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10 Funniest Comedians in Philadelphia Right Now

Monday November 2, 2009 9:17 AM

Sure, we all know that the funniest comedians in America wind up in New York City or Los Angeles, because that’s where show business does its business and puts them in the show. But that’s not where all of the stand-up comedians we know and love get their start (even if they’re one of these 11 Famous Comedians Who Attack Religion). Just look at our recent profile on the 20 Top Stand-Up Comedians In Chicago Today.

Today we take a look at the current crop of comedians holding court in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love, after all, boasts the defending World Champion Phillies — who, in their bid to repeat as Major League Baseball’s best, already have bested the best that the Los Angeles Dodgers could dish out, and now they’re in the World Series again, taking on the best that money can buy in the “Evil Empire” of the New York Yankees. Philly has produced comedy greats throughout the years, from Bill Cosby to Bob Saget, Kevin Brennan to Kevin Hart, the Three Stooges to Tina Fey. Who’s in their bullpen right now to represent Philadelphia in 2009? I’ve put on my highly scientific thinking cap and rounded up videos that exist on the Internets for 10 such talents, so here they are, The 10 Funniest Comedians in Philadelphia Right Now.

10. Geoff Tate
How’s this for a leadoff hitter? Just when you were thinking why is the singer from Queensryche doing comedy, and then you thought, hey doesn’t this guy live in Cincy? Not anymore. According to my sources, and Geoff Tate’s Twitter, he now lists Philly as his home away from home. So Cincy’s loss is Philly’s gain! But even though you’re very funny already, you can’t just move in and be #1 right off the bat. Or can he? Which is why we put him right here, right off the bat to lead off the 2009 Philly funny list.

9. Aaron Hertzog
Aaron Hertzog fulfills your fantasy needs, if your fantasies include learning about Elvish and wondering what really would happen if a guy forced you to pick a gay sex partner at gunpoint. Am I right, ladies?

8. Derek Gaines
Derek Gaines is from the suburbs. The burbs! But, he knows how to find his way into Philadelphia. For instance: Here he is talking to Comcast from The Laff House. That they labeled part of the video “Derrick” means he has some work to do to move up the list. Just remember Rodney Dangerfield. No respect! It’ll take you to the top, Mr. Gaines. Until then, you’re number eight, and that’s just going to have to be enough (or great).

7. Pat House
Pat House is timely, people. Also slightly creepy. For instance, House has observed that a strip club adopted part of Interstate 95. Also, did you know just what you can buy and sell on Craigslist? House knows. House rules:

6. Steve Gerben
Steve Gerben won the Philly’s Phunniest comedy contest in 2007. In this bit on Dunkin’ Donuts, Gerben witnesses an interaction between his favorite Dunkin worker, a wickedly efficient Indian man, and the customer, who speaks very broken English. It’s like the Who’s On First of donut transactions. If Abbott and Costello were Chinese and Indian, and all told through this ginger kid with a tie. He wears a tie! So professional!

5. Chip Chantry
Chip Chantry finished third in Philly’s Phunniest contest each of the past two years, which means he’s as up-and-coming as Philadelphia up-and-coming comedians. You can check out his Rooftop Comedy profile and an assortment of short clips. Chantry has a very likable frat-boy vibe, without being too much of a, well, frat boy. I did say likable, right? Take this example, in which he shows us how his knowledge of movie quotes reveals he’s not as tough as people think he’s supposed to be:

4. Doogie Horner
Doogie Horner may very well be the funniest comedian in Philadelphia that you don’t know about yet. But, the fact that you don’t know about him yet puts him fourth on our list for now. Do you want to learn the secrets to Horner’s humor? Are you willing to enter the Ministry of Secret Jokes to do so? While you figure out your answer to that question, let me introduce this clip to entertain you with Horner’s radical takes on discrimination, animals and the important advice on what to do when you lose your keys near your girlfriend. Hint: Don’t do it!

3. TuRae
Some people tell me, via the Internets, that TuRae spends plenty of time on the road these days, but he does still produce a monthly comedy show in Philadelphia, and that’s good enough for me to keep a spot for him near the top of the 2009 list. He already has done HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” been a New Face in Montreal, and this fall will appear on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.” In this clip, TuRae claims he knows his limitations, but his comedy does not necessarily have limitations. Up, up and away!

2. Kent Haines
Kent Haines is a tall man, and who knows, he could become a giant in comedy as well. And yet his site and former Philly show was titled, Why Am I Not Famous? Beats me. Haines won the Philly’s Phunniest contest in 2008, he has performed at the South Beach Comedy Festival, and he’ll be on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” this fall. In this bit, Haines relates how the game “Would You Rather” never presents you with choices you actually want to choose from. Would you rather watch it now? I’d rather that you would:

1. Anton Shuford
Anton Shuford is the current champion of Philly’s Phunniest contest, and who am I to take that title away from him? Plus, his winning performance brings us back around the diamond to my World Series theme, with a comedic tale about a foul ball at a baseball game that goes afoul. So to speak. Here. Let him tell it!

For more great comedians, check out these 17 Yearbook Photos of Famous Comedians and comedians debating gay marriage on the newest episode of “Mass Debaters.”

This post was written by Sean L. McCarthy, who only has fond memories of Philadelphia, and would like to keep it that way.

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