PHIT Shows at the Shubin in August


Tonight begins the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER‘s August run at the Shubin. Here’s a look at what PHIT has in store for comedy fans this week…


Monday, August 3

8PM: Comic vs. Audience Comedy Show – LAST SHOW – $5

It is with great sadness we report that the Comic vs. Audience Comedy Show will be having its last show on August 3. Join your host Dave Walk of Comic vs. and the fantastic comedians Joey Dougherty, Pat Barker, Chip Chantry, and New York City’s Matt Ruby, who also runs the comedy blog Sandpaper Suit, for this send-off.

Wednesday, August 5

8PM: Guilty Pleasures – $5

Comedian Brendan Kennedy has his finger firmly on the pulse of terrible written work (including found scripts, embarrassing emails, and more), and he is ready to present it all to you in all of its hilarious awkwardness.

10PM: The Bully Pulpit – $5

Host Luke Giordano wrangles a panel of four comedians in a round-table discussion, complete with arguments and personal attacks. Moving from topic to topic, the show can center on pop culture, current events, or whatever the panelists have on their minds for a show full of fresh, off-the-cuff comedy in the heat of the moment.

Thursday, August 6

8PM: Improv Comedy, PhD – $5

College group Mini-Prometheus performing with powerhouse duo Chris and Tami, who are here all the way from Austin, TX on their “Dream of Meal” tour.


Competitive longform improv! See two teams throw down and vote for your favorite. This month, reigning champions Rookie Card take on challengers Activity Book.

Friday, August 7

8PM: Amnesia and Attempted Murder – ONE NIGHT ONLY – $10

After being pushed down the stairs and spending a year in a coma, Jane Higgins wakes a to find that she doesn’t recognize anyone. So, in an attempt to refresh Jane’s memory and plead their own innocence, her family members make her a video. In this comedy, we meet ten of Jane’s closest loved ones. Who tried to kill her? You’ll have to see it to find out. Originally performed at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in NYC. Starring Jill Donnelly and co-written directed by Amy Flanagan.

“With unexpected laughs and macabre surprises, Amnesia and Attempted Murder serves as smelling salts to even the most unresponsive brain.”

-Abbi Crutchfield, The Apiary

10PM: Longform Improv – Rare Bird Show and Fletcher – $10

Fearless festival-hopping powerhouses Rare Bird Show perform with PHIT resident team Fletcher for a full hour of completely made-up comedy.

Saturday, August 8

6PM: PHIT Level 4 Class Show – FREE

Under the guidance of instructor Matt Holmes, students from PHIT’s first 400 level class show off their skills as they tackle the Deconstruction.

8PM: Sketch – High Dramma and The Action Section – $10

The boys of the Action Section and pop-culture-skewing High Dramma are going to attack your laughing muscles with awesome comedy.

10PM: Sex Time with Dr. Neil – $10

Dr. Neil takes his knowledge on the road with his first-ever live taping! Join Dr. Neil as he fields calls, takes audience questions, and proves to us all how little we truly know about the opposite sex. There will be live versions of your favorite Dr. Neil segments – The Givin’ Brain Quiz and Historsextomy: Fact or Friction! Sex Time with Dr. Neil is brought to Philadelphia by his biggest fan, Rob Baniewicz, of the sketch comedy duo, Meg & Rob.

11:30PM Sketch Up or Shut Up! – FREE

Sketch comedy open mic! Sign up by dropping a script or improv-to-sketch premise off at the theater by 9:30 p.m. 10 will be chosen at random, with the line-up posted at 11:15 p.m. Come to perform or watch!

Tonight: Final Comic vs Audience Comedy Show


Tonight we say hello to August Shubin Week and bid a fine farewell to the COMIC VS AUDIENCE COMEDY SHOW. Host Dave Walk plans to go out with a bang by pulling out the big guns tonight. Slated to perform are local faves Pat Barket and Joey Dougherty, NYC-based Matt Ruby… with the whole shebang headlined by Chip Chantry.

It should prove a night to remember. So get down to the Shubin and show Dave & CvA the love.


Interview with Bully Pulpit creator and host Luke Giordano


bullypulpitOn Wednesday, July 8th, the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER welcomes a brand new show to it’s monthly lineup, THE BULLY PULPIT. I recently had an opportunity to chat with creator and host LUKE GIORDANO:

Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me… First of all, can you tell us a little about the idea behind your new show, the Bully Pulpit?

Well, basically, the idea comes from a few places. It’s largely inspired by Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn that ran on Comedy Central for a few years, which is a show I feel like is really mostly appreciated by stand-up comedians. It was that and also that just hanging around with comedians in a diner at 2AM is so funny — I wanted something where that kind of atmosphere of making jokes and smashing each other could be recreated onstage. And I’d been talking for a couple months about how I’d like to see a show like that, a host and four comedian panelists talking about current events or whatever they wanted. So I figured I’d have to start it myself.

As the host, do you plan to guide the format with regards to the topics covered, or will it be more conversational in nature?

It’ll be a bit of both. I’ll have a list of topics that we’ll go through, but after I introduce the topic, it’s pretty up in the air with what’s going to happen. I’ll try to bring it back in or move on to the next topic if we get too far off course, but as long as the discussion is funny and good and interesting, I feel like we can see where it takes us, even if it goes off on a huge tangent. There’ll be more structured segments, too, like we’ll put up a bad movie trailer or YouTube videos and tear them apart, that kind of stuff. The format can lend itself to anything.

Do you see this as something where the comics will know the topics ahead of time, or where they’re reacting w/ commentary off the cuff?

This is something I’ve thought about a lot, actually. I think we’re gonna sort of straddle the line a little bit. I’ll e-mail the topics to the comedians a few days before the show so they can familiarize themselves with them. If they want to go ahead and write jokes based on the topics, that’s fine. If they don’t want to even look at the e-mail, that’s cool too. They can be exactly as prepared or unprepared as they want to be. Because if we’re talking about a topic for ten minutes or so or if we’re going off on tangents, it’s going to eventually move to more in-the-moment humor. I think the show will gravitate towards that naturally, even if any given topic starts out with some written material from the panelists.

So you’ve got some great local comics for your first panel… Kent Haines, Doogie Horner, Sidney Gantt & Pat Barker. Do you see your show as becoming a new standard for primarily showcasing local comics, or are you looking to invite people from out of the area as well?

I can definitely see getting some New York guys on the show after it picks up some steam after a few months. Right now, I think I’m just gonna concentrate on booking local stand-ups that I know and know each other. At some point, I want to start trying out local sketch and improv people and getting them on the show. I also want to try to book people against each other after the show has been established. Like booking two guys I know don’t like each other and pit them against one another. But do it in a way that doesn’t get in the way of the show. Or guys that are friends that it’s fun to watch smash each other — I want Brendan Kennedy, Benny Michaels, and Mike Rainey on a show together at some point for that reason. But I know Dave Walk has gotten requests from New York guys to be on the Comic vs. Audience Show, so if any of them wants to be on this one, they’re welcome.

Your show is scheduled on the Wednesday night of Shubin Week. This has historically been a difficult night to bring in the crowds, even with the amazing programming put together in the past. What do you think it will be about your show that hopefully causes people to take notice and get in the seats?

This is another thing I’ve been thinking about. Hopefully, through word of mouth, among other things, more and more people will come each month. Just like Guilty Pleasures, now at 8:00, this is a very unique show to the city. There’s nothing out there quite like either one of these shows. Same with Why Am I Not Famous?!?. And Guilty Pleasures is a great show that had a big audience last month in the 10:00 spot. Part of that big audience was people who knew Brendan, but part of it was also because Guilty Pleasures is always a hilarious show. When I was with the Drexel Football Team, I learned how to advertise and pack people in for our improv shows very successfully, but that was at a college and kind of an insular environment. People didn’t have to walk too far to get to our shows. Now that I’m out in the real world, my tactics have to change. I’m anticipating a slow build to massive popularity. Hopefully.

Well thanks again for the taking time to chat with me today. It sounds like you have something really fun in the works. If you could leave our readers with one final thought in anticipation of your show, what would it be?

Thanks, it was a lot of fun. I just read Roger Ebert’s review of Transformers 2 and it’s one of those great Ebert reviews where he just levels it, destroys it. Don’t go see Transformers 2. Come see The Bully Pulpit instead and watch us make fun of Transformers 2.