And the Winners of the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy are...

BEST STAND-UP COMEDIAN
Aaron Hertzog

BEST SKETCH GROUP
The Feeko Brothers

BEST IMPROV GROUP
Asteroid!

BEST STAND-UP BIT
First Guy in the World/Netflix (Aaron Hertzog)

BEST SKETCH
Mystery Science Andre 3000 (Camp Woods)

BEST MALE IMPROVISER
Luke Field

BEST FEMALE IMPROVISER
Jess Ross

BEST REGULAR SHOW
Camp Woods Plus

BEST SHORT RUN/ONE TIME SHOW
The Improvised B-Movie Double Feature (Asteroid!)

BEST PODCAST/WEB SERIES
Gettin’ Close with Mike Marbach

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF TWEETING
Mary Radzinski (@MaryRadzinski)

BEST OPEN MIC
Sketch Up or Shut Up

BEST NEW ACT
Davenger


Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy: Best Regular Show

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 Regular Show are:

Camp Woods Plus
Camp Woods Plus was a monthly sketch comedy showcase hosted by Philly sketch comedy juggernauts, Camp Woods! Every month they brought two sketch comedy groups from around the country plus a hilarious all new show of their own to L'etage. The show had its last edition this past December, but from the time it debuted to a sold-out crowd it quickly became a must-see event within the Philly comedy scene.

The Theme Show
The Theme Show is a monthly variety show at Philly Improv Theater hosted by Pat Foy (Camp Woods) and Steve Swan (The Flat Earth, Mayor Karen). Each month sketch groups, stand-ups and more create material around a new theme to show audiences just how much comedy can come from the same starting point.

Reasonable Discourse With Jerks
Reasonable Discourse With Jerks is a monthly panel comedy show hosted by Jim Grammond and produced by the good people at the Philly Improv Theater. Every month Jim is joined by a four-person panel of comedians and other professional-grade talkers to cover a variety of topics.

The Monthly Hour with James Hesky
Part late-night talk show, part stand-up showcase, and mostly one giant desperate attempt to get the approval of others, The Monthly Hour with James Hesky brings some of Philadelphia’s top talent to the Philly Improv Theater to help you catch up on all the major (and minor) events of the month. Each month, Hesky (CheaPodcast, The Gross Show) and his merry band of writers will recap the month through stand-up, sketch, video and interviews with top newsmakers (or completely made up no-names).

Guilty Pleasures
Comedian Brendan Kennedy has his finger on the pulse of all things awful—from terrible scripts to embarrassing poetry, YouTube videos and stage plays—and each month he hosts a dramatic reading of everything he's found. With assistance from co-host Roger C. Snair, who regularly submits his own plays to the show, Brendan and a group of Philly's top comedians are sure to surprise you with how hard they commit to the crap they have decided to stage for your amusement and the bizarre improv riffs they go on as inspiration hits them.


Pizza Pals with Joe Moore featuring...Daring Daulton!

Everyone’s got a favorite spot to get pizza. But it's important to always scope out the other pizza on your perimeter.  Went to a bar/restaurant about a week ago and had a really good pizza I never would have looked for, if I didn’t force myself to keep up-to-date on ALL THE PIZZA NEAR ME....

Speaking of up-to-date, I had pizza recently met up with two-dates at once: Joe Paolucci and Trevor Cunnion, who form Sketch Group Daring Daulton. Daring Daulton will ALSO be performing at the FINAL CAMP WOODS PLUS. We did some serious work on some pies and talked about what Pizza means to them. DIG IN:

 

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

Joe Paolucci: Bunches… I like the taste and I like the way it makes me feel afterwards.

Trevor Cunnion: Enough to eat pizza or pizza related food products about 4-6 times a week.

 

PPJM: What are your favorite toppings?

Joe: ‘Shrooms, peppers, plain, tomatoes.

Trevor: Mushrooms, onions, green peppers.

 

PPJM: What is your favorite pizza place in the world?

Joe: T.D. Alfredos in Phoenixville. It’s not good, but it's better than it used to be.

Trevor: Franks. It’s on 23rd Street in New York City, between Park and Lexington.

 

PPJM: What is your favorite use of pizza in pop culture?

Joe: Tim Curry giving Macaulay Culkin pizza in the limo in Home Alone II.

Trevor: I think it's Back to the Future 2 when they have that tiny pizza that they put in a microwave sort of device and it instantly becomes a real size pizza. I think that’s really great.  I would love to have something like that.

 

PPJM: What day was Pizza Day in your house growing up?

Joe: Friday. Always Friday.

Trevor: A day when we ate pizza, I guess.

 

PPJM: Tell me one fond pizza memory you have:

Joe: Being scared of that movie Cat’s Eye and eating pizza from Genuardi’s.

Trevor: I can’t recall the good times, but the worst pizza memory I have was when I ate a Kashi pizza and it was just awful.

 

PPJM: Anything else you'd like to add?

Joe: Hey! Please come see Camp Woods Plus on December 6th, Okay?

 

Do yourself a favor and head to THE FINAL CAMP WOODS +! Let me know where you are getting pizza before the show in the comments and we can meet up!

Also, here are some pictures Daring Daulton drew for Pizza Pals:

 

Joe Moore is a pizza enthusiast and head writer of PHIT Sketch Team Dog Mountain.

 


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 67

This Wednesday will mark the Final Guilty Pleasures with host Brendan Kennedy. The show will feature performers Chip Chantry and (most of) Hate Speech Committee along with co-host Roger C. Snair. Brendan will also be revealing his successor as host. This Sunday, we continue our goodbyes with The Roast of Brendan Kennedy.

This Thursday L'etage (624 S. 6th St.) will host The Final Camp Woods Plus. The monthly show produced by the sketch group has been a showcase of brand new sketches every month and will culminate with a show featuring New York's We're Matt Weir and Philadelphia groups American Breakfast and Daring Daulton.

This Tuesday No. 2(#2)(Number 2)  will debut at St. Stephen's Green (1701 Green St.) The open mic will be hosted by Robert X and Chris O'Conner. Signups begin at 7:30 and the show starts at 8.

Comedian David Ray Agyekum was recently featured on MTVU's College Quickies. You can watch his video online.

Bird Text released this teaser video for their upcoming sketch DUI Jesus. Watch it, and be on the lookout for the full sketch on December 12.

WitOut is now accepting submissions from performers and comedy fans for our Top Five of 2012 list series. We are encouraging anyone to write about their favorite moments, shows, performers, sketches, quotes, or anything at all to help us recap and remember the past year in Philadelphia comedy. You can pitch your Top Five of 2012 idea to contact@witout.net

If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to contact@witout.net


"A Dead Saint in an Altar" - Interview with Meg Favreau

Tomorrow night at Camp Woods Plus Meg & Rob will perform together for the first time in over a year. The sketch duo was a staple of the Philly comedy community for years until Meg Favreau moved to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in comedy. We asked Meg some questions about her time in LA, her return to Philadelphia, and her reunion with sketch partner Rob Baniewicz.

WITOUT: You've been in Los Angeles for a little over a year now, what do you miss most about Philly comedy, or have you forgotten about us completely?

MEG FAVREAU: I miss the sense of community the most. There's definitely a great comedy community out here, and I've made a lot of friends through it. But because of the size of things, it's a lot more splintered. I love how in Philly there is so much cross-pollination between stand up, sketch, and improv. Moreover, every time I went to a comedy show, I wasn't just going to a show -- I knew that almost no matter what the show was, I would walk in, and a bunch of my friends would be there.

I also think comedy in Philly tends to be more playful and experimental. I've seen a lot of great sketch since moving, but I've also seen so much samey sketch in LA. I think there are a few reasons -- for one, a lot of people are trying to become part of existing teams and institutions, so they try to match that voice or style. And then, when they finally get on a team, it's a bunch of people who (probably) haven't worked together before, headed up by a director wrangling disparate voices. But I think stronger sketch often comes from what generally happens in Philly -- when a group of friends decide to work together and just follow what makes them laugh the most in the way it makes them laugh the most.

To combine the two, I miss the hell out of Sketch Up or Shut Up. Not hosting it (although I did love that), but just getting to spend one night a month with a bunch of hilarious and supportive people trying things out.

WO: Tell us about the comedy projects you have going on in LA.

MF: I'm in a sketch group called Bone Mouth with fellow Philly ex-pat Alexis Simpson. It's funny -- I had moved out here so focused on meeting new people to do sketch with, and then I ended up forming a group with the person I've known the longest. I'm really happy with the stuff we've been doing. It's super dark and absurd, and we have a great director, Brian James O'Connell, who really gets our sensibility.

I also just got cast onto a sketch team at the iO called DJ Faucet. We've only had a couple of meetings, but so far, it's great -- the director is really experienced and knows how to make a writers' room feel really positive while still being critical and productive, and the other people on the team are pretty awesome too. I'm missing the first show while I'm in Philly, but I'm so stoked to write and perform with them more.

WO: How has being in LA for the past year affected your work as a comedian and writer?

MF: Overall, I think it's made me a stronger writer and better at working with other people. I've had some really great experiences, and some really bad ones -- for a little while, I was on a team that was just not the right fit for me, and the director wouldn't put up a single sketch I wrote. It was really frustrating, but I came out of that surer of my own voice and the kind of work I want to do.

I'm also writing more long work -- specs, and at the moment, a pilot -- which is something I did a little in Philly, but always felt clueless about. I'd get halfway through a spec script and want to give up, convinced that my brain only understood short form work. But living in LA has made writing longer work feel both more necessary and more achievable, and I'm enjoying the process a lot more.

The biggest change, though, might be that I've moved from feeling like a career as a comedy writer is this amorphous "maybe that could happen" thing to a concrete, achievable goal. The path isn't always obvious, but living here makes it seem very doable.

WO: How is the process of writing and working on a show when your partner is three thousand miles away?

MF: At this point, it's actually not that different than when we lived close by. Shortly after Rob and I started working together, I switched jobs (we met when working together at QVC). We wrote almost all of our sketches at work, then emailed each other notes. Practicing will be another matter -- there's only about 24 hours between when I arrive in Philly and when this show goes up. And this is assuming that my flight isn't delayed by East Coast Terror Storm 2012.

WO: Have you noticed a difference in Rob and his work since you've been gone. Do you think your absence has affected him in any ways (positively or negatively)?

MF: Well, shortly after I left, he was listening to the Pixies song "Cactus" a lot. You know, that one imploring the girl to get sweat and blood all over her dress and then send it to Frank Black. I would have sent Rob a dress, but he never offered to pay for it.

But I think that the split was hard for both of us. While we both did comedy in some form before Meg & Rob, so much of our development as writers and performers was together. It was scary to be let loose from that. The sketches I've read of his recently have been great though. Also, he has a wife now. I'm not saying that couldn't have happened while I was there...but it did happen after I left.

WO: The November 1st Camp Woods Plus show will feature Meg & Rob, Secret Pants, and of course, Camp Woods — can you talk a little about what you think each of these groups brings to the table with their own brands of sketch comedy?

MF: Oh my goodness. I love both teams so much. When Rob and I started doing sketch, Secret Pants was already so strongly forged, and they've only gotten better. Well, I've been away for a year and a half, so maybe they've gotten worse in that amount of time. But I feel like with some groups, you see good writing hide shitty staging, or really wonderful staging hide shitty writing. Secret Pants writes smart, funny sketches and always has great acting and staging.

It's been awesome to see Camp Woods become more and more of a super-group — they were already so good and different, and they've added some of my favorite comedians in the city. What I've seen from them recently has struck a really good balance between staying grounded and being batshit weird.

WO: What else are you looking forward to on your return trip to Philadelphia?

MF: Seeing friends and eating and drinking everything -- especially 1,000 sandwiches from Paesano's and real apple cider. Also, I'm going to do some touristy stuff I never got around to while I was living in Philly, primarily, seeing St. John Neumann. Did you know Philadelphia has a dead saint in an altar? How did I live there for six years and not go see that?!


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 62

Due to the impending threat of Hurricane Sandy, all shows, classes, rehearsals and workshops scheduled for tonight (Monday, October 29th) and tomorrow (Tuesday, October 30th) at Philly Improv Theater have been cancelled. We will keep you posted with any further schedule changes from PHIT, or any other Philadelphia comedy venues as we receive news.

Comedian Doogie Horner has been named one of the Smartest People in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine. They specifically mention his graphic design work and flowcharts which you can find online or in his book Everything Explained Through Flowcharts.

Last week, Rittenhouse Comedy at Noche came to an end, but those looking for a Tuesday night open mic won't have to wait long. This week - The Tuesday Night Shitshow hosted by Steve Miller-Miller premieres at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.)  Signups begin at 8:30 and the show starts at 9:00.

This Thursday, Camp Woods Plus returns to L'etage (624 S. 6th St.) for a special show featuring Secret Pants and the reunion of Meg & Rob. The show will mark the first show for the sketch duo since Meg Favreau moved to Los Angeles last year. Doors open at 8:00 and the show begins at 8:30.

Episode 8 of Patrick Dodd's Comedy. Food. Sports. podcast is online and features comedian Jim Norton, who calls in to discuss his conversation with Muhammad Ali,  Rachel Ray’s hips, A-Rod and Romo never being clutch and much more. The episode is available online via iTunes.


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 53

Last night, the seventh annual Philly's Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Jim Grammond, Jim Ginty, and Andy Hudak moving on to the semi-finals. The competition continues Sunday, August 12 and Monday, August 13 with the semi-final rounds being held on Sunday, August 19 and Tuesday, August 21.

This week continues Philly Improv Theater's two week run of shows for July/August at The Shubin Theater. Last night, things kicked off with Fibber, tonight improv groups Hey Rube and  Hot Dish take the stage at 7:30 in a fundraiser show for the Women's Charity Center followed by Harold Night featuring ZaoGao and Mayor Karen. The full schedule for PHIT shows is available online.

Also tonight, Free Improv at Connie's Ric Rac celebrates its one year anniversary with a show featuring Deleted Scenes, Bad James, Cock Hat, Sleep Walking, Kait and Andrew, Medic, The Amie and Kristen Show. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9.

This Wednesday, Accidents Will Happen returns to Adobe Cafe for a night of comedy featuring Alex Pearlman, Darryl Charles, Jenn Tisdale, Joe Murdock, Mariya Alexander, with sketches by ManiPedi, and story from Guy Guy. As always, an open mic follows the show at 11pm.

The lineup for the next Camp Woods Plus has been announced. Wednesday, August 15 will mark the return of the sketch group's monthly show at L'etage and will feature performances by The Feeko Brothers and Reformed Whores.


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 52

Last night, the seventh annual Philly's Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Aaron Hertzog, Joey Dougherty, and Paul Easton moving on to the semi-finals. The competition continues Sunday, July 29 and the opening round continues until August 13 (full schedule here).

Submissions for Philadelphia's Comedy Month are now open. Interested groups can apply for the 8th annual Philadelphia Improv Festival (November 7-11, 2012) and the 5th annual Philly Sketchfest (November 12-17,  2012) online. More details on the month-long City Spotlight will be available later. Early submission ($20) for groups is open until until August 17 and the final deadline ($30) is August 31.

This Wednesday, Camp Woods Plus returns for another show at L'etage (624 South 6th St. Philadelphia) This month's show will feature the debut of Philadelphia sketch duo Tap City along with New York group Listen, Kid! As always, the show will feature brand new material from Camp Woods.

Also this Wednesday, comedy variety show Accidents Will Happen returns to Adobe Cafe (1919 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia) for a night of stand-up from Jim Grammond, Omar Scruggs, John Nunn, Rachel Bensen, Lisa Yost, storytelling from Jamie Fountaine, sketch comedy from The New Dreamz and "Black Metal Legend" Necrosexual. The show is free and begins at 9pm and is followed by an open mic at 11.

This Saturday, The Sideshow makes another appearance at The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St. Philadelphia). The show will feature improv from Chaperone, Hot Dog, and Iron Lung as well as clowning from Kristen Schier. The show begins at 8pm and is $5.