Thursday, August 7, 2008

Philly's Phunniest Contest, 8/6

Tonight was Day Two of Philly's Phunniest Person contest at the Helium Comedy Club. Fourteen stand-up comics performed with the goal of going on to the next round. The first day saw Brendan Kennedy and Roger Weaver advance and three more would be join them from tonight's show. A few observations:

- Tonight's crowd was noticeably larger than last night's. Common sense says that the trend will continue into the weekend with the rowdiest crowds for the double-header on Saturday night. Another good trend: we've seen inviting, open-minded audiences that are giving all of the comics a chance.

- Philadelphia city school teachers, for some reason, take up stand-up comedy. If you can perform in front of 30 bored students, maybe you can perform in front of a crowd of a few hundred? Last night it was Josh Bennett and tonight Bob McCormick devoted a good portion of his set to his experiences in the city's public school system.

- Luke Giordano successfully walked the tightrope that is recounting painful childhood memories in a humorous way. It can be easy to get "awws" from the ladies in the crowd, but that's obviously not the reaction you're looking for up there. Luke didn't have that problem though when he talked about his middle school classmates calling him gay in his yearbook.

- Jack Martin compared Jesse Jackson's and Barack Obama's rhyming skills and came to the conclusion that Obama has a better flow. Jack wasn't the only comedian to get political, but none of it got preachy or heavy-handed. Jack also scored points with the crowd for doing a pretty good Obama voice.

- Jason Schneider kept the crowd on its toes with material on how he's a college graduate that doesn't know anything, Social Security and how water doesn't work for him anymore (only cheese at this point). Look, I'm not going to explain it, you should've been there.

- Vince Patterson had a good set with some in-the-news stuff (pretty sure I just made that phrase up) about Obama, gas prices and Vice President Cheney. This is really a tough night to pick 'em, but only three comics can go on.

- The audience seemed to connect pretty well with 19-year old Emerson student Blake Wexler (he's originally from this area) as he talked about throwing up in his backpack, yelling "I don't give a fuck", and more. Again, one of those "you had to be there things", do you really think I'm going to give away their jokes here? Premises only, people.

- Conrad Roth closed out the competition with his dry one-liners and got a good response from the crowd. But was it enough to take him into the next round?

Ladies and gentleman, your winners from tonight's show that will be advancing onto the next round are: Jason Schneider, Conrad Roth and Blake Wexler.

Check back tomorrow for more Philly stand-up action!


steve odabashian said...

I knew I should have bet on Schneider.

Good job Conrad, Blake and Jason. All 3 are solid performers.

pat barker said...

Reminder: Come see semi-finalists Brendan Kennedy and Blake Wexler at the Comic vs. Audience Comedy Show on August 11! Pat Barker and Nolan Gilbride will also be there but who cares.