Five Dollar Comedy Week will once again take center stage in the Philadelphia comedy community on Sunday, Nov. 13 and conclude on Saturday, Nov. 19. However, the fourth installment of the event is of unique significance to the comedy community at large and one venue in particular.
The fall 2016 edition of Five Dollar Comedy Week will be held at the new Good Good Comedy Theater in Chinatown. It completes a circle of sorts, as the theater wouldn’t even exist had Five Dollar Comedy Week not enjoyed the enormous success that it has. After a few successful runs at venues like Plays and Players in Rittenhouse Square and PhilaMoCA in Spring Garden, the comedic brains behind the event, local comedians Aaron Nevins and Kate Banford, saw that the local comedy scene had a thirst for the event’s signature blend of experimental comedy shows. As a result, Good Good Comedy was formed, turning nearly every week of the past year into Five Dollar Comedy Week with a never-ending barrage of hilarious comedy shows. As Good Good Comedy grew, so did the support — both spiritual and financial — of the local community, and, just last month, the production house was able to open its very own theater space, Chinatown’s Good Good Comedy Theater.
But Nevins and Banford, who work tirelessly to promote and produce their theater’s always-popular blend of comedy shows, haven’t let the runaway success of their brand go to their heads. The fourth annual Five Dollar Comedy Week marks a return to their roots, promising a week packed with 30 different shows that “showcases brand new shows that meld all forms of comedy and performance into one incredible weeklong festival.” And best of all: All shows are only $5 to see.
Among the highlights of the week will be “Extreme Wrestling Smacksplosion” (“a show about wrestling, without the wrestling,” Nevins and Banford explain) and popular recurring shows “Don’t Die a Coward” (starring Tim Butterly and John McKeever of the Comedy Central webseries “Delco Proper”) and “The Bit Show” (where 15 shows of varying lengths are crammed into a single 60-minute time slot).
While adult-oriented humor may dominate most of the Philadelphia comedy scene — and thus most of Five Dollar Comedy Week’s lineup — Nevins and Banford have gone to lengths not to alienate the child-rearing members of their audiences and community. Two family-friendly shows will also be a part of Five Dollar Comedy Week: “Make My Child Laugh” (where comedians try their best G-rated material to make a child double over in hysterics) and “Story Hour with Rita Book” (where comedians write and perform original children’s stories).
A unique staple of the week’s offerings are workshops that can try to teach audience members almost anything (“learn the useless skills that really matter!” Nevis and Banford said). One such example is Nevins’ own Go Viral with Aaron Nevins, in which participants attempt to become the next great viral sensation.
Five Dollar Comedy Week will be held from Sunday, Nov. 13 and run every night with multiple shows each evening through Saturday, Nov, 19. Free “secret shows” will follow each 10 p.m. performance. Following the conclusion of the week, Good Good Comedy will continue to fill its calendar with unique and fun comedy show offerings, some of which may very well be born during the fall 2016 event. For more information, including a full rundown of the show lineup, visit goodgoodcomedy.com.