No Eagles game, no problem for Big Daddy Graham
THE DAY usually begins just after midnight for Big Daddy Graham and it ends when most people are slapping the snooze button.
That's why it's so amazing, so hard to believe, that he's just recently discovered every night-shift worker's elixir: a nice steaming cup of coffee.
"I honestly just started about six weeks ago," he says, mixing up a small Wawa coffee on this crisp Sunday morning at his kitchen table in South Jersey.
Graham grew up in Southwest Philly as Ed Gudonis, stumbled into acting on a bet and got hooked on the stage, eventually mixing in parody songs and comedy bits to his stand-up routines. He's performed thousands of shows, survived cancer, and he's still going. A guy named "Broadway John" calls, he negotiates a new gig.
"Every time, I step onstage, I'm still amazed that there's more than three people in the audience," he says after the phone call.
On 94 WIP, Graham is on from 2 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., often the first person people can vent to after a late game. He's not a hard core Xs-and-Os sports geek, though, and sometimes he'll talk about life in Southwest Philly, his love for "Breaking Bad" or some new cookie he found, and the Sixers, his beloved, floundering franchise.
"I'm worried about the Sixers," he says.
Since there's no Eagles game, he's taking it a little easy, listening to Bob Dylan and an obscure British band called Family on vinyl. His windows are open "for now," he says and his dog Beau is barking outside.
"I'll probably DVR NFL RedZone," he says, eyeing up a Wawa breakfast sandwich on the table.
After the Wawa coffee's empty, Graham pours his own brew into a Tinker Bell coffee mug, still eyeing his uneaten sandwich. He's liking coffee, for sure, but doesn't think it's a good match for a warm sandwich.
"I'm still not getting this hot-hot thing," he says. "I'm used to hot and cold."
- Jason Nark
Chillin' Wit' is a regular feature of the Daily News that spotlights a name in the news away from the job.