On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, there were candles on the tables at Helium Comedy Club which has created a new excuse for everyone to see great stand-up in Philly. The inexplicably named Bird Text, a group founded by comedians Luke Cunningham, Tommy Pope, and John McKeever, launched its new showcase — appearing monthly. It features national touring comedians with an a line up of Philly’s own — promising a great show. I was excited for the first installment, below are the minutes of the meeting:
7:58 – I walk into the show, $10 at the door.
8:12 – I receive my first drink. A Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA.
8:26 – The House announcer requests me to turn off my cell phone and silence my beeper. I comply.
8:27 – Luke Cunningham takes the stage, walking on to a song that I have not heard over the PA at Helium before. Typically, its some rousing song from a broadway musical — I think it’s from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” I make note of it as it’s the first time I’ve heard anything else.
8:28 – Beer 2 arrives, this time Lager.
8:29 – Luke Cunningham breaks the mic stand. This is not unexpected, two minutes into his set, as he is both gigantic and hilarious.
8:36 – Enjoying Luke’s set, until a foul oder strikes my nose. Someone around me farted.
8:38 – Luke introduces Andrew Rupert and Eric Oliver — two members of Brotherly Love, Philly Gay Men’s Chorus. For each act this evening, Eric and Andrew will come out and harmoniously deliver one of that act’s punch lines. I think it’s a put-on and they are comedians.
8:40 – A dapper Steve Gerben is introduced.
8:40:30 – Beer 3, Lager is delivered.
8:44 – Steve probably makes the guy in the Phillies hat next to me a little uncomfortable, as well as the guy in the Phillies hat next to him uncomfortable. No idea how the other 3/4ths of the room with the Phillies hats on felt, but we were all laughing.
8:48 – John McKeever starts making everyone laugh. A lot.
8:52 – John mentions his sister is there, and then tells a great story featuring her. Ask him about it sometime — I’m sure his sister was a flattered as she was embarrassed!
8:55 – Beer 4 — Lager.
9:02 – Tommy Pope takes the stage. Is funny.
9:14 – Andrew and Eric from the Chorus come out and sing one of Tommy’s punchlines that include the words “Party, mouth, dick”. They drop to their knees. It’s funny.
9:16 – Beer 5 is in the house … and it’s a Lager.
9:17 – Tommy wraps up. The Feeko Brothers are introduced as winners of “Philly’s Funniest Sketch.” Sounds good to me!
9:21 – According to my notebook, my second Beer #5 comes while the Feeko Brothers take the stage. They keep interrupting their sketch with announcements. I don’t want to give too much away, but this sketch compacted with 5+1 beers means I just wrote the letters “J” “P” and “B” about six times in my notepad, underlined twice, and the word “AMAZING!” That’s a terrible description. Go see them for clarification.
9:27 – Nikki Glaser takes the stage. I’ve seen Nikki in the movie I Am Comic, on Leno, and on AskMen.Com. She’s really pretty.
9:34 – Nikki talks about Will Smith’s Wild Wild West. This makes my night, as everything she says about it absolutely true.
9:41 – I finish Beer number 5, part 2 (so 6).
9:48 – Jesse Popp is announced and begins his set. Jesse lives in New York, but doesn’t sound like a New Yorker, which is good news. I’ve been aware of Jesse for a while via Comedy Central, The Comic’s Comic and almost every other place you hear about great comics. I was glad to finally see him live.
9:49 – Last call. I order a Lager; I meant to ask for an Irish Coffee. I should have asked for neither.
10:13 – The house lights go up. I go and speak with the Philly Gay Men’s Choir, and find out they are NOT comedians at all, but actually are from a choir. They are super nice to me even though my speech is slurred and I can’t see very well.
10:15 – I congratulate the Feeko Brothers. I then excuse myself from the venue, as I am very inebriated. I write in my note book “inebr8d.” Because I’m a classy guy.
10:41 – After a walk down the street, I find myself in the Standing O Bar, part of the Double Tree. I get a cup of coffee. Accidentally put splenda in. Bummer.
10:42 – Guy at a table next to me looks like David Lowry from Cracker.
10:45 – Cup 2 of coffee. I’m trying to look like I’m staying in the hotel that night, so as to blend in. They are play space-tronic music and people are having a blast. This joint is hoppin’!
10:48 – Cup 3 is delivered. The waiter tells me coffee is on the house and to enjoy my stay. Who’s drunk now, Philadelphia!!
10:50 – The probably Norwegian man assures me he is not David Lowry from Cracker. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
10:51 – Notebook closes — I’m going home.
Joe Moore is a comedy fan and sometimes-performer. You can follow him on twitter.