Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Your host Dave Walk will be talking to comedians, playing not-funny songs and other great stuff, so make sure to set your internet dial to Gtownradio.com. Now, since we'll be doing our live show in New York City at Under Saint Mark's that evening, how can both things going on at the same time at different places? Well, let's just say that one of them was pre-recorded. On the show this week:
Christian Finnegan is a New York City stand-up comedian that has been on The Dave Chappelle Show, Best Week Ever, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. His new stand-up special, Au Contraire! was recently released on CD and DVD and was filmed in Philadelphia at The Trocadero.
Plus we'll play clips from the new stand-up comedy CDs by Marc Maron and Maria Bamford.
Remember, that's 7-8PM TONIGHT Eastern Standard Time U.S.A., streaming at Gtownradio.com.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It's time once again for THE MINISTRY OF SECRET JOKES, comic Doogie Horner's monthly game show/comedy show at Fergie's Pub (1214 Sansom) starting at 8PM.
This month, expect stand-up comedy from Ryan Carey, Dave Walk, David James, and Joey Dougherty, an Omniana battle between champion Brendan Kennedy and Luke Giordano and a good ole' rap battle. Plus, there will supposedly be a dancing bear. Yes, a dancing bear. Just don't look him in the eyes, that makes bears angry.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Comic Vs. Audience Comedy Show
Thursday, May 28th
at Under Saint Mark's (94 St. Mark’s Place, btwn. 1st Ave. and Ave. A) [directions]
with host Dave Walk
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wes & Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders - Thurs. May 21, 2009 - World Cafe Life
New York comic Eugene Mirman seems to be on tour constantly. Just in the past few years he's performed live with The Flight of the Conchords (stopping off at the Tower Theatre), with the Comedians of Comedy (The TLA), and with the sketch trio Stella (Keswick Theatre). Each time, of course, with other comedy acts. Makes sense, right?
Yesterday he was back in the area, but this time as part of "Wes & Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders" at World Cafe Live in West Philadelphia. "Wes" is the British folk singer and writer John Wesley Harding that started the Cabinet to bring together literary, comedy, musical and even ventriloquial worlds in a variety show format. World Cafe Live was a perfect fit for the show as the venue is a partner with the public radio "adult alternative" radio station WXPN which currently plays Harding's songs on the air. Judging by the reaction from the sit down and eat audience, almost everyone was there because of Harding.
The rule, for the most part, is that live music and comedy don't mix well, but this wasn't the case with Mirman. While the crowd was probably a little, well, older than most comedy show crowds, it didn't matter. What should you do if bears attack, elevators in Russia, hotel in Fargo with a weird view, how to nab a husband, everything got a great response. He also took time to mention that the last time he was in Philadelphia was for a Democratic Primary debate last year that had 12 anti-abortion protestors. Mirman joked that the protestors held up signs and screamed things like "this fetus never learned Skype!" He also workshopped a part of the commencement speech that he will give to the graduates of his former high school in Lexington, Massachusetts in which he congratulates the graduates on escaping the "knowledge prison" that is school.
Later there were readings by writers Ken Kalfus and David Morse and singer/songwriters Chris Mills and Jonatha Brooke played a few songs. The underlying theme for the evening seemed to be light-hearted material with a dark edge that didn't take itself too seriously. Mills' songs included some pretty violent themes, Kalfus read a fictional tale of an American that straps on a suicide bomb after 9/11 and Brooke played a song based on lyrics by Woody Guthrie that she described as "sexy" by the name of "My Sweet and Bitter Bowl."
Mirman came back on stage to sing "Mrs. Robinson" with Harding and while I'm not much of a music critic, I thought his baritone singing voice was pretty dead-on and complimentary to Harding's. Then later Mirman came up on stage again to recount a recent tale in which Delta Airlines lost his luggage. It was good to see the comic known for jumping from topic to topic to do something more long-form and the story ended with an act of revenge that pleased the audience and Mirman alike.
And finally the eclectic evening ended with a singalong by all of the performing again touching on the crappiness that is Delta Airlines with a rousing, catchy chorus.
This past Tuesday on Air America's Break Room Live (which you should probably be watching), Jim Gaffigan joined host and stand-up comedian Marc Maron to discuss comedy, his role in the new film Away We Go and parenting. It's an interesting discussion between two old friends from "way back when" in the stand-up scene of New York and a must see for the comedy nerds that Gaffigan confesses to being.
Posted by d at 8:18 AM
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tonight (and only tonight), New York comic Christian Finnegan visits Helium as part of his "Au Contraire" tour. Earlier this month his new CD and DVD stand-up special of the same name was released and there's a Philadelphia connection. It was shot over two shows last October at The Trocadero in Chinatown.
To promote the special, Finnegan filmed the "Jokespirations" series in which host Rolly Chedwick interviews real people to get "to the nitty-gritty of what makes a brilliant comedy mind like Christian's tick." Here's the first one with a real-life pole vaulter.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Whenever a book comes out that I'm interested in I have to wait for it to come out on tape. You don't really expect me to take all that time to read it, do you? I mean, come on.
Comedy by the Numbers, written by Eric Hoffman, a writer for Mr. Show and Gary Ruderman from the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, was released by McSweeney's in 2007 as a list of comedy characters, bits, scenarios, sketches, skits, shtick, and more that can help you be funny. "As we all know," the writers claim, "true creativity comes from simple formulas and the memorization of data." There are 169 formulas in all that can help you be funny in any situation that you find yourself including "Contact With Something That Isn't Dry," "Blind Dates," "People Who Don't Speak Our Language," "Rubber Legs / Limbs" and a lot more.
The book is now a book-on-tape CD released by A Special Thing and available at online retailers of live readings by the some of the biggest names in comedy. David Cross tackles "#24 Cursing", Paul F. Tompkins reads several numbers including "#5 Barbs, Retorts, Come-backs, Sassiness, Zingers & Cappers", and Sarah Silverman goes over "#119 Self-deprecation" to name a few (tracklist here).
Finally you, yes you, can become a hit at parties, wakes or wherever comedy is seen as acceptable. And you don't even have to know how to read!
Posted by d at 8:04 AM
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wacky News w/ Brendan Kennedy
There was no C vs. A Radio Hour this week, but we had to share this clip that would've aired if there was a show. Stand-up comic and funny guy BRENDAN KENNEDY joined host Dave Walk in the studio to share some "Wacky News" that's been in the news lately. It was a fun time and as Brendan always says: "wocka wocka!"
(Feel free to write a review in iTunes!)
Listen to this episode (4:11):
Brendan will be performing stand-up tonight at Studio Luloo (916 White Horse Pike, Oaklyn, NJ) and he'll be defending his Omniana title at the Ministry of Secret Jokes on May 27th.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Set to perform are Meg and Rob, hot off last week's two fantastic sold out shows at PHIT, The Sixth Borough, who delighted audiences over multiple nights with their recent show Depression Isn't Just A River in Egypt, the lovely gents of The Action Section, who also had two sold out nights at PHIT recently and finally Secret Pants, who give us a sneak peak of their show with the below opening video.
All this madness will be hosted by the Powerpoint guru Jon Goff.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Amy Poehler was on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross last week and while the conversation revolved mostly around her time on Saturday Night Live, her husband Will Arnett and her new NBC show Parks and Recreation, Amy did get a chance to discuss her improv background at the end of the interview. After a brief mention of Del Close as "one of the more famous guys in comedy that people don't know", she was asked if she always had confidence on stage not knowing what she was going to say:
I don't know if I always had that confidence but it always felt exhilirating in a good way to do that kind of work. It felt like you were in control even though you had no control over what was happening. I still get up on stage at the Upright Citizens Brigade, which is the theater that I along with Matt Besser, Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts that we started in New York City and now we have a theater in Los Angeles. I still perform because that feeling of it being a little bit dangerous is still exciting for me and it's good as a performer to make sure that you're not getting too comfortable. But also it's a social thing, it almost becomes the closest thing I have to a communal religious experience where you just meet up with people that you love and you do something together and there's someone witnessing it and hopefully you feel different after. I think my experiences doing improv have provided a spirituality in a way that maybe I wouldn't have otherwise.
Certainly there is something to be said about the affirmation that a live performer can receive when a joke gets a laugh. And while the audience isn't talking, there is a conversation between the performer and audience when live comedy is done right. Have you ever felt a connection between either your fellow performers or the audience? Or as a member of an audience have you felt a connection to a comedian and the crowd around you? Is there a moment that sticks out in your mind as "spiritual" or "religious"?
If Abe Lincoln wasn't taken from us all those years ago, he would've been 200 years old this year. And look at you, forgetting to get him a birthday present. Luckily Philadelphia's 1812 Productions has you covered. The Rosenbach Museum & Library recently commissioned the company to produce a 4-part video series "exploring Lincoln’s role as a communicator and how he might have utilized technology from the turn of the last century through the present." According to 1812's Artistic Director Jennifer Childs:
When I first looked through the Rosenbach collection, I was interested in finding ways that Abe Lincoln was funny. Did he use humor? If so, how? What was his comedic style? I’d read articles about his storytelling and gift for mimicry, and had certainly seen comical quotes that had been attributed to him. While some of that spirit was evident in the collection, it was not the material that moved me the most. The pieces in the collection that spoke to me were his speeches – his drafts and notes. They were so eloquent and beautiful that I came away from every visit marveling at what an astonishing communicator he was and wondering what it would have been like to hear him speak. That became the basis for ABE LINCOLN: BEHIND THE SPEECHES.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
It's time again for the Philly Improv Theater's week at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St). The week actually kicked off Monday with our show (programming note: there will be no C vs. A show in June), but the highlights of the week are still yet to come with a new sketch show by Meg & Rob, a performance by improv supergroup The Moops and psychoanalysis with Lisa Levy.
Wednesday, May 6th
8 p.m. - Why Am I Not Famous?!?: A Comedy Talk Show w/ Kent Haines, $5. This month Philly's only comedy talk show welcomes local sketch group Secret Pants and Steve "The Iceman" Gerben who was supposed to be on last month's show but couldn't make it. According to Kent: "Steve is the 2007 winner of the Philly's Phunniest contest that I won last summer, which means that I am technically one year funnier than he is. But actually he is much more hilarious than I am, and my sole goal that evening is to give him a nervous breakdown with my intense Frost/Nixon style interrogation. Should be fun!"
10 p.m. - Guilty Pleasures w/ Brendan Kennedy, $5. Bringing you the best in awful scripts, acted out for you on stage. Listen to Brendan talk about the show on the C vs. A Radio Hour.
Thursday, May 7th
8 p.m. – Improv Comedy, PhD: Every Thursday the theater pairs up "today's comedy over-achievers and tomorrow's comedy legends." This month: Drexel's Drexel Football Team with PHIT house team Fletcher.
10 p.m. - Cagematch: m@& vs. reigning champs Angry People Building Things, $5. CAGEMATCH pits two groups against each other for 25-minute sets that can only use one audience suggestion. The audience decides the winner by secret ballot. This month, Matt Holmes of Rare Bird Show bravely takes on the champs with the help of someone from the audience that "preferably has never seen an improv show before and was dragged there by a friend."
Friday, May 8th
8 p.m. – Meg & Rob w/ CUBED, $10.
10 p.m. - The Moops, $10. The Moops are a Philly improv supergroup of sorts including Alexis Simpson, Kristen Schier, Alli Soowal, Nick Gillette, Greg Maughan, Scott Sheppard and more.
Saturday, May 9th
8 p.m. – Meg & Rob w/ CUBED, $10., $10.
10 p.m. - Stand Up. Lie Down., $10. NYC's Lisa Levy brings her monthly show down to Philly. Join in the fun as Dr. Levy, S.P. (self-proclaimed) tries to cure these emotionally complex types with help from the audience. Each performer or group will perform for 5 minutes and then have a brief "session" with Dr. Levy. And she'll be giving away boxes of tissues that say, "Funny people cry too." to the first 10 ticket holders. Dave Walk, Kent Haines and Rare Bird Show will be performing/analyzed.
Monday, May 4, 2009
The Comic Vs. Audience Comedy Show!
Monday, May 4th, 2009
at the Shubin Theatre
407 Bainbridge St.
ONLY FIVE AMERICAN DOLLARS (tickets on-sale soon with no creepy service fees!)
Featuring stand-up comedy by:
Kerri Lendo (from Austin, Texas)
And hosted by Dave Walk (he'll have some jokes too)
And did we mention it's BYOB?!?!?
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I know a lot of comedy nerds/vegans/Obama supporters. When getting to know people, they’re surprised at two facts about me: 1) I’m straight and 2) I love sports.
In fact, I love sports more than anything else in the world. The only other thing that comes close is ice cream, followed by my family and friends. My nightly routine, since the age of ten, revolves around watching multiple episodes of SportsCenter. I have, for no other reason than to entertain myself, ranked my all-time Top 50 NCAA College Basketball Tournament games. Last year, I attended 18 baseball games in person; the year before, that number was 37.
I’m frequently asked by my gamer/Vampire Weekend fan/philosophy major friends why I devote so many hours of my life obsessing over people who, if I met them in real life, I would completely hate.
The Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics – two basketball teams that, traditionally, I completely despise – are matched up against each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Neither team has a realistic chance at winning the championship – Chicago has too many young players and a shitty coach; Boston has endured too many injuries and a shitty coach. But over the past 13 days, they have had me completely dominated all facets of my life.
This is because this is, quite possibly, the best series in the history of professional basketball. Four of their six games have gone into overtime. One went into double overtime. Thursday night’s game went into triple overtime. These games have had ridiculous plot twists, comebacks, clutch shots and cheap shots (which include, but are not limited to, the Celtics’ Rajan Rondo tripping a player who needed forehead stitches as a result, Rajan Rondo nearly ripping out another player’s upper lip to save the game, and Rajon Rondo throwing the guy he tripped into a courtside table, which nearly resulted into a violent fist-fight). I’m way over my monthly texting allowance because of how many times I have to message my brother, my friend Mac who lives in Boston, and Comic Vs. Audience’s own Dave Walk.
But honestly, I’m not a good enough writer to explain to the unconvinced as to why I care so much.
The only way is to see for yourselves tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Join Dave and I at the Fox and Hound at 15th and Spruce to see me at my most sociopathic.
Gregg Gethard is a Philadelphia writer and comedian that will host his monthly show BEDTIME STORIES at Connie's Ric Rac on Wednesday, May 20th. This month's show will be a prom.
Posted by d at 7:09 AM
Friday, May 1, 2009
Some additional talk with British new wave singer R.O. Manse that didn't make it to air on The C vs. A Radio Hour. R.O. has a new Best of R.O. Manse compilation out now on AST Records. Listen to the original interview here.
(Feel free to write a review in iTunes!)
Listen to this episode (4:37):