Gregg Gethard has hosted Bedtime Stories, a mainstay of Philadelphia’s sketch scene, for four and a half years. Many sketch groups and comedians have met, collaborated, or had their first show at Bedtime Stories. Next month, in April, Gregg has decided the show will end its run.
What influenced your decision to make April’s Bedtime Stories the final show?
The primary reason is that I’m 33 years old. My wife and I are rapidly approaching the “let’s have a baby” stage of our lives. And as soon as that happens, then your whole priorities have to change. My wife’s not pregnant or anything, but we’re both kind of transitioning into the next stage of adulthood. As a lot of people know, I work in New York but live in Philly (thank God). But because of that, I have a lot less free time than I want. And as much as I like hanging out with everyone and doing this stuff, I like hanging out with my wife and dog and watching baseball and getting ice cream with them than anything else. I also have a lot of non-comedy friends that I love who are also at a similar stage of life. I truly love a lot of people in the comedy scene but I’m just at a different place right now than a lot of performers and there’s just a whole, “I’m losing what I had in common with these people” kind of feeling I have.
But a lot of really little things have been bubbling up the past year or so with the show that has made it not fun for me anymore. The show is logistically really hard to put together — there are 10-12 “slots” on the show, and on top of it I do my own material. I have to field all kinds of questions from everyone who wants to do the show, on top of making sure things are lined up with the venue, that we have a projector, that I do the marketing/PR, etc. It’s REALLY hard to do this and after 4.5 years, it’s become too much of a chore. I used to be willing to do the administrative work because the payoff of putting on an awesome show was so great but now it’s just not there for me.
The other thing — I’m a little bitter about how people have been treating the show. I think the show has been completely taken for granted. I think the show for a while was a “must” show for those of us in the alternative comedy scene in town. And by “must” it wasn’t just “I have to perform/watch this” but it was “This is a really awesome community that I want to be a part of.” And that spirit has slowly dwindled. I think the core group of Bedtime Stories — me, Jon Goff, Meg & Rob, Secret Pants, Jaimie Fountaine and the folks who aren’t on every show but are pretty regular– have all been doing this for a while and are all at a place where the show isn’t as exciting as it was. And there are some good new people who do the show like Hillary Rea, who does these story telling things that the show was initially built around, but a bunch of the newer people just aren’t clicking with what I want the show to look like.
Continue reading THE END OF BEDTIME STORIES: An Interview with Gregg Gethard