Published Friday, November 18, 2011, 1:50 PM
Tonight, Friday, November 18th, at 8 PM, comedian/radio host Big Daddy Graham and comedian/voice impersonator Joe Conklin, both heard on SportsRadio 94 WIP, will perform their final “Two Funny Philly Guys” show of 2011. The show will take place in South Philadelphia at Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School (1736 South 10th Street) and is a benefit for the Mummers Fancy Brigade.
The multi-talented Graham has performed over 4000 comedy shows in the area over 30 years. He is also the overnight weeknight host (2-5:30 AM) on SportsRadio 94 WIP, as well as a recording artist, opening act for numerous well-known musicians (B.B. King, Hall & Oates, The Four Tops…), producer, actor and writer (including as a theater reviewer on this page).
Conklin, who appears on WIP’s “Morning Show with Angelo Cataldi,” has been featured on Philadelphia radio for more than 20 years. One of the most sought-after corporate banquet speakers in the area, Conklin’s stand-up routine is known to skewer some of the country’s top politicians, pro athletes, sports executives, and film stars, often to their faces.
The “Two Funny Philly Guys” concept was devised five summers ago, by Larry Mullin, then president of the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. (Graham actually came up with the name.) The two do about four or five “Two Funny Philly Guys
According to Graham, “Right from the get-go, this show has just been drawing huge numbers, which Joe and I are thrilled about. I’ve been working in this area for 30 years. Joe has been working here for 25 or so. And you would think that every imaginable customer that’s out there has seen us, but we’re continually surprised and overwhelmed by how good the reaction is that people have to this.”
The very first show was MC’d by Cataldi, and, since, has been MC’d by other WIP personalities such as former Eagle Ike Reese, Glen Macnow, Rhea Hughes, Marc Farzetta, as well as non-WIP local celebrities such as Lauren Hart.
Each comedian goes on for approximately 45 minutes (they rotate who goes first), and the two come together at the end, for a segment which changes with each performance.
Graham says: “We’ve received standing O’s. The comedy world is not huge on standing ovations, but this show gets them frequently.”
Regarding his “Two Funny Philly Guys” partner, Graham (whom Conklin credits as convincing him, when Conklin was relatively unknown, to make a career out of comedy) says: “Off-stage, Joe may be more nuts than he is on-air. There’s always a loose cannon working with Joe, which gives the show a wonderful edge. He’s brilliant.”
Graham adds that Conklin’s most popular current impersonations are of Barack Obama (“perfect,” “right on”), Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and Phillies announcer and former player Gary Matthews.
Conklin does a lot of sports humor in the show, while Graham does very little (maybe 1-2 minutes out of a 45-minute performance.) Graham emphasizes: “This is not a sports show. It is a comedy show.”
Asked about his most well-received current material, Graham mentions his bit about Michael Jackson audiotapes, as well as about his recent bout with throat cancer and related 50-pound weight loss (which often catches audience members, who frequently hear Graham on the radio but rarely see him, off-guard). Related to his weight loss and also to the fact that he now wears glasses all the time, Graham notes that he is much less likely now to be accused of looking just like Bill Clinton than he used to be. Instead, he is now often regarded as a doppelganger for Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Tickets to “Two Funny Philly Guys” can be purchased via this link.
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