Walking into the Shubin Theatre at 10 PM last Wednesday night, I had no idea what to expect. Approaching the main stage, a welcoming gift was a beer from what looked like a microwave turned into a cooler. The crowd was lively, you could tell the “regulars” from the newcomers right when you walked in. That the people were happy and talkative added comfort to watching an hour of television with strangers.
The lights dimmed and a clever intro played instructions setting the tone for the show. Paul and Rob, the hosts of TV Party came out with positive energy that matched the upbeat crowd. It was close to Halloween, so the show of choice was the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. Paul Triggiani and Rob Baniewicz took a seat and the commentary commenced. Not only were the two hosts adding in a quick jab at Paul Lynde’s choice of words, but the occasional witty comment from an audience member would make for good laughs. The best part of the show was when the musical guest came to perform. Lynde had a good eye, so none other than KISS would be on the Halloween special. Jokes were being fired off left and right from the hosts and the guests.
The name “TV Party” could not fit more perfectly.
I asked Triggiani about the show’s history. He explained that the idea around TV Party is that television was awful in the past and no one thought that it would be seen again. They were of course wrong, and now you can see a variety of hilariously awful shows dating all the way back to the 70’s twice a month at Philly Improv Theater.
I asked what some of his favorite viewings have been so far. One was a show from 1983 called Zorro and Son. The series is self-explanatory, a show about Zorro and Zorro Jr. adventuring side by side. According to Triggiani, what made this even more interesting was how hard it was to get a hold of the show. “I had to lie to the girl that ran the Zorro Fan Club and said that I started a college class and needed a copy.”
Another of his favorites included a sitcom called Heil Honey I’m Home which starred none other than Adolf Hitler. This is what TV Party is all about… bad television for good laughs.
Tonight, Triggiani and Baniewicz will pay tribute to the late Marcia Wallace, whom you may know best as the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. In her day, she’d been all over the TV dial including the Bob Newhart Show, as well as presumably some pretty bad episodes of Hollywood Squares or whatever else the boys can dig up. Show starts tonight at 10pm @ the Shubin Theater right after Guilty Pleasures with Joe Moore. Tickets are only $5.