[Portland's funniest funny guy IAN KARMEL has graciously agreed to allow Blogtown a peek into the life of a touring comedian with this new series, "Comedy Tour Diaries." Travel along with Ian as he brings laffs to some lucky people in Philly, Minneapolis, Austin and more!—eds.]

Philadelphia Tour Diary

Thursday, April 5th, 1:00pm — Wake up, eeehhhhhggghhhhpffshhh. Waking up at noon is triumphant. Waking up at one is the kind of behavior that gets brought up in child custody hearings. I'll try to excuse the behavior by saying I think I've got some kind of head cold moving in, which has to be some kind of curse laid upon me by that museum of godawfulness I visited yesterday (see day 2).

2:30pm — There's a guilt-inspiring amount of history in Philly. It's hard to take it all in, why? Because you slept until one! I'M TAKING THE CHILDREN, IAN. Really, though, you start to realize how old this city is when you're walking around a building, admiring it's old-ass stone masonry, noticing the Latin inscribed on the facade, and then you round the corner and discover that it holds a Rite-Aid. It's kind of fun to watch Philadelphia try to be a museum and a city at the same time, it's like a sit-com “Oh no! Philadelphia accidentally planned two dates on the same night! One girl thinks he's a bookish art nerd, but the other thinks he's an all-night party guy! Tweed jackets or kickin' dance moves!? TGI Fridays or ambiguous nude sculptures!? WHY CAN'T IT BE BOTH! Tonight, on That's My Philly!” Shut-up Ian, you're being ridiculous! Am I?

Come for the Funsational Pepperino Beef Busters, stay for mans struggle with the idea of heaven!
  • Ian Karmel
  • Come for the Funsational Pepperino Beef Busters, stay for man's struggle with the idea of heaven!

More after the jump!


5pm — I'm too late to actually go into the Philadelphia Art Museum, but they put the best shit outside, dumb-dumbs.

Rocky statue.

Bullwinkle statue.
  • Bullwinkle statue.

This is Rodins “Thinker” and thats Rodin and his two kids Hunter and Kyleigh underneath it, I think.
  • Ian Karmel
  • This is Rodin's “Thinker” and that's Rodin and his two kids Hunter and Kyleigh underneath it, I think.

8pm — Show time, again! The headliner this week is Ari Shaffir. He's a really funny comedian and a great storyteller. You may know him from Joe Rogan's podcast or from confronting Carlos Mencia about being a joke-stealing fuck! The most important thing about Ari Shaffir though? He bought me this.

Tune in tomorrow for a shocking twist regarding this sandwich!
  • Ian Karmel
  • Tune in tomorrow for a shocking twist regarding this sandwich!

Midnight — Quick stand-up lesson... when you go see a stand-up show in a comedy club like Helium or, if you're bad at making decisions, Harveys, you will typically see three comedians. The first comedian is the MC, they're gonna come out and do 10-15 minutes of material and bring up the next comic, that next comic is called the “feature” comic, like Kanye West featuring Pusha T. I'm Pusha T. The feature comic does 25-30 minutes, and then goes in the back and eats a chicken finger basket while the headliner comes up and does an hour or so. Anyway, the MC tells us about an open mic around the corner from the show, so we go to this place called The Raven (ominous!) and take in the local scene.

Stand-up is fun to watch in two ways, I think — when it's very, very good and when it's colossally awful, The Raven offered both. Crammed into an absolute fire-hazard of a second floor, above a “woo, shots!” dance club I saw everything from nuanced, funny Magic Johnson AIDS jokes (seriously) to a bald, white dude wearing Matrix sunglasses and a dream catcher over his dick. He was the second kind of fun to watch. Philly has a pretty good scene, I think Portland's is better right now. There's something happening back in Portland. Go see a fucking stand-up show.