Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Venue Review: The Arcade Comedy Theater BY Jeff Konkle


For as long as I can remember, downtown Pittsburgh never had a centrally located comedy club.  There was the Funnybone over in Station Square and the Improv in Homestead.  Yet iconic Pittsburgh streets like Boulevard of the Allies, Penn and Liberty Avenues remained clubless.  Sure there were grand theaters and small stages.  But those were reserved for stuffy productions of Oklahoma and college poetry slams.  No comedy in the bunch.

Now there is the Arcade Comedy Theater.  Located on 8th and Liberty, the new club has already garnered a lot of attention from the Pittsburgh Press.  It’s part of the overall revival of the Theater District and is a welcome addition to the rotation of comedy stages.  The collective vision of Jethro and Kristy Nolen, Mike Rubino, Abby Fudor and Randy Kirk was to provide an interactive platform for audiences to experience forms of theatrical comedy, from proven standards to off-beat styles.  Their opening weekend featured YouTube Sensation Pittsburgh Dad, Improv troupe Player One, touring magician Lee Terbosic, and stand up comedy from Sean Collier, Gene Collier, and me.


It’s an intimate room.  It feels entirely different from a comedy club.  The Arcade has that “you never know what you might see” feel to it. – Lee Terbosic

The space of the Arcade has a unique vintage feel.  With old tin ceilings, low lighting and bring-your-own-booze policy as the backdrop, it elicits images of speakeasies and flag-pole sitting.  However, The Arcade’s 20′s style architecture is contrasted by its Atari inspired brand of interior decorating.  The bright accents of the d├ęcor, the posters of old Nintendo games and the 8-bit soundtrack that plays before and after the show off provide the details necessary to make it a memorable spot.

When: Weekends
Where: Downtown Pittsburgh (8th and Liberty)
Drinks: BYO-freaking-B!!
Feature: Variety show feel.  Slanted towards Improv and Sketch
Attire: Middle Class Portland
Parking: Smithfield and Liberty
Cover Charge: $5-20 depending on the act.  I can’t stress this enough though.  It’s BYOB.  You’d spend twice that amount if you decided to go to a bar instead.

Jeff Konkle is a stand up comedian and writer.
Go see him live. 
Check out for more.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Venue Review: The Corner Cafe BY Jeff Konkle


When one thinks of the SouthSide of Pittsburgh, one’s thoughts immediately go to beer-hungry droves of repressed Duquesne students dragging their self-respect through the gutters of their parents nightmares (deep breath).   Nevertheless, it’s easily the city’s most bumping scene for alcohol, independent music shows, and gyro consumption.  But up 18th street, right as the Southside starts to blend into Mt. Oliver, sits the Corner Cafe.

I think the room at the corner may provide for one of the best atmospheres for an audience to see comedy in the city. The room is intimate and separate from the bar allowing people who actually want to sit down and enjoy a show to do so without the distractions of people who are only there to get their drink on. - Ray Zawodni

To put it in movie terms, the Corner Cafe is like the barn that Rocky Balboa trains in during the 4th movie.  When you walk in, you expect to see a bunch of coal miners quietly sharing a drink after a double-shift.  Past the pool table, you’ll find one of the best set up rooms on the Pittsburgh Comedy scene.  The room is narrow, has low ceilings, and shines a bright spotlight on the small stage.  It’s a gritty, smokey training ground for comedians strengthening their set lists.  Many of my favorite jokes have been born at the Corner Cafe.

I like the fact that 15-20 is a great crowd.  - Tom Kupiec

Let’s be honest, getting audience members to drive up the Southside Slopes is not the easiest task in the world.  However if even 15 actual audience members show up, it can be an unbelievable show.  Plus the Corner is probably the closest thing to the Comedy Cellar that Pittsburgh has to offer.  Big local names like Jim Krenn and Gene Collier have been known to pop in for a set.  I was lucky enough to be on a show at the Corner when CBS star and Pittsburgh native Billy Gardell dropped in for a warm-up set prior to his Comedy Central special taping.  My friends Terry Jones and Tim Dimond have recorded their respective headlining sets there too.
For me, the bottom line is that the Corner Cafe is truly a place where freedom of speech reigns supreme.  It’s dark, brimming with jokes, and beautifully anonymous.  When you come to a show, you know you’ll be hearing some real talk and some raw emotion.

When: Every Friday night at 8:30
Where: Southside Slopes 18th Street
Drinks: Cheap as all hell.
Feature: Blue Collar Authenticity
Attire: Jaromir Jagr jersey and Wranglers
Parking: 18th Street
Cover Charge: $5 donation

Jeff Konkle is a stand up comedian and writer.
Go see him live. 
Check out for more.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Venue Review: The Smiling Moose BY Jeff Konkle

This will be part of a new series on and  There are lots of venues to see comedy in Pittsburgh.  This is a brief introduction to each spot. 

If there is an epicenter of Pittsburgh Comedy it would probably be found within walking distance of the Smiling Moose.  Located on 13th street and Carson, the Moose is home to Pittsburgh’s longest running open mic comedy night.  It’s hard to tell what you’re walking into when you pass through the doors.  The name “Smiling Moose” gives the impression that it will greet you like a ski lodge with hot cocoa and a little dainty apple turnover.  However the Moose caters less to the NorthFace-wearing ski bunny and more to the Ex-mosh pit enthusiaist with a day job.

One of most consistent rooms in terms of audience turnout.  I have often met most of the “younger” comics at this venue and enjoy seeing how they progress from month to month or just how much longer their beards are from the last time I saw them. – Justin Markuss

On Tuesday night, hosts John Pridmore and Derek Minto wrangle in about 15+ comedians and funnel them to the stage.  The show starts off at around 10 o’clock (or whenever the Penguins/Pirates/Pitt Basketball game is over) and can go well into the night.  Generally speaking, the Moose tends to embrace a harsher style of comedy.  Just last week I was trying to do jokes about Home and Garden Television Network and was met with the kind of silence that made my ears pee themselves.  However, when I’ve gained the audience’s attention, they go all in.  With framed posters of Evil Dead and Army of Darkness adorning the walls, the tone of the Moose is one of campy evil.

People ask me about it and I always say ‘If you want to be a comic, you’ve got to do the Moose. - Aaron Kleiber.

As someone who spends their day in a safe and secure corporate environment, visiting the Moose on a Tuesday night gives me the opportunity to practice my jokes and to reconnect with my inner thrasher.

When: Every Tuesday at 10:00 PM
Where: E Carson and 13th (Southside)
Drink: $1 High-Life Bottles
Feature: Non-threatening Horror movie memorabilia
Attire: Vintage Metallica, Winter Bike Messenger
Parking: Side streets are typically the best bet
Cover Charge: No

Jeff Konkle is a stand up comedian and writer.
Go see him live. 
Check out for more.


Standup Comedy from a Darker Side of Life

Saturday, MARCH 2nd, 2013

Hosted by Ray Zawodni
Featuring Shannon Norman, John Dick Winters, and James J. Hamilton

We will horrify you into laughing, and afterwards you will feel guilty for laughing at such disgusting and terrible things.

@ Club Cafe on 12th St. in the Southside, doors at 10 PM, show at 10:30.

Go to for tickets or get tickets from any of the comics performing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Arcade Comedy Theater - First Look with Louis Stein

A first look at Arcade Comedy Theater with your host, Louis Stein. Get a personal tour of Pittsburgh's brand new comedy venue! See the stage, the green room, and our comedy furnace!

Arcade Comedy Theater Dot Com

Stay in the Loop

For directions, show information, and more, visit our website.
Connect with us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

ARCADE THEATER: February 22-23. 2013

Extra Life: The Arcade Newsletter

Shows at Arcade Comedy Theater

This Weekend: February 22 & 23

feb 22 and 23 lineup
This week at Arcade Comedy Theater, we have a full line-up of improv, stand-up, and musical acts taking the stage.

Leading the pack is the improv duo Valiant & Valiant–comprised of Frankly Scarlett’s Abby Fudor and Hustlebot’s John Feightner. The two will perform a headlining improv set on Friday, February 22nd at 8pm. They’ll be joined by Pittsburgh stand-up comedian and host of the hit podcast “Haters for Hire,” Derek Minto and singer/songwriter (and improvisational musician) Jesse Landis-Eigsti. Later that night, at 10pm, you can catch Derek and Jesse playing alongside the short form improv troupe The Temps.
On Saturday, we have an improv & stand-up double-header, featuring comedian Isaac Kozell performing at 8 and 10pm. The early show will also feature a headlining set by the Arcade’s own house team, the impeccable Player One. The late show will feature a short form improv set by the up-and-coming improv group Ruckus. Both shows are $10 each, and tickets are available in advance.

Also, this weekend we will be introducing our new Student Rush program! If you’ve got a valid student ID from any college or high school, just get in line 15 minutes before show time to get a seat for just $5. We will also be accepting 2 for 1 coupons during the show, if you have any from seeing us at previous events!

Get Tickets Here:
Friday 8pm | Friday 10pm

Saturday 8pm | Saturday 10pm

The founders of Arcade Comedy Theater

About Us

Arcade Comedy Theater is a non-profit, comedy-centric theater in the heart of Pittsburgh's Cultural District. Its mission is simple: to elevate and advance the art of comedy in Pittsburgh.
Arcade Comedy Theater Dot Com

Stay in the Loop

For directions, show information, and more, visit our website.
Connect with us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter

Monday, February 18, 2013

ERIC SCHWARTZ at the Pittsburgh Improv: April 6, 2013

Al Miller Presents Eric Schwartz
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Al Miller Presents Eric Schwartz
Sat, April 6 @ 11 PM
Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E is more than meets the four eyes.  He seamlessly weaves through a countless lineup of original characters and musical pieces, making him a favorite at clubs, colleges, on television and the web.
*"The Tonight Show"

Ticket Link

Sunday, February 17, 2013

COREY HOLCOMB at the Pittsburgh Improv: March 7-10, 2-13

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Thu - Sun, March 7 - 10


*"The Cleveland Show"
*"Half & Half"
*"Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out"
*"Howard Stern On Demand"
*"Jamie Fox Presents Laffapalooza"
*"Last Comic Standing"
*"Comedy Central Presents"
Ticket Link

Friday, February 15, 2013

CHRIS KATTAN at the Pittsburgh Improv: March 28-30, 2013

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Thu - Sat, Mar 28 - 30
Chris moved to the L.A. area to join up with the improv/sketch comedy group "The Groundlings". He became a featured player on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) in March of 1996, and a cast member in September of the same year. He remained on the show until May 2003.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

FRANK CALIENDO at the Pittsburgh Improv: March 15-16, 2013

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Fri - Sat, Mar 15 - 16

*"Frank TV"
*"Mad TV"
*"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
*"The Late Show with David Letterman"
*"FOX NFL Pregame Show"
Ticket Link

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

JOHN HEFFRON at the Pittsburgh Improv: February 28 - March 3, 2013

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Thu - Sun, Feb 28 - Mar 3
FROM:*"The Tony Rock Project"*"Sabrina, The Teenage Witch"*"Comedy Central Presents"*"Last Comic Standing"*"The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"
Ticket Link

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Comedy to Cure Brain Tumors FUNDRAISER: February 16, 2013

“Comedy to Cure Brain Tumors” to benefit RSG

The Boiler Room
1070 Banksville Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216
       Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Headlining: Aaron Kleiber
with Bruce Jones & Tony Monteleone
The RSG1 Foundation is a non-profit charity that is interested in enhancing the quality of life of people with brain tumors. Fourteen (14) Local 154 Boilermakers have passed away from Glioblastoma Brain Tumors, which is an extraordinarily rare and aggressive brain cancer.  This loss is significant and the impact is felt throughout our community!

Please join the RSG1 Foundation as we partner with the Boilermakers Local 154 for a Night of Comedy and Karaoke to benefit the RSG1 Foundation with two fantastic comedians, raffles, a buffet and more! 

Tickets are $35.00 each; ten (10) VIP tables are available for $500.00 each.   The fun starts at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the door for $40.00. (Each ticket includes admission to the Comedy Show, one complimentary drink of either beer or wine and a buffet).

Please make checks payable to RSG1 Foundation
You may purchase your tickets at the Union Hall or by mail to:
Boilermakers Local 154 – 1221 Banksville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15216

SAM TRIPOLI & TONY HINCHCLIFFE at Mullens Northshore: February 22, 2013

StaticDog Entertainment Presents Sam Tripoli & Tony Hinchcliffe with MC Tim Ross at Mullen's Northshore
8pm, Friday 2/22/2013
$12 Pre-Sale

Practitioner of the Deadly Art of Comedy

Sam Tripoli views comedy as a calling rather a profession. It's a passion that he's been preaching to audiences at comedy clubs across the country and on television, including Showtime's Live Nude & Russell Peters' Comic Without Borders!, Comedy Centrals' Premium Blend (receiving only one of two standing ovations in the history of the show), a frolicsome turn as a male escort for E! Entertainment's Party @ the Palms, The Late Late Show on CBS, and on Comics Unleashed. Tripoli can also be heard on The Howard Stern show, The Joe Rogan Experience, and as host on his very popular podcast, The Naughty Show.

On stage he's a force of nature pacing the around like a cyclone of funny. One second he's questioning authority and the conventions of our society then earnestly expressing his affinity for the bizarre and unusual in the next. His comedy has no limits. It's whatever he's thinking about in that moment, which is usually what everyone else is thinking about, even though most people won't admit it.

Sam explains, "I like to think of myself as the little voice in everyone's head, except I have a microphone and I'm funnier."

Relentlessly Hilarious

Tony Hinchcliffe is from Youngstown, Ohio and moved to Los Angeles in 2006 with two backpacks and a very edgy sense of humor. Since then he has tuned his comedic voice in the walls of dark comedy clubs in Hollywood. His stand-up is not safe or well-planned, but more of a personalized show for that night, that moment, for that audience. The off-spring of two organized crime oriented parents, Tony Hinchcliffe made fun of a kid on the bus ride to his first day of school. That kid beat the crap out of Tony. When people told Tony that making fun of others will never get you anywhere, he ignored them and turned it into his career.

While stand-up is his first true love, Tony also works in commercials, on television, and writes regularly for The Comedy Central Roasts and Comedy Central's current number one show The Burn. Working with Jeffrey Ross and Jeff Garlin has given him an opportunity to be mentored by some of the best comedians in the world while contributing his sharp thoughts for use on a grander scale. He has also toured with some of the coolest comedians in the game like Steve Rannazzisi (FX's The League, Mallcop) , Brody Stevens (The Hangover, Hangover 2), Don Barris (Windy City Heat, Jimmy Kimmel Live), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Jeffrey Ross (The Comedy Central Roastmaster General, The Burn).

Don't miss this rare chance to see SAM TRIPOLI with Tony Hinchliffe LIVE! in the Midwest, February 22, 2013. This star-studded line-up will leave you in stitches and have you laughing for days after!

StaticDog Entertainment Presents Sam Tripoli featuring Tony Hinchcliffe at Mullen's Northshore
8pm, Friday 2/22/13
$18 Pre-Sale


GREG BEHRENDT at the Pittsburgh Improv: FEbruary 14-17, 2013

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Thu - Sun, Feb 14 - 17
FROM:*"He's Just Not That Into You"*"Mr. Show With Bob And Tom"*"Chelsea Lately"*"Wings"*"Just For Laughs"*"The Greg Behrendt Show"*The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"*"Live At Gotham"
Includes admission and a 3 course dinner, your choice of entree
THU, FEB 14 @ 8PM
Ticket Link


Grand Opening this Weekend

Time to Play!

Grand Opening Weekend PosterThe lights are on. The curtains are hung. The pinball machine is plugged in. Arcade Comedy Theater is ready for our grand opening THIS WEEKEND! Are you?

We recommend the following easy steps to prepare yourself for the incredible line-up of events:

1. Decide which show you want to see. Do you want to see the magic of Lee Terbosic? Or new sketches from Frankly Scarlett? Maybe you want to catch the stage debut of Player One, Act Classy, or our house band, BurgerTime? 3 stand-ups comedians!? Radios plays and variety acts?? We understand if you can't decide. Consider the magnitude of awesome involved with just attending all four shows!

2. Buy tickets! You can take your chances and step right up to the Arcade for any show and get your ticket at the door (yes, we take credit cards!). Why risk it!? Guarantee yourself a seat, and save a couple bucks, by buying online now from Brown Paper Tickets. Check out the links below!

3. Bring quarters. Thanks to our generous friends at, we have a beautiful, vintage pinball machine in our lobby! What better way to pass the time before a show than try and beat our high score.

4. Tell your friends. Help spread the word about our new comedy venue by forwarding this e-mail, sharing our Facebook page, tweeting about us, or checking in on FourSquare when you visit.

5. Use the bathroom. These shows are going to be very funny. Side-splittingly, gut-bustingly, bladder-testingly funny. Can't be too careful.

Get Tickets Here:
Friday 8pm | Friday 10pm

Saturday 8pm | Saturday 10pm

Thursday, February 7, 2013

JOHN WITHERSPOON at the Pittsburgh Improv: Febuary 8-10, 2013

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Fri - Sun, Feb 8 - 10

*"Friday"*"The Boondocks"*"The Tracy Morgan Show"*"The Wayans Brothers"*"Soul Plane"*"The Late Show With David Letterman"
Ticket Link

Monday, February 4, 2013

ARTIE LANGE at the Byham Theater: Saturday, April 13, 2013



One of the most sought after live comedians in the business, Artie Lange will bring his natural storytelling ability and seemingly bottomless pit of material to the Byham Theater ( on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 8:00PM.  Tickets go on sale to the public starting Wednesday, January 30. However, those signed up for the Byham Theater’s email-listing will receive a promo code for a special pre-sale starting today.
Tickets are: $42.50, $52.50, $62.50 and $75.00.  Prices include facility fees, but are subject to additional convenience fees and handling charges.  Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling/visiting The box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue, Cultural District (9:00AM to 9:00PM, Monday-Saturday; 12:00 Noon to 6:00PM, Sunday) at 412-456-6666Tickets may also be purchased at the Byham Theatre Box Office, up to 2 hours prior to curtain for any ticketed event.
When Artie Lange joined the permanent cast of The Howard Stern Show in 2001, it was possibly the greatest thing ever to happen in the Stern universe, second only to the show’s move to the wild, uncensored frontier of satellite radio.  Lange provided what Stern had yet to find all in the same place: a wit quick enough to keep up with his own, a pathetic self-image to dwarf his own, a personal history that was both heartbreaking and hilarious, and an ingrained sense of self-sabotage that continually kept things interesting.  All of these things made Artie Lange a beloved member of the Stern family for 5 years and helped his memoir, Too Fat To Fish, become a New York Times bestseller.
Lange began his career in the comedy clubs of New York City, where he helped to create the popular sketch comedy group, Live On Tape.  His breakout work with Live On Tape landed him his debut television role as an original series regular on Fox’s Mad TV. His success on Mad TV led to being cast opposite Norm MacDonald in Lange’s first starring role in the MGM feature film Dirty Work.  This lead to a string of feature films including, New Line’s The Bachelor, starring opposite Chris O’Donnell and Renee Zellweger; Lost and Found with David Spade for Warner Brothers; Kinka Usher’s Mystery Men and the independent drama The Fourth Floor, opposite Juliette Lewis and William Hurt.  Lange also had supporting roles in the Dreamworks feature film, Old School, and New Line Cinema’s, Elf.
Lange also starred, co-wrote, and produced his own feature film, Beer League.  Richard Roeper gave it a “Thumbs Up,” and the readers of the New York Times rated it four out of five stars.  He is also a regular guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Best Damn Sports Show, Period.  He was a guest roaster on Comedy Central’s Roasts of Hugh Hefner and William Shatner and also shot episodes of the critically acclaimed hit series Entourage for HBO, and the season finale of Rescue Me for F/X.
Lange can now be heard 5 nights a week on the Fox News Radio show he co-created with fellow comic, Nick DiPaolo.  Launched in 2011, the show has garnered rave reviews and a massive fan base.
Downstage Entertainment
Based in New York City, Downstage Entertainment is a live entertainment booking and promotion company dedicated to bringing the best and the brightest entertainers to the big stage. The company's hands-on, relationship driven approach to promotion, coupled with its intent to make each show a lasting memory for all audience members, has very quickly earned Downstage Entertainment a name for itself in the industry.
Media Contact: Matt Kleinschmidt, The Syndicate | (201) 864-0900 x248 |