Not sure if you've noticed, but 2008 is coming to a close. And to celebrate and look back, we asked a bunch of Philadelphia comedians what were there favorite/funniest/most awesome moments of the year. We'll be posting their responses over the next few weeks.
Matt Holmes, Rare Bird Show
1. Sarah Palin and Tina Fey's portrayal of her
I'm sure a lot of people will cite this, but it really was a great run of top-notch comedy. Big kudos for one of the sketches being word-for-word replay of the real ridiculousness.
2. The last 2 Rare Bird Show appearances in the Philly Fringe
Yes, I'll put myself on my own list. Those shows were balls-out hilarious; an Arby's server named Trigé referencing gum-related urban legends, idiot vintners in a family squabble, me spitting in Nathan's face, anger-boners. If you missed them, you missed out!
3. The Action Section's Halloween Spectacular
This was a great Philly debut for a great new sketch comedy group.
4. Little Britain HBO
If you haven't caught some of the new Little Britain sketches, fresh from right here in the U.S. of A., you are missing out.
5. Hand Vagina on CollegeHumor
While technically from last year, I didn't see it until recently, and isn't that how viral videos work nowadays? Funny; watch it.
Pat House, stand-up comic
5. Getting introduced to the great sketch comedy that's growing in Philly.
4. All of the comedians that took the time and effort to regularly put on their own shows this year: The Ministry of Secret Jokes, The Comic Vs. Audience Show, Center City Comedy, The Urban Saloon, Stand-Up at the Bully Pulpit...
3. Watching Joe DeRosa tape his Comedy Central Presents...
1. Watching just about every single comedian work hard and constantly improve.
Gregg Gethard, stand-up, host of Bedtime Stories
1. Kent Haines interviewing Aaron Hertzog at an edition of "Why Am I Not Famous?" The awkward factor matched that of The UK Office. I know Kent and Aaron are good friends but watching this live was so drastically uncomfortable. This show was when the Fringe Fest was going on. There were a handful of older Fringe Fest fans in the audience. God only knows what they thought was going on.
2. Jamie Moyer's ridiculous speech when the Phils won the NL East. "We've grown as teammates. We've grown as men. We've grown as fathers."
3. The incredible overnight Paul Jolowitz WIP show where he refused to talk about sports. The topic, instead, was "Who do you find most fascinating outside the world of sports?" Jolly then went on to talk about how "no one would get his answer." The first three callers said Andy Reid before having long pauses when told they had to say someone outside of sports. The fourth caller took a stab at Jolly's fascination. He said "Warren Buffet." He was right. Jolly's show was ruined within the first 10 minutes.
4. Steve Gerben's fantastic meltdown during a Yo Momma battle at The Ministry of Secret Jokes. Gerben came off like the best wrestling bad guy since Jerry Lawler made a dramatic appearance at the ECW Arena where he repeatedly hit Tommy Dreamer in the scrotum with a bamboo stick.
5. Any and all appearances of Dave Hill in Philadelphia. Dave Hill may be the funniest person in the country right now. We're really lucky to be able to see him do his stuff at The Shubin Theater.
Matt Nelson, improviser, executive producer of Philadelphia Improv Festival
5. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT MOVIE BUZZ So many people want this to happen that there's buzz any time you go looking for it. But the movie got a swift kick last month as both Ron Howard & Mitch Hurwitz inked deals with Imagine/Fox Searchlight for treatments. Fingers still crossed (they're getting tired).
4. GOV SARAH PALIN There are so many things about the VP hopeful that it's hard to list them all. Notable moments include her jaw-dropping interview series with Katie Couric that fueled SNL's cold opens like crazy. Another topper was a Canadian duo prank calling Gov Sarah Palin posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy. They kept it up from quite awhile, even referencing Hustler's Palin-themed porno, with the Gov none the wiser (audio | transcript).
3. SNL The show kicked down the door of viewers this season with their political cold opens, but then has managed to keep up with itself, putting out some really great digital shorts (and memorable skits like Surprise Party (or just about anything else that Kristen Wiig touches). Also the addition of UCBer Bobby Moynihan was great news and I couldn't think of a nicer, more deserving person for SNL to pick up.
2. NERVE & IFC'S LIST OF THE50 GREATEST COMEDY SKETCHES OF ALL TIME I can't even begin to tell you the time I spent going through this list. Most of the sketches listed had embedded video right there, so it was really deadly to my productivity in April. The obvious ones are here like Python, SNL, KITH, etc. But they dug deep to pull out some great stuff from French & Saunders, Your Show of Shows, The State, Mr. Show, Carol Burnett and one of my personal favorites, Catherine Tate.
1. TINA FEY There's little doubt that Tina is the comedy queen of 2008, between her numerous Emmy wins, an excellent season of 30 Rock and of course her exacting impression of Gov. Sarah Palin on SNL. If only she could take Baby Mama back.