This is a love letter to Philadelphia, and by extension, to the comedy scene that you have all created here and welcomed me into.
Philadelphia is where I actively chose to live after considering a wide array of options. Performing as a vistor in PHIFs, a Troika, some N Crowd shows, and several one-off shows exposed me to what Philadelphia has to offer. Inexpensive rehearsal and performance spaces mean that anyone with an idea and the drive can start a production. In addition to the established companies, numerous successfully produced shows in bars, empty store fronts, galleries, and the like, make Philadelphia’s scene reminiscent of the theatre scene in Chicago in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Discussions with Mary Carpenter, Greg Maughan, Matt Nelson, Alexis Simpson, Alli Soowal, Kristen Schier, and Jason Stockdale spurred me to move to Philadelphia 16 months ahead of schedule, and I’m glad I did.
The creative spark here is very strong. Across numerous companies and troupes, hundreds of people perform regularly. Groups of like-minded friends can form troupes (like Iron Lung, Malone, and Nielsen did) and what’s more important, they can get gigs. The structural framework of PHIT, ComedySportz, the N Crowd, and other existing companies in combination with the opportunities provided by the producers of Polygon, Comedian Deconstruction, Sideshow, and the Grape Room, to name just a few, means anyone with an idea or drive can get stage time. There aren’t that many cities that allow for this kind of opportunity—space is just too expensive in most cities—and people who take advantage of everything there is to offer have helped create a comedy calendar where something is happening almost every day of the month.
You’re funny. Sometimes you’re so funny that nobody laughs. They are stunned into silence, like a slaughterhouse cow whacked with a hilarious sledgehammer.
Sometimes you’re so funny it makes the crowd furious at how sad the rest of their lives have been in comparison, like someone who almost dies on the operating table, sees heaven for a couple seconds, but then is rudely thrust back to earth. Occasionally the crowd rips your sleeves off in anger and then you can’t chill at a fancy cocktail bar after the show—even when you patiently explain the situation to them. This is the price of being hilarious, and you pay it daily [twice a day Friday and Saturday].
Remember that one joke? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Sometimes I find it hard to believe that the FBI asked me to develop a joke for them, and then I remember that it’s hard to believe because it never happened [officially].
Sometimes you’re so funny that a woman in the crowd will go into labor, even if she’s not pregnant. Luckily you’re funny enough that usually her screams of pain don’t detract from the show too much. Remember that one time a baby came out of a guy’s ding dong? Ha ha ha ha. [Ha!]
Anyhow you, I just wanted to tell me [you] to keep up the good work. You [me know who!] are so funny it takes my [moi] breath away and sometimes that makes me [myself] pass out and sometimes I [me] wake up and my [your] wallet is gone and I’m [you'm] on the sidewalk but hey, it’s worth it. Also it’s my [your] only option since I [you] have no other skills [skillz].
Doogie Horner is a comedian, author, and graphic designer. He is a suppurating wound of comedy.
Want to write a Comedy Love Letter to your favorite comedian, theater, improv team or sketch group? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.