Like Father, Like Son is an independently funded television program dedicated to bringing together father-son actors to discuss life, family, and the business of show. This episode (originally aired 2/6/09) welcomes Ty Bradford, legendary television actor, and his son Ty Bradford Jr.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Your host Dave Walk will be talking to Philadelphia comedians, playing not-funny songs and other great stuff, so make sure to set your internet dial to Gtownradio.com. Who will be on the show this week?
Today marks to the day the 15-year anniversary of the death of stand-up comic Bill Hicks from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. We'll be playing some clips of Hicks' material and talk to Los Angeles comic Jimmy Dore about the man.
And during the second half of the show, Philadelphia writer and comic Gregg Gethard will tell his story of scandal, absurdity, triumph and love on the early 90s PBS game show Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?. All this plus not-funny music!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Let us say foremost that The Whitest Kids U Know have a much larger fan base then we had assumed. Their fans are young, overwhelmingly suburban and-- more than anything-- loud. "Screaming girls annoy the shit out of me," screams a girl behind us, while other folks yell catchphrases across the sold-out theater. It didn't take long for us to question our pledge of sobriety for the night.
The opener for the night is Josh Fadem—a California comedian who is half a self-aware parody of the audience and half a bevy of irreverent hipster non-sequiturs. “You guys seem like an edgy crowd,” says Fadem early on. “So I’ve prepared a dick joke.” We approve, even if the crowd didn’t (“Get off the fucking stage” yells the aforementioned screaming girl who hates screaming girls).
The Whitest Kids U Know took the stage at 9:30. The majority of the show was live material-- all of it performed in street clothes (they had lavalieres taped to their clothing) with only four folding chairs to serve as a set. This is their first national tour, but the Whitest Kids seem at home on a stage this size, even though they were performing on small NYC stages only two years ago. There are a number of technical foul-ups that we can relate to, and we’re relieved for a moment to see that no sketch comedy shows are without their tech issues.
The content of their scenes is well received by the audience, though none of it is groundbreaking. Much of their material hinges on misdirection or double entendre. Their scenes are more a collection of references or lists of shock items rather than defined patterns of action or escalation—but that is a non-issue to their fans. The crowd favorite of the night—a sketch about a vulgar, ghettofied Abraham Lincoln who is beaten to death for acting out in Ford’s Theater—is also their least substantial (and probably the most potentially offensive). Their best sketch (from a conceptual standpoint), wherein Whitest Kid Zach enacts spiteful vengeance upon his girlfriend in the context of a scene, is also the most poorly received. The Whitest Kids aren’t particularly concerned with structure, but they know what their audience wants to see—and their audience could give a damn about structure.
While the Whitest Kids may not particularly be our cup of tea, we know they are clearly someone’s. Many someones. We came to this show expecting what we’ve come to expect from national touring sketch shows—production value, crafted sets, elaborate costumes and props, perfectly choreographed tech, and barely a crowd. What we saw was exactly the opposite.
Like them or not, The Whitest Kids U’ Know are doing something right. If the success they’re enjoying now can trickle down to yield mass awareness, the benefits will be there for the reaping.
However, just like Frankenstein's monster, Pat has discovered his creation is an unholy monster that doesn't always obey its master. The Ruby Hats of Death is one of the most difficult, punishing games every played at the Ministry, and although Pat escaped with his life last time, it's uncertain whether he'll be able to do so again tonight. How Steve will fare is an uncertainty. Has the balmy California climate and easy, West Coast way of life prepared him to face off against Barker's split second comedic timing and razor sharp teeth?The two have history. This battle can be seen as a rematch of sorts, as Barker and Gerben clashed during Omniana last May:
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Last Friday, Los Angeles morning talk radio The Adam Carolla Show went off the air for the last time. It wasn't because their ratings were suffering, or that Carolla swore over the airwaves and the FCC shut him down. Rather, his L.A. station, 97.1 FreeFM switched their format to Top 40 under the new name of Amp Radio.
It wouldn't be fair to say that The Adam Carolla Show was just another morning zoo show. He gave regular (almost weekly) spots to "alternative" comics such Chris Hardwick, Doug Benson and Dana Gould. A radio guy at heart, Carolla loves funny people and fake laughter was rarely heard when he had a comedian on.
While Carolla expressed anger with L.A. FM radio being taken over by generic Top 40 stations and what he calls "ranchero music", he conceded that the format flip was nothing more than a business decision. He also talked about the station's program diretor's idea to do a Wing Bowl because, as the PD put it, "it's big in Philly."
And he's got other plans set in motion already, debuting his new podcast at Carollaradio.com. The first episode was posted this morning and while Carolla admits the setup is bare bones (for now, he's got plans to "get guests in here, we're going to get more than one mic set and we'll probably get a studio setup"), Carolla sees it as a way to connect with his audience and be able to say whatever the hell he wants.
Meanwhile, an idea has recently been floated around that if Sirius falls, why wouldn't Howard Stern just do a podcast? Certainly this should be taken with a grain of salt-it didn't come out of Stern's camp-but it makes financial sense.
Not that the idea is anything new. I've outlined the comedy podcasts out there that are bringing new voices and ideas straight to audiences that are rarely heard over the airwaves. One of them, Never Not Funny has even successfully ran a premium payment model.
I'm not trying to signal that there's going to be a max exodus from terrestrial and satellite radio, but something is brewing. As it becomes easier to distribute content over mobiles phones, MP3 players and soon internet-ready cars (if anyone will ever be able to afford them), an internet radio show doesn't sound so silly anymore (ahem). And when big names realize that they can do produce, distribute and sell their content themselves for cheaper, watch out.
Meanwhile, in a drastically different yet still effective payment model, Jersey City's free-form WFMU will start their yearly two-week fund raising campaign March 2nd (I know because I'm a proud donor and recently got their mass mailing). If you're a fan of comedy and know of WFMU, it's probably through the tent-pole show The Best Show on WFMU which yesterday started Best Show Gems, a twice a month "podcast featuring highlights from the full radio show. Classic Scharpling and Wurster calls, amazing phone-ins, random weirdness and more! It's a perfect way for a beginner to get on board, or for a longtime fan to look back and remember when."
Posted by d at 7:12 AM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Todd Barry took the stage a little bit after 8:30 and did a very funny set, as would be expected from such a great comedian. Or as he put it, "I'm much too famous to be the opening act." What followed him completely marveled me for the next hour and a half. I don't want to go too much into jokes or what he said in any kind of specificity. But I will say this: Louis CK is the best comedian alive today and is rapidly approaching, if he's not already, being one of the best of all time. What struck me the most while watching him, that more than ever before he speaks with a complete freedom.
I can't imagine there being anything that he would like to say but that he isn't saying. He drops words like "faggot" and "cunt" like they're every day parts of his vocabulary and makes no apologies for them. He speaks about subjects that would (and did) make normal people squeamish and uncomfortable or even offended, and then made those people see things his way and laugh about them. His audience isn't just made up of nihilistic fuck-ups like me who will not have a second thought about laughing at a joke about raping a dead child -- for instance, the group of middle aged women near me were dying at that, even when he kept going in more horrific detail.
Which, I guess, brings me to my larger point. Louis CK never had to sell out or go clean or pander to get a mainstream audience. He never had to tone it down. He never had to go to where the audience was to get them. He's become one of the biggest touring acts of stand-up simply by being the best and the audience came to him. And on his Hilarious tour, he's become more graphic, more extreme, more descriptive of all the horrific details, and yeah, even funnier. He's at the top of the stand-up game being dirty, but also when he's talking about airplanes, or how we use words and language. He can talk about anything and still be the best at it.
Another thing that struck me was how loud on the mic he would get when he was angry. And it wasn't at all artificial like some angry comedians who are known for their yelling. It was completely natural frustration. That's what I felt was most important about the show. Everything he talked about mattered to him. Even when he would get into digressions about the silly or gross, it still led to a larger point or philosophy, so when he did raise his voice in anger, it felt like it mattered to him, so it mattered to me. And yet, he was completely loose and it felt like a natural conversation or dialogue. CK has become the model that all comedians should emulate. Not his style or his subject matter or his delivery. Just that he got to the top by doing the stuff he wanted to do rather than what he thought others wanted him to do. And the result is the single best night of stand-up comedy I've ever seen.
Friday, February 20, 2009
That's local comic Steve Odabashian as Andy Reid (coach of the Philadelphia Eagles football team for youse that ain't in the know), filmed by Comcast SportsNet. Steve plays piano and takes requests every Friday night from 6:30-10:45PM at Helium. While he's out in the lobby tonight, Nick DiPaolo, Joe List and Kent Haines will be performing in the showroom.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Hot off a third season of their sketch show on IFC and the release of Miss March next month, The Whitest Kids U'Know are going out on tour. The NYC group will be at the Trocadero Theatre next Tuesday and we are giving away a pair of tickets!
To enter, just send an email with your name and the subject of WHITE KIDS to email@example.com. We'll draw a random winner next Tuesday.
In the meantime, enjoy these videos by the group:
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
This past December, as previously discussed, local comic Gregg Gethard decided to move his monthly topical sketch/monologue show BEDTIME STORIES away from the Philly Improv Theater and the Shubin. The show has landed at Connie's Ric Rac on the Italian Market and the next installment is tonight with the theme of "An Evening at Applebee's". In addition to the lineup below "there's actually a bit of a narrative arc with the show, which is something I've always wanted to try," says Gregg. "I think it might end up as a really special night."
Set to perform are:
Boy Meets Tractor
Little Miss Jamie Fountaine
Meg and Rob
Chris Cotton and Friends
Here's the official commercial for the show:
Gregg is a frequent writer to C vs. A and in case you were too busy gettin' it on, he wrote a Valentine's Day story last week.
The show starts at 8PM and $10 will get you in. And it's BYOB!
Posted by d at 1:26 PM
Tonight, the Helium Comedy Club is hosting an Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival audition with the hopes that at least one of the comics will make it to the big show. Set to perform are Philadelphia-area stand-up comics Pat Barker, Kent Haines, Chip Chantry, Chris Coccia, Pat House, David James, Anton Shuford, Andy Nolan, Roger Weaver, and Joe Bublewicz. No matter if someone becomes famous or not, that's are a lot of funny comics on one show that will make you laugh.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We've got one last podcast from last Thursday's C vs. A Radio Hour broadcast on G-Town Radio. The in-studio guest was the Philadelphia improv group Rare Bird Show and we were lucky enough to have them perform a set of improv comedy based off a suggestion from someone listening. Definitely worth checking out!
(Feel free to write a review in iTunes!)
Listen to this episode (12:41):
Over the years, the Philly Improv Theater has had some big names from the world of improv teach workshops in Philadelphia. And now, they have a big sketch comedy name. Kevin Allison from the cult MTV show The State will not only teach a beginner sketch writing workshop titled "The Joy of Sketch" and a sketch writing master class in April, but he will perform his one-man show "F*** Up".
The show is about me, but in the form of radically different nutjobs: A 90-year-old Jew, a monster, a salty sea dog, a Shakespearian thespian, a singing suicide and so on. There's dancing, hallucinations, urination -- all the ingredients of a hit. In real life, I'm someone who always returned to chasing his dream, even after making a jaw-droppingly catastrophic mess of life on occasions. There's something magically funny and cheering about the guy who walks right under a falling piano but gets back up and plows ahead. It's the reason we love Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Ralph Kramden. So this show is about daring dreamers who fuck up a lot along the way, then go once more into the breach. Comic heroes, I suppose.Allison's performances and workshops will happen from April 10-12 at the Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge). Performances will be on Friday and Saturday at 10PM and Sunday at 7PM with the workshops held during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Workshop spaces are available now on the PHIT website and tickets to the shows go on-sale March 1st at midnight.
Monday, February 16, 2009
We've got more podcasts from last Thursday's C vs. A Radio Hour broadcast on G-Town Radio. The in-studio guest was the Philadelphia improv group Rare Bird Show and today, listen to them talk to host Dave Walk about performing in festivals and where they'd like to see Philadelphia improv go next.
(Feel free to write a review in iTunes!)
Listen to this episode (14:44):
Check back tomorrow for a podcast of the live improv set that Rare Bird Show performed later in the show.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Valentine’s Day is a day of love. It’s a day of flowers. It’s a day of candy. It’s a day of Vermont Teddy Bears.
It is also a day that I once ruined for thousands of people.
This happened in 2002. I was a reporter for the Verona-Cedar Grove Times, easily one of the five worst newspapers in the country. (I know what I speak of as I have worked at three of the five worst newspapers in the world.) My main duties consisted of reporting on local school board issues, local real estate issues and other topics that made me vaguely suicidal.
One day, in early February, I received a call from a lady by the name of Bernice. She told me that she had a “pitch” for me as she had a “very important” story.
She had children who went to The Valley Educational Center, a private school for troubled kids from North Jersey. And, for Valentine’s Day, the kids at this school were going to put messages in puffy paint on t-shirts for folks who lived in a nearby nursing home.
Normally, I wouldn’t write about middle school students drawing hearts on t-shirts in puffy paint for a bunch of people waiting to die. But I decided to cover this story anyways. This was done for two primary reasons:
1. These kids were a bunch of juvenile delinquents. It was a collection of arsonists, thieves and rapists. And if there’s one rule I follow in life, it’s this: Always try to hang out with a group of pre-teen arsonists, thieves and rapists. Paricularly if there’s puffy paint involved.
2. This newspaper was a complete and total piece of shit. I covered stories way more retarded than this one. Earlier in my tenure at this paper, I wrote an article about a guy who grew a really big zucchini in his garden. It was the main story on the front page.
I went to the school, where I met Joel, the school’s executive principal and Robb, the school’s head principal. I have no clue what the difference between these two job titles exactly was. The only difference between them was Robb’s hair, which was straight out of the Jeff Ament collection.
“What you are doing for these kids… it’s just awesome and amazing. I mean, these kids have nothing positive in their lives at all,” Robb said. “So, for what you’re doing, we’re going to love you forever. After this article is written, we’re going to frame it for you.”
I told them that they didn’t have to do it. After all, I was a journalist, and I wasn’t allowed to accept gifts from people I was writing about. (However, I would have accepted the following: food, sporting event tickets, free passes to Loews’ cinema, free passes for Blockbuster videos, light drugs, a job reference, cash, and a new car, preferably a Lexus.)
Robb then told me that his brother was a reporter for the U.S. News and World Report. “He really misses writing these types of stories,” he said. “You know, the articles where you can really impact someone’s life.” I’m pretty sure his brother didn’t miss these types of stories. And I’m definitely sure he didn’t miss the $9.75 per hour wage.
Robb then asked me not to write anything that would “cause further harm” to these kids. I told him I would try my best not to, but that I would be writing down what Robb told me. He continued to talk about how fucked up these kids were.
“They’ve been damaged by life,” he said.
Finally, we made it to the art room. And there, as expected, were a bunch of messed up looking middle school kids – 8th graders with mustaches and/or wearing halter tops -- putting puffy paint on t-shirts. I wish I could be more descriptive than that. But that’s all it was.
I went back to work and wrote this article. It could not have been easier. It’s a story that tells itself. Messed up kids who are “damaged by life” put puffy paint on t-shirts for elderly people. I finished the job and went on with my life.
Two days article, our paper came out. My boss, Milo, called me into his office.
“It’s that guy Robb from the school,” he said. “He’s on the phone. He’s crying.”
“What, is he crying tears of joy?”
“No, he’s pissed as shit.”
I picked up Milo’s phone.
“Hello?” I asked.
“You are a fucking asshole,” he said.
“You heard me. You are a fucking piece of shit.”
I asked him what his problem was. He continued to flip out on me.
"Everything in here is a misquote. We went over the rules. I didn't want you to run anything that could hurt these kids," he told me.
"I wrote down what you told me," I said. "Plus, there's not anything in there which could hurt anyone."
"DAMAGED BY LIFE! YOU WROTE THAT THESE KIDS WERE DAMAGED BY LIFE!"
"Because that's what you--"
"Do you know what you did by writing that? DO YOU?"
"No. Please tell me."
"YOU RUINED VALENTINE'S DAY FOR THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES IN NORTH JERSEY. THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES. ALL OF WHOM WANTED TO READ THIS STORY. AND YOU RUINED VALENTINE’S DAY FOR THESE PEOPLE."
Rob and I eventually parted ways, but not before this granola-head cursed at me a few more times.
So, if you’re one the people whose Valentine’s Day I ruined all those years ago, I’m sorry. However, if you’re one of the kids I wrote about in the article, you’re probably in jail anyways.
Gregg Gethard is a Philadelphia writer and comedian. His monthly comedy show BEDTIME STORIES is next Wednesday the 18th at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th) at 8PM.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Our most recent radio show was yesterday and for those of you that really feel like you have something better to do, we've got podcasts of the highlights. Today, listen to New York City stand-up comedian talk about comedy and his career. Ted is performing through Valentine's Day at Helium.
(Feel free to write a review in iTunes!)
Listen to this episode (8:27):
Have you ever thought that the voices you use when reading The Onion, America’s Finest News Source, just weren't good enough? Well, Philadelphia absurdist theater group Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium are here to help you with that. They are once again putting on their ridiculous, profane show of Onion columns, this time entitled "Raw Onion 2: Laugh 'Til You Cry".
The show will once again be a fundraiser for the group. C vs. A wrote about the show last May (there's video up at Vodavoom.com) and Artistic Director Tina Brock promises many new characters this time around.
It all happens on this Sunday at 6 and 9 PM at L'Etage (624 S. 6th). Tickets are $20.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Your host Dave Walk will be talking to Philadelphia comedians, playing not-funny songs and other great stuff, so make sure to set your internet dial to Gtownradio.com. Who will be on the show this week?
We'll talk briefly with New York City comic Ted Alexandro. He's headlining through Saturday at Helium.
And joining us in the studio to perform an improv set live on the internet airwaves...
Remember, that's 7-8PM TONIGHT EST, streaming at Gtownradio.com. And, you can instant message us in the studio on AIM, Yahoo!, Gchat or MSN at CVSARADIO.
By the way, you can listen to G-Town Radio on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Simply download the free FStream app and input the G-Town stream URL of your choice:
High quality: http://www.gtownradio.com/gtown_hi.m3u or
Low quality: http://www.gtownradio.com/gtown_lo.m3u
Tonight at at 10:30 PM, Adult Swim debuts Delocated from Jon Glaser. Who is Jon Glaser? Well if you don't know already, you'll know his work. He was a writer on over 400 episodes of Late Night with Conan O' Brien, was the man behind Detroit Octane, Soundtrackappella, and has worked on a bunch of other great shows. Here's what the show is about:
After testifying against the Russian Mafia, "Jon" and his family are uprooted and decide to live undercover in a sweet loft in New York City. But rather than live quietly through a witness protection program, "Jon" convinces his family to become ski-masked reality stars and have their adventures chronicled for television audiences.Also, as seen in this trailer, Eugene Mirman plays a stand-up comic hit man (with a Russian accent, it seems) that's trying to kill "Jon" and his family.
And Videogum has a few clips:
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The second season of the acclaimed HBO series started last month and the first episode is still up at FunnyOrDie.com. Additionally, in conjunction with indie label Sub Pop Records, the duo is releasing one song from every Sunday night's episode the next day on iTunes. Their first EP for Sub Pop, The Distant Future, won a Grammy in 2008 and their self-titled LP was Grammy-nominated this year. Basically what we're saying is, these guys are hot shit.
Here's a song highlight from this season so far:
$41.50 day of
You may recall our post last May outlining a handful of comedy podcasts on the internet. With very little equipment on their part, comedians all over the country (well, mostly L.A.) can entertain, educate and keep you from every listening to commercial radio again. Well, it turns out that first list wasn't enough and this one below doesn't quite cover everything out there. Is there a podcast that you love that we missed? Let us know in the comments section or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I Love Movies[iTunes]
Recorded live in front of an audience at the UCB Theater in Los Angeles, stoner comic Doug Benson talks to his comedy friends about his second love: movies. Each episode ends with The Leonard Maltin Game in which Doug gives his guests the year and actors in a movie from the bottom up until someone gets the right answer. It's strangely intriguing. Recent guests include Greg Behrendt, Dana Gould, Matt Besser, and Mad Men's Jon Hamm.
New York City-based comedians get philosophical, try to answer big questions like "Where Does Your Sense Of Humor Come From?" and "Is Comedy Central Going Mainstream?" Their discussions aren't meant to be the end of the argument, rather a launching point for you to think about it more.
This podcast, hosted by L.A. comics Murray Valeriano and Joe Wilson, is devoted to guests sharing their awful road gig stories. Most of them are cringe-worthy, but on the latest episode you'll find that John Mendoza's first road gig in Atlanta ends incredibly well. There have only been nine episodes of this podcast and hopefully more to come.
Without a doubt the most popular podcast on this list, host Jesse Thorn has been interviews personalities from arts and entertainment "about things that are awesome" for years now. This includes many, many comedians, most notably Louis CK, Mike Birbiglia, The Kids In The Hall and Janeane Garofalo.
Also under The Sound of Young America's Maximum Fun label is this podcast of two men in 60's San Francisco with a microphone roping strangers on the street into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Seemingly lost in history and ahead of their time, Coyle and Sharpe play the straight men and let the rube's reaction get the laughs. If only you could still do this now.
In our opinion, one of the funniest things around right now, podcast or not. Broadcast live on Tuesday on Jersey City's free-form WFMU, host Tom Scharpling takes you through three hours of "mirth, music and mayhem" with studio guests, calls from listeners from around the world and voices from residents of the fictional town of Newbridge (played by Jon Wurster, drummer of Superchunk). And while it is apparent which calls are from Newbridge, other frequent callers Spike, Julie From Cincinnati, and Frederick from New Port Richey can't be real...can they?
Previously named Maron V. Seder, this internet show pits comics Marc Maron and Sam Seder against each other as they talk about the political news of the day. Luckily, they usually agree politically, being that they both had terrestial radio shows on the liberal Air America network, but their occasional disdain for each other makes for an interesting dynamic. They do play video clips during the live show, but you can always go back to the website later for those. Think Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann with more bite and funny, but even that isn't giving them enough credit. We aren't ashamed to say that we get a lot of our news and commentary from this program and you should too.
Every Friday evening, Philadelphia improv group The N Crowd perform. Then, on Saturday morning they talk about improv and other stuff. Simple enough to understand, right?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
This Wednesday Helium is holding a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society featuring local comics Pat House and David James with national headliner Ted Alexandro. Helium employee Megan Dinan is putting on the event:
This spring, I will be running a marathon as a part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. As a participant in this marathon, I must raise $6000. This money will help fund research, medication and other support for patients with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
At only $10 a ticket, this is a great chance to see Ted Alexandro and to support a good cause at the same time. See, comedy CAN make a difference!
We'll have more with Ted later this week (maybe).
Friday, February 6, 2009
A few years ago, I was really bored. Then, I had a brainstorm. I scoured various websites such as highschoolalumni.com and reunion.com and collected the e-mail addresses of people I went to high school with. Then, I posed as another one of my classmates. I wrote a letters to our fellow alumni asking for help as I faced a series of personal crisis. Here is one of those letters.
Dear Fellow West Orange High School Mountaineer,
Hello. Please allow me a moment of your time to re acclimate myself back into your lives. It is I, Near Zahavi, a fellow Mountaineer-in-arms who calls upon you– his spiritual and extended family– in a time of need. If you cannot immediately recall who I am, close your eyes and harken back to a time when school spirit coursed through your veins as you sang the lyrics that oh-so accurately have defined our generation... "Runaway train on a runaway track / Runaway train never coming back."
Yes. 'Tis me, Near! Your friend, Near. Friend to all Mountaineers, Near. The same Near Zahavi who served as an inspiration to our entire school by overcoming so much with so little. The same Near who once saved former principal and current superintendent Mister Jerry Tarnoff's life on a rafting trip down the Delaware River by wrestling an 8-foot alligator to his death. The same Near who once walked the entire length of Eagle Rock Avenue with a packed school bus chained to his scrotum– just because he could, while also raising money for the West Orange First Aid Squad.
Yes, Mountaineers. I was a proud man– once. But today, I come before you, hat in hand, asking for your help. After high school, I pursued a career in the theater arts. I eventually landed the lead role in HOLDEN, an off-Broadway musical adaptation of Catcher in the Rye. After a brilliant five month run which garnered rave reviews, I signed with an agent who told me he could bring me to even greater fame and fortune, if I followed him to Hollywood. This is where my story, a story which should be about an Israeli immigrants search for the American Dream, takes a cruel twist and more accurately reflects life in this, the American nightmare.
Upon reaching the City of Angels, my agent told me the news. While he actively searched for roles fitting for a man of my Mediterranean good looks and boyish charm, I would be employed as a personal assistant by another one of his clients-- one Mr. Emilio Estevez, star of The Breakfast Club, Men at Work and Young Guns 1 and 2. My duties started off innocently enough, cleaning Estevez’s pool, mowing his lawn and answering his fan mail for him. Our relationship was both cordial and professional. I would do my job and Estevez would chat briefly with me, in a friendly tone, about the craft of performance, thus allowing me a glimpse into his method acting techniques that have garnered him a record six Best Actor Oscars.
But exactly 60 days after employment, the good times ended. As I was living at the Estevez estate, all my food, housing and cost of living expenses were being paid for by Emilio himself. On the 60th day, I was awoken with a harsh and powerful backhanded slap by Mister Estevez and was told that, quote unquote, the party was over.
I had been duped by my agent, who has since fled to the lawless mountain region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. After two months, I was no longer working for a living. I was working for my life. Apparently, I had signed a contract that said if I displeased Mister Estevez in any way, shape or form, he had the legal right to snuff my life immediately.
This began a series of embarrassing events that stripped me of both my dignity and freedom. First, I was told that I could no longer have the privilege of calling Mr. Estevez by his Christian name. From now on, I would have to refer to him by the moniker of Master Destiny. That day, I had to wash Master Destiny's Alfa-Romeo in the Staples Center parking lot, wearing nothing more than a hot pink pair of Spandex Bike shorts with Master Destiny's face airbrushed on the rear. A busload of tourists watched me and mocked me as Master Destiny led them in jeers from a megaphone.
"Look at how poor this person is! Look at him! I am a rich person and he does what I say because he's poor," Master Destiny announced from the bus that he was driving. I also had to stand hopeless in nothing more than a soiled diaper as Master Destiny and a teenaged girlfriend pelted me with seedless grapes and loose change. And I also once even had to shampoo Master Destiny's feet with my hair as his friends– including Beverly D'Angelo, Olivia D'Abo, and Malcolm Jamal W'arner– stood over me, hooting and hollering as they poured spiced cognac all over my pleather clad body.
One fateful night, about two weeks ago, I decided to no longer live this freakish nightmare. Master Destiny had me sleep in a life sized doll house, chained in my bed with stainless steel. Using bodybuilding techniques I learned at the Phase III Fitness Center on Main Street, I shed my bondage and crawled my way back to freedom through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, before hitchhiking a ride with fellow West Orange, New Jersey native Ian Ziering back to our hometown.
But now I am in desperate need of your help. The cruel taskmaster Emilio Estevez is arguably the most powerful man in Hollywood. He has already made sure that I will never work again...in ANY industry. As such, I need YOUR donations to get by. While I, Near Zahavi, may have always been listed alphabetically last, I know that in your hearts I was always first. Please give.
Gregg Gethard is a Philadelphia comedian and writer. His live show BEDTIME STORIES will be on Wednesday, February 18th at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 South 9th St).
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It's time again for the Philly Improv Theater's week at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St). The week actually kicked off Monday with our show, but the highlights of the week are still yet to come with longform improv from New York City, Philadelphia's only comedy talk show and the debut of another unique show.
10 p.m. - Guilty Pleasures w/ Brendan Kennedy, $5. This debut installment will include an awkward reading of personal emails by Meg & Rob, Shakespeare by Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez and a "table reading" of an incredibly bad script. Listen to Brendan talk about the show on the C vs. A Radio Hour.
Thursday, February 5
8 p.m. – Improv Comedy, PhD: Every Thursday the theater pairs up "today's comedy over-achievers and tomorrow's comedy legends." This month: Haverford College's Lighted Fools with PHIT house team Fletcher.
10 p.m. - Cagematch: Bad Hair vs. reigning champs Angry People Building Things, $5. CAGEMATCH pits two groups against each other for 25-minute sets that can only use one audience suggestion. The audience decides the winner by secret ballot.
Friday, February 6
8 p.m. – Everything Must Go + Statues of Liberty + The Feeko Brothers, $10. The rare triple-threat lineup at the PHIT! House team Everything Must Go (formerly The Scramble), NYC's Statues of Liberty and sketch group The Feeko Brothers
Saturday, February 7
8 p.m. - Industrial + The Moops, $10.
10 p.m. - Everything Must Go + The Feeko Brothers, $10
Monday, February 2, 2009
We packed the place for the show last month and unfortunately had to turn some people away, so to ensure your seat, come early or buy tickets in advance at the link below.
And make sure you and your friends come out to:
Oh did we mention that it's BYOB!?!
Jon Goff (Powerpoint wizard steps away from the mouse and performs stand-up!)
Amir Gollan (one of the original writers of Late Night w/ Conan O' Brien)