SUNDAY: Bedtime Stories Gets Revenge/Holding Court plays till the buzzer
This Sunday night at Connie's Ric-Rac is a two-fer.
SUNDAY: Bedtime Stories Gets Revenge/Holding Court plays till the buzzer
I don’t care much about basketball, but I’ve always gotten a kick out of the Holding Court podcast — mainly because hosts Gregg Gethard and Aaron Hertzog make it more about comedy than sports. So it’s a shame that, after this week, Holding Court will adjourn since Hertzog is moving to Los Angeles in pursuit of bigger comedy dreams. The good news is that the show will go out in style, with its first (and last) ever live show. In fact, this Sunday night at Connie’s Ric-Rac is a two-fer, as Gethard is also reviving his Bedtime Stories comedy show. It's only five bucks at the door, and the money goes to help out a Hurricane Sandy victim. I caught up with Gethard over Facebook to shoot a few.
City Paper: So, Aaron Hertzog is moving to L.A.? Philly’s losing a funny, funny guy.
Gregg Gethard: Yes, my co-host Aaron is indeed moving to LA. I cannot stress enough how those of us in comedy will miss him. And it’s doubly that for me, personally. I tell this to Aaron all the time: No one has improved more than he has in comedy from the time he started until now. He has the rare combination of being ridiculously talented while also working harder than anyone in Philly at comedy. On top of it, Aaron is also the single nicest person I know. One of his favorite things to do every year is go Christmas caroling. How awesome is that?
CP: Tell me about Bedtime Stories.
GG: I started Bedtime Stories about six years ago. Every month, I come up with a different theme. All of the performers then have to do some sort of bit regarding that theme. The show’s been on hiatus for about two years but I decided to restart it again since I missed performing was more than I thought I would. This month’s theme is REVENGE.
CP: As for Holding Court, have you figured out the logistics for doing a live podcast?
GG: In true Holding Court Podcast form, we have no idea of the logistics of that sort of thing. When we started the podcast, we tried to plan the topics to talk about. But then we just went off topic as soon as we started. So, we stopped planning for the podcast. We also had very “lo-fi” technical equipment, too — a microphone and a laptop precariously balanced on Aaron’s windowsill.
But that was part of its charm. That was what I liked most about it — a lot of people listen to the podcast and we’ve done it without any planning or technical expertise. People like it because of what me and Aaron bring to the table. As we say — it’s about 20 percent basketball talk and 80 percent nonsense.
CP: Sunday’s show is a benefit for your friend Lauren — tell me about her.
GG: Lauren is a friend of mine from La Salle. She’s employed as a firefighter in the Bronx, which is incredibly badass. I see her a few times a year and whenever I do, she has these insane stories that entail her doing things like ripping children out of burning cars and rescuing families from collapsing buildings. She’s the only person I know who is legitimately a hero.
Anyways, she was in NYC for Hurricane Sandy and didn’t go home for a few nights. She bought a house earlier this year out on Long Island right by the water. When she finally got home, it was destroyed. She lost everything. Thankfully, her parents live nearby and she can stay with them (and her beloved dog Abby). But it’s still awful.
She’s the only person I know who really lost anything during the storm. I have a ton of friends from North Jersey/NYC and they all had their hardships. But she tangibly lost something she worked her whole adult life for. I can’t even imagine what it’s like.
There’s a ton of charities and the like out there helping people out. And that’s awesome. But I really want to help out someone I’m friends with personally, especially someone who puts her life in danger on a daily basis to help other people.
CP: I just went to theholdingcourtpodcast.com and it’s one of those predatory domain squatter sites now — what happened?
GG: Ah! Aaron had the subscription and let it lapse since he’s moving. I don’t have the money right now to pick up the tab. (I stopped working for a few months but just started again.) I believe all our shows are archived on iTunes so you can pick it up there.
CP: I listened to your show because it was funny, but you almost succeeded in making me care about basketball. How far will the Sixers go this season?
GG: That is awesome! The show was such a weird balance. It’s hard to convince non-basketball fans to listen to it and it’s also alienating to basketball fans who don’t care about me talking about girls I dated 15 years ago.
As far as the Sixers go — I am actually down on them this year. Andre Iguodala is one of the best players in the NBA. You don’t make the Olympic team without being awesome. And, to a man, everyone on that team said Iggy was the most underrated player on the team and was such a great glue guy. Iguodala took so much crap in the local sports media and I was always baffled. I know he took up a large chunk of the salary cap but he did that because he’s one of the three best defenders alive and is one of the most versatile offensive players in decades. He’s not a great scorer, but he’s at an elite level everywhere else.
However, Elton Brand got off scott-free. The Sixers signed him to a megadeal right after he blew out his leg. Elton was a great player in his prime and by all accounts a great guy. But signing him put the Sixers in the bind — not Iguodala.
They replaced him with Andrew Bynum. Bynum’s one of the best centers alive and can certainly carry a team. But when he was being coronated by the local basketball press, everyone overlooked two things:
1) Bynum is one of the least healthy players in basketball. He gets hurt every year. He’s played one full season, which was last year. He’s not playing until December at the earliest. The Sixers are going to get about 40 games out of him.
2) Bynum is also one of the biggest dickheads in the NBA. Case in point: Him launching three pointers in games just to gasface his former coach Mike Brown. Another case in point: Him bodychecking JJ Barrea (who is maybe the smallest guy in the league) after the Dallas Mavericks absolutely stuck it to the Lakers in the playoffs a few years ago. Bynum’s ripe to pick up a suspension or three in the small amount of games he does play.
Thankfully, this is the last year of his contract. Not so thankfully, I have absolutely no faith in the Sixers braintrust. They’re going to sign him to a max deal and he’s going to keep them anywhere from the sixth to eighth seed in the playoffs where they’ll lose in the first round unless someone gets hurt.
It’s a shame because the Sixers run to the finals during Iverson’s MVP year was one of the best times of my life. Philadelphia has been the best basketball city in the country at certain points in time. There’s nothing like the Big Five (plus Drexel) anywhere else in the country. Big Catholic League games and public league matchups have drawn big numbers at the college arenas around town. But the Sixers draw crap (although the new owners are doing great stuff with marketing). It’s because Philly’s a really sophisticated basketball town and they know the team has been in a holding pattern for a decade.
Bedtime Stories Gets Revenge/Final Holding Court Podcast is Sun., Nov. 18, 7 p.m., $5, Connie’s Ric-Rac, 1132 S. Ninth St., 215-279-7587, conniesricrac.com. More info here.
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