It’s officially Comedy Month here in Philly, meaning you have the next few weeks to catch an impressive lineup of national acts perform alongside a slew of our finest homegrown comedic sketch and improv groups like Rare Bird Show, King Friday, Camp Woods, Rookie Card and Animosity Pierre. You can expect worthwhile shows each night, but here’s a few you’d just be flat-out stupid to miss.
The Amie & Kristen Show (Fri., Oct. 7, 10pm)
With their child-like charm and killer wit, Kristen Schier and Amie Roe make improv look easy. The Philly Improv Theater alumnae both currently teach and direct at the Philly Improv Theater and have studied at the top comedy institutions in New York and Boston. You can also see Schier on Thursday (10/6) as “Veronica from Old City” in Real Housewives of Philadelphia.
Drum Machine (Sat., Oct. 8, 10pm)
After being featured in more than 40 comedy festivals nationwide, nationally renowned improviser Jill Bernard is finally bringing her popular one-woman, multi-character musical here to Philly.
Don Montrey’s Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia Contest (Tues., Oct. 11, 8pm)
For the fifth year, sketch groups from across the area will compete for audience votes as they unleash the raunchiest, most vile comedic material fathomable. This includes New York’s Angel Yau and the Dependable Felons and local duo, the Feeko Bros., the sick minds behind 2010’s dirtiest sketch, “Slow Day at the Dildo Factory.”
Secret Pants (Wed., Oct. 12, 8pm)
You can’t mention sketch comedy in Philly without mentioning Secret Pants. As the oldest continuously active sketch troupe in the city, they’ve taken their act to stages up and down the east coast and have produced, edited and performed in more than 60 original short video sketches since 2004. Their videos have been featured at numerous outlets—CollegeHumor.com, FUSE.tv, Philadelphia Film Festival—and their live show is smart, funny and well worth your time.
In the Beginning (Wed., Oct. 19, 8pm)
During this live storytelling show, a lineup of local comics recount the various trials and tribulations they experienced getting started in the biz. At 10 p.m, the best acts from Raven Lounge’s Thursday night Center City Comedy show and Helium’s comedy group BirdText join forces for an ultimate night of laughter and embarrassment.
CIF National College Improv Tournament, Mid-Atlantic Finals (Sat., Oct. 22, 9pm)
Don’t think a bunch of amateur 20-somethings will be able to amuse you? Perhaps that’s only because you’ve yet to see this city’s young improvisers in action. For Comedy Month’s grand finale, the region’s best collegiate improv troupes will vie for a spot in the nationals during an entire day of match-ups. The most anticipated: Temple’s Fowl Play versus Penn’s Without A Net. There will be blood.
Runs Oct. 3-23. Various times. $10-$20. Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, 2111 Sansom St. 215.496.9722. phlcomedy.com
If you’ve been to any of the weekly open mic nights in the city, you know that sexist, racist and homophobic jokes are inevitable. There’s always going to be that one alpha male who mistakes narrow-mindedness for humor. Or, as local stand-up comic Alejandro Morales puts it, “There’s a lot of douchebag comedy out there.”
Q&A With Comedian Dave Hill