WO: In this past fall's Fringe Festival, the two of you hosted and performed in your very own variety show. Is there anything from that experience you'll be bringing to hosting?

Pictured: Jason Grimley. Photo by Tom Lovelund.
Pictured: Jason Grimley. Photo by Tom Lovelund.

RA: The Grimacchio Variety Hour was something Jason and I were born to do. We both love those old Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis variety shows from the '40s and '50s, so it was a no-brainer to develop one of our own. And variety shows like the one we produced and award shows are closely related animals. They operate with the same basic structure and have the same feel, so this is right up our alley. We feel at home at the helm of a project like this, and we'll bring that confidence, ease, and class to the WitOut Awards. Class may be too strong of a word, come to think of it...

JG: We have the very talented Samantha Brown coming back with the Grimacchio Dancers.  She did an amazing job for Fringe and we are thrilled she came back for the Awards. I think Ralph and I really honed our hosting abilities during the Variety Hour. It was a humbling experience and we are very proud of it. Furthermore, Ralph and I have a new bag of topics to bicker about [for this show].

WO: And now, let's get to the most important question: WHO will you be wearing?

RA: We will be wearing suits made from the hides of smaller variety show hosts. You know, to show our dominance.

JG: My suit will be drenched in Drakkar Noir and self-loathing.

Wow! Great stuff! To see Jason and Ralph in action, don't forget to get your tickets to the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy this Sunday, January 13th at World Cafe Live.


Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Male Improviser

It's almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we'll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year's nominees. Read all about 'em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Male Improviser are:
Luke Field (Asteroid!, Hot Dog)
Andrew Stanton (King Friday, Kait & Andrew)
Dennis Trafny (Hey Rube, Iron Lung)
Alex Newman (Davenger)
Darryl Charles (ComedySportz, Hate Speech Committee)

Dennis Trafny on Alex Newman:
"He's a funny SOB. He's doesn't look it on account of his husbandry, but he is a really, really smart dude.  And he uses those smarts for some of the funniest, most juvenile scenes I've seen in Philadelphia.  He could probably, no joke, be an astrophysicist but instead he chose to pretend to be a smartphone eating dinner at a long table with a bunch of weirdos or a boss that won't give trophies to his employees, and the Philly comedy community is reaping the benefits.  His beard is also a lil QT pie."

Andrew Stanton on Luke Field:
"Luke Field was conceived on the field of battle and that is where he gets his name. As a baby, Luke fought his way out of the hospital. Luke once threw a boy twice his age over a fence. Luke bit a dog. Luke drank an entire lake. Luke once dealt a poker game for the mafia and they didn't scare him one bit. Luke has seen the edge of space. Luke wrote the lyrics to 'Ace of Spades'. Luke is coming from inside the house. Luke is dangerously funny. Luke is an incredible improviser. Luke is great."

Luke Field on Darryl Charles:
"If you were to compare all the nominated male improvisers to sports people (also known as "athletes"), Darryl obviously would be Bo Jackson...because they are both three-sport athletes! (Stop being a racist!) Darryl is an all-star improviser with ComedySportz and the reigning "WitOut Best Improv Team" Hate Speech Committee, much like Bo was a Pro Bowl ball-runner for such-and-such football team. Darryl is an elite stand-up comedian and last year's winner of "Best Stand-Up Bit," much like Bo would smack some dingers while playing for America's team, the Kansas City Royals. And, also, in addition to all that, Darryl is an accomplished sketch writer, contributing to "The Monthly Hour with James Hesky" and "Bird Text," much like Bo was a noted cartoon personality/crime fighter in the Saturday morning cartoon "ProStars" (third sport). Oh, and did you know Darryl also co-hosts Philadelphia's best podcast, "CheaPodcast?" And did I forget that fact right up until this very moment and I am adding it in right now? Answer: YES TO BOTH. That's four sports! One more than Bo Jackson! Darryl Charles is also a noted lover of animals while Bo Jackson was a malicious hunter exclusively of endangered species [citation needed]. You heard it here first folks: Darryl Charles is BETTER than Bo Jackson at comedy, sports and general humanity."

Alex Newman on Dennis Trafny:
"Dennis Trafny is my bearded brother in arms and fellow metal head. He is an insane genius of improv who plays demented murderers with the same realism as he plays innocent children. Which is horrifying when I stop to think about it. Let's just say I'm glad he's on my side."

Darryl Charles on Andrew Stanton:
"Andrew is awesome, and funny. I've seen him perform a bunch and he can switch from short one-liners to long and interweaving stories while keeping his trademark wit and mannerisms intact. That's good, and hard to do. I like him a bunch, and I'm a fan of his improv too. If anyone was going to win this but me, I'd want it to be Andrew. Sadly, it won't be. But I'm happy he was nominated."

 


Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Female Improviser

It's almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we'll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year's nominees. Read all about 'em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Female Improviser are:
Jess Ross (Asteroid!, Hot Dog)
Kristen Schier (The Kristen & Amie/Amie & Kristen Show, Director of ZaoGao)
Emily Davis (Hot Dish, Soiree)
Maggy Keegan (Soiree, Whisper, Director of Davenger)
Amie Roe (The Kristen & Amie/Amie & Kristen Show)

Kristen Schier on Jess Ross:
"Jess Ross is a force. Her wild-eyed hilarity is as strange and intense as her beauty. Her unfettered goofiness paired with the deeper commitment of a talented actor is an unstoppable and delightful combination.

Allow me to brag: I have had the good fortune to work with Jess on a few improv projects over the years. I used to watch her shine in the N Crowd. We called her Moonbeam 'cause she was one. I also coached Jessica Tandy on occasion (and by coach I mean sit on Andy's couch and laugh) and I most recently worked with her in Myths and Monsters. You can trust her to bring the funny. What I am saying is, I know this improviser very well and she is good. Damn good.

It is no accident that other projects Jess Ross is involved in, like The Flat Earth, the aforementioned Myths and Monsters and Asteroid! are nominated too. Jess Ross is a fantastic ensemble member and she raises the caliber of the performers she works with—also, she is funny. Damn funny.

She said once that her comedic inspirations were the Muppets. Well, cheers to the closest human embodiment of Muppetry I have ever seen."

Maggy Keegan on Kristen Schier:
"I’ve been a huge fan of Kristen Schier since before I moved back to Philadelphia. Kristen’s connection to her character’s emotional truth, her sense of play, her use of the stage, and how she uses her whole body and soul to create is inspiring to watch.  I mean, have you seen the Kristen and Amie Show? I could watch that every week. And her clowning? There has rarely been a time in my thirties where I have giggled like a schoolgirl in an audience out of pure delight and watching her as a clown is a joyful experience.

Not only is she a great improviser, she is also huge creative force in Philadelphia. She has taught and nurtured hundreds of Philadelphia improvisers through classes, directing, and through her innovative group ZaoGao. She has taken this scene to a whole new level.

I think we can also all feel Kristen’s positive spirit whenever she enters the room. We are very lucky that she calls Philadelphia home because as she continues to create we are all the better for it."

Jess Ross on Emily Davis:
"Emily is always able to be surprising and exciting when she performs because she is amazing when it comes to really listening to her scene partner and responding from an honest place. She can pick up on things most people would fly past and sees what other people don't in offers that are given to her. She's already naturally such a witty and clever person, but the way she plays is what I think makes her so special and a stand out. She's the perfect combination of being really well educated on improv (she knows the structure of scenes, the piece as a whole, how to set things up, make people look good) and she is also able to be completely in the moment and organic. She's not forcing anything, she's using everything that's out there, putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and making it look really easy and fun while she does it. And that is why I love Emily!"

Emily Davis on Amie Roe:
"
The first time I met Amie was in a diner.  She came to meet some improvisers that I was with, and she scared the crap out of me with how funny she was.  I can’t remember why, but she was making lists of five things in various categories on her fingers, and I was completely intimidated.   Each thing that she said was funnier than the last.  I was pretty psyched when, later, she accepted my friend request.

Amie is a rare bird.  She’s an amazing improviser with a high reference level and an equal love of the low brow.  She’s really smart and naturally funny, and she puts herself completely out there on stage.  She’s a robot, a ninja, and a pirate.  She’s got great hair, an awesome wardrobe (I love her sweaters), and she’s gorgeous.  She’s a freak.

So, here are a few lists of five to honor Amie’s awesomeness and accomplishments:

Amie is an incredible performer, director, coach, teacher, and producer.  Over the last few years, Amie has put together ambitious projects, made a lot of t-shirts, saved kids’ lives, been a good friend, and acquired a nemesis.  Amie has made improv better through her performances in The Amie and Kristen/Kristen and Amie Show and Brick, as one of the masterminds behind Duofest, through her level of commitment to everything she does, through the generosity and support that she offers to others, and by keeping everything fun, charming, and weird.  Thanks for everything, and love you, Amie!"

Amie Roe on Maggy Keegan:
"What can you say about Maggy Keegan that isn't obvious from her radiant smile?  A lot.  Because in addition to having a beautiful smile, Maggy is also a really talented comedienne, and you cannot tell if a person is a great comedian from their smile.

Maggy has great teeth, beautiful facial structure, and extensive performance experience in both Los Angeles and Philadelphia.  Maggy has studied improv and sketch at iO West, the Groundlings, and Second City, and she has been a patient of Dr. Andrew Agnew, DDS, for roughly 9 years.  Dr. Agnew says of Maggy, "I have treated Maggy for 5 cavities and seen 3 of her improv shows.  i filled her cavities with hilarity, jokes, and talent.  Just kidding, she is funny and talented enough on her own."

While in Los Angeles, Maggy performed regularly with Pretty Bird, Popular Science, Days of Passion, The Hortons, and Spirit Fingers, and she brushed her teeth every morning and also before she went to bed, even if she was really tired and didn't feel like it.  Upon moving to Philadelphia, Maggy performed on Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) house team King Friday, cast and began directing acclaimed PHIT house team Davenger, and also began performing with improv duo Whisper and a three-person group, Soiree.  Through all of this, she found the time to floss and avoid sugary drinks.

Maggy drinks coffee and red wine, but not too much, because it can leave stains."

 


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 72

Local comedy website It's Always Funny In Philadelphia, with some help from some favorite local comedians, released their list of Comedians to Watch in 2013.

Philebrity is starting an Ask Juliet Hope Wayne advice column in which you can anonymously ask for the guidance of the comedian and storyteller.

Space 1026 Comedy Nightz Presents Martin & Lawrence and Others this Tuesday at Space 1026 (1026 Arch St. 2nd floor). The show will feature comedy from Martin & Lawrence, Joey Dougherty, Aaron Nevins, JP Boudwin, and The New Dreamz.

Also this Tuesday you can check out Polygon Comedy: The Perfect New Year at 8pm at L'etage (6th and Bainbridge) featuring stand-up from David Piccolomini and Vegas Lancaster and improv from Nielsen, Steve Rogers is Dead, and Grimacchio. Or you can go to Free Improv at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) at 9pm to see improv from Deleted ScenesThose Two Nice LadiesBad JamesThe Five "Best" Male ImprovisersGross ButlerAngry People Building ThingsCock Hat, and Vertical Scream.

This Wednesday a new Open Mic at Liberties Restaurant & Bar (705 N. 2nd St.) will debut. The mic will be produced by Sonny Vellozzi and Michael O'Donnell and promises to be "a room with a lot of potential" as well as having "beer specials and other benefits in the coming weeks."

Philadelphia's own Big Jay Oakerson will headline Helium Comedy Club this week. The comedian will perform six shows from Wednesday to Saturday at the club. Tickets can be purchased online.

The Sideshow returns to The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.) this Friday with a night of variety comedy from Lizzie Spellman, Chaperone, The Necrosexual, Kristen Schier, and more!

The Humor Has It Comedy Show (Maximillian's Restaurant, 3001 Naaman's Creek Road, Boothwyn, PA) this Saturday will feature performances by: Bradley Beck, Fastball Pitcher Gob Gutierrez, Mike Rainey, John McKeever, and headliner Tommy Pope. Reservations can be made by calling 610-485-3500.

Don't forget The 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy are this Sunday at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.) 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


Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Open Mic

It's almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we'll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year's nominees. Read all about 'em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Open Mic are:

Laughs on Fairmount
Schedule: Weekly
Time: 8:00PM – 11:00PM
Sign-ups: 7:15PM
Location: The Urban Saloon: 2120 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Type: Stand-up
Hosts: Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Join Laughs on Fairmount at the Urban Saloon on Fairmount Ave. (across from Eastern State Penitentiary). Laughs on Fairmount will be Monday nights with sign-ups for comedians beginning at 7:15pm. Show starts at 8pm in the back room.

Sketch Up or Shut Up
Schedule: The last Friday of every month (the first week of PHIT’s Shubin run)
Time: 11:00PM – 12:00AM
Sign-ups: 10:45PM
Location: Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia
Type: Sketch
Host: Brian Kelly
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Free sketch comedy open mic! Come to perform or see some of Philadelphia’s best comedians try out new material. Arrive by 10:45 to sign up, and please keep sketches to five minutes or less. Free and BYOB! Sketch Up or Shut Up is hosted by Brian Kelly and was created by Meg Favreau.

Center City Comedy
Schedule: Weekly
Time: 9:00PM – 1:00AM
Sign-ups 8:00PM
Location: Raven Lounge: 1718 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA
Type: Stand-up
Hosts: Chris Cotton and H. Foley
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Upstairs at the Raven Lounge. Featuring Philadelphia’s best stand-up talent showcasing their signature sets.

Tight Six
Schedule: Weekly
Time: 8:30PM
Sign-ups 8:00PM
Location: Upstairs at Fergie’s Pub: 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Type: Stand-up, Sketch, Characters, etc.
Host: Tight Six
Set: 3.5-5 minutes (depending on total number of comics)
Description: Hilarious comedy, house band, drink specials.

Accidents Will Happen
Schedule: First Wednesday of every month, after the Accidents Will Happen showcase (9:00PM)
Time: 11:00PM
Sign-ups: 9:00PM
Location: The Adobe Cafe, 1919 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia
Type: Stand-up
Host: Bradley Beck
Set: 5 minutes
Description: Featuring stand-up, storytelling, and sketch comedy. All this and $5 burritos!