I'm back to the Wilmington's Candlelight Theatre on Thursday night, January 25th at 730. Click here for tix.
TWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS... Starring the amazing Joe Conklin & Big Daddy Graham is coming to Pitman’s historic Broadway Theater Saturday night February 10th at 8 PM. Brought to you by Bruce Zallie’s Shop-Rite, with special guest MC, NFL Hall of Famer Ray Didinger. Click Here for Tickets!
Then... we bring TWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS back to Phoenixville's Colonial Theatre on Saturday March 25th with special guest MC Glen Macnow. Click Here for tickets!
I will be hosting the Eagles / Pats Superbowl at PJ Whelihans in Blue Bell. Gonna be a blast!
A ROW HOME CHRISTMAS...
First of all, thanks to the almost 2,000 of YOU who came out to see the show. My whole career has been "no you~no me."
Most importantly, I must thank the director of the show, Anthony SanFilippo. It's not easy to direct the star of the show when he also wrote the piece and from day one, Anthony let it be known who was the boss and he made the show tighter and funnier. Go see ANYTHING he directs.
To the amazing talents who hosted the very entertaining and often hilarious Q&A's after the show. (Alphabetical order) Angelo Cataldi, Ray Didinger, Phil Heron, Rhea Hughes, Mike Jerrick, Eleanor Kerrigan, Glen Macnow, Rob Maaddi, Phil Martelli, and Spins Nitely.
To the media members who went out of their way to help promote the show. (Alphabetical order) Bryan Cole, Joe Conklin, Thomas Drayton, Spike Eskin, Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Karen Hepp, Robert Huber, Lauren Johnson, Ken Katz, Paul Kurtz, Andrew Porter, Charlie Scalies, Cindy Webster, Neal Zoren, Wildfire Radio, and 94WIP.
Matt Boyle (who you should contact at email@example.com if you need any video, film, or audio work), he's amazing. To my daughter Keely for giving me the greatest Christmas present ever, the fantastic twins, Lucy & Jameson. (Matt also contributed)
The Players Club of Swarthmore welcomed me with open arms and both their stages are excellent venues to see a show. Let me thank their friendly and professional staff who personally worked on my show. (In alphabetical order) George Ainsle, Jen Armstrong, Betsy Berwick, Donna Dougherty, Reba Ferdman, Emily Fishman, Amy Graham, Lee Greenwood, Rick Greenwood, Dave Griffith, Esther Grubb-McKinnie, Charlie Hoover, Carolyn Hopson, Harriet Hudgins, Rebecca Jami, Dani Kennedy, Lori Knickerbocker, Denise Kolodziej, Dot Kowal, Suzette Krausen, Sue Larson, Chuck Lowry, Pat Maze, Mikhaela McKinnie, Leslie Miller, George Mulford, Reine Patterson, Marissa Perri, Renee Perri, Andrew SanFilippo, Stan Schneider, Bohdan Senkow, Kathie Senkow, Alan Stamford, Davida Weiler-Stone, Adam Young and Charlotte Zeigenfuss.
Additionally I want to thank Producing Director Ruth Wells Fischer and President Jim Carroll who worked with Anthony to get this show approved by the Board of Governors at the Players Club as well as the cast and crew of Italian American Reconciliation and specifically its director, Kristy Boyer Chen, for being so willing and gracious to change their rehearsal schedule to allow A Row Home Christmas to go on the Main Stage.
And last but not least, my wife Debbie, who suffered through months of my angst and stress in putting this all together.
Dag, I hope I didn't forget anyone.
BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN
If you are a music lover and you haven't been listening to BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely, then check it out!
Every THURSDAY at 8 PM. Listen live athttp://wildfireradio.com/big-daddy-graham. By the way, all you have to do is click on that wildfire blue line and the most current show will AUTOMATICALLY begin to play, Just give it a moment
This week on BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN?
We salute songs with the word WHITE (because of the snow) in the title (part 2)
Check out last week's Salute to songs with the word WHITE (because of the snow) in the title (part 1) Don’t miss!
TRIVIA AND QUIZZO...
THURSDAY ~ Red Star Craft House in Exton PA at 8 PM
EVERY Eagles game at Blue BellPJ Whelihans
My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly! That's a busy schedule!
Big Daddy Graham-Marc Farzetta & Joe Conklin taking a stab at Sinatra's "Summer Wind!" Click Here
Because of all the fuss that Joel Embiid and Carson Wentz have stirred up in Philly, I thought we would take a look at every city and see just who has had
We are going to go in alphabetical order. We are not looking for the greatest of that franchise, but in that particular state or city.
DIAMONDBACKS... Wade Miley CARDINALS... Anquan Boldin SUNS... Walter Davis (Winner!) COYOTES... Max Domi
BRAVES... Earl Williams FALCONS... Tommy Nobis (Winner!) HAWKS... John Drew THRASHERS... Dany Heatley
DUCKS... Bobby Ryan (Winner!)
ORIOLES... Eddie Murray RAVENS... Jamal Lewis (Winner!) COLTS... Curtis Dickey BULLETS... Earl Monroe
RED SOX... Ted Williams (Winner!) BRAVES... Sam Jethroe PATRIOTS... Curtis Martin CELTICS... Bill Russell BRUINS... Joe Juneau
DODGERS~MLB... Jackie Robinson (Winner!) DODGERS~NFL... Glen Dodds NETS... Bojan Bogdanovic
FLAMES... Joe Nieuwendyk (Winner... obviously)
PANTHERS... Cam Newton (Winner!) HURRICANES... Jeff Skinner
PACERS... Clark Kellogg INDIANAPOLIS COLTS... Ederrigin James
JAGUARS... Fred Taylor
ROYALS... Kevin Seitzer (winner!) CHIEFS... Marcus Peters KINGS... Phil Ford A’s... Jim Nash
DODGERS... MIke PIazza ANGELS... MIke Trout RAMS... Eric Dickerson RAIDERS... Marcus Allen LAKERS... Magic Johnson (Winner!) CLIPPERS... Blake Griffin KINGS... Larry Murphy
GRIZZLIES... Pao Gasol
MARLINS... Jose Fernandez DOLPHINS... Dan Marino HEAT... Dwayne Wade (Winner!)
BRAVES... Rico Carty BREWERS... Ryan Braun BUCKS... Lew Alcindor (winner!)
TWINS... Tony Oliva VIKINGS... Randy Moss LAKERS... Elgin Baylor (Winner!) TIMBERWOLVES... Karl Anthony Townes NORTH STARS Neal Broten WILD... Marian Gaborik
EXPOS... Steve Rodgers CANADIANS... Ken Dryden (Winner!)
PREDATORS... Filip Forsberg
NETS... Bernard King (Winner!) DEVILS... Scott Gomez
SAINTS... George Rogers (Winner!) JAZZ... Aaron James
BASEBALL GIANTS... Jeff Tesreua YANKEES... Aaron Judge (Winner!) METS... Dwight Gooden FOOTBALL GIANTS... Odell Beckham Jr. JETS... Eric McMillen NEW YORK NETS...Larry Kenon KNICKS... Willis Reed AMERICANS (NY’s 1st NHL team)... Sweeney Shriner RANGERS...Brian Leetch ISLANDERS... Mike Bossy
A’s... Mark McGwire (winner!) G.S. WARRIORS... Mitch Richmond RAIDERS... Charles Woodson GOLDEN SEALS... Norm Furgeson
THUNDER... Russell Westbrook
MAGIC... Shaquille O’Neil
SENATORS... Alexi Yashin
PHILLIES... Dick Allen A'S... Scott Perry EAGLES... Reggie White SIXERS... Allen Iverson WARRIORS... Wilt Chamberlain (WINNER!) FLYERS... Eric Lindros
PIRATES... Johnny Rizzo STEELERS... Ben Roethlisberger (WINNER!) PENQUINS... Sidney Crosby
TRAILBLAZERS... Geoff Petrie
ROYALS... Maurice Stokes
SPURS... David Robinson
PADRES... Benito Santigo CHARGERS... Ladanian Tomlinson (Winner!) CLIPPERS... Terry Cummings
GIANTS... Buster Posey 49ERS... Ronnie Lott WARRIORSs... Rick Barry (WINNER!) SEALS... Dennis Maruk
SHARKS... Evgeni Nabokov
CARDINALS... Albert Pujols (Winner!) BROWNS (Baseball)... Eddie Gaedel CARDINALS (football)... Ottis Anderson RAMS... James Laurinaitis HAWKS... Lou Hudson BLUES... Jorgen Pettersson
KINGS... Tyreek Evans
Hey! If you need any mortgage work done whatsoever get hold of my main man Ken Miller at 856-830-1131 or 609-238-3293 firstname.lastname@example.org NMLS #152270
RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/10
Here's my latest article for the South Jersey Mag...
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
January 1st. It’s come and went. Did you decide that this was the year you were going to lose weight? Quit smoking? Put the toilet seat down? (And by the way, ladies, how hard is it for you to leave the seat up?!) But I’m going to look at that date a little differently this year. I was recently performing my favorite pastime, channel-surfing. I happened on some dumb teen flick with a scene that I have seen countless times in many different forms. Someone dragging on their first cigarette. Some nerd having their first shot of tequila. Some extremely nervous pimply-faced boy trying to ask a girl out. So in honor of the name of this magazine, here come a few of my favorite “Firsts.” And all of them occurred right here in South Jersey.
When I was in high school, I used to occasionally hitchhike to West Catholic High in West Philly. but that doesn’t really count since the only drivers who stopped to pick you up were parents of your friends who were driving to the school themselves. They knew you. The first real hitchhiking experience I ever had started in Collingswood. Me and my bud Fred, who had moved there with his family, were sitting around bored on a hot summer day. I had taken the speedline to get to his house as neither one of us owned a car. We were fifteen and Fred said “Hey, let’s hitchhike down to Wildwood.” To show you how truly times have changed, we told Freddie’s parents that’s what we were going to do, and neither one of them barely looked up from their newspapers. Not today! And neither one of us had ever truly hitchhiked before. Well, to make a long story short, we were such amateurs, that somehow, after an hour and a half and four rides, we ended up in Glassboro before we gave up. Glassboro! From Collingswood. We were apparently going sideways. But here’s the cool part of the story and I swear to you every word of this is true. While we had our thumbs out standing at this intersection, it started pouring on our side of the corner. Drenching us while it wasn’t raining at all on the other side of the street. That has never happened to me again. This occurred right in the area where the Landmark is on Rowan Campus and when I have a show in Atlantic City, I drive right though this intersection on my way to the expressway. And this tale comes automatically pouring out of me if someone’s is in the car with me. “You’re not going to believe this, but right here . . . . . . . “
The first time I ever had a panzarotti was in South Jersey and here’s the interesting part. I’ve never had a panzarotti anywhere other than South Jersey. God, do I love them. Gonna run out right now and get one.
1966 FORD GALAXIE 500
I had two older siblings, a younger sister, and a pair of parents growing up. No one had ever owned a car. I was starting to branch out of my rowhome Philly roots when my previously mentioned best friend moved to Collingswood and I wanted one in the worst way. One day we were walking in Westmont and there was a car parked in front of a house with a FOR SALE sign slapped on it. The paint job looked to be the color of a jawbreaker after it had been sucked on for a while. It sure looked beautiful to me. There was a phone number on the sign which we called and it turned out the dude wanted $400. We set up a time for me to test drive it. We rapped on the door and this grizzled old dude (picture Tommy Lee Jones in “No Country For Old Men”) answered it. I paid little attention to what should have been my first tip off that I should just walk away. There was no key for the ignition. That’s right, no key. You had to start it with a screwdriver. It drove pretty decent though. Or at least I thought it did. A “Flintstone” car would have came off like a Cadillac to me. The moment of truth came when I told the guy that the best I could muster up was $300. He gazed at me and mumbled “My boy, you are getting the deal of the century” and took it. Well, the way things turned out he probably moved the next day. That’s if he even lived there to begin with. The first thing that went wrong was that the oil light went on. What the hell did that mean? When we pulled it into the service station and asked what that meant, a bunch of greasers laughed at us and said “Well, I guess that means the car need oil” and they all laughed their keisters off. After charging us twice a quart that we would have paid at a Pep Boys, we started pouring the oil in, get ready for this, the tiny little hole that you pulled the oil dipstick out of. So naturally, all the oil just started running down on to the ground and after the mechanics finished busting another gut they told us to get that %&*# car off their lot. Three months later the car just upped and died in South Philly on the way to a Phillies game. I took the plates off and just left it there. Someone later told me that the car was converted into a condo that’s now going for $450,000. Live and learn.
THE CHERRY HILL MALL
I was dating this girl who lived in Haddon Township. One day she took me to the Cherry Hill Mall. We were at the end of a “relationship” that never had a beginning, really. It was the first mall I was ever in. What do I remember about it the most? The amount of stores under one roof? The climate controlled temperature? The food court? No, I had never seen so many great looking women assembled in one spot. It was wonderful and to the end of that relationship, which I’m sure was just fine with her.
THERE’S A BACKUP AT THE ALTANTIC CITY EXPRESSWAY TOLLS
The first time I heard those infamous lines coming from KYW, I gave it no never mind. It didn’t sound all that ominous. Hah! I have now spent the rest of my life learning every Jersey back road there is to avoid that mess. But sometimes you have no choice and I figure that by now I could have read every “Game of Thrones” book cover to cover 17 times if I added up all the minutes that I have wasted in those lanes.
Try to have a good new year and get some advice before you do something for the first time. Don’t be stupid like me.
RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 11/04
Here's my latest article for the South Jersey Mag...
By the time you are holding this mag in your hands it is November and you have been subjected (via print, social media, radio, television, your Uncle Fred) 476, 342 election lies.
“Senator Fullofit will stand up to the Washington DC corporate fatcats and stand for the working man.”
“State Assemblyman Mary Pickanose ran her last election promising no new taxes and we all know how that worked out.”
“Mayor Rick Lazy will stop the flow of New Jersey jobs leaving for overseas.”
“President Big Daddy Graham promises more jelly in the jelly donuts.”
That last promise? I will see to it personally that it's kept. But seriously, how much more of this can we take? Watch the 1976 Robert DeNiro film, “Taxi Driver.” One of the plots of this classic is a politician running for office and the rhetoric he spouts is exactly the same baloney you hear today and the movie is forty-one years old.
So being that we are now living in the age of fake news, here are some lies that drive me out of my mind.
LISTEN CAREFULLY AS OUR MENU OPTIONS HAVE RECENTLY CHANGE... Like when? A minute ago? How can every single time I call can the menu items recently change? Here I am simply trying to make an appointment to see a doctor. Now I have been to this doctor’s office countless times and they appear to have a full-time staff of roughly ten to fifteen or so.
But that's whom you are actually seeing at the outer lobby. Apparently there is a huge warehouse behind the office manned with a thousand staffers whose sole job is to keep those menu items constantly changing.
One other observation. Do you ever wonder that when someone living in the Philippines calls his cable company with a question, the phone is answered by some guy in Gloucester City? "Hey, I got your cable bill right here. Why you calling me? I'm in Gloucester City?!"
WE NEED BEACH TAGS TO KEEP THE BEACHES CLEAN... I was sitting on the beach this summer when a beach tag checker approached a woman in her eighties and asked her to show him her beach tag. Now I'm thinking this was rude and a little outrageous. ""Geez, buddy," I thought to myself, " have the stones to go after some college jocks who just might hurl some crap right back at you.”
But it turned out this senior could handle herself just fine. "Yes, I have a beach tag. I already showed it once to the beach tag Gestapo at the entrance back at the top of the dunes or I wouldn't be sitting here. Do I look like someone slept on the beach all night so I could avoid paying you?” (Again, remember, this woman is in her eighties and as it turned out, she did have a beach tag)
And then the beach tag checker dude says to her, "Just trying to keep the beach clean, ma'am. "
And the woman went ballistic "Stop it with that baloney! I've been sitting on this beach since the late forties and no one charged me to sit on it then and the beach was every bit as beautiful as it is today. And you didn't start with this beach tag malarkey till the 70's. And you wouldn't even know what the beach looked like in the forties or the seventies because you weren't even born yet. So get out of my face."
This woman is my hero.
I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET HOLD OF YOU... No, you haven't. Let me check my voicemail. No, nothing there. Let me check my "recent calls." Nope, nothing there either. Email? Twitter? Facebook? Zilch. Nada. Zero. So unless you were sending me smoke signals and I missed them while I was sleeping, you're lying! Now folks under thirty don't even attempt this lie anymore, but there's still some oldhead clinging to it.
YOUR BUTT LOOKS TERRIFIC IN THOSE JEANS... Why does a woman ever ask this question?! What man in his right mind would ever reply, “well, as a matter of fact, your keister should have a license plate and an inspection sticker hanging on it.
IT’S THE SENTIMENT OF THE CARD THAT MATTERS... Really? That's a lie. To this day, unless the card is outrageously funny, I don't even read the prose. I immediately look for the cold hard cash that should come in every birthday card. In fact, other than "get well" and sympathy cards, I put cash in every card that I give, even if it's just a buck, and people always get a kick out of it. And spend it.
I’M NOT YELLING, YOU’RE YELLING!... Go to the video. I’m pretty sure you’ll see that both of you are yelling.
SHUT THE DOOR, YOU'RE HEATING HADDON AVENUE!... I used to think this was a lie that 's been perpetuated on us for centuries by every parent who ever lived. But then one freezing January night I came home and there were a couple families huddled around the front door just waiting for someone to leave the front door open to catch that sliver of heat. One kid was attempting to toast marshmallows. So I was wrong.
WE’LL SEE... This line delivered by a man means exactly that. He’s not sure whether or you’re going to be allowed to go to that ballgame or not. But “we’ll see” delivered by every Mother who ever existed? It means NO!
OH YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET ME ANYTHING FOR CHRISTMAS... Go ahead. Call their bluff. Get them nothing and watch their reaction.
My old man was a cheapskate who was constantly complaining about how much money was spent during the holidays. “All I ever got for Christmas was an orange and a piece of coal.” Every year, the same rhetoric.
Then one year, that’s what my Mom got him. Wrapped them up in little boxes with a ribbon, stuck them in a Macy’s decorative bag, and put it under the tree.
Never heard my old man riff on that “orange and piece of coal” bit again.
THERE'S TWO MINUTES LEFT IN THE GAME!... The lie that is heard the most on Turkey Day. At some point, Mom will yell out "C'mon everybody, sit down, dinner's ready!" And some man from the TV room will yell back, "hold up, there's only two minutes left in the game!" And Mom (or some other woman) will scream back, "but you said that twenty minutes ago!" And on and on.
Some things never change.
HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...
There is this amazing talent in the New York area by the name of Rachelle Garniez. She's an versatile singer who accompanies herself on piano, guitar, and, yes, accordion. She's a gifted songwriter with a tremendous sense of humor. She often performs at a really cool Village venue Pangea that seats maybe fifty that itself is worth checking out. Go to these sites for more info: www.rachellegarniezcom.virb.com & www.pangeanyc.com
You can take an inexpensive tour of RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL that's well worth it.
Check out MASH ARMY & NAVY on 8th Ave between 45 & 46th streets. A blast from the past!
Folks are always asking me about piano bars in Manhattan. There's two I would recommend and they couldn't be any bit different. DON'T TELL MAMA is on 46th St between 8 & 9th Avenues. It's a comfortable narrow long bar where you either sit at thee bar or at a table. They have a singing piano player and every fourth song or so a member of the bar or serving staff will get up and sing a three song set. And sometimes a member of the audience will get up at the mic and sing. And they have awesome food also. It's a really fun joint, but completely different from MARIE'S CRISIS CAFE which is at 59 Grove St in the Village. (Make sure you have the address handy before you get in the cab.) MARIE'S is a tiny hole in the wall basement club where there is a piano player but no professional singer. YOU are the singer. It's insane. People (like my nutty wife) go there TO sing. There's no microphone and literally 150 people or so will be singing at the top of their lungs to some Broadway tune Which, by the way, IS ALL Marie's does. They don't mix in pop tunes like MAMA does. The two couldn't be any different from each other and any more fun if a piano bar is your bag.
A HOTEL TO STAY AT? We always use some hotel site and often stay at one of these two hotels which I would both recommend. THE BELVEDERE on West 48th St is clean with a nice lobby and it's very convenient to Broadway and many clubs and bars. THE WARWICK is pricier, but still affordable when you go through Expedia. It's at 54th & 6th and many famous folks (like the Beatles and Liz Taylor have stayed there.
As obvious as this sounds, you can spend a couple hours exploring Central Park and never get bored.
LEXINGTON CANDY SHOP on Lexington between 82 & 83rd St. has been opened since 1925 and is a don't miss trip.
BIG ONION WALKING TOURS are a lot of fun and reasonably priced. I have taken many of them and they never disappoint.
54 BELOW on 54th St. is literally the basement of the famous Studio 54 disco. It's a terrific place to see anybody. Top notch club.
Finally made it to BIRDLAND for one of those CAST PARTY shows. What a great time and the sight lines are excellent. Legendary jazz artists perform there and if you ever thought about seeing one of them at BIRDLAND, do it.
A BRONX TALE the musical is really good. I wasn't expecting much and I was very entertained.
You can get a really good cheese steak at 99 MILES TO PHILLY at 94 3rd Avenue. The owner is from Philly.
LETS CALL IN SICK!
Philly wins 56 to 45! (There was no "X")
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