Meet the Philly Man Who Played “Keanu” in Point Break Live

Point Break Live Philadelphia

From left: Jo-Anne Lee (Keanu handler/stunt double), Bob Babjak (Keanu fill-in plucked from the audience) and Michael Christoforo (Bodhi) at Point Break Live at Underground Arts last weekend. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

“My name is Johnny Utah,” the man on stage said. Everyone at Underground Arts screamed the next line along with him. “I am an FBI agent!

The man on stage was Bob Babjak, a freelance copywriter in Philadelphia. Last Saturday night, he was playing “Keanu” at Point Break Live, a parody of the 1991 action/bank heist/surfing/skydiving film. The movie stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah — a former Ohio State quarterback-turned-rookie FBI agent — tasked to investigate a sting of bank robberies committed by surfers wearing president masks.

The conceit of the stage show, written in 2003 by Jamie Keeling, is that Keanu didn’t show up to play the lead in that night’s performance. But the show must go on, and so the role of Keanu is cast from the audience right there. People who audition have to read two lines and perform a physical feat. Read more »

WATCH: Martha Stewart Roast Kevin Hart

Videos from the Justin Bieber roast on Comedy Central are surfacing online, and this one finds the queen of all things domestic roasting the you-know-what out of the show’s host Kevin Hart. In the most deadpan way possible, she takes the Philly-bred comedian to task for blowing a chunk of his first big paycheck on a watch. “I forget the term for that … it’s not African American rich. It’ll come to me,” she says.

Later she shows her vulgar side when she tells Ludacris, a father of three by three different women, to “try pulling out sometime and finishing on some fine, highly absorbent Martha Stewart bed linens.” Check out the quick clip above.

6 Top Places to See Comedy in Philadelphia

Performers with the N Crowd | Photo by Katie Reing

Performers with the N Crowd | Photo by Katie Reing

Where to Get In On the Action

The N Crowd, 257 North 3rd Street, Old City
215-253-4276, www.phillyncrowd.com

The N Crowd specializes in short-form improv comedy, the kind that you might know from Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Following a few simple rules and based on audience suggestions, the performers put together hilarious sketches out of thin air. Participation is very much encouraged, both by the small room and by the possibility of getting a free ticket, so don’t be afraid to shout something out or even volunteer to go onstage.

Where to See a Big Star in a Small Room

Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse Square
215-496-9001, www.heliumcomedy.com

Helium is the simplest kind of comedy club: round tables, two-drink minimum, low lights, and comics saying funny things into a microphone. What makes it stand out is that, on a regular basis, those comics are television stars and nationally famous standups. Over the years they’ve played home to Norm MacDonald, Kevin Nealon, Patrice O’Neal, and Demetri Martin. Helium also hosts open mics and features local talent, so don’t feel pressured to shell out for the biggest names—often the unknowns are the funniest of all.

Where to See Old-School Standup

Comedy Cabaret, 11580 Roosevelt Boulevard, Northeast
215-676-5653, www.comedycabaret.com

It’s a small room in a hotel bar in a Ramada Inn in the Northeast, so the Comedy Cabaret is not exactly the place to go for glamour. But the headliners are usually experienced pros, sometimes with national appeal, and the openers tend to be local up-and-comers. It’s a good place to go for no-frills, unfiltered standup that makes you laugh—and you never know, you might be the first to spot a diamond in the rough.

comedysportzWhere to Bring the Kids

ComedySportz, 2030 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse Square
877-985-2844, www.comedysportzphilly.com

If you think “clean comedy” is bland, smiley, and unfunny, then you clearly haven’t seen ComedySportz. These skilled improv performers are sometimes sharp and sometimes goofy, but they’re pretty much always hilarious. To be sure, the sports uniforms and whistles are a little kitschy, but get into the spirit of it and no matter how old you are, you’ll be shouting and cheering in no time (it doesn’t hurt that the venue is BYOB).

Where to See Comedy’s Cutting Edge

Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse Square
267-233-1556, www.phillyimprovtheater.com

PHIT, as it’s affectionately known, showcases every kind of comedy, from sketch and standup to improv and innovative forms (like A Few Short Answers, a monthly gonzo game show). As the name might suggest, though, PHIT really excels at improv—in particular, it’s the best place in town to catch a long-form improv show, where performers improvise long scenes or even whole plays based on a few audience suggestions.

Where to Get Cozy with the Comics

Crazy Cow, 4414 Main Street, Manayunk
267-368-6379, www.scoopermanwaterice.com

Crazy Cow is not exactly a typical comedy club. In fact, it’s not a comedy club at all. It’s an ice cream shop and restaurant. But on Friday and Saturday nights, in a tiny upstairs lounge, local standups perform their best stuff for an appreciative audience. The comics change night t -night, so you can never be sure what you’ll get, but no matter what it makes for a cheap date and a good story. The ice cream isn’t bad, either.

Scene from a Mask & Wig Club performance | Photo by Evan Robinson Photography

Scene from a Mask and Wig Club performance | Photo by Evan Robinson Photography

Where to Relive Your College Days

Mask and Wig, 310 South Quince Street, Midtown Village
215-716-7378, www.maskandwig.com

Every year, this venerable society of Penn kids set aside midterms and binge-drinking to put on a full-length comedy musical—which they wrote from scratch. Without fail, the production is professional, the singing is passable, and the jokes bring down the house (which just happens to be a beautiful old theater). Some nights, the audience will largely consist of very vocally enthusiastic Penn students, but that only contributes to the experience.

PHL17’s All-Mummers Channel Staying on Air Indefinitely

mummers-940px

“That is the fourth Macarena of the New Year,” Steve Highsmith said just after we turned on the TV. It was last December. At happy hour, I was talking about the new All-Mummers channel PHL17 had launched that week. When some friends and I returned to my house after happy hour, we turned on the channel and heard Highsmith’s count.

By the time everyone left that evening, we had seen four more Macarena skits in the 1997 parade. The Mummers that year were like the Democrats in 1996: All Macarena, all the time. But I saw more than just that parade. I watched a lot of Mummers during the month of December — more than I’d like to admit. I saw a lot of sequins, feathers and Jerry Blavat. But when the month was over, I expected the all-Mummers Parade channel would be mothballed for another year.

Read more »

WATCH: Bette Midler Sing Kim Kardashian Tweets On Jimmy Kimmel Live

Bette Midler was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, where it was revealed that she named one of her chickens after Kim Kardashian. So in the spirit of fun, she agreed to sing some of Kim’s tweets—cabaret style. Of course, she’s wonderful. The only downside is that they didn’t give her a few more to sing. Check it out above.

I bring this to you today to remind you that the clock is ticking down to the moment when The Divine Miss M comes to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on June 16th. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

WATCH: Black Thought Raps Funny Spring Break Tweets On The Tonight Show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnSg5_zLfGM

The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon put out a call to viewers to tweet him rap lyrics about their spring break adventures using the hashtag #SpringBreakRaps. On last night’s show, he showcased the best ones, and had the award-winning MC in his house band, Philly-bred rapper Black Thought, rap them with Questlove and the rest of The Roots playing backup. Check it out above.

WATCH: Martha Graham Cracker Does Patti LaBelle Doing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Martha Graham Cracker whipped out a wow-worthy debut performance at Franky Bradley’s on Saturday night. The stint, shockingly, was also her first performance in the Gayborhood.

The set, which took place in the space formerly known as Sisters, comprised a whole range of well-known pop tunes—from a couple Beatles numbers to Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” The real showstoppers, though, were ambitious renditions of Aretha Fraklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” She nailed ‘em both. Her voice was in perfect form that night—soulful, strong and unwavering, even after two-and-a-half hours of hard singing. Her diva status continues to rise.

Read more »

WATCH: Taylor Swift and Jimmy Fallon Dance On NYC Jumbotrons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-nkRBlqHzA

On last night’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Wyomissing native Taylor Swift revealed her and Fallon’s bygone hobby of attending New York City sporting events and letting loose when they were featured on arena Jumbotrons. Of course it’s not true—considering it looks like they’re in the same arena the whole time—but it’s funny, nonetheless, and that’s why I’m dropping it here for you today. Check it out above.

WATCH: Bradley Cooper and Betty White Make Out on SNL 40

The much-hyped—and very long—Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special finally aired last night, reuniting SNL cast members and favorite sketches from over the show’s four-decade run. One of those sketches, The Californians, featured local stars Bradley Cooper and Taylor Swift sporting blonde locks and Valley accents. Then Betty White gets in the mix and Cooper can’t keep his hands off her. Check it out above.

You can check out more clips from last night’s show via SNL’s YouTube page.

PHOTOS: Presidents in Drag

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found our first ladies to be infinitely more interesting than their fuddy-duddy ol’ husbands. But is there a First Ladies’ Day? Nooooo. So, in the spirit of compromise, I’ve rounded up this hilarious gallery of presidents transposed onto photos of their wives, and, in some cases, a few other feminine figures of their time. Have fun!



Source: Presidents in Drag

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