Pat Barker CD taping Tuesday @ Helium

Pat Barker TBT 1

Pat Barker is a Philly area native who we lost last year to the clutches of Los Angeles. As happens all too often to our best comedians, Pat suffered a flash of self-awareness in which he realized just how funny he is. And while he's too classy to admit it outright, he realized -- probably for just a moment before relapsing into every comedian's professional-grade self-loathing -- that he's every bit as funny as the average professional touring comic.

This may not sound like blurb-worthy praise, but you have to realize just how funny and regularly killing-it a comedian needs be in order to really work. Pat performed in Philly for a handful of years; I've seen him maybe a half dozen times. Hosting at Helium, in the attic of Fergie's pub at The Ministry of Secret Jokes, Connie's Ric-Rac... Pat never phoned it in. He always completely and totally destroys.

~~~~~

WitOut: Is there anything unique about doing comedy in Philly, as opposed to your new home on the west coast?

Pat Barker: As far as the actual performing, it's similar. Crowds are a little more sensitive out here, but not insanely so. The biggest difference is really in the approach you have to take to move up the proverbial ladder. In Philly, it's really simple. There's one main club, you do open mics and contests there, you get better, you get asked to work there, and that's it. It's a well-defined meritocracy. Out here, it's a little bit different. I was naive at first and thought that it worked the same way and I could just show up and start doing mics and just do the #comedygrind or whatever the fuck and it's just not the way it works. I've had to refine my approach a little bit.

Pat Barker TBT 2

WitOut: Do you think you'll be staying in L.A.?

Barker: Life is really good for me right now. I love California a whole lot and I don't have any plans on leaving any time soon. Not to say it won't happen at some point, but I'm definitely going to be out here for the near future. There are still a LOT of taco trucks that I haven't hit yet. My work here isn't even close to done.

WitOut: What's the fanciest gig you've ever humble-bragged?

Barker: The most impressive logistically was probably the time I opened for Frank Caliendo at the Borgata Music Box, just because it was a 1,000 seat theater. I was only like two years into comedy at that point and stumbled across the gig, and I really wish that I had gotten it a few years later when I was better and could have really crushed. I never include that part in the humble-brag though, I just say it was a 3,000 seat theater and move on.

WitOut: What types of stuff is fueling your post-pharmacy joke-writing? How's the writing process been in general?

Barker: The writing process has actually been easier post-pharmacy. When I worked for CVS, I went out of my way to not write jokes about it. The job made me so miserable that I couldn't see any humor in it, and I had trouble turning it into a good bit on stage. Now I have a day job that I love at some warehouse that nobody's ever heard of, and I get to have more bullshitting conversations with people my own age. That leads to better ideas for bits, or at least it's seemed that way so far.

Pat Barker TBT 3

WitOut: What are you going to name the CD? Can WitOut hold a contest to name it?

Barker: The CD is going to be called "Nice Jokes", which is a reference to one of my more popular bits. You can hold a contest to decide who I thank in the liner credits. Please avoid Satan, Hitler, and the New York Mets. Other than that, go nuts. [Submit your credit to our contest on Twitter with #BarkerCDthanks. The winner will be selected on Tuesday 6/24]

WitOut: Why do you perform comedy? Do you love it? Why or why not?

Barker: I originally got into comedy to meet girls. Now that I have one and I keep doing it, I figure there must be something else I like about it. I like making people laugh, I guess. Simple answer, but true. As far as loving it, I'll say this - I love every second I'm on stage. I don't love all the other shit that goes along with comedy. I don't love sitting around at mics or sending e-mails to bookers or feeling obligated to keep up a funny social media presence at all times. I hate that shit. But it's worth doing so that I can keep doing what I love on stage.

WitOut: Who is the funniest Philly comedian who is also not a scene favorite? (I.E. a non helium-regular etc.)

Barker: I forgot literally everyone in Philly the second I moved. Next question. (The answer here is actually Carl Boccuti. He performs comedy like three times a year and is amazing at it.)

Pat Barker TBT 4

WitOut: Why do you hate pharmacies so much?

Barker: I don't hate all of them, just CVS, where I used to work. I hate them because they spent years making me miserable. Being a store manager there is pretty much the worst thing in the whole world. Just take my word for it. I didn't even realize how brutal it was until I got an amazing job. I had no idea happiness at work was even a thing. It's pretty great.

WitOut: How is it going keeping the weight off?

Barker: Shockingly well. I lost 130 pounds initially, gained 30 back after ACL surgery last year, and now I've re-lost 20 of that in the last few months. It's a lot easier to be active out here since it was like 70 degrees every day in December. Hiking is the shit, by the way. Mountains are really cool. You guys should look in to getting some in Philly.

WitOut: You have a prolific cache of throw-back Thursday photos. Could I feature them on the website? What was it like growing up such an unfathomable winner?

Barker: Yes you can feature them. Looking back on my #tbt pictures makes me understand why I felt the need to get into entertainment to pick up girls. It was a rough 20+ years. Thank God things turned out okay.

Pat Barker TBT 5

WitOut: If you were to open your own comedy club, what would it be like? And what would it be called?

Barker: It would be like every successful comedy club - low ceilings, all seats facing the stage, long seating instead of deep seating, funny shows at 90 minutes apiece, national headliners. And it would be called Laff House 2: Electric Boogaloo.

WitOut: Who's your favorite comedian?

Barker: It's a tie between Bill Burr and Oakland Seligson.

~~~~

Pat's CD taping will be on Tuesday June 24th at 8:00pm. Tickets are $10.00, get 'em now. Don't forget to submit a really absurd liner-credit with #BarkerCDthanks. Pat's a man of his word, let's take advantage of him!


Tweets of the Week, Vol. 35


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 83

Doogie Horner has been on a tear recently writing funny content for Philebrity. Check out the comedian's most recent work in which he shares things he Overheard at the Trocadero's Screening of The Muppets Take Manhattan.

After hearing the news that Washington Nationals baseball player Bryce Harper received a "free burritos for life" card from Chipotle, Philadelphia comedian Pat Barker wrote an open letter to his favorite Mexican fast food restaurant. Then he got a response from them.

Submissions for the first annual District Improv Festival, taking place in Washington D.C. from September 26-29 are now open. Cost to submit is $15 until April 15, and $20 until the deadline of May 1.

Philly Improv Theater has announced the lineup for their first "Sweeps Week"; a week-long competition between shows vying to win a longer run at the theater.

Next week's Free Improv at Connie's Ric Rac will still be free, but will be a fundraiser for improv group Safe Weird (Rob Gentile, Andrew Stanton, Kait Thompson) for a trip to London to perform and teach improv workshops across the pond.

Here's a reminder that submissions for the F. Harold Comedy Festival are now open. This year's festival will take place from June 11 through June 16 at Studio 5 at the Walnut St. Theatre and will feature improv, sketch, stand-up, and storytelling.

Philly Improv Theater begins their two-week-run of improv, sketch, and variety comedy shows at the Shubin Theatre tomorrow night. You can see their full schedule and purchase tickets in advance online.

This Tuesday Comedy Bonfire is going down (that's the only way to properly describe it) at The Fire (412 E. Girard Ave.). The night will begin at 8:00pm with a stand-up comedy showcase hosted by Alex Grubard and featuring Mary Radzinski, Ryan Shaner, and Dave Topor. Next, the Trailer Trash Live Podcast at 9:30pm hosted by Michael Baurer and Garrett Smith featuring guests Joey Dougherty and Tommy Touhill. Finally, at 11pm the night will be capped with an open mic hosted by Lou Misiano.

The Cast of Impractical Jokers will be performing two shows Tuesday night at Helium Comedy Club at 7:30 and 9:45. Side note for comedians: Helium's Open Mic will be held on Wednesday at 8:00pm.

The Not Just Comedy Show returns to The Grape Room this Tuesday for a show featuring comedy from: Mike Renzi, Rick Juliani, Frank Gensano, Nick Kupsey, Jay West, Beirdo, and Bed Savage with musical guest Dave Marley.

Improv group Beirdo will be holding a fundraiser show at The Arts Parlor this Friday to raise money for their trip to the Chicago Improv Festival. The show will feature performances from: Alex Pearlman, The Stonewall Players, Bad James, Cake Bear, Brendan Keegan, and the Beirdos themselves.

We Can All Change returns to O'Neal's this Friday for a stand-up showcase featuring Chip Chantry, Rachel Fogletto, Bobby Lorello, and Chris Wood.

This Friday is another in the series of ComedySportz Presents shows. This week will feature improv groups Till Death Do Us Part, and Wisdom Teeth. ComedySportz presents will be followed by their monthly not-for-kids The Blue Show at 10:00pm. Tickets can be purchased online.

You can also catch Comedy Night at the Ballroom (Robinson's Ballroom - 5749 N. Broad St.) this Friday for a night of comedy from: Denny Live, Jay West, Chitta Chatta, Ryan Phillips, Big Chuck, and Moses Sadler.

Don't Be Ridiculous: a reading of comedic sketches will take place this Saturday afternoon at the West Wing of the PA Convention Center.

Kricket's Comedy Presents: Durty Comedy Night this Saturday at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub (701 E MacDade Blvd Folsom PA). The show will feature comedy from: Chip Chantry, Dave Terruso,  Corson & Typhoon, Larry Jansen, and Chris Mas.

The Captain Action Comedy Show returns to The Conshohocken Cafe this Saturday for a night of comedy from: Rubi Nicholas, Dave Topor, and Joe Bell.

If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to contact@witout.net


Tweets of the Week, Vol. 25

 

 

 

 

 


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Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Stand-up Bit

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 Stand-up Bit are:

Baby Driving (Doogie Horner)

First Guy in the World/Netflix (Aaron Hertzog)

Wedding Planning (Pat Barker)

Left Handed (Dan Scully)

Tycho Brahe (Alex Pearlman)


Tweets of the Week, Vol. 9

Follow Witout on Twitter for updates from our site, as well as retweets of more of the best 140-character-or-less jokes from Philly comics.


Bock’s Scores by Gerry Bock: Reasonable Discourse with Jerks

Well it’s shaping up to be another Philadelphia Summer sports fans! And we all know what that means... RUN FOR COVER! The Phillies have a lot of baseball left in the season to make up for lost time and lost base runners, the Eagles are looking more and more like the grid-iron roustabouts of yester-year, and rumor has it, the Philadelphia Major League Soccer Team is doing miserably! But don’t take my word for it. Don't be so glum chum, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water! We’ve got plenty to be proud of – the 76ers had a Dream of a Season… but that alarm clock always gets ya!

Let’s head to the tapes and check out the highlights from Jim Grammond’s Reasonable Discourse with Jerks (and I use that term loosely).

Here is each mention of professional sports from the entire show, along with who said it:

Jim Grammond – Terrell Owens*, Arena Football, Baseball, Hunter Pence

Mike Rainey – Ref, Ball, Houston Ramblers, Starting Line-Up Figurines

Steve Miller-Miller – Interception, Terrell Owens*, Tim Cheatwood, Offensive Lineman, Matt Bahr**, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Webster Slaughter, Donovan McNabb*

Tim Butterly – Soccer, Mets*, Cowboys*, Mets*, AFL

Pat Barker – Kobayashi***, Jim Thome, Baseball Jerseys, Mets, Hockey Stick, World Wrestling Federation, Ultimate Warrior, “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn****, “Fastball Pitcher” Bob Guiterrez*****

What a performance! If you ask me, this line up is batting 1.000! See you at the bookie’s!

*BUM!
** Philadelphia’s Own!
*** Considered a sport, not by me, but I don't make the rules. Counts!
**** Almost didn’t make it, but still counts!
*****Definitely counts!!

Gerry Bock is a freelance sports writer and former Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief for the Port Richmond Gazetteer, which he published independently for 37 years before gladly fell prey to the siren call of retirement last May.