One of Philadelphia’s most beloved comedians will be recording his first ever comedy album right here in Philadelphia—and you are welcome to be in the audience.
Michael Brooks, a two-time Philly’s Phunniest finalist at Helium and the 2015 winner of the annual WMGK John DeBella Comedy Competition, will take to the stage of the Grape Room in Manayunk on Saturday, Jan. 27 for the recording of his debut album “Watch This” on Wasted Robot Records.
“Audiences can expect a lot of sweating,” Brooks said with a laugh. “I’m a big dude, so the stage is my exercise room. It’s going to be a lot of fun, with hard hitting thoughts about life, family, work, and society. Everything that we all go through.”
While Brooks cites comedy legends like Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, and D.L. Hughley as inspiration, there are also local faces who he looks up to, such as Turae Gordon, The Legendary Wid, Chip Chantry, Shane Gillis, and Chris Cotton.
“I think Philly comedy scene is filled with great comedians that speak their truth and also know how to just destroy a crowd,” Brooks said. “You cut your teeth in Philadelphia, and the comics let you know if you really have something or not. As a community, though, I think we have some room to grow; we still have ‘urban style’ comedians, ‘alternative style’ comedians, and various other styles that don’t interact as much as I think we could. Funny is funny, no matter the style or the room.”
Brooks has spent the past 8 years honing his craft in a wide array of venues, ranging from well-known spots like Helium to suburban New Jersey VFW halls.
“I’m a VFW legend,” he said with a laugh.
As such, Brooks has had a front seat for the local comedy scene’s drastic changes.
“Philly comics are hungry,” he said. “When I first started, people were sort of waiting on the one or two clubs in the city to ‘pass them’ and that’s how they became successful. Nowadays, you have a lot of comedians that are making things happen on their own, not waiting for an invitation to be successful. They are making their own lanes which is awesome to see.”
“Watch This” is not only Brooks’ debut album, but it is also the first album put out by the Wasted Robot Records comedy label, which was formed in 2017.
“Having known Mike for several years, producing Watch This as Wasted Robot’s debut release was a no-brainer,” Wasted Robot Records co-founder Sean Mulholland said. “There are so many incredibly talented comedians in this scene and the DIY ethos is something we draw inspiration from.”
Brooks promises that the show, which coincides with his birthday, will be filled with laughter, good people, and, hopefully, an Eagles Super Bowl appearance.
If you go:
Saturday, Jan. 27
8:00 p.m., $10-20
The Grape Room
105 Grape St.