What could have been a total nightmare actually went pretty well, and Chantry figured he’d keep up the comedy.
Fast-forward about five years, and Chantry is still very much a presence in Philly’s comedy scene—despite the book of horror stories he could probably write. He’s performed with some of the biggest national acts and his new, aptly named act, “Chip Chantry’s One-Man Show (With Special Guests)” kicks off at the Khyber January 12.
He took some time to chat with us ahead of his show’s debut.
NBCPhiladelphia: Okay, we have to ask: Chip, if you're so funny, why do you need help putting on a one-man show?
Chip Chantry: Personally, I think I’m absolutely hysterical. However, there is a rather large portion of the population who strongly disagrees. So therefore, I need help. A lot of it, in fact. Luckily, there are literally dozens of really talented comedians and sketch artists who can pick up my slack.
NBC: Who are some of those talented comedians you've charged with that weighty task?
CC: Kent Haines, who was voted Philly’s Phunniest at Helium this year, will be there to help kick things off. Dave Walk, from comicvsaudience.com, who is hilarious as well, will be there. My roommate, and 2006 Philly’s Phunniest, David James, will be there, as well as one of my favorite sketch groups, Secret Pants. Plus, there will be some surprise guests. And finally, my partner, producer and as of 11:30 last night, blood brother, Quizzomaster Johnny Goodtimes will be performing as well.
NBC: But if you could share the stage with one other performer, who would it be?
CC: Besides Johnny Goodtimes? I have been really lucky to share the stage with a lot of my comedy heroes already. Paul F. Tompkins, Todd Glass and Tom Rhodes are probably the highlights. I always wanted to be on a Mr. Wizard segment—unfortunately, Don Herbert has moved on to a better place.
NBC: What can we expect from the first show at the Khyber Monday?
CC: Standup comedy, sketch, video, surprise characters and most likely, a lot of awkward moments. There will also be a chance for an audience member or two to come on stage and try to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. I’m hoping they don’t win. Because frankly, I don’t have the cash or prizes to back it up.
NBC: As a Philadelphia-area native, we think you're qualified to comment: What's the funniest thing about this city?
CC: The image of well-dressed Manayunk residents with no coats walking up icy hills to their homes at 2 a.m. on a Saturday.
NBC: Does Philly have a good comedy scene?
CC: We’ve got an amazing scene. Five years ago when I started, comedy in the city was almost non-existent, or at least not noticed. Now we have Helium, plus a whole lot of smaller, comedian-run independent shows that are hilarious. And crowds are starting to take notice. Much like the good people at NBCPhiladelphia.com.
NBC: Thanks for the compliment! Do you have a favorite local venue at which to perform?
CC: Helium is an amazing club. That’s where I’ve had the chance to work with some of the best comedians in the country. Besides that, places like the Shubin, the Walking Fish Theatre and of course the Khyber are all really fun venues.
NBC: What about other favorite Philly places?
CC: My favorite restaurant is a BYOB called Salt and Pepper (746 S. 6th St.). It’s the best food I have ever eaten. I'm gonna have the seafood raviolis there on Saturday night. I should be thinking about my show on Monday, but I’m focused on the raviolis. National Mechanics is a really cool bar—anywhere that’s laid back and has a good jukebox is all right in my book. And my favorite park to hang out in is Washington Square. According to one of the ghost tours, there are thousands of bodies buried directly underneath where people lie on a blanket or throw a Frisbee around. That’s pretty cool.
NBC: If you weren’t busy performing, what would you do with all the free time you’d have?
CC: I would get a dog. Or, like, six dogs. Maybe a monkey. Definitely a monkey. I’d dress him up. Because no one likes naked monkeys as much as fully clothed ones. I envision Hector (that’s the name I just gave him) in mostly tuxedos and overalls.
NBC: Any horror stories from shows you've performed in the past?
CC: You would have to do a completely different column just to get the tip of the iceberg of horror that I have seen. Most things Johnny Goodtimes and I collaborate on generally crash and burn royally. I would assume something might go terribly wrong on Monday night. If you show up, there’s an outside chance you will see someone catch on fire.
NBC: In four words or fewer, make your final pitch: Why should we come to your show?
CC: Rod Blagojevich appointed you.
Chip Chantry performs Monday, January 12 at the Khyber at 8 p.m. The show is 21+, and tickets (just $8!) are available here.