December PHIT shows are upon us


Following their personal record-length run last month, the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER is set to kick off its December shows this week with some of your old favorites, a little reformatting of familiar formats and some great new comedy.

  • Aaron Hertzog’s Hey Everybody! continues its newly minted weekly slot, surrounded by the fun usual suspects like Guilty Pleasures, The Bully Pulpit and Rant-O-Wheel… as well as new faces like TV Party! and Chip Chantry’s One Man Show, relocated from its former home at The Khyber.
  • Fans can scout up and coming talent from area colleges in Comedy University, formerly known as Improv Comedy PhD, and now moved to Sundays.
  • PHIT welcomes friends from afar, with Brick Penguin bringing a little DC our way and the Philly premier of Magnet’s newest house team Brick, featuring local improviser and PHIT director/instructor Amie Roe.
  • Cagematch winners Six-Fisted Dynamo look to hold on to their newly claimed title against the comic stylings of Grimacchio.
  • PHIT introduces Sketch Up or Shut Up’s improv step-sibling with its new instructor-hosted weekly improv jam.
  • Those Hopper Brothers are back again this holiday season, this time with their Happy Magic Fun Time Show.
  • And finally, house team Activity Book debuts “Metal Men” – a special run of shows featuring the alter-egos of superheroes from a failed comic book… exploring the comedy of not being so superly awesome.

The whole thing is topped off with shows from all of the house teams and sketch comedy from Camp Woods. It promises to be a jam-packed,  fun-filled couple of weeks.

Here’s the full run down…

Wednesday, December 1st
8:00PM Guilty Pleasures hosted by Brendan Kennedy – $10
9:30PM TV Party! hosted by Rob Baniewicz & Paul Triggiani – $10

Thursday, December 2nd
8:00PM Hey Everybody! hosted by Aaron Hertzog – $10
9:30PM CAGEMATCH – Six-Fisted Dynamo vs. Grimacchio – $10

Friday, December 3rd
8:00PM Activity Book Presents “Metal Men” + Asteroid! – $10
9:30PM King Friday + The Amie & Kristen Show – $10
11:00PM Sketch Up or Shut Up – FREE!

Saturday, December 4th
8:00PM Activity Book Presents “Metal Men” + Asteroid! – $10
9:30PM Camp Woods + Brick Penguin (DC) – $10
11:00PM Improv Jam hosted by Mike Marbach & Kristen Schier – FREE!

Sunday, December 5th
8:00PM COMEDY UNIVERSITY: Women With Class + Special College Guests – $10

Monday, December 6th
8:00PM Chip Chantry’s One-Man Show (With Special Guests) – $10

Wednesday, December 8th
8:00PM The Bully Pulpit hosted by Luke Giordano – $10
9:30PM Rant-O-Wheel hosted by Jaime Fountaine – $10

Thursday, December 9th
8:00PM Hey Everybody! hosted by Aaron Hertzog – $10
9:30PM CAGEMATCH – 12/2 Winner vs. Good Cop, Bad Doctor – $10

Friday, December 10th
8:00PM Activity Book Presents “Metal Men” + Mayor Karen – $10
9:30PM Fletcher + Brick (NYC) – $10
11:00PM The Hopper Brothers’ Happy Magic Fun-Time Show – $10

Saturday, December 11th
8:00PM Activity Book Presents “Metal Men” + Mayor Karen – $10
9:30PM Camp Woods + Brick Penguin (DC) – $10
11:00PM Improv Jam hosted by Amie Roe & Greg Maughan – FREE!

Sunday, December 12th
8:00PM COMEDY UNIVERSITY: Cookiepuss (NYC) + The Rubber Chickens (University of Delaware) – $10

Tickets and additional information can be found on PHIT’s website.

Tonight: Sketchfest Comedy Competition at Helium


ANIMOSITY PIERRE, the organizers of the PHILLY SKETCHFEST, host a sketch comedy competition tonight at Helium Comedy Club. Up and coming sketch groups each compete to earn a performance slot in PSF2010. On the bill for tonight:

Camp Woods
Young Folks Comedy
Bare Hug
Brendan and Aaron
Second Place Champions
Chris Jones (Schwarzkopf Entertainment)

Each group gets six minutes to wow the audience and the judges. The judges include Rob Baniewicz (of Meg & Rob), Alli Soowal (of Real Housewives & PHIF producer) and PSF producer Ben Maher.

Tickets are $12 (w/ two item minimum) and proceeds benefit PSF2010. Also, performers from last year’s Sketchfest get a half price discount.

TICKETS: $12 | 21+

Meg and Rob to premier new sketch show


Sketch duo MEG & ROB will be debuting their new show We Stole This Baby! next week as part of PHIT’s May shows.

For their newest endeavor, the duo presents a whole new host of characters and ridiculous situations. There’s Paul, the bear-eating weatherman with a dark secret; Sarah and Mickey, the old-timey couple caught in a surprising trap; Charles, the not-quite-Bill-Cosby ghost dad; and many more. Throughout the show, Meg & Rob’s characters are hilarious with a deep emotional core, whether they’ve just gotten divorced or are (quite literally) dead on their feet.

Meg & Rob are Meg Favreau and Rob Baniewicz, Their work has been featured in the Chicago Sketchfest, Seattle Sketchfest, Snubfest, and Boston Comedy Festival. Meg & Rob are directed by local comedy veteran and former host of Die Actor Die, DON MONTREY.

Sweepstakes from Meg & Rob on Vimeo.



Listen Up: Mastering the mixtape of scorn


Last Thursday host Dave Walk welcomed Rob Baniewicz to the C vs A Radio Hour to discuss techniques of making a proper mix tape when you’ve been cheated on…


The C vs A Radio Hour airs every Thursday from 8-9PM at Gtownradio

Must See: Shubin Saturday


Today I’ll be kicking off a new department, Must See. These posts will feature shows that I personally recommend that you do not miss. While I will always recommend you seeing the awesomeness of my own shows, these are rather the shows that you’ll be likely to find me in the audience next to you pining for the comedy magic that’s about to happen. So without further ado, my first recommendation…


Once a month PHIT puts together a week of shows at the Shubin Theatre. Most are consistently pretty good, but sometimes the stars align and a lineup comes into existence that will knock the socks off your feet and then proceed to knit you new socks spun with laughter, attitude and tangible awesomeness. This Saturday is one of those nights.

First up is the 8PM show. I can’t even adequately express how damn excited I am for this pairing.

– First off is CUBED, consisting of local improvisers Dan Stabb (DCT North, Troika, my old former PHIT classmate) and Mark Bringhurst (Makeout Clinic, DCT, PHIT Instructor). The duo debuted only a few short months ago, but are already garnering amazing praise. They tackle premise based situation improv (think Bassprov, Code Duello, BWP) as a pair of cubicle dwellers sharing a 4×5 walled partition. The audience provides the name of their company and corporate memos that the two use for inspiration. I guarantee cube farming has seldom been so much fun.

– Next up is DR FANTASTIC, visiting from WIT in DC. Dr Fantastic is, well, aptly named and nothing short of exactly that. The group features Michael Bass, Topher Bellavia, David Johnson, Tyler Korba, Zhubin Parang, Rory Scovel and Molly Woods. These folks are fast, they’re crazy and they’re damn funny. Consistently. I’ve seen them three times and been blown away each time. They aren’t afraid of anything and thrive on breaking convention… but every step of the way they do it together… a seamless group mind that sets the bar about 50 f**king feet in the sky. I’m not going to say any more about what they do so as I think you’ll be the better for not having a clue, but let me just say that they could be in the headlining block of my festival in heartbeat based on what I’ve seen before.

When those two sets are done you’ve got exactly enough time to scoop your gray matter off the Shubin walls, change your shorts and buy a ticket for the 10PM show (or if you’re smart, get an advanced ticket).

The late block kicks off with a set from BARK WHARF. I can’t actually speak for this three-person ensemble as I’ve never seen them perform as a group, but I can most certainly speak for these three people: Matt Klinman, Ali King and Jesse Paulsen. I’ve been around these fine folks in many a workshop and they’re a joy. They are also all alums of Haverford, which if you haven’t put 2 and 2 together yet, churns out batshit crazy good improvisers like it’s their job (Alexis Simpson, Scott Sheppard, the list goes on and on…).

Rounding out the evening is MEG & ROB. This much lauded sketch duo (Meg Favreau and Rob Baniewicz) has been on a quest of world domination, having recently played at Chicago Snubfest and will be touching down at the Shubin right before heading back out to play the Minnesota Fringe Festival. As much as we can see them pretty consistently at Die Actor Die, Bedtime Stories and a rare Troika appearance, their shows always seem to feel fleeting for some reason. It’s a rare treat for me to feel like that watching sketch, so I plan to take advantage of this and take in some fun times from the creators of Reviving the Lecture Circuit, Love Over the Phone and Dan Henkle, Relationship Expert.

Saturday, July 11th
8 & 10PM
407 Bainbridge St
Tickets – $10

TROIKA: Round Three


This Thursday will decide the final championship slot for Troika’s 2008 season. The winner of round three will join Auditorium and Velvet Helmet at the Grand Championship on August 14th. This round, your teams will be:

Brandon Libby
Dan Rich
Jason Stockdale

Cole Orloff
Dan Stabb
David Warick

Meg Favreau
Peter Fey
Rob Baniewicz

Troika, Round Three
Thursday, July 10th
8PM – $10
Shubin Theatre

PHIT Announces First Ever House Teams


The Philadelphia Improv Theater has officially announced the rosters of their brand spankin’ new house teams, and we’re super excited about both the veteran talent and the up-and-comers on these lists.


directed by Rick Horner

Mike Schwartz, John Nolan, Jana Savini, Kim Breslin, Jason Stockdale, Alan Williams, Kelly Jo Little, Diana DePasquale & Sarah Goldrath


directed by Scott Sheppard

Dan Rich, Rob Baniewicz, John Buseman, Kristen Schier, Gillienne Nadeau, Jay Brenner & Sam George


directed by Greg Maughan

Nick Gillette, Bob Swenson, Jefferson Haynes, Meg Favreau, AJ Horan, Katie Horahan, Rob Cutler & Shane Jenkins.

In their recent newsletter, PHIT gaves us a little taste of what we can expect:

“Over the next few months you are going to come to know and love all these people… if you don’t already – and see them become a great addition to the scene. So is the rest of the country: after premiering in the Fall, our house teams will start traveling, first to the People’s Improv Theater in NYC, then to festivals all over the country!”

Congrats to all the teams, we look forward to see you take the stage!