6 Top Places to See Comedy in Philadelphia

Performers with the N Crowd | Photo by Katie Reing

Performers with the N Crowd | Photo by Katie Reing

Where to Get In On the Action

The N Crowd, 257 North 3rd Street, Old City
215-253-4276, www.phillyncrowd.com

The N Crowd specializes in short-form improv comedy, the kind that you might know from Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Following a few simple rules and based on audience suggestions, the performers put together hilarious sketches out of thin air. Participation is very much encouraged, both by the small room and by the possibility of getting a free ticket, so don’t be afraid to shout something out or even volunteer to go onstage.

Where to See a Big Star in a Small Room

Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse Square
215-496-9001, www.heliumcomedy.com

Helium is the simplest kind of comedy club: round tables, two-drink minimum, low lights, and comics saying funny things into a microphone. What makes it stand out is that, on a regular basis, those comics are television stars and nationally famous standups. Over the years they’ve played home to Norm MacDonald, Kevin Nealon, Patrice O’Neal, and Demetri Martin. Helium also hosts open mics and features local talent, so don’t feel pressured to shell out for the biggest names—often the unknowns are the funniest of all.

Where to See Old-School Standup

Comedy Cabaret, 11580 Roosevelt Boulevard, Northeast
215-676-5653, www.comedycabaret.com

It’s a small room in a hotel bar in a Ramada Inn in the Northeast, so the Comedy Cabaret is not exactly the place to go for glamour. But the headliners are usually experienced pros, sometimes with national appeal, and the openers tend to be local up-and-comers. It’s a good place to go for no-frills, unfiltered standup that makes you laugh—and you never know, you might be the first to spot a diamond in the rough.

comedysportzWhere to Bring the Kids

ComedySportz, 2030 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse Square
877-985-2844, www.comedysportzphilly.com

If you think “clean comedy” is bland, smiley, and unfunny, then you clearly haven’t seen ComedySportz. These skilled improv performers are sometimes sharp and sometimes goofy, but they’re pretty much always hilarious. To be sure, the sports uniforms and whistles are a little kitschy, but get into the spirit of it and no matter how old you are, you’ll be shouting and cheering in no time (it doesn’t hurt that the venue is BYOB).

Where to See Comedy’s Cutting Edge

Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse Square
267-233-1556, www.phillyimprovtheater.com

PHIT, as it’s affectionately known, showcases every kind of comedy, from sketch and standup to improv and innovative forms (like A Few Short Answers, a monthly gonzo game show). As the name might suggest, though, PHIT really excels at improv—in particular, it’s the best place in town to catch a long-form improv show, where performers improvise long scenes or even whole plays based on a few audience suggestions.

Where to Get Cozy with the Comics

Crazy Cow, 4414 Main Street, Manayunk
267-368-6379, www.scoopermanwaterice.com

Crazy Cow is not exactly a typical comedy club. In fact, it’s not a comedy club at all. It’s an ice cream shop and restaurant. But on Friday and Saturday nights, in a tiny upstairs lounge, local standups perform their best stuff for an appreciative audience. The comics change night t -night, so you can never be sure what you’ll get, but no matter what it makes for a cheap date and a good story. The ice cream isn’t bad, either.

Scene from a Mask & Wig Club performance | Photo by Evan Robinson Photography

Scene from a Mask and Wig Club performance | Photo by Evan Robinson Photography

Where to Relive Your College Days

Mask and Wig, 310 South Quince Street, Midtown Village
215-716-7378, www.maskandwig.com

Every year, this venerable society of Penn kids set aside midterms and binge-drinking to put on a full-length comedy musical—which they wrote from scratch. Without fail, the production is professional, the singing is passable, and the jokes bring down the house (which just happens to be a beautiful old theater). Some nights, the audience will largely consist of very vocally enthusiastic Penn students, but that only contributes to the experience.

WATCH: Hannibal Buress Talk About Ruining Bill Cosby’s Reputation

Hannibal Buress hasn’t talked too much about the fact that it was basically him who reinvigorated the discussion around Bill Cosby and the sexual assault allegations surrounding him. After his performance in Philadelphia last year, when he flat-out called Cosby a rapist, countless other women spoke up saying they were sexually assaulted by the comedian.

Read more »

WATCH: Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell Get Hard in New Trailer

Philly comedian Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell are teaming up for Get Hard. The film flips the switch on your typical white-guy-black-guy buddy comedy, finding Ferrell playing a white-collar criminal who hires a black guy (Hart) to prep him for his time in San Quentin prison—a subject Hart’s straight-laced character actually knows nothing about.

The film hits theaters nationwide on March 27th, but gets its world premiere at SXSW on March 16th. Check out the just-released video above.

 

Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson and Illana Glazer on Letterman Tonight

broad city renewed third season

Just a heads up for all you Broad City fans: The show’s stars, Philly comedian Abbi Jacobson and her cohort Illana Glazer, will be on the Late Show With David Letterman tonight to plug the latest season of their gut-wrenchingly hilarious Comedy Central series.

It’s not clear if they’ll be doing standup or sitting down for an interview or both, but they’ll be sharing the hourlong slot with actor Don Cheadle and musical guest Mikky Ekko. And they’ll probably also be stoned out of their minds.

Tune in!

Tabu’s Last Laugh Wins “Worst Comedy Competition” Award at the WitIns

Every year, a group of rebellious local comedians get together to produce an anti-awards show called the WitIns Awards. It’s a chance for them to make fun of the local comedy scene, giving out awards for “Worst Comedian,” and the like. It’s not meant to be mean. Think of it as the Razzies; a funny way to point out some less-than-LOL-worthy moments in comedy throughout the year.

The latest installment happened this Sunday, and last summer’s comedy competition at Tabu, “Last Laugh,” took home the award for “Worst Comedy Competition.”

Comedian and Last Laugh contestant Rachel Fogletto accepted the award, which was a garbage-filled plastic bag with a penis drawn on it. In her acceptance speech, she pretty much zeroed in on the problem with the competition: “I made it through to like week 10, and we all lost to some lady from Atlantic City who missed like eight weeks of the competition, so fuck the Last Laugh.” 

Ouch-worthy, yes, but it’s all in good fun, people. I went to a few performances last year, and actually had a nice time—especially watching local legend Needles Jones crack a few zingers about AIDS.

But this isn’t the first criticism I’ve heard of Last Laugh. Even creator Josh Schonewolf agrees. When I asked him if he’d bring it back, he said “Hell no. … That was a bonafide flop.”

See, everyone agrees!

Check out a video of Fogletto’s acceptance speech above. I have it set to start at the right time.

Cast of Bob’s Burgers Coming to Upper Darby on First East Coast Tour

Bob's Burgers

Everyone’s favorite animated TV show about the Belcher Family, Bob’s Burgers, is going on tour once again, finding the cast on the East Coast for the first time. If you haven’t watched the show, it concerns the Belcher family’s reopening of their burger restaurant and the mayhem that ensues. There’s Bob (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), who is the chef and creator of all the corny names of his burgers, like the “Go Tell it On the Mutton.” He has a loving wife, Linda (John Roberts), who has a passion for dinner theater and a love for secret-telling. Bob and Linda have three hilarious and quirky kids: Tina (Dan Mintz), the awkward teenage girl who’s obsessed with butts and horses; Gene (Eugene Mirman), an enthusiastic middle child who plays the keyboard and is often seen in the burger suit; and Louise (Kristen Schaal), who is always wearing her pink bunny ears—except for that one time—and is known for her pranks and schemes. The cast will be joined at Upper Darby’s Tower Theater by creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard.

Their stop in Upper Darby will comprise standup comedy, an audience Q&A, a live-reading of the script and some of the unique tunes from the show, like Linda’s lullaby she sings when she brushes her little girl’s hair: “Here goes the hair / There goes the hair / Where goes Harry Truman? / He’s dead in the ground. / Dead in the ground. / Dead, dead, dead.”

This is just a taste of what you’ll see at the show, which takes place on Thursday, March 26th, at Tower Theater. More information and tickets can be found here.

Check out the rest of the East Coast stops below: 

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“Weird Al” Yankovic Coming Near Philly on “Mandatory World Tour”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

“Weird Al” Yankovic has been promising a tour for quite some time, and now he’s making good on it. Today he released the dates on his “The Mandatory World Tour,” which comprises 100-plus cities, including two stops within driving distance of Philadelphia: Bethlehem and Lancaster.

Kicking off on May 12th in Las Vegas, the tour is in support of his Grammy-nominated 2014 album, Mandatory Fun, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart. Pre-sale tickets are available via Yankovic’s website starting Tuesday, January 27th, and will be available to the general public on January 30th. For a full list of dates, cast your eyes downward:

Read more »

6 Philadelphia Improv Theater House Teams That Will Make You LOL

Looking for a night of LOLs to get a head start on those oncoming winter blues? Peek your head inside Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom Street), where Philadelphia Improv Theater (PHIT) offers an affordable outlet to guffaw till your heart’s content. Choose from an array of House Teams comprising some of Philly’s most talented jokesters, each holding the power to give your abdominals a bit of a workout. Rock solid abs and a hell of a good time? It’s a win win!



LISTEN: Bill Cosby Talks About Drugging Women On 1969 Comedy Album

An unfortunate video is making its way around the web today featuring a clip of Bill Cosby talking about drugging women on his 1969 comedy album It’s True! It’s True! The bit is all about the mythical liquid aphrodisiac Spanish Fly. It contains quotes like “Go to a party, you see five girls standing alone [you say] ‘If I had a whole jug of Spanish Fly I’d light that corner up over there.'”

Then he details how he tried to procure some when he went on a trip to Spain. It’s all in good fun, and he never says he actually drugs anyone, but still …

Cosby is currently under fire after allegations of sexual assault resurfaced when comedian Hannibal Buress called him a rapist during a comedy bit in Philadelphia. So far, the comedian has remained mum about the allegations, but the Internet doesn’t seem to want to let him live it down. Check out the video above.

(h/t Flavorwire)

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