We also toasted this failed attempt at a sitcom version of Ferris Bueler’s Day Off from 1990:
We also toasted this failed attempt at a sitcom version of Ferris Bueler’s Day Off from 1990:
Guilty Pleasures is a monthly found comedy show created by former Philly comedian and self-described silly misanthrope Brendan Kennedy, and co-hosted by beloved local comedian Roger C. Snair. Each month, a group of comedians is assembled for dramatic readings of the worst in scripts, YouTube videos, poetry and more. Roger often also submits his own plays.
This past December, Brendan handed over the hosting reins for the show in preparation for a January move to LA. Who’s the lucky dude who’s taking over for Brendan? Why, it’s Joe Moore, of “Pizza Pals with Joe Moore” and Dog Mountain fame! How’d he get the job? A grueling interview process, of course! Here’s a transcript of Brendan putting Joe through the ringer.
Brendan Kennedy: Are you familiar with what we do here at Guilty Pleasures?
Joe Moore: Of course! You get really talented comics from Philadelphia and have them read bizarre pieces of fiction, poetry or plays. Then, they bring it to life. It’s one of the strangest things I have ever seen done on stage. It’s about taking something that maybe wasn’t very good and turning into something hilarious.
The show is unique in that it has sketch comedians, improvisers and stand ups all on one stage interacting. I actually saw a LOT of performers for the first time on stage at Guilty Pleasures who I may not have seen otherwise.
The X-Factor is Roger C. Snair. Roger is one of the most talented individuals in the city, and the fact that he is on the show says a lot about how remarkable the show is.
Guilty Pleasures and TV Party was the one night of comedy I knew I could bring friends who had never been exposed to Philly Comedy and they could walk away satisfied and interested in seeing more.
Brendan Kennedy: How did you hear about Guilty Pleasures?
Joe Moore: You told me about it once, probably about 2 and a half years ago. I don’t remember when I first went but I haven’t really missed a show since. I think once when I had a migraine, but that was it.
Brendan Kennedy: What makes you qualified to host Guilty Pleasures?
Joe Moore: I’m pretty sure there is going to be free beer there. So that makes me qualified, I think. Besides it never looked like you were doing anything too difficult up there. Just get funny people on, and stand on the side of the stage laughing. I can do that.
The real leg work is finding the crazy stuff to read, and as a guy who spends a lot of time reading crap online, I can take care of that.
I also may be completely under-qualified. But let’s not get off track here. Free beer.
Brendan Kennedy: What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Joe Moore: I don’t feel too guilty about many things I like. For instance, I have Ace of Base’s “The Sign” in my car. I also eat a lot of pizza and chocolate. Some might say I should feel guilty about that, but I don’t. All of those things are great.
I also subscribe to a monthly digest of amateur science fiction/horror authors. It feels a little weird to say that out loud. So that might be it…
Oh boy, yeah, that’s it.
Brendan Kennedy: I understand you have experience working with the soon-to-be-prize-winning WitOut.net feature “Pizza Pals with Joe Moore.” What skills from that position do you think you will be able to bring to Guilty Pleasures?
Joe Moore: “Pizza Pals” is an ongoing adventure I take with WitOut.Net where I talk to very funny people about pizza instead of comedy. Talking about pizza can reveal more about a person than where they went to school, or what their first car was or whatever.
I am excited at the prospect that I might win an award for doing it, though I haven’t heard anything about that. That’s not why I do it. I like comedy and I like pizza. It’s also a great guise to use to just meet performers I really like.
It was through “Pizza Pals” that I first met Roger C. Snair. I’ve got to meet more of my heroes by talking about pizza since then.
But to answer your question, I will probably have pizza before the show.
Brendan Kennedy: Will you bring pizza to Guilty Pleasures?
Joe Moore: That’s a great idea that is also an expensive idea… so maybe someday. I also don’t know if I want people with their mouths full while there is funny stuff going on.
But, if someone was sitting in the audience and wanted to go in on a pizza with someone they just met who was also in the audience, I think that’s a beautiful thing and ought to be encouraged.
Brendan Kennedy: What aspects of your personality do you think will mesh well with Roger C. Snair’s style of working?
Joe Moore: Roger and I have eaten pizza together, taken the PATCO back to New Jersey together and talked on the phone a couple times. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and is one of the most dynamic performers I’ve ever seen.
None of those are aspects of my personality. But hey, I think I’m a pretty cool dude. Roger seems to think so too, and that’s good enough for me.
Brendan Kennedy: What’s your five-year marketing plan for expanding the Roger C. Snair brand?
Joe Moore: I don’t want to bog this interview down with all the details, but “CBS” and “RCS” share two out of 3 letters. Look into that what you want, I’m just saying…
But lets think small for now. We could start by getting some more likes on the Facebook page for the show. It’s at 33 “likes,” I say we can get it to 70!
Brendan Kennedy: How soon can you start? I’m trying to ditch this town.
Joe Moore: Available immediately. Thanks for your time.
The next ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is this Wednesday, February 6th at Philly Improv Theater @ The Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge Street). Show starts at 8:30PM. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 online in advance.
It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy! As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ’em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!
The nominees for Best Regular Show are:
Camp Woods Plus
The Theme Show
Reasonable Discourse With Jerks
The Monthly Hour with James Hesky
This Wednesday will mark the Final Guilty Pleasures with host Brendan Kennedy. The show will feature performers Chip Chantry and (most of) Hate Speech Committee along with co-host Roger C. Snair. Brendan will also be revealing his successor as host. This Sunday, we continue our goodbyes with The Roast of Brendan Kennedy.
This Thursday L’etage (624 S. 6th St.) will host The Final Camp Woods Plus. The monthly show produced by the sketch group has been a showcase of brand new sketches every month and will culminate with a show featuring New York’s We’re Matt Weir and Philadelphia groups American Breakfast and Daring Daulton.
This Tuesday No. 2(#2)(Number 2) will debut at St. Stephen’s Green (1701 Green St.) The open mic will be hosted by Robert X and Chris O’Conner. Signups begin at 7:30 and the show starts at 8.
Comedian David Ray Agyekum was recently featured on MTVU’s College Quickies. You can watch his video online.
Bird Text released this teaser video for their upcoming sketch DUI Jesus. Watch it, and be on the lookout for the full sketch on December 12.
WitOut is now accepting submissions from performers and comedy fans for our Top Five of 2012 list series. We are encouraging anyone to write about their favorite moments, shows, performers, sketches, quotes, or anything at all to help us recap and remember the past year in Philadelphia comedy. You can pitch your Top Five of 2012 idea to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to email@example.com
Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (With Special Guests)
When Don Montry decided to end the run of his show Die Actor Die at The Khyber he handed the reigns over to the very capable Chip Chantry who continued the tradition of a Monday night variety show on stage at the Old City bar. When The Khyber decided to change their plans and eliminate live shows, Chip took his show to Philly Improv Theater, where it has flourished ever since. Mixing stand-up, sketch, improv, characters and games, Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests) is one of the places crowds get to see the best of all genres of Philadelphia comedy.
The Gross Show
Alex Gross’ mock Trash Talk show has been grossing audiences out at Philly Improv Theater since its’ premiere earlier this year. A mix of characters, written bits, and improv, The Gross Show takes the best of the worst of human behavior and displays it for crowds ready and eager to laugh at how low down and dirty the minds of Philadelphia’s funniest people can get.
Part of PHIT’s appropriately named “found comedy night” Guilty Pleasures is a platform for host Brendan Kennedy to call people out for their bullshit on stage. Brendan loves to find the best examples of terrible writing and have some of Philly’s funniest people read the scripts for an audience with hilarious results. Brendan’s also found the perfect sidekick in Roger C. Snair – willing to rap on stage, write his own scripts for the show – and participate in reading of rewritten “classic” movie scenes, tailored just for him by Brendan.
The Ministry of Secret Jokes
Doogie Horner’s monthly Ministry of Secret Jokes has been one of the best nights of comedy Philadelphia has to offer for years. Doogie packs the show with not only great stand-up and sketch comedy but games, contests, and audience participation. The show is run like a meeting of a secret society, and Doogie often opens his shows by having the audience recite an oath that they will not reveal what they see to anyone. Judging by the packed in crowds upstairs at Fergie’s every month, many people have been breaking that oath.
The Theme Show
Rob Baniewicz hosts this monthly show with various acts all doing their take on one common theme. The successor to Gregg Gethard’s Bedtime Stories, The Theme Show is a great chance for audiences to see the variety that comes when different groups get the same general topic and are allowed to let their imaginations roam free. It’s always a treat to see how performers approach the theme and where they find humor in the topic of the month.
Rob Baniewicz and Paul Triggiani get together on stage at Philly Improv Theater every month and have a TV Party. They find the best worst television from the past available and present it to a crowd full of often drunk and always eager fans waiting to laugh – both at the shows and with the hilarious commentary provided by the two. Paired perfectly with Guilty Pleasures on PHIT’s “found comedy” night, TV Party brings to the stage an experience we all have – laughing at things that weren’t necessarily meant to be funny.
Brendan Kennedy is a stand-up comedian, a member of improv groups Hate Speech Committee and The Hendersons, sketch comedy group Camp Woods, and the host of the Philly Improv Theater show Guilty Pleasures.
How and why did you get into comedy? When I was a kid my dad and uncle would always show me episodes of Monty Python’s Flycing Circus, and I loved it. I would make comedy videos on my parents’ S-VHS camcorder with my cousin. In high school I was one of the kids that ran the tv studio and I’d make comedy videos that I’d show during the morning show. I continued my refusal to be serious about anything by going to film school and while there I made almost nothing but comedy videos. Then eventually I got the balls to do stand-up, which to me is the purest form of comedy and expression out there.
How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that? I’d describe my style as a stand-up as selfish. If you don’t like what I do, then I don’t care to entertain you. And I hate comics that try to be what they think everyone wants them to be. There are billions of people on the earth, enough of them will have similar interests and sensibilities to me, and those are the people I want to speak to.
Plus, stand-up is an inherently selfish endeavor, so claiming you have some greater goal is at least 50% bullshit. And I say 50% because out of that desire for immediate self-gratification (the selfish 50%) you can reach people who otherwise might feel isolated, because they haven’t found a way to express themselves or people who think and feel the same way they do. But you can’t reach them by pretending to be something. You can only reach people by being honest with yourself and about yourself. That’s what I love about stand-up, and that’s the type of stand-up comic I try to be.
Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you? I loved performing at the Khyber because it was dirty and grimy and shitty and you had to really want to see comedy to go there. Which made the audiences there great, and I felt the most comfortable there. I enjoy doing stand-up at the Ric-Rac, the Shubin, and any place where people have come to specifically see the people who are performing. People who go to comedy shows not knowing anything about who they are going to see baffle me. And I lack the ability to relate to them. I can entertain them, but only if I do a bunch of crowd work. It’s like I’m the host of some awful party that a bunch of random dopes showed up to, like the one Rick Moranis throws in the first Ghostbusters. And most times I am doing crowd work I am fantasizing about a demon dog crashing the party and making it more interesting than, “You do that job? Well you should talk to other guy I just talked to, he does a job that if combined with your job would be really funny!”
That being said, I really enjoy the open mic at noche that Jack Martin and Paul Goodman run. Those two guys are smart guys who run a good room, and are really supportive of everyone who shows up there. (If you’re thinking “I don’t think they are supportive.” You’re thinking that because you’re an asshole, and you’ve behaved in a way that makes it impossible for someone to be supportive of you.)
For sketch and improv I like theaters.
Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out? Anytime Roger C. Snair crushes in front of an audience that has never seen him and doesn’t know who he is. I use how people interact with Roger as a bit of a litmus test, because he’s so overwhelmingly and unflinchingly positive. It is my opinion that you have to be a piece of shit to not like him. Anytime a room full of strangers gets him and accepts him it makes me feel more optimistic about the world.
I’m friends with Roger, we do a monthly show together, but I’m also his number 1 fan. I’d love nothing more than to see Roger have a talk show on television, just to see some of the douchiest celebrities squirm in their seats, not knowing how to handle him. Talented, funny, decent people, if put in that same scenario will come out looking amazing. For example, I had last month’s guilty pleasures be somewhat a talk show, and one of the guests was Andy Moskowitz. Roger kept asking him about his sexuality (Roger is rather immature in regards to his opinions on sex), and Andy handled everything so amazingly that he ended up becoming the hero of the show. It was so funny and genuine that I felt like I was interrupting when I had to chime in to have us read a script.
Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Or a sort of method that you use to develop comedic material? For stand-up, I always just write about whatever I’m currently obsessing about.
For sketch, I write basically two types of sketch. Quick, one joke sketches that are bookended with title cards. And 2 character stream of consciousness sketches. The short sketches, which are basically blackout sketches, are just based around a joke I think of that I like. But I write them to be very very short, because I think sketches that are 5 minutes long but only have one joke are stupid. If you have a sketch that’s just one joke, then just tell the one joke and end the sketch. It’s not a college paper, there’s no minimum length sketches have to be.
The longer sketches I write are always me trying to write interactions between two people that are more absurd and honest than most real life interactions, because to me the funniest parts of life are the moments in which someone is being really honest, and at the same time really odd.
What is it about stand-up / sketch / improv that draws you to it? Comedy allows you to discuss topics that are just too sad or taboo to talk about casually with people. Its not creating any solutions, it just helps people stress less and be more ok with the world they live in. That’s what has always drawn me to comedy.
Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites? Roger C. Snair for reasons I’ve already mentioned.
Steve Gerben for his willingness to be honest with himself and about himself onstage and his abilitiy to make his own personal struggles, physical and mental, hilarious.
Andy Moskowitz for the same reasons.
The people in the groups with me, (Hatespeech-CampWoods-
Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire? Recently I ended a set at a bringer contest by saying, “That’s why I think we should burn down churches.” Most of my bad experiences with comedy show stem from my inability to accept people who I’ve decided are shitty. That, and tech problems.
What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow? More of what it already has. More people who are passionate about performing comedy. More people who run good rooms. More people supporting each other’s shows and rooms. More original ideas.
The first three are obvious. The 4th seems like it should be obvious, but its apparent to anyone who’s watched comedy before and is seeing shows in the city now that its not. You can’t stop random people from showing up at open mics and doing other people’s material. But you can make sure not to book them ever. You tell internet jokes, you tell Bill Hicks jokes, you tweak internet jokes and then tell them, you tweak Bill Hicks jokes and then tell them, you don’t do shows. That should be the rule that everyone follows. Hacks (thieves are a type of hack) aren’t going to kill the surge in popularity that comedy is experiencing in Philly right now, but eventually they will. That was one of the main killers of the comedy boom. You can listen to countless interviews with comics who were part of that and they all talk about how there were so many opportunities to get onstage in front of large paying crowds that people started taking shortcuts to take advantage of it, and comedy suffered as a result. Crowds started staying home because there was no point in going out to see a show if you were just going to see comics telling jokes that they saw on tv.
If you see someone doing stolen material, yell at them, tell them to go fuck themselves. They are insulting the art form you love, and they are being a self-serving asshole.
Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy? I want to just keep getting better. That’s my only real goal. That and to make Roger C. Snair famous.
Having a few minutes to pick the mind of Roger C. Snair is the most predictably unpredictable things I’ve ever done. I’ve seen Roger perform, and had a pretty good idea of his talents — actor, playwright, dramatist, poet, and so much more … but was he a pizza nut? After a passionate conversation about New Jersey geography, we got the answer to that question.
How much do you like pizza?
A lot. I love to be devastated and torn by a pizza with real pizzazz.
What is your favorite pizza topping?
Extra cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, Pepto-Bismol.
What was your family’s “Pizza Night?”
I’m Jewish. We had a gefilte fish night. Hey, that would make a far better topping than anchovies.
Favorite slice in Philly?
Olympus on South Street
Favorite slice elsewhere?
Bellmawr Pizza, Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ.
Anything else you want to add?
I like to eat pizza until I turn into a flatulent bomb. It isn’t pizza unless it makes you fart like a machine gun. Great pizza rips your GI system to shreds and leaves you in an entirely gaseous state.
So for those of you keeping score — Roger is one of us, a certified pizza-haulic. You can catch Roger doing what Roger does at Brendan Kennedy’s Guilty Pleasures this Wednesday, May 4th at 8 PM at the Shubin Theater, alongside Kristen Schier, Andy Moskowitz, Doogie Horner, and JP Boudwin. You can bet I’ll be there (and probably Lorenzo’s later in the night!) Cool!