On Philadelphia’s bustling South Street, Tattooed Mom never fails to draw an eclectic crowd. With decades-old wall hangings and kitschy seating like old bumper cars and roller-coaster trains, it's the perfect place for both impromptu and planned gatherings.
Local comedian Michael Kelly has used of the space for his popular free monthly comedy showcase: "Tattooed Momedy," since late 2016, and he says he's fired up for his first show of 2017, which kicks off at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
And this year, he and Mom are mking it official.
“Beginning in February 2017, we will be permanently slotted on the last Tuesday of every month,” Kelly said. “Each show features a curated collection of stand-up comics from the Philadelphia area and guests from across the U.S. We also feature a wild-card act that can be anything from burlesque, drag, sketch, performance art and music.”
The Jan. 24 show will feature Philly stand-ups such as Cassandra Dee and Marissa Both of Bourbon and Branch's Yard Sale Comedy in Northern Liberties; Charles Blyzniuk; Pete Steele; T.J. Hurley; Alyssa Rene; and sketch performers the Incredible Shrinking Matt and Jacquie.
We chatted with Kelly, Dee and Steele to get their thoughts on vital issues like video games and ideal animal hybrids.
What's been weirdest moment in your comedy career so far?
Kelly:Pretending to be a fourth-grader at 36 years old singing a "Beauty and the Beast" parody about the Borgia family. Weird yes. Awesome show, definitely.
Dee:When a stripper — who was topless at the time — hugged me and thanked me for my jokes about bullying because she was bullied too. She was a beautiful person and not someone I would have expected to have had similar experiences growing up.
Steele:Once, I was playing a character who lived in a garbage can full of artifacts from his past. I borrowed a wearable trash can that another performer crafted for her own use, jumped in with a bag of things too big for the trash can, and performed the bit. When I was done, I found I could not stand up and walk off, and, instead, had to tip over, fall out, roll and crawl off stage while dragging the trash can and as many of the artifacts as possible. That was pretty weird.
If you could be a character in any video game, who would it be and why?
Kelly:Macho Man Randy Savage in WWE 2k17. It had the famous Tuesday Night in Texas Match where he faced Jake the Snake Roberts to avenge he and Elizabeth's crashed wedding.
Dee:There are several "Buffy" video games, so I would be Willow Rosenberg because all I really want in life is to live in Southern California and to be a witch.
Steele:I'd be the hermit/retired expert that adventurers have to track down to their secluded cabin to get some key piece of information to achieve their quest. They seem to be getting by OK, and everyone pretty much leaves them alone.
What is your most prized possession?
Kelly:My cat sons, Oliver and Logan.
Dee:My mom recently gave me Mulder and Scully Barbies that she forgot to give me when she bought them in the '90s. They are the only Barbies she’s ever given me, which makes me really happy.
Steele:I've got a pair of nice quilted slippers that are very comfortable. And my glasses help me see things that are far away clearly, but I can also take them off so that I don't see things clearly if I don't want to. So they're two of my favorite possessions.
If you could merge two animals to make a new animal, what would you make?
Kelly:A corgi and a seal — seagi. Just picture it.
Dee:I can’t think of anything better than the pot-belly elephant from "South Park," so I’d make that happen.
Steele:If I could merge two animals together, I probably just wouldn't do it. They probably wouldn't be up for it, and I wouldn't want to push it. They're fine as they are. But I'd be pretty proud that I was able to do it. Seems like something not everyone could do.
If you go:
Tuesday, Jan. 24
8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
530 South St.