And you think your dates are bad?
Alejandro Morales, who co-hosts East Coast Power Nap at The Trocadero Theatre and does stand-up at Fairmount’s Urban Saloon (where the above video was filmed), is the kind of guy who thrives on a lively comedic rapport. Having done stand-up casually for the past four years, he realized in recent months that Philly’s comedy scene was a burgeoning environment for stand-up acts — and thus something he felt inspired to build upon.
“A lot of stand-up comedy is about building character — your persona. What is it about you that makes you funny? And when comics get together, just casually, they bounce off of each other in a way you don’t get to see on stage, because stand-up is about solo performances,” he says. “There’s been this growth in the scene where all of these open-mic comics have popped up where there weren’t any before, and so I’ve been hanging out with these people all year, and I knew I wanted to do more sketch videos. … So, the idea was to plug these comics into a context where they all played themselves, but in a world where they’re gay.”
The result is the Web series Dates, which sketches back-and-forth exchanges between gay men partaking in (what appears to be mostly bad) dates. The show was created as a collaborative effort between he and his fellow comics, with behind-the-scenes work put in by photographer Clay Hereth and video editor Aaron Nevins. Morales says Dates is mostly scripted, but that by the time filming starts, there’s typically a natural “rhythm” that allows for the kind of organic comic-to-comic improv he hopes to highlight with the show.
And though he doesn’t actually know how many — if any — of the local comedians being used identify as gay, he says that’s less the point. “The series itself,” he says, “is more about the dynamics between the comics, and them being thrown in this gay world, rather than them in the first place being gay.”
The pilot episode stars local comics Dan Vetrano and Kevin Ryan. Moving forward, new episodes — which range from “serious to silly” and will only star Philly-scene comics — are to be expected every few weeks via their YouTube channel. The next episode is already in the editing process, with four follow-ups being filmed in the next two weeks.
Check out the first episode here, or through the embedded video above.
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