TOMMY DAVIDSON, the comedian who made a name for himself on "In Living Color," has always had a special place in his heart for Philly.
The D.C. native, who will perform at Helium Comedy Club today through Saturday, filmed his first stand-up movie, "Illin' in Philly," here.
"Philadelphia is a cinch. You've just got to be careful of the Italians," Davidson said, with a laugh. "It's very easy to me because it's regular people, but if you get pretentious on them, they'll boo you. They'll feel it. They're sensitive to those who think they're better than others."
Not to mention, a show in Philadelphia changed Davidson's life. Davidson invited a woman and her children to a show about four years ago.
"This woman had done something really nice for me. She worked at a check-cashing place and it was closed, but she was nice and let me in even though she didn't recognize me," he said.
About 15 minutes into Davidson's set, the woman died from a heart attack and passed away.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the house," he said.
Davidson felt it only right to thank patrons for coming to the truncated show.
"This woman walked up to me and had a smile on her face and said, 'What gift. Of all the people to walk her up to heaven, God chose you, so she could laugh her way up to the end.' From that day forward, I started looking at life a little differently."
Spike Eskin, WIP program director, recently tied the knot with Valerie DiBaggio. Notable names flocked to see the couple - who got engaged in a photo booth at North Bowl last year - get hitched, including Michael Barkann, Ike Reese, Merrill Reese, Rhea Hughes, Brian Haddad and Big Daddy Graham. Groomsmen included CBS Radio program director Jeff Sottolano, WXTU's Gordon Mays and WPHT's producer Michael Cerio.
The couple's first dance was quite a unique choice. I hear they went with the Backstreet Boys' "Siberia," a breakup song the couple bonded over early in their relationship.
After the wedding, planned by Ann Cantania (of Ten Pennies Florist), the couple honeymooned in Aruba.
Rich Zeoli will take over the 3 to 6 p.m. slot on WPHT (1210-AM), starting Nov. 5. Zeoli had previously worked nights and did fill-in work for the station. Dick Morris, who will occupy the spot until the upcoming election, will continue to do a Saturday show for the Big Talker.
Zeoli, a New Jersey native, began as a part-timer at WPHT in 2010, and was hired full-time in 2012. He credited his wife, Brigid, for keeping him positive while working holidays and evenings for four years.
While rumors swirled in trade publications that the spot might go to a syndicated show, like Michael Savage's, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Philadelphia Marc Rayfield told me that it was critically important to keep that drive-time spot local, focusing on issues affecting the Delaware Valley.
Zeoli echoed Rayfield, saying, "I definitely want to return to local . . . There's so much going on in our back yard. People are sick of hearing about Obama day in and day out, and hearing the same thing day in and out. We can all relate to issues in our backyard. There's a lot going on here."
Gary R'Nel, who currently cohosts with Morris, will take over Zeoli's soon-to-be-former slot.
In other WPHT news, host and Daily News contributor Dom Giordano is about to get candycoated. Gertrude Hawk Chocolates will issue "The Dom Bar" in honor of the host, whose contract was recently extended by the station. The candy will have a pic of Giordano on the label that will say, "It's Dom Time." Go to GertrudeHawkChocolates.com to find out about the talker treat.
* Melissa Magee, of 6ABC, Philly-based "Project Runway" victors Dom Streater and Jay McCarroll, NBC10's Brittney Shipp, our own Big Rube Harley and KYW's Cherri Gregg were just some of the names that helped welcome the new Timberland store (1709 Walnut St.) to the Philly retail scene on Tuesday.
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