Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Stand-up Comedian

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 Stand-up Comedian are:
Aaron Hertzog
Chip Chantry
James Hesky
Doogie Horner
Darryl Charles

Doogie Horner on James Hesky:
"James Grammond is hilarious. I can't think of a funnier James in Philadelphia! Just kidding.

One time James Hesky and I went to the driving range. Fifty percent of my drives sliced right so hard that they landed in the creek next to the range, but James didn't laugh at me once, not even later that night when I was on stage telling jokes."

Aaron Hertzog on Chip Chantry:
"When I started doing stand-up in Philly a little over six years ago Chip Chantry was one of the comedians I most wanted to impress. When I heard him laugh at my jokes from the back of the room at an open mic, or he said something nice to me about one of my jokes it really meant a lot because I looked up to him so much. Years later my respect and admiration for Chip have only grown as I've learned more about what goes into doing comedy. Chip is constantly writing and creating new, great material. His work ethic is something every comic should try to emulate. He's been one of the top comics in Philly for years, and plays clubs and venues all over the country and is not content to rest on his laurels. Chip can also play any type of room. He's got material that will kill in a room full of young, city hipsters and he can wow a crowd of older suburban 'normal people'. No matter what type of show you are putting on, you can be safe booking Chip and know he will do a fantastic job. He can write topical jokes, material about his personal life, crazy off-the-wall stuff, tell a fantastic story, and can write the heck out of a sketch. Any time I need help with a writing project I know I can count on Chip, because not only is he a great comedian and writer, he's also a great friend."

Darryl Charles on Doogie Horner:
"Doogie is awesome, and funny. He can effortlessly 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 writing too. If anyone was going to win this but me, I'd want it to be Doogie. Sadly, it won't be. But I'm happy he was nominated."

Chip Chantry on Darryl Charles:
"Most comedians are like vodka—they'll get you drunk, sometimes they're hard to swallow, and you can see right through them. But you pretty much know what you're getting.

Darryl Charles, on the other hand, is like Pinnacle Vodka—there are many different varieties of Darryl. It's no secret that Darryl is perhaps the most versatile performer in Philadelphia. Because from night to night (and many times set to set) Darryl plays a variety of hilarious roles in the Philadelphia comedy scene. Whether he's doing stand-up, performing improv with ComedySportz or Hatespeech Committee, doing the Cheapodcast and The Monthly Hour with James Hesky, or making videos with those jerks at Bird Text, the only consistent thing about Darryl Charles is that he's always funny.

And he's also sweet.

And he loves Butterscotch Vodka."

James Hesky on Aaron Hertzog:
"Aaron Hertzog used to be quite overweight, then he lost 200 pounds.  But you know what he didn't lose?  His sense of humor.  And also whatever sadness is buried deep within his soul that makes him have to perform stand-up comedy.  That's definitely still there.

Aside from stand-up, Aaron is also part of Hey Rube, Hate Speech Committee and the Holding Court Podcast.  Or at least he was until he left Philadelphia to live in L.A. so he could pursue his dream of never having to be more than 40 feet away from Luke Giordano."

Review: Rant-O-Wheel

By: Tony Narisi

The Philly Improv Theater at the Shubin Theatre saw the last installment of the Rant-O-Wheel this Monday night. As the night got started, host Jaime Fountaine filled the wheel up with ten nouns shouted out by the audience and began bringing the finest Rant-o-wheelers in Philadelphia onstage to tell a story, real or made-up, in five minutes or less using three of these words.

First up was the pair of Darryl Charles and Sue Taney, tackling six words instead of three. Using “creamed corn,” “tortellini,” “Steve Buscemi,” “Jersey Shore,” “Skittles,” and “sabotage,” Darryl and Sue told the story of a boy who began an anti-Willy Wonka campaign. Jaime played the role of conductor and had some sadistic fun that really upped the laughs, switching the narrator every word at times or pointing to both of them and forcing them to speak in unison.

Next up was Tom Whitaker, who used “rain dance,” “lava lamp,” and “candle” to deliver a superb monologue, in the form of a video message to a recent ex, lamenting the fact that he’ll never find real love in the City of Brotherly Love. Perhaps most remarkable was his delivery, which consisted of a believable and consistently straight face and a stare into the distance, addressing his ex as “you” the entire time.

Following Tom was Larry Napolitano, who quickly breezed through his words of “donkey lips,” “nothing,” and “Dustin Hoffman” in a rant about how he is miserable regarding his aging to get to what was apparently on his mind all along—a hilarious tirade against Ferris Bueller that eventually ended in the murder and defiling of his corpse on his father’s broken car.

Next up was Hillary Rea who used “swing,” “guffaw,” and “side boob” to recount her childhood fears and embarrassments, which included earthworms being thrown at her and a perpetual fear of boys seeing her incorrectly worn Days of the Week underwear. While hearing her memories, the audience couldn’t help but laugh along with Hillary as they remembered their own rough patches in childhood.

Cara Schmidt came next, using “band,” “Jellies,” and “Aquanet” to reveal one of her deepest darkest secrets to the audience—she’s not that good at driving, as evidenced by her twelve cars in seven years. Throughout her monologue, the audience got a very funny peek into the mind of sixteen-year-old Cara and her six attempts at the driving exam, including her various attempts to sway (or bribe) the system.

Finally, Jaime herself finished the rest of the words on the wheel, using “vagrant,” “chicken soup,” “artichoke,” “yellow,” “burp,” and “Rain Man” to tell the story of Rant-o-wheel itself, in a final monologue that was both heartwarming and laugh-inducing. She then ended the show by saying that Rant-o-wheel isn’t dead, it’s just going into hibernation. So if and when the Rant-o-wheel comes out of its slumber, do yourself and these performers a favor and make sure to check it out and support some great local comics telling some very funny stories.


Stand-up Fashionista with Joe Moore: Hey Everybody

Here’s what everyone wore last night at Aaron Hertzog’s Hey Everybody at Philly Improv Theater at the Shubin Theater 5/21/12. Spoiler alert – Hey Everybody! Summer is here to stay, so break out those Baby Blue Jeans!

Aaron Hertzog – Grey Henley, untucked, with a rounded neck, sleeves rolled up to the elbows and a pocket on the left breast, white shoes with white laces and blue jeans.

Sam Narisi – Blue hoodie with a white un-zipped zipper, white draw strings, a plaid shirt, untucked, with a beige base with teal/purple vertical stripes and thin red/pink horizontal stripes buttoned to the top with 2 collar buttons buttoned, black shoes with white laces and white soles and grey pants.

Juliet Hope Wayne – Dark brown shirt with a white lamb with pink ears, black eyes, and black nose and mouth, over a light blue t-shirt poking out at the waist, black shoes with white laces, white sole and white wavy lines on the sides, and blue jeans.

Darryl Charles – Dark navy blue polo shirt with thin white stripes, a golden crest over the left breast, over a white t-shirt visible over the collar, white shoes with white laces and grey soles, and blue jeans.

Chip Chantry – Grey t-shirt with the letters “pants.” in black, over a white undershirt visible over the collar, dark navy blue shoes with a white letter “N”, black digital wrist watch on the left hand and blue jeans.


The WitOut Podcast, Episode 4: Corin Wells' Black History Project

This week, I take a break from sitting down and chatting with comedians and let Corin Wells do all the work. Corin, along with Darryl Charles, Chris Cotton, Blythe Wimbush and Setoiyo gathered to talk about the state of Black comedy in Philadelphia. They discuss their own experiences as well as their thoughts on the city, past, present, and future. You can listen here, or subscribe on iTunes.

[audio: blackhistory.mp3]

Corin Wells is a Philadelphia comedian and member of improv groups Iron Lung, Ebony and Ivory, and new Philly Improv Theater House Team codenamed Strider. We'd like to thank her very much for her contributions.


And The Winners Are...

The 2011 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy were last night at World Cafe Live. The Philadelphia comedy community gathered together to hand out the awards which they themselves nominated and voted for. In case you missed it, here's a full rundown of the winners in each category.

Best Host: Chip Chantry - host of Chip Chantry's One Man Show (with Special Guests) and Facetime with Chip Chantry

Best Venue: Philly Improv Theater

Best Podcast: CheaPodcast

Best Open Mic: Laughs on Fairmount (hosts Carolyn Busa and Mary Radzinski)

Best One Time Show: The Roast of Meg Favreau

Best Short Run Show: Pro Mania (Ian Vaflor and Alex Gross)

Best Regular Show: The Ministry of Secret Jokes (Doogie Horner)

Best New Group: Hey Rube (Alex Gross, Dennis Trafny, Jen Curcio, Lizzie Spellman, Mark Leopold, Rob Cutler, Scott Shepherd, Tara Demmy, Aaron Hertzog, director: Matt Holmes)

Best Improv Group (1-3 members): The Kristen & Amie Show (Kristen Schier and Amie Roe)

Best Improv Group (4+ members): Hate Speech Committee (Brendan Kennedy, JP Boudwin, Rob Baniewicz, Darryl Charles, Sue Taney, Christian Alsis, Billy Bob Thompson, Aaron Hertzog)

Best Stand-up Bit: Darryl Charles - Hatchet

Best Sketch: The Feeko Brothers - Jay Peebee's PB&J

Best Sketch Group: The Feeko Brothers

Best Stand-up Comedian: Chip Chantry

Special thanks to World Cafe Live for allowing us to have our "clown friend clubhouse goofball jerkoff party" in their establishment. Also thanks to everyone who helped produce the show. The writers: Aaron Hertzog, Chip Chantry, Doogie Horner, Rob Baniewicz, Mary Radzinski, Jim Grammond, Becca Trabin, Joe Moore, Luke Giordano, Billy Bob Thompson, Greg Maughan. The video spots were put together by Rob Baniewicz and Shannon Devido. Also thanks to all the presenters and of course, the host of the evening Joe Moore.

 


Top 5 of 2011: Darry Charles and Sue Taney's Favorite Pinnacles

Think just because it's 2012 we're going to stop running Top 5 of 2011 lists? Nope. As long as you keep sending them, we'll keep posting them. Well, maybe not, "as long as" maybe for just a week or two. Go ahead, try us.

We’re not talking about the Appalachian Trail or even Kilimanjaro... (Sue starts singing "Africa" by Toto, Darryl says "That's racist!" And runs off crying) We’re talking vodka. America’s Sweethearts, Darryl Charles and Sue Taney, agreed to take on the arduous task of tasting *almost all of Pinnacle’s 34 flavors to bring you the “TOP 5 PINNACLES LIST.”

5. Cake - We're gonna eschew some kinda "Have your cake and eat it too" or a "Let them eat cake" or "Like a fat kid loves cake" (who are you calling fat?! Sue runs off crying...) reference and just say birthdays will no longer be spent in Applebee’s like the slobs of suburbia anymore. We wanna spend it alone, in a dirty wife-beater, watching reruns of intervention drinking this stuff. It's that good, even if it is the most alcohol-like tasting thing on this list. Also, Darryl wants to say this is probably the only food stuff available on set at a Max Hardcore shoot. Well, that and shame.

4. Marshmallow - Less alcohol taste than #5 and it tastes like friggin marshmallows! And not in a nasty, super sweet way either. You can almost taste the powdered sugar that should surround each shot of this stuff. You'll feel like the stay-puff marshmallow man just jizzed in your mouth, in a good way.

3. Whipped - The OG of the flavored vodkas could have been number one based solely on nostalgia. We could write loving essays about all the memories this wonderful creation has made hazy and forgotten. It comes in 3rd though, but if there's any place to start the flavored vodka journey, it's here.

2. Le Double Espresso - Move over Bloody Marys, there's a new breakfast drink in town! Like coffee? Good, now imagine all that taste (and some of the caffeine) but as a vodka! Looking to get smashed at work? Just add a shot to your coffee (or add a shot of coffee to your vodka) and mum’s the word. This flavor leaves your breath smelling like coffee, not booze.

1. Butterscotch - "This is gonna be a problem" are the words of any serious drinker who tastes this stuff. Others will say "wow, this tastes like butterscotch," or "This is amazing," or "I need an adult!" That good. We’ve compared it to the taste of butterscotch smart water, if such a thing existed. See the problem? Neither do we.

BONUS LIST!
TOP 5 CHASERS for the TOP 5 PINNACLES LIST aka WHAT TO GET THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING: Are you still chasing shots with a drink? Pfft. That's so 2010. We've moved onto the diabetes type 2 approved, solid chaser list. All of these chasers compliment any of the vodkas perfectly but some are just slightly more yum than others.

5. Meats! -  Preferably ham or bacon but steak would do just fine if you're in a pinch. Just a smack of meat is all you need to achieve the delish salty/sweet combo, no need to eat the entire animal.

4. Chocolate chip cookies - Many of our favorite vodkas are almost sugary sweet  so it’s nice to chase it with something that’s more of a mellow sweet. Bake ‘em from scratch or get left-overs from your holiday party, pop ‘em in the microwave, and you’ll be well on your way to morbid obesity.

3. Chocolate covered pretzel - It’s pretzels and beer for the new Willenium. Bonus points if the pretzel has jimmies or nuts on it or if you dipped the pretzel in chocolate yourself... because we're keeping score, right?

2. Chocolate and peanut butter granola bar - An entire bar is a little much but cut one of these babies into sixths, stick a toothpick in each one and the whole affair turns super classy. Pinkies up!

1. Reese's cup/pieces/fast break/big cup/whipped/minis/sticks - Anything the Reese's company poops out makes the best chaser for these tasty vodkas because what goes better with sweet vodka than more sweets?! Now all you have to do is pick out what color Hoveround you want when you become too obese to walk.

*after tasting many of the Pinnacle fruit flavors, we decided that they were pretty similar to other fruit vodkas on the market and just weren’t tasty enough to make the list. Mix any of them with cranberry juice and have a good f’n time.


The 2011 Witout Awards: Best Stand-up Bit

Aaron Hertzog - $30,000

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0ZOsg8Ah1w

John McKeever - Magnum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnCpBGZtO6o&fb_source=message

Pete Kuempel - Dolphins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3gU3z08lSI&feature=channel_video_title

Steve Gerben - Watching Sports

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei3ht1K2Y_c

Darryl Charles - Hatchet

Unfortunately, video of this bit does not exist but his exasperation at the fact that a man could murder an entire building full of people with a hatchet, complete with out-of-breath act outs was the only bit Darryl did during his run to a second place finish at this year's Philly's Phunniest Person Contest. Check him out live to see the hilarious bit in action.


Philly's Phunniest Reunion Show

It's been almost an entire month since Helium Comedy Club crowned Tommy Pope 2011's Philly's Phunniest Person - and it's already time for a reunion of some of the comedians that made the final round of this year's contest. Tonight, the club will host the Philly's Phunniest Reunion Show featuring sets from Pope, along with runner up Darryl Charles and third place finisher John McKeever, as well as comedy from fellow finalists Chip Chantry and Andy Nolan. The show starts tonight at 8 and you can buy tickets online or (and I would recommend this option) call the club at 215-496-9001, mention any of the performers names, and get free admission. Check out some videos from tonight's performers below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdKdhZ7hQpk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtnDlKu0FRY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWA5ii_V_PY&feature=channel_video_title

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW16-BB8eAw