Captain Action Comedy Show‘s Sidney Gantt and Center City Comedy‘s Kevin Ryan have joined forces to bring you their very own show—and possibly also to publicly embarrass some of their best friends and favorite comedians. Here they are to tell you all about it!
WitOut: Kevin, you co-hosted Sidney’s Captain Action Comedy Show last month. Is that where the idea for this partnership got started, or have you guys been wanting to work together on something new for awhile?
Kevin Ryan: We actually decided to work together a couple months ago when we realized we were both looking to do a monthly show in the city. There were a couple months of leg work to find the right venue—so I know we’re both happy that the show is this week.
WO: The promo materials for the show say each comedian will do their set, then tell their most embarrassing story. How did you develop that concept?
KR: I actually have to give credit to Sidney for this twist. He plays a quiz show with his comics on the Captain Action Comedy Show—and when I was on the show, I had a lot of fun and the audience loved it—so we are trying to create the same fun atmosphere.
WO: Do the set and the story have to tie together? And are you guys more interested in one over the other—hearing the jokes vs. getting to know the comedian on a new level?
KR: They don’t have to tie together necessarily, but I feel like they are going to. I just think it’s cool that the audience gets to see two different sides of the comics that are performing on show.
Sidney Gantt: The comedian performs first so you get a sense of who they are through comedy. So even if the story is different from their set it will still be an extension of what we just learned about them. No matter what, we will learn more about them as human degenerates.
WO: As they tell their story, the two of you will be breaking it up with some comedic analysis. Can you explain what that means, exactly? Will you be pausing them to make jokes and offer different perspectives? Or maybe pointing out which parts of the story might lend themselves to a new bit?
KR: All of the above. I’m good friends with all the comics on the show, so I’m really excited about making fun of them in front of an audience. For the most part I’m sure we will just be questioning and judging them for their actions in the story—but I hope that someone is able to write a bit about their story.
SG: It’ll be more structured than comedians sitting around riffing because we have a goal which is to get through the story. But it’ll be a lot looser than conventional storytelling because all those times in a story when you think, “Why in the hell would a person do that?” you get to find out the answer.
WO: This first show’s guests (Alex Grubard, Mary Radzinski, John Nunn and H. Foley) are a mix of Philly and New York comedians. Is it a goal for you guys to continue to draw in acts from other cities?
KR: I would love if each month we were able to get talent from other cities—but I think in the near future we will probably focus on our friends in Philly and New York. Booking the first one was tough because there are so many awesome comics in the city—I started to get excited about the line-ups for the next few months.
SG: The Philly comedy scene has a diverse group of high-level talent so we want to showcase that as much as possible. But when we have the opportunity to bring a talented comedian from other places we’re not going to pass it up.
The first ‘Tough Stuff Comedy Show’ is this Friday, February 22nd at The Headhouse (122 Lombard Street) at 8PM. Tickets are $10.