A Public Relations Executive Tries to Rebrand Ebola!

RE-BRANDING EBOLA by Mike Gillett

Starring Eileen Mary O’Connell (Ebola), Valerie Tosi (Sarah), John Abbott (Dad), Mitchel Baldwin (Son), Blake Walker (Czar/Ron Klain) and Phillip Wilburn (Rush Limbaugh)

Directed by Kristina Adelmeyer

Happy Wedding Day to Jen Cain and Sean Gould!

They got married today in Paris at the Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame de Paris!

Avoid Carmageddon II with Top Story! Weekly!

Last summer it was “Carmageddon” - and this weekend it’s the sequel!!

But we at Top Story! Weekly are doing our part to make things run as smoothly this time as they did last time, by taking part in LA Metro’s “Eat, Shop and Play Locally” program!

This Sunday, September 30, you can get two-for-one tickets to our show - featuring Frank Conniff from “Mystery Science Theater 3000!” Just show up at the iO West box office prior to our show at 9, and show your valid TAP card or your Metro ticket, and provided tickets are available you can get two tickets for the low price of $5! And your tickets will get you into all shows at iO West that night - including “Deskpiece Nation,” featuring writers from “Conan”, at 10, and “Back to School,” a sketch show with lots of TS!W writers and performers, at 11!

You can only get this discount at the box office on Sunday, so please don’t call in advance or try to buy them online. And iO West has a full bar, so you need to be 21 or over to see a show on the Mainstage. Valet parking is available for $5 with validation.

And here’s a bonus: we have a very limited number of comps for this show - if you’d like one, please tweet at us at @topstoryweekly and if we haven’t run out we’ll add you to our comp list! (Maximum two comps per person).

So do your part to make sure that “Carmageddon 2″ isn’t a disaster - play locally in Hollywood Sunday by heading over to iO West for Top Story! Weekly!

The 2012 iO West Del Close Awards!!

It’s time once again for the iO West Del Close Awards!! Last year Top Story! Weekly was fortunate enough to be selected as the Best Scripted Show in for the third year in a row. And that means that we’re no longer eligible to compete for it - and that the award for Best Scripted Show is now named after us!

If you’d like to vote, and you’re a student or alumnus/a of iO West, just head over to the Del Close Awards website and cast your ballot!

And even though we’re not up for any awards, many of our cast members, writers, guest stars and colleagues are up in other categories! Watch Erik Voss, Chelsea Coleman and our old house manager Tiffani Ann Mills announce the nominees!

Congratulations to everyone affiliated with our show who got recognized:

Best Harold Team: Bandit, featuring our cast member Mike McLendon; Local 132, featuring our cast member Julia Wackenheim; and Trophy Wife, featuring our cast members Rachael Drummond and John Abbott

The Dasariski Best Improvised Non-Harold Show: Comic Book Live! with our cast member Tommy Bechtold; and Dr. God, with our cast members Sean Cowhig, Neil Garguilo and Brian O’Connell

The Top Story! Weekly Award for Best Scripted Show: Brute Squad, with our staff writer Keith Saltojanes; Pilot, with our cast members Sean Cowhig and Neil Garguilo (and with guest direction from our cast member Artemis Pebdani); and Super Kudzu, with our cast member John Druska and our staff writers Michael McAlister and Taylor Orci, and directed by our cast member Brian O’Connell.

The Award for That Other Show: The One-Hour Improv Festival with English-Speaking Moose, with our staff writer Keith Saltojanes and our TS!W Report contributor Skander Halim.

Best New Show: Brute Squad, with our staff writer Keith Saltojanes; Glory Stories, with our cast members Tommy Bechtold, Sean Cowhig and Neil Garguilo, and our Sunday night bartender Josh Mattingly ; and HMS Death, with our Sunday night bartender Josh Mattingly.

Most Supportive Improviser: Our Sunday night house manager Josh Lassman.

Coach of the Year: Our cast member Brian O’Connell

Teacher of the Year: Our cast member Brian O’Connell

Best Poster: The Dick and the Dame, with our writer/segment producer Stacy Rumaker; Triggerfinger, with our cast members Damien Fahey and Grasie Mercedes and our writer/segment producer Stacy Rumaker; Trophy Wife, featuring our cast members Rachael Drummond and John Abbott; and Turner and Hooch 2: Murder at Wackenheim Manor, with our cast member Julia Wackenheim.

The Jon Crowley and Rebecca Stevens Award for Satisfying Service: Our Sunday night house manager Josh Lassman

Don’t miss the ceremony Monday, August 27 at iO West - we’ll be presenting The Top Story! Weekly Award for Best Scripted Show - and if you’re a student or alumnus of iO West, cast your ballot by this Friday, August 24!

And check out some photos of us at 2009’s ceremony here and here!

Top Story! Weekly’s Guide to the 10th Annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival!!

This Sunday, June 3rd, is the first night of the 10th Annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival at iO West! Top Story! Weekly is very excited to be taking part - we’ve put together a special show at a special time - Sunday June 3 at 10 (right after the Mad TV Reunion!). And joining us is one of the top comics in America - Bill Burr!!

Tickets are just $10, so make sure you get them now!! Not only will you see an awesome show, but you’ll help a great cause - part of the proceeds will go to the Chris Farley House, a residential sober living facility.

The festival runs from Sunday, June 3 till Saturday, June 9, with amazing shows and workshops every night. The cast of Top Story! Weekly will be hosting all week. And we’ll also be performing in other shows, and teaching workshops that you shouldn’t miss. Check them out after the jump:

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Join the Top Story! Weekly Writing Staff!!

JOIN THE WRITING STAFF OF TOP STORY! WEEKLY!!

Top Story! Weekly, the award-winning news-based sketch comedy show held every Sunday night at 9 at iO West, is looking for talented comedy writers to join its writing staff!

TS!W’s writing staff is responsible for putting together a collection of sketches for each Sunday’s show based upon the events of the previous seven days.

Requirements for staff members include:

1. Submitting two or more sketches each month (weekly submissions are welcomed!)

2. At least one week a month, attend the two production meetings:
- Wednesday night at 8:30, a writers’ meeting where sketch ideas are pitched and developed
- Thursday night at 8, a readthrough with the cast where all submitted sketches are read, a running order is selected and rewrites are assigned
- Friday afternoon by 3pm, turn in rewrites to that week’s director

To apply: Email a sketch packet (3 sketches, topical/news-oriented preferred) to tswpackets@gmail.com

- This file must be a .pdf file, a .doc file or a .rtf file.
- Email subject header should say (MY NAME) Sketch Packet

In the body of the email, please include your name, email, phone number, and availability, and a brief note about yourself and your experiences with comedy.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 16, 2012.

For more information about the show, please visit our Facebook page or our website.

Even better, come see the show at iO West, every Sunday night at 9 pm. If you have any questions, or would like to request a comp to our show for, please email us at tswpackets@gmail.com

We look forward to reading your work!

Top Story! Weekly Nominated for Two 2012 INNY Awards!

Top Story! Weekly is very proud and excited to have been nominated for two 2012 Inny Awards!

We’ve received nominations for Best in Sketch Comedy (we’re the only show in Los Angeles to be so recognized, and one of only two outside New York and Chicago!) and Best Comedy Song (for “Sad Christmas Songs,” written by Michael Hughes and Gregg Lopez! We’re even nominated in the latter category with Flight of the Conchords!

And other folks in the TS!W family were nominated as well:

- Our home venue, iO West, was nominated for Best Venue and Best Training Program!

- One of our head writers, Matt Manser, was nominated for Best in Stand-Up!

- Bro Squad 5, featuring our writer/segment co-producer Phil Ranta, was nominated for Best in Long Form!

- And one of our writers, Keith Saltojanes, was nominated for Best Instructor, his team English Speaking Moose was nominated for Best in Long Form, and his school ImprovLA was nominated for Best Training Program!

If you could take a moment and vote for us in categories #7 and #11, we’d really appreciate it! Just follow this link!

Top Story! Weekly Nominated for Two 2012 INNY Awards!!

Top Story! Weekly is very proud and excited to have been nominated for two 2012 Inny Awards!

We’ve received nominations for Best in Sketch Comedy (we’re the only show in Los Angeles to be so recognized, and one of only two outside New York and Chicago!) and Best Comedy Song (for “Sad Christmas Songs,” written by Michael Hughes and Gregg Lopez! We’re even nominated in the latter category with Flight of the Conchords!

And other folks in the TS!W family were nominated as well:

- Our home venue, iO West, was nominated for Best Venue and Best Training Program!

- One of our head writers, Matt Manser, was nominated for Best in Stand-Up!

- Bro Squad 5, featuring our writer/segment co-producer Phil Ranta, was nominated for Best in Long Form!

- And one of our writers, Keith Saltojanes, was nominated for Best Instructor, his team English Speaking Moose was nominated for Best in Long Form, and his school ImprovLA was nominated for Best Training Program!

If you could take a moment and vote for us in categories #7 and #11, we’d really appreciate it! Just follow this link!

Congratulations to Kipleigh Brown and Emo Philips!

Kipleigh Brown is one of the cornerstones of our cast. She’ll dazzle you playing everyone from Michele Bachmann to Ke$ha to Elizabeth Montgomery in “Bewitched.” And she’s the best darn comedy news anchor you’ll ever see.

And comedy fans know Emo Philips as one of the legends of the business. He’s been a great friend of our show over the years, gracing us as our guest comedian many times and even writing a sketch or two (with Kip!) and making cameo appearances in our sketches. And many Sunday nights you can find him in our audience, cheering us on.

But today, you’ll find many of us cheering Kip and Emo on, as they are getting married! All of us at Top Story! Weekly wish Tom and Sarah all the best for a lifetime of happiness together!

And to celebrate this great day, enjoy this great sketch that Kip and Emo wrote together!

Top Story! Weekly Nominated For Two 2011 Del Close Awards!!

Last year Top Story! Weekly was fortunate enough to be selected as the Best Scripted Show in iO West’s Del Close Awards for the second year in a row. The 2011 nominations were announced last week, and Top Story! Weekly was thrilled to once again receive a nomination as Best Scripted Show!

We also picked up a second nomination when our cast member Matt Moore got a nod for Best Portrayal of an Object for his amazing work in two scenes in our February 20 show as Watson, the Jeopardy Playing Computer!

Here he is in “What Is Robotic Domination?” by Phil Ranta, also starring Christopher Biewer (Ken Jennings), Sean Cowhig (Brad Rutter), Jimmy Guidish (Gary) and Kipleigh Brown (Ellen):

And here Matt reprises his role in in “Oscar Computer” by Andrew Payne, also starring Phillip Wilburn and Artemis Pebdani:

If you’d like to vote, and you’re a student or alumnus/a of iO West, just head over to the Del Close Awards website and cast your ballot!

We’re very excited that so many of our cast members, writers, guest stars and colleagues received votes in other categories! Here’s our cast member Damien Fahey announcing the awards with Grasie Mercedes:

Congratulations to everyone affiliated with our show who got recognized:

The Jon Crowley Excellence in Bartending Award: Our cast members Brian O’Connell and Tommy Bechtold, and our Sunday night bartender Molly Prather

Best Waitstaff: Our Sunday night server Vanessa Ramos (who did an awesome set in our show last year, posted right below) and also Rebecca Stevens, who’s guested with us.:

Hardest Working Intern: Our amazing house manager Filup Molina

The Herb Koss Most Supportive Audience Member Award: Our writer Faryl Saliman Reingold

Best Del Close Theater Show: Triggerfinger, with our cast member Damien Fahey and our writer Stacy Rumaker, and Danger Snack, also with Stacy

The Dasariski Best Improvised Non-Harold Show: Dr. God, with our cast members Sean Cowhig, Neil Garguilo and Brian O’Connell

The Nick Armstrong Sexiest Player Award: Sean Cowhig and last year’s winner Tommy Bechtold! If you’d like to check out the sexiness, watch this sexy, sexy video, “Sean Cowhig: Man’s Man”:

Coach of the Year: Cast member Brian O’Connell

Best Harold Team: Trophy Wife, featuring cast members Rachael Drummond and John Abbott

And check out some photos of us at 2009’s ceremony here and here!