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NEWS
July 22, 2015
IT WAS A couple of decades ago, maybe more, at the Improv in L.A., back when it was still smoke-filled. Philadelphia's the Legendary Wid had just finished his set, recalls Steve Young, who was standing backstage next to the next comic to go on, Robin Williams. "How do I follow that? " Williams wondered aloud. Williams "meant it in a positive way. Wid was the best prop comedian ever, maybe still is," says Young, a comedian and one-time owner of Philly's Comedy Works. Williams broke through to stardom.
NEWS
May 7, 2002 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Judy Toll, 44, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., a stand-up comedian and a writer for television sitcoms including Sex and the City, died Thursday of complications from melanoma at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. Before moving to the West Coast in the mid 1980s, she was a frequent performer at Comedy Works in Philadelphia. Steve Young, a comedy writer, former owner of Comedy Works, and a longtime friend, said: "Most entertainers are extremely competitive. Judy was talented and very funny, and she had an ability to make every comic around her feel funny, too. "So many people thought they were her best friend," he said, "because this was the way she made you feel.
NEWS
August 21, 2009 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Joy Young Little, 59, of Bensalem, a comedy-club owner, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday at St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown Township. From 1980 to the early 1990s, Mrs. Little and her brother, Steve Young, operated the Comedy Works on Chestnut Street in Old City in Philadelphia. The club attracted the biggest names in the business, Young said, including Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, and Ray Romano. Young, who also did stand-up comedy at the club, said: "I was the face of the comedy club, Joy was the backbone.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 1993 | By Karl Stark, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With earrings bigger than her ears and a hairdo that hovers like a second story, comic Kim Coles is telling a roomful of people how she had dropped her bags in the lobby of a Philadelphia hotel and asked for "a gym. " "We used to have a Jim," the clerk responded, "but now he's a Muslim. " "I need to exercise," Coles continues. "Well, you're in luck," she recalls the clerk saying. "The elevator's broke. " People suck in their breath as one and let out a deep, rib-cage chuckle that makes their tables shake and their beer foam.
NEWS
March 12, 1989 | By William H. Sokolic, Special to The Inquirer
"This feels like the Christians and the lions. Is anyone here for comedy?" - Mary Frances Connelly, comedian. For Dorothy and Michael Yager, going to a comedy club is "a fun night out. " The Marlton couple frequently cross the Delaware to the Comedy Works or the Comedy Factory Outlet in Philadelphia. But on a recent Thursday evening the Yagers, along with their friends, Lynette and John Instone of Somerdale, went to the Cherry Hill Comedy Cabaret in the Hyatt Hotel on Route 70 to hear two up-and-coming comics, Pat O'Donnell and Mary Frances Connelly.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2013 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Stop me if you've heard this one: Philly is finally fully funny. There's Helium Comedy Club, where top national acts fill the room alongside such notable local stand-ups as Chip Chantry, Juliet Hope Wayne, and Doogie Horner. Spaces from PhilaMOCA to the Trocadero host comedy affairs of varying scale. We've got valued sketch troupes, improv crews and collectives with regular gigs - Comedy Sportz, Secret Pants, Philly Improv Theatre, Sideshow Presents, and the N Crowd - and more open mikes for them than you can throw a stick at, if throwing a stick is your idea of fun. "So many locals are working to make improv, stand-up, and sketch accessible," says Alison Zeidman of WitOut.net, a two-year-old info-packed comedy zine created by Luke Giordano and Aaron Hertzog.
NEWS
March 3, 1989 | By Barbara Beck, Daily News Staff Writer
Comedy in Philadelphia is a funny business. Not always ha-ha funny. But a funny business. And a scrappy business: the Funny Bone Comedy Club, part of a nationwide chain that opened this week on South Street in the Abbott Square Building, thinks it can lure patrons Tuesday through Sunday nights, instead of just weekends like the other local clubs. Meanwhile, it's no joke that the Comedy Factory Outlet, the Comedy Works and Going Bananas - the city's oldest comedy clubs - are all doing a steady, growing business that didn't seem possible 10 years ago. But can Philadelphia support four big comedy clubs in Center City?
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 1988 | By Sue Chastain, Inquirer Staff Writer
Robert Wuhl, the stand-up comic featured as Robin Williams' fellow DJ in Good Morning, Vietnam, once wrote for Rodney Dangerfield and now writes for himself. He will be performing his unique brand of humor at the Comedy Works tonight and tomorrow night. Wuhl, a native of Union, N.J., is a multi- talented guy - actor, writer, composer, producer and director, just for a start. You can catch his act at 8:30 and 11 tonight and at 8 and 11 p.m. tomorrow at the Comedy Works, 126 Chestnut St. Tickets are $10. Information: 922-5997 (WACKY-97)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 1988 | By Jack Lloyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
A delegation of Philadelphia-area sports and media personalities will be chomping on the ribs Thursday night at Manny Brown's Rib Joint, 512 South St. The folks will gorge, but with a clear conscience; it's all for a good cause. A number of sponsors will be shelling out $2 for every rib consumed, with all of the proceeds going to the Philadelphia Variety Club's programs to aid local handicapped children. While all of this is going on, the sights, sounds and food of Mexico will be featured in a celebration of Cinco de Mayo (May 5 - Mexican Liberation Day)
NEWS
November 1, 1989 | By Sam Wood, Special to The Inquirer
You can almost hear the folks in their old neighborhoods whisper: "He was a quiet boy. He kept to himself. Who would have dreamed . . . " Or: "Nah, he was the class clown, didn't do so well in school - always in trouble. Never thought he'd end up like this!" But they did. These guys never stopped cutting up, inflicting their warped perspectives on fellow humans, hogging the spotlight! Yes, three Northeast natives grew up to become Philadelphia's kings of comedy. Clay Heery, Barney Weiss and Steve Young each run one of the area's biggest, best established, most nationally prominent comedy clubs.
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NEWS
July 22, 2015
IT WAS A couple of decades ago, maybe more, at the Improv in L.A., back when it was still smoke-filled. Philadelphia's the Legendary Wid had just finished his set, recalls Steve Young, who was standing backstage next to the next comic to go on, Robin Williams. "How do I follow that? " Williams wondered aloud. Williams "meant it in a positive way. Wid was the best prop comedian ever, maybe still is," says Young, a comedian and one-time owner of Philly's Comedy Works. Williams broke through to stardom.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2013 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Stop me if you've heard this one: Philly is finally fully funny. There's Helium Comedy Club, where top national acts fill the room alongside such notable local stand-ups as Chip Chantry, Juliet Hope Wayne, and Doogie Horner. Spaces from PhilaMOCA to the Trocadero host comedy affairs of varying scale. We've got valued sketch troupes, improv crews and collectives with regular gigs - Comedy Sportz, Secret Pants, Philly Improv Theatre, Sideshow Presents, and the N Crowd - and more open mikes for them than you can throw a stick at, if throwing a stick is your idea of fun. "So many locals are working to make improv, stand-up, and sketch accessible," says Alison Zeidman of WitOut.net, a two-year-old info-packed comedy zine created by Luke Giordano and Aaron Hertzog.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2012 | By David Hiltbrand, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comedy Central has a killers' row of new stand-up specials Saturday night with Daniel Tosh followed by Patton Oswalt and topped off with Paul F. Tompkins. How's it feel to be batting cleanup in that lineup, Paul? "I'm not sure how ratings work," says Tompkins, laughing. "I don't know if I'm headlining or sweeping up. " You can be pretty sure the comedian won't get lost in the shuffle. He's staked his life on it. Growing up as the second youngest in a raucous family of six in Mount Airy, Tompkins learned early that being funny was an ideal way to get noticed.
NEWS
August 21, 2009 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Joy Young Little, 59, of Bensalem, a comedy-club owner, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday at St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown Township. From 1980 to the early 1990s, Mrs. Little and her brother, Steve Young, operated the Comedy Works on Chestnut Street in Old City in Philadelphia. The club attracted the biggest names in the business, Young said, including Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, and Ray Romano. Young, who also did stand-up comedy at the club, said: "I was the face of the comedy club, Joy was the backbone.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2009 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
It's surprising to write the words comedy and InterAct Theatre in the same sentence, but there they are: InterAct's Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes by Yussef El Guindi, at the Adrienne, is funny. And not in the "reductive and mean-spirited" way satire is funny, but laugh-out-loud funny. Which is not to say it isn't about a serious subject - this is InterAct, after all. Even more surprising, Seth Rozin, who specializes in Serious Subjects, has directed. The serious subject at hand is racial stereotyping in popular entertainment, more specifically, Middle Eastern actors who are cast as Muslim villains, and the tough choices actors sometimes have to make between their principles and the allure of lots and lots of money.
NEWS
January 21, 2007 | By Rusty Pray INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It seems as if Brian McKim and Traci Skene have been a part of comedy - and comedy a part of them - for, well, forever. The Audubon couple - they have been married for 18 years - met at a comedy club in Philadelphia. They started their careers in the 1980s as separate stand-up acts in area comedy clubs. No matter where they travel - and they have both performed in all 50 states - they usually appear on the same bill. They have written comedy together for radio and television, and together they founded and run a blogazine, www.sheckymagazine.
NEWS
September 28, 2003 | By Phil JoyceFOR THE INQUIRER
Jim Burke was nervous. He's relatively new to this stand-up comedy business, and he saw that the audience was mostly women at the church group's monthly meeting. "Some of these jokes are geared to a male audience," said the resident of LeisureTowne, the adult community in Southampton, Burlington County. "I don't know how it's going to go over with these gals. " There were maybe a half-dozen men in an audience of about 60. So, he started off with the broom joke: The female broom goes up to the male broom and says, "I got news for you, we're going to have a whisk broom.
NEWS
May 7, 2002 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Judy Toll, 44, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., a stand-up comedian and a writer for television sitcoms including Sex and the City, died Thursday of complications from melanoma at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. Before moving to the West Coast in the mid 1980s, she was a frequent performer at Comedy Works in Philadelphia. Steve Young, a comedy writer, former owner of Comedy Works, and a longtime friend, said: "Most entertainers are extremely competitive. Judy was talented and very funny, and she had an ability to make every comic around her feel funny, too. "So many people thought they were her best friend," he said, "because this was the way she made you feel.
BUSINESS
February 7, 1994 | By Karl Stark, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
He bounds onto the stage of the Comedy Cabaret in a black suit and a splashy tie. "I'm your next comedian," says Andy Scarpati. It's a rather brief introduction for the man who runs the club and who has assembled the largest chain of comedy clubs in the Philadelphia area. But titles hold little weight with the voracious audience sipping Dock Street beer and grazing on popcorn above the Middle East Restaurant on Chestnut Street. Nighttime is showtime, and this is Scarpati's show.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 1993 | By Karl Stark, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With earrings bigger than her ears and a hairdo that hovers like a second story, comic Kim Coles is telling a roomful of people how she had dropped her bags in the lobby of a Philadelphia hotel and asked for "a gym. " "We used to have a Jim," the clerk responded, "but now he's a Muslim. " "I need to exercise," Coles continues. "Well, you're in luck," she recalls the clerk saying. "The elevator's broke. " People suck in their breath as one and let out a deep, rib-cage chuckle that makes their tables shake and their beer foam.
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