December 22, 2016
It has been nearly one year since Kate Banford and Aaron Nevins launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their Good Good Comedy Theatre.
Now, the founders of Philadelphia’s Five Dollar Comedy Week have a permanent home to host their unique line-up of shows that blend stand-up, improvisation, sketch, storytelling and anything and everything else the owners find funny.
And they bring the funny to audiences with up to four different shows a night, seven nights a week.
Kate Banford credits Good Good Comedy’s unique mash-up of comedic styles for packing people into the 50-seat black box theater located at 215 N. 11th St., in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood.
“I think, as a business, it’s better because there is more appeal for a wider range of people when you have more variety like Good Good does,” said Banford.
Their research didn’t stop there.
In an effort to learn some best practices for operating a successful comedy theater, the duo embarked on a sort of pilgrimage to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles to see how some iconic venues were operated.
“We tried to fill our head with as much information as possible so we didn’t fail spectacularly,” said Nevins.
While it may be easy to compare Good Good Comedy Theatre to other black box theaters like the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Nevins said there really isn’t another comedy venue in the country doing the exact same thing.
“We do everything,” said Nevins.
“We have a ton of improv shows and stand-up shows and sketch shows, but the main thing that we have are these, like, concept shows.”
“Weeding out the Stoned” is one of the highly popular high-concept shows being performed at Good Good Comedy Theatre. Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, stand-up comedian Alex Grubard hosts the sobriety game show, where audience members help to identify the sober panel guest.
Grubard said Good Good Comedy Theatre gives performers the freedom to experiment with ideas that allow them to be pure comedians – freed of the constraints of genre.
“I’ve never seen a comedy club or an improv theater necessarily [say], ‘pitch us your craziest ideas. Pitch us your ideas, and we’re looking for new programming,’” said Grubard.
Most of Good Good Comedy’s shows cost $5. At that rate, Banford and Nevins said they have loftier plans in mind.
“Building a large, enthusiastic comedy audience in Philadelphia is probably our main goal,” said Nevins.