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Hackoween brings famous comedians, living and dead, to Philadelphia

Now in its third successful year, Hackoween finds Philly comics channeling famous entertainers.
Joe Murdock performs as Weird Al Yankovic at Hackoween 2016. | Mike Fenn
Joe Murdock performs as Weird Al Yankovic at Hackoween 2016. Mike Fenn

What happens when you mix standup comedy with Halloween? You get Hackoween — an ongoing annual show at Good Good Comedy Theater in Chinatown.

The premise behind Hackoween is simple: members of the Philadelphia comedy community choose a famous comedian, living or dead, whom they admire and perform some of that comic’s best-known material—dressed as that comedian. Philadelphia comedians Alex Grubard and Charles Blyzniuk host the event each year and are careful to introduce each comedian as their famous counterpart.

“Charles and I knew of similar shows in New York and L.A. and we just thought it’s a fun thing for a comedy scene to do,” co-host Grubard explains. “Everyone has a blast and is really thankful to all get together at once.”

The first Hackoween debuted to a packed house in 2015 at L’Etage in Queen Village; comedians and non-comedians alike turned out for the event. One by one, famous names like Ellen DeGeneres (Robert Ecks), Chelsea Peretti (Hannah Trav), and George Carlin (Robert Rule) were brought to life by some of the most well-known names in Philadelphia comedy.

“Jake Mattera did Rodney Dangerfield jokes that are so funny he started cracking up as he told them,” Grubard muses about the 2015 show.

In 2016, the show moved to Good Good Comedy Theater, which remains its home. Once again to a packed audience, the likes of Steven Wright (Jon Lalu), Judy Tenuta (Hannah Harkness), and even Weird Al Yankovic (Joe Murdock) lit up the stage to uproarious laughter.

“Sarah Bell put on a mustache and did Steve Harvey last year and that was awesome,” Grubard says, referring to Bell’s pitch-perfect impersonation, facial expressions and all, of the daytime TV host. “And honestly, Charles co-hosted with an amazingly accurate Dennis Miller.”

For Hackoween 2017, Hack-o-ween promises yet another rousing lineup of the most well-known names in comedy. Over 30 Philadelphia comedians will channel personalities like Flight of the Conchords and Pee-Wee Herman. “The rest you will have to come see for yourself,” Blyzniuk said.

Blyzniuk adds that, in the spirit of Halloween, there will be free candy on hand.

If You Go:
Hack-o-ween
Tuesday, October 31
8:30 p.m., $10 ($5 for comedians)
Good Good Comedy Theater
215 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia
215-399-1279
goodgoodcomedy.com