No Cheese Steak, No Cry

14 Jul

It’s morning in Philadelphia!  Lot of other places, too, but where I am, it’s Philadelphia and morning.

I left yesterday morning from Boston, picked up Ahmed Bharoocha in Rhode Island, and headed to the mid-Atlantic region.  It took us a long time to find Brooklyn (mostly because our method of navigation was to lean out the car window and shout “WHERE BROOKLYN AT?  WHERE BROOKLYN AT?” which mostly led to bullets and fists), but when we did, we picked up Erin Judge and headed to Philly.  The drive was about two hours, even though we pulled into town in the middle of rush hour.  Learn how to do gridlock, Philadelphia.  Come on!  We never even got stuck in the middle of an intersection and got beeped at by buses and cabs for five minutes.  I miss home.  Fortunately, there a lot of cool sculptures and murals downtown that I couldn’t photodocument because I was driving a car and that’s dangerous.  Also, we had a singalong to all our favorite songs about Philadelphia.  Like “Streets of Philadelphia” by the Boss and “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John and “Theme From Rocky” by several trumpets.

We signed up for the open mic at Helium Comedy Club, checked into our hotel (I’m not supposed to say what it’s called because of Priceline, but I will call it “Hilton-shm”…it was the Hilton, I was doing it wrong), then went back to the club.

Erin and Ahmed got three-minute spots, and I got to do five.  Erin was the first comic to really get the audience laughing and clapping (two important things at comedy shows).  Ahmed was also really funny.

My grandmother called me mid-show, which she never does.  Usually she waits for me to call and then tells me I don’t call.  So I was worried.  I called her back, and she asked if my sister had eaten dinner.  I explained that I was out of town and she had called my cell phone, but I’d have lunch with her when I got home.  Then, the cute hipstery girl at the box office told me that was adorable and I should use that technique to pick up girls.  So I got back on the phone and said: “No, grandma, my scars are fiiiiine.  How’s the kidney?  This is about you!”  It didn’t work.  So I guess that is not a good technique.  Lesson learned!

My set was sort of a comedy of errors.  I knocked the mic out of the stand, and I mistimed my set, so I had to speed up at the end, but it went over really well.  The audience laughed a lot (very important, like I said), and I could hear laughs from the comics in the back of the room, which always takes the edge off of performing in a new city for me.  The manager said that I could do a set on the (difficult to get on) open mic whenever I’m in town.  Hooray!  Victory!  It was a fun show to do and watch!

Then awesome Philadelphia comic Chip Chantry and other great dudes Luke (who earlier in the night had played the hero by yelling at loud drunk audience members) and Brendan took us to Quizzo, which is not a sub shop, but rather local slang for bar trivia.  I had one beer and got very insistent about the answers to certain questions, especially the answer “Six Days, Seven Nights.”  We did not win, but it was a lot of fun, and we had good garlic fries and nachos.  Thanks to Chip for taking us out to trivia and helping us get spots on the open mic.  Thanks, Philly.  We’ve enjoyed your freedom and your 76ers.

Onwards to Asheville!

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2 Responses to “No Cheese Steak, No Cry”

  1. ben terris July 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Hey Josh. Your blog makes me laugh. Now that Rachel and I are moving to Waltham I expect you to make us laugh in person.

    • gondelman July 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks, Ben! I’m excited you’re moving closer to the city! Hopefully we’ll get to hang out soon!

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