News in Brief


Keeping you up to date on what’s going on in comedy

  • The resignation of editor Brian Howard isn’t the only change over at CityPaper… RYAN CAREY of Critical Mass has started a new weekly look at Philadelphia’s comedy scene, LOL With It. And in his inaugural post, he chats with none other than CHIP CHANTRY.
  • Some exciting news from CHRIS COTTON and the gang at CENTER CITY COMEDY. LLC papers have been filed and they’ve made it official. Congratulations!
  • The schedule for NCCAF (North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival) has been posted. Seven Philadelphia improv groups have been slated to perform – Jessica Tandy, Rintersplit, Adrift, The Ones, N Crowd, Cubed & Rookie Card… as well as four sketch groups – Camp Woods, Bare Hug, Emily & Micah McGraw and Meg & Rob (with 2 shows!) and also stand up Aaron Hertzog. My apologies if I missed any locals while scanning the list.
  • And across the country on the same weekend, more Philly comedians will be tearing it up at SFIT (Seattle Festival of Improv Theater). Making their SFIT debuts will be the Amie & Kristen Show as well as MattAnd.

Be sure to keep up to date on Philly comedy happenings by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

A new Cagematch champ arises


Last week, newcomer JESSICA TANDY (Jessica Ross & Andy Moskowitz) took down longtime reigning champs, THE ONES YOUR MOMS WARNED YOU ABOUT at PHIT’s CAGEMATCH.

After seeing The Ones toppled after holding on to the title for the better part of the past year, I thought I’d get a bit of insight into how everyone feels about the upset…

J: “I’d say we are definitely proud of our run at the top. The loss stings a bit, especially because we had one of our best performances, but we sure went out fighting.

JESSICA: “It was an awesome night. The Ones really set the bar high and as always put on a great show, they’re one of the best teams in Philly.”

ANDY: “We’re thrilled to be the group to finally take down The Ones, and we’d be lucky to keep our streak going even half as long as they did. We we fresh and new… and with each successive show we will be less fresh and less new, so we know it’s an uphill climb.”

B-LIBS: “As for our run, I personally felt like Julius Caesar: conquering all and then holding massive orgies. So I guess that makes Jessica Tandy Brutus. ‘Et tu, Tandy.'”

JESSICA: “We were just happy to share the stage with an amazing team and debut our work. Andy and I had so much fun performing together and were really proud of our work. Winning was just the icing on the cake.”

ANDY: “I think the most important thing is for us to keep having fun and delighting and surprising each other on stage.”

Finally, THE RICHNE$$ had a final message for their groupies: “Dear Ladies, It was a fun run, but we can’t be tied down right now, girl.  We’ll see you around and all.  Remember, girl, hate the game not the playa!  Most Sinceriously – The Richne$$”

So there you go, some broken hearts, some high hopes and lots of praise and mutual respect for what were a couple of great shows. For fans of The Ones, despair not, as they’re slated to play PHIF in a couple of weeks.

As for Jessica Tandy, the duo needs to be on their game tonight if they’re going to hold on to their newly won title. They take on another newcomer, RINTERSPLINT (Joe Gates, Matt Akana & Marc Reber), at CAGEMATCH 9:30pm tonight at the Shubin.


Tonight the Shubin gets seriously funny


Looking for a solution to that stand-up fix? How about a little healthy competition? Well, tonight the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER has shows at the Shubin for whatever ails you… It all starts at 8PM, as they kick off five consecutive weeks of Aaron Hertzog’s HEY EVERYBODY!

Hertzog has quite a list of comedians on the bill tonight, including Billy Bob Thompson, Darryl Charles, Doogie Horner, John Kensil, Luke Giordano and Meg Favreau!

Tickets are $10, but if you use the password *FRIENDSHIP* at the door, you pay half. Because, hey, that’s the kind of guy Aaron is!

Then at 9:30 – new upstart JESSICA TANDY (Jessica Ross and Andy Moskowitz) look to unseat six time champs THE ONES YOUR MOMS WARNED YOU ABOUT in CAGEMATCH. Currently on an unmatched winning streak, will tonight be the night The Ones fall? Your votes decide!

Current Cagematch Champs: The Ones Your Moms Warned You About


Comedian Profile: Jason Stockdale


Editors Note: In celebration of The 2010 ComedySportz World Championship, this week we’ll be profiling comedians from the local ComedySportz roster.


Might have seen him in: ComedySportz, The Ones Your Moms Warned You About

Hangs his hat in: Chestnut Hill

Stomping Grounds: Neptune, NJ

Pays the Bills: Hotel Reservations Manager/Baseball Stadium Hot Dog Launcher and Birthday Greeter/All Around Swell Guy

Projects: Director of Ladies And Gentlemen, fresh off of Rodgers And Hammerstein Are Dead.

Other Hobbies: No time, must keep working and improvising! (Actually, I enjoy comic books, video games and bouncing erratically around between different kinds of music – currently ensconced in nerdcore).

Why Improv?

Would you ask a bee “why honey”? Or a kangaroo “why pouches”? (digress)

Actually my love of improv extends from my love of theatre – the love of watching something happening in front of you, alive, energetic – something that moves and bounces. Something that will never be the same again – even if its a scripted work, the experience changes from night to night, due to the fact that the viewers change from night to night. Improv just moves that to a more dangerous and exciting level – it won’t ever be the same not only from the audience perspective, but from the performers perspective as well. Improv is made of moments, as is life. I also like performing improv because I get to simultaneously hide and be exposed.

If you know someone who you think should be profiled, we’d love to hear about them.

Comedian Profile: Dan Rich


Editors Note: In this segment, we step away from the stage and take a look at comedians in the Philadelphia area… Learn a little more about where they come from, what they do while not performing and of course the question we all ask ourselves… Why do we do it?


Might have seen him in: Fletcher, The Ones Your Moms Warned You About

Hangs his hat in: South Philly

Stomping Grounds: Philadelphia, PA

Pays the Bills: Actor, performer, Phanstormer and food runner

Other Hobbies: reading, writing, music, movies (starting film school in the Fall), bike rides, Madonna, dancing, and taking care of my house plants

Why Improv?

Originally, I used improv to excercise my acting skills in between theater and film gigs, but now, it has become a passion.  I have fallen in love with improv’s limitless creativity, and I am addicted to the thrill of creating a show in the moment with absolutely nothing but your teammates (and a few chairs).  Besides, who doesn’t love to laugh?

If you know someone who you think should be profiled, we’d love to hear about them.

Lineup for PHIT at the Shubin


It’s time once again for the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER to take up residence at the Shubin Theatre. They’ve put together a lot of great programming to kick off July… including recurring favorites like the BULLY PULPIT, a new Cagematch challenger looking to take down THE ONES…, the very audience inclusive M@&, new Troika breakout DECONSTRUCTING STEVE, newcomers WALT!, the much anticipated KEVIN ALLISON SKETCH COMEDY SPECTACULAR and if memory serves, the first ever L1 CLASS SHOW. Here’s the breakdown:

Wed, June 30
8:00pm – The Bully Pulpit

Thu, July 1
8:00pm – M@& + Friends
9:30pm – Angry People Building Things + Friends

Fri, July 2
8:00pm – Deconstructing Steve + Leo Callahan
9:30pm – King Friday + Friends

Sat, July 3
6:00pm – Storytelling Grad Show
8:00pm – Kevin Allison’s Sketch Comedy Spectacular
9:30pm – Kevin Allison’s Sketch Comedy Spectacular

Mon, July 5
8:00pm – The Moops

Wed, July 7
8:00pm – Guilty Pleasures

Thu, July 8
8:00pm – Hey Everybody!
9:30pm – CAGEMATCH: Stranger, Danger vs. The Ones

Fri, July 9
8:00pm – CUBED + Rookie Card
9:30pm – Fletcher + Friends

Sat, July 10
8:00pm – Bare Hugs + WALT!
9:30pm – Epsilon Faction + Activity Book

Sun, July 11
6:00pm – Class Show: Emily Davis’ L1
8:00pm – WALT! + Bare Hugs

JUNE 30 – JULY 11
TICKETS: $5 – $10

Sat: Troika Goes Nationwide


For the last three years, TROIKA has been matching up local improvisers into trios. I created the show as a way for people to experiment with new forms and collaborate outside of their normal circles without having to invest in an entirely new project. It’s also proved to be a great way to expose fan bases to different performers.

Troika’s spawned some pretty unique and fun premise-based and concept shows… we’ve seen musicals, rock band reunions, teen sleepovers and spanish language soap operas, as well as a colorful cast of characters including clowns, librarians, puppets and even states witnesses. We’ve seen groups from Troika live on to perform well beyond their season. Early teams PONYCOAT and BRENDA were the first break outs, followed by several concerts from VELVET HELMET, leading clear up to the current CAGEMATCH champs, THE ONES YOUR MOMS WARNED YOU ABOUT.

Last month, Troika expanded beyond its normal season by shedding its competition brackets for a special “blind” edition. Tomorrow night,  the show looks to raise the bar, as it takes its first steps towards national collaboration. Improvisers from New York, Boston, DC and as far away as Los Angeles will take the stage with some of Philly’s best. They’ll form three trios never before seen on stage, and not likely to be seen again:

Hannah Foell (Cambridge, MA)
Nathan Edmondson (Philadelphia, PA)
Topher Bellavia (Washington, DC)

Alli Soowal (Philadelphia, PA)
Luis Cortes (Los Angeles, CA)
Steve Kleinedler (Boston, MA)

Jason Stockdale (Philadelphia, PA)
Michael McFarland (New York City, NY)
Peter Fenzel (Boston, MA)

That’s some serious comedic talent, and all I can say is, you’d best expect the unexpected. So I hope you’ll join us for a special evening that is certainly never to be duplicated.