Aaron Nevins, co-founder of Good Good Comedy, thinks that if there was an apocalypse tomorrow, the world would be fine — as long as all the comedians survived.
Nevins said one of the best parts of the comedy community is that every comedian has individual skills — whether they can fix plumbing or help with business. Philly comedians were willing to help, often in exchange for pizza and beer, as he and co-founder Kate Banford prepared to open a permanent Good Good Comedy Theatre in Chinatown, which will open on Friday, October 14 at 215 N. 11th Street.
“The whole comedy community wants to be involved in that process,” he said.
Banford and Nevins plan to host three to four comedy shows per night at the new space. Opening week will feature shows like “The Slam,” a hybrid of comedy and poetry, and “Your Mom is Funny,” in which comedians and their moms write stand-up for each other.
Good Good Comedy also offers comedy classes.
Philadelphia's comedy scene is growing as of late. Not only are there the theaters that have been around for awhile -- including Philadelphia Comedy, the Comedy Sportz troupe, and The N Crowd at the Actors Center -- but Punch Line, a comedy club for national touring acts, opened in July with a set by Dave Chappelle.
But as Nevins and Banford told Michael Klein in January, they think there's room for more. In February, Nevins and co-founder Kate Banford started a Kickstarter campaign to open a permanent Good Good Comedy Theatre. With the help of their friends and supporters, they broke their $12,000 goal in two days and nearly tripled it by the end of the month-long fundraiser.
Good Good begans as the Five Dollar Comedy Week in 2014. They received 70 pitches for the first festival. After one year and three festivals, they realized they had about 90 shows, none of which were being reproduced. The pair started Good Good Comedy to perform those shows and new concepts more regularly.
Banford said Good Good Comedy shows converge several different types of comedy in order to get “people from different scenes involved.”
“[The new theater] will be such an opportunity for more funny people to show up in Philadelphia and come out of their shell and start doing comedy, or even discover comedy in Philadelphia,” Nevins said. “Nothing is more exciting than a new hilarious person showing up.”
“That is my favorite thing,” Banford added. “To see someone I’ve never seen before doing something really funny.”
Good Good Comedy is always open for pitches and Five Dollar Comedy Week will return for its fourth festival on November 13 through November 19. The full October calendar is available on their website.
“I’m excited about it the same way I would be excited about it if it wasn’t even our theater,” Nevins said. “Now seven nights a week you can walk into this one place and see a really funny comedy show.”