Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 78

A Bunch of Improv at The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) will celebrate their one-year anniversary at the Manayunk venue this Tuesday with a show featuring improv from Deleted Scenes, Rosen & Milkshake, Bed Savage, and Cock Hat. The show will be hosted by Ryan Carey and will also feature a new installment of Web Cereal, their monthly sketch comedy video.

This Thursday Comedian Deconstruction returns to L'etage (624 South 6th St.) for their "Couples Therapy" show featuring stand-up from Chip Chantry, Chris Rich, Alison Zeidman, and Joe Bell with improv from Bed Savage and Cake Bear.

This Friday Grammy-award-winning comedian Lewis Black will bring his Running on Empty tour to the Academy of Music for a one-night-only performance. The comedian is known for his "unfiltered and frank rants about the absurdity of politics and the world around us". Tickets can be purchased online.

We Can All Change, a new monthly show from hosts Dan Scully, Mike Logan, Setoiyo, and David Piccolomini at O’Neals Pub (611 S. 3rd St.) will debut this Friday with a show featuring performances from Jared Rosado, Elise Thompson-Hohl, Lou Misiano, and Pat Barker.

The Tough Stuff Comedy Show will also debut this Friday at Headhouse (122 Lombard St.) The show will feature stand-up performances from Alex Grubard, Mary Radzinski, John Nunn, and H. Foley. After their sets, the comedians will sit down with hosts Sidney Gantt and Kevin Ryan, where they will share "their most embarrassing and crazy stories." Tickets are available online.

ComedySportz Philadelphia presents: BeatBox Philly this Friday at The Playground at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom St.) The show will feature some of your favorite members of the ComedySportz Philadelphia team performing a mix of improvised scenes and freestyle raps. Tickets can be purchased online.

This Friday at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.) The Sideshow presents: The 2013 Oscars Improv Jam. For the third straight year comedians from around Philadelphia will get dressed up and enjoy a night of improv, parody videos, food, and BYOB drinking. Following the jam there will also be a showing of film sensation The Room.

The Captain Action Comedy Show is this Saturday at the Conshohocken Cafe (521 Fayette St. Conshohocken). This month's show will feature performances by Anton Shuford, Michael Donovan, and Elise Thompson-Hohl with a Captain Action Comedy Quiz Show and more from co-hosts Sidney Gantt and Dave Terruso.

Comedy Corner at Broad Axe Tavern (901 W. Butler Pike, Ambler, PA) will feature stand-up from Andy Nolan, Jim Ginty, and Alex Pearlman with guest sets from Chris Dolan, Caitlyn Feeney, and Dave Topor. Tickets can be purchased online.

This Sunday Chase N' Laughs presents: A Night of Comedy at Jollie's Live (822 N. Broad St.) The show will feature stand-up from Miles Green (BET's Comic View) and Philly's own Craig McLaren. More information can be found online.

The crew from the Comedy Food Sports podcast were given press passes to Wing Bowl 21 and used their access to create this video of the goings on from the event.

Submissions for the 15th Annual Del Close Marathon are now open. The improv festival will take place June 28-30 on multiple stages throughout New York City. The marathon is known for bringing improvisers from around the country together for a few days of performances ranging from traditional improv institutions to crazy, late-night shows. The deadline to submit is April 2.

The early application deadline for this year's Duofest, to be held right here in Philadelphia from June 6-9, is this Friday, February 22. Interested improv duos will have until then to take advantage of the lower application fee of $22. The final deadline to submit is March 2 (at a price of $32). More information can be found online.

Philly Improv Theater is currently holding sign-ups for auditions to add three new improv teams to their roster. One team, directed by Ralph Andracchio, will be cast as a PHIT House Team and will perform on Saturday nights at the theater. The other two teams, directed by Rob Gentile and Alex Newman will be PHIT's first Harold Teams, and will perform on Tuesday nights. Auditions will be held March 9-10 and to secure an audition you can email your name, phone number, a preferred audition time, and details of your past improv training (if you have not completed PHIT's Improv 201) to contact@phillyimprovtheater.com.


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 77

The Cape May Comedy Festival is now taking submission for their stand-up comedy contest taking place July 26-28. The contest will accept 96 comedians to compete in 12 preliminary rounds where a panel of judges will decide which ten move on to the semi-finals. From there, judges will choose the final three to compete for the first prize package which includes $5,000, a website, head shots, and work at area clubs. More information can be found online.

Recently Conan aired their "Occupy Conan" episode, featuring fans and celebrity guests recreating their favorite bits from the show. A clip from local comedians Curt Riedy (of sketch group High Dramma) and Todd Schaeffer was featured during the broadcast. You can see the entire episode online (their bit appears at the 17:30 mark). You can also check out some of their submissions that didn't make the air online.

This Tuesday Second Stories Presents: Love is a Battlefield at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk). The free show starts at 7:00pm and will features stories about victory and defeat from Alanna Kennedy-GormanHillary ReaValerie DiMambroVickie Fernandez, and more.

Polygon Comedy's Lincoln's Presidential Mardi Gras Masquerade is also Tuesday at L'etage (624 S. 6th St.). The show will feature performances by stand-ups Alison Zeidman and Chris Illuminati ; improv groups Self-Esteem Motivators, Jen and Karen, and Hot Dish; and sketch from Calletta & McGrail.

Free Improv at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) is this Tuesday. The monthly show will feature performances from: Deleted ScenesBad JamesCock HatKait and Andrew and BriannaDennis, Alex, Rob, Stills, and NashSleepwalkerHouse-Broken, and Kid Twist. Doors open at 8:00pm and the show starts at 9:00.

This Friday The Sideshow: Not for Nuthin' will be at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.). The show will feature stand-up from Alejandro Morales; improv from Nielsen and Hot Dog; and the Not for Nuthin' Podcast featuring hosts Mike Rainey and Tim Butterly.

Something Witty at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk) returns this Friday at 9:00pm for a free stand-up comedy showcase hosted by Alex Pearlman and featuring comedy from Alison Zeidman, Steve Miller Miller, NA Poe, Jess Carpenter, TJ Hurley, and more.

This Saturday Polygon Comedy premieres a new monthly variety show at The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.). The show will begin at 7:00pm and admission is $5. The show will continue on the third Saturday of every month.

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


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 74

This Wednesday at Chris' Jazz Cafe (1421 Sansom St.) the Tight Six crew will host Not Jazz 2, an evening of stand-up comedy featuring John Nunn, Mary Radzinski, Dan Scully, Trevor Cunnion, Gregg Gethard, and Keane Cobb.

The Sideshow Presents: Iron Lung's 2 Year Anniversary Show/Party  this Friday at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St). The show will feature improv from Iron LungKid Twist, Cock Hat, and Bed Savage as well as sketch from The Flat Earth and stand-up from Sidney Gantt.

Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham will bring his array of characters to perform at the Wells Fargo Center (3601 S. Broad St.) this Friday. Tickets are available online.

In addition to their regular, weekly shows ComedySportz Presents: Adrift and ComedySportz' The Blue Show will be held this Friday at The Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom St.) ComedySportz Presents is "an ongoing series of fun, new comedy shows featuring your favorite CSz Players and Philadelphia comedians." Always on the last Friday of every month The Blue Show promises to feature "your favorite players doing stuff no Brown Bag could ever rectify."

The Center Square Fire Company (1298 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell PA) is celebrating their 100th anniversary this Saturday with a comedy show featuring stand-up from The Legendary WID, Mike Morse, Robin Fox, and Grover Silcox. Tickets for the show can be purchased online and include a souvenir cup, beer, soda, and snacks.

Jim Gaffigan visits Philadelphia for a show at the Tower Theater (69th and Ludlow) this Saturday. Tickets can be purchased online.

The Captain Action Comedy Show makes its Saturday debut this week at the Conshohocken Cafe (521 Fayette St. Conshohocken) with a show featuring Jim Ginty, Jon DelCollo, Aaron Nevins, Dave Terruso, and Dan Vetrano.

This Sunday Bedtime Stories Presents: Behind the Scenes at a Soft Rock Radio Station in Nahua, NH at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.). The show will feature comedians telling the stories behind WHFMTOWNDZ-FM (The Breeze On Top of the Mountain Near Nashua) — the number two rated soft rock/adult contemporary radio station in New Hampshire’s second biggest radio market.

ComedySportz for Kids — a "fun-sized version of our long-running comedy show only shorter, sillier and kiddy-er" will be this Sunday at The Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom St.) The monthly comedy show for children will take place at 11 am. Tickets can be purchased online.

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe are looking for new artists. Live Arts will select up to 5 artists through an audition process. If selected, artists will be presented in a showcase format for two nights, will receive a stipend of $500 and 5 hours of rehearsal time in the LAB in preparation for their performance. Live Arts is seeking work which demonstrates a commitment to forward thinking ideas and aesthetics. Any live performance genre is acceptable including theater, dance, music and performance art. Visit www.livearts-fringe.org/jumpstart to sign up and read the guidelines, eligibility, and FAQs.

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


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 73

Remember we told you to check out the latest issue of Philadelphia Magazine for an article on Juliet Hope Wayne and the Philly comedy scene? Well, now that article is available online.

Philadelphia will have three chances to see Louis CK at the Merriam Theater (250 South Broad St.) this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Comedian Deconstruction returns to L'etage this Thursday with their annual Dirty Show. This month stand-up comedians Dave Terruso and Kricket Lee will be deconstructed by improv groups Cock Hat and Bed Savage.

This Friday Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show) will perform at The Trocadero Theater (1003 Arch St.) Tickets are available online.

The Day Drinking Americans Comedy Tour will make a stop at The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.) for a show featuring John Tole and Ian Stuart with locals: Ryan ShanerJohn Nunn, and Tim Butterly.

The Sideshow returns to The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St.) this Friday with a show featuring stand-up comedy from Trevor Cunnion, improv from Cake Bear and Whisper, and necrosexuality from The Necrosexual.

Saturday is Durty Comedy Night at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub (701 E Macdade Blvd Folsom, PA) with a show featuring stand-up from: Kricket Lee, Mike Rainey, Rick Mirarchi, James Hesky, John McKeever, and Mike Jansen.

Philly's Comedy Underground comes to Circa 1212 (1212 South St.) this Saturday for a show featuring comics Mikey Garcia, Lou Misiano, Alejandro Morales, Pete Steele, and Caitlin Feeney.

This Sunday comedian Todd Barry brings his Crowdwork Tour to The Urban Saloon (2120 Fairmount Ave.) for two entire shows of riffing and bantering with the audience. The 8pm show is already sold out, but tickets are still available online for the 10pm show.

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


"I Allow People to Do Whatever the Hell They Want to Do" - Interview with Mike Marbach on Plans for 'The Sideshow' in 2013

by Pat Reber

The Sideshow is a real gem. It’s the epitome of the local, DIY, low production/high entertainment experimental variety shows that we comedy nerds go crazy for. I attended last Friday's The Sideshow: Happy New Year featuring Malone, Gross Butler and Daring Daulton. The show was already packed when I arrived, with audience members filling every seat and standing against the walls of the cozy studio. More impressive than the audience’s number, though, was how truly engaged we all were from start to finish. Our laughter rolled consistently throughout the entire two-hour show, and turned from chuckles to outright squeals during each set. We were treated to seamless and hilarious improv from Malone and Gross Butler, awkwardly brilliant sketch comedy from Daring Daulton, and a fantastic reading by host Luke Field of a rambling 12-page apology letter to Claritin written by Sideshow creator Mike Marbach.

Marbach is clearly very passionate about this show, and with good reason.  After the show, I caught up with him to find out what exciting plans he has for The Sideshow in 2013:

Spellbound (January 12th)

"The twelfth is going to be pretty different.  Kristen Schier is going to be doing clowning.  There’s an improv trio that formed out of the Sideshow Troika last year, called Chaperone. Lizzie Spellman, who is a local improviser but also sings and plays ukulele, is going to be the host/musical guest of the show, so she’ll be doing different songs throughout the show, in between the other acts.  And then the Necrosexual, which is Jimmy Viola’s thing. I’ve never seen it, I really don’t know what it is, which just goes to show I’ll allow people to do whatever the hell they want to do. I’m sure it’s going to be a good time.”

The 2013 Improv Oscars Jam (February 22nd):

“This will be the third year we’ve done the Improv Oscars Jam, which takes place the weekend of the Oscars. People get dressed up and come out. They have the opportunity to play a bunch of movie-related short-form improv games, some with different multimedia connections. We’ll show a 30-second clip of a movie that came out in 2012, and then people do scenes inspired by that clip. We’ll do live sketches that are movie-inspired. People are encouraged to film different parodies of films that came out in 2012, and we’ll show those on the [projection] screen. There’s food, there’s drinks. This will be the third year, and each one has gotten bigger, and better attended, and it’s always a really good time."

Freaky Friday (March 15th)

“There is one coming up in March, which I’m calling Sideshow: Freaky Friday, where a bunch of improvisers who haven’t done stand-up before, that’s their chance to do it. And then I want to grab a bunch of stand-ups who haven’t improvised before, and have them do that. So people will get a better appreciation of each other’s art, and how difficult it can actually be, and fun at the same time. So that could be really funny. Or it could be terrible, which is okay. Like I said, I allow people to experiment and do whatever the hell they want to do."

Musical Revue (Date TBD)

"March or April will be probably one of the biggest things we’ve done with Sideshow. We’ve done one-acts, we’ve done the Oscars Jam, we hosted the Troika last year, but this is going to be a musical revue. It’s going to be a love/hate theme, where it’s going to mix Broadway songs, popular songs, and some original stuff thrown in there as well. It’s going to be all tied together through different stories, and personal things like that. The idea is to be funny, but there will be a lot of vulnerability in there, too. The cast is made up, so far—it’s not official yet, so I don’t want to say just who—but there’s stand-ups in the show, there’s sketch comedians in the show, there’s improvisers in the show. People will get to see them do things that they’ve done in the past, but may not have the opportunity to do now, being involved in the arts that they are. They can show off their singing, or their dancing, or anything like that. It’s going to be a good time.”


The next January dates for 'The Sideshow' are the 12th, 18th and 25th.  For more information, check out The Sideshow on Facebook.

Pat Reber performs sketch comedy with the Win Show, and also has his hands in a constantly shifting menagerie of other projects. He’ll be on twitter @patreberyeah and he thinks you’re nice.


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


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 71

Still looking for plans for New Year's Eve? Last week we gave you this round-up of comedy shows around Philadelphia tonight.

Chip Chantry wrote this piece about his ten most awkward moments of 2012 for Philly.com.

In case you missed it (or if you want to see it again) Emily and Micah McGraw's set from Secret Pants' Christmas show A Banner Year at the Ol' Bender House has made its way online.

Pick up a copy of this month's Philadelphia Magazine to check out an article on comedian and storyteller Juliet Hope Wayne. The article also talks about the comedy scene here in Philly and mentions a certain website that reports on it (it's us!).

The Sideshow: Happy New Year! show will take place this Friday at The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.). The show will feature performances from improv groups Gross Butler and Malone and sketch group Daring Daulton plus more!

This Friday will mark the first of three shows of The New Dreamz Experimental Residency Performance Art Program. The New Dreamz is the comedy performance duo of artists Andrew Jeffrey Wright and Rose Luardo. During the residency, the audience can expect to engage with material that will never be performed again and material that will be indoctrinated into The New Dreamz fat folds. Each of the three performances will be unique. The residency will be held at Space 1026 (1026 Arch Street) a Philadelphia collective art community and institution that was established in 1997.


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 70

This video from Jason Messina (formerly of The Sixth Borough, current New York comedian) is a holiday reminder your aunts and grandmothers would be sure to thank him for.

Just because tomorrow is Christmas does not mean that Open Mic at the Headhouse Cafe will be taking the day off. A Very Funny XMAS at the Headhouse will start at 8pm and continue throughout the night for those comics finished with their celebrating, or the ones that aren't celebrating at all.

This Friday The Sideshow presents: Know When to Leave, a show hosted by Brendan Kennedy and Shannon Brown featuring performances by ManiPedi, Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez, Bing Supernova, Tim Butterly, Carolyn Busa, Sam Narisi, Kait & Andrew, and more.

Saturday the New Year's Party at HodgePodge (1212 South St.) will feature "music greats: John Francis, James Klueh, GRIZ and a hodgepodge of standup, improv and sketch comics."

Delaware Today magazine ran a series of short features on native comedians Ian Fidance, Mikey Gleason, Todd Chappelle, and Shari Short. The article also covers emerging venues for comedy in Delaware and shares some jokes from each of the comedians.

Improv duos can mark your calendar as Duofest has announced registration dates for their 2013 festival. Submissions open February 2, with submission deadlines of February 22 for early submissions and March 2 as the final deadline. Applicants will be notified on March 22 and the lineup announced on April 2. The 2013 Duofest will take place from June 6-9.

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