This Friday, instead of ordering another box of Domino’s cheesy bread and watching a rerun of Flava Flav’s The Flava of Love, why not head down to Helium Comedy Club? Enjoy Philadelphia’s newest comedy element and indulge in laughter that will have you wobbling in your chair and showing off your pearly whites.
Helium is home to Comedy Central’s most famous comedians. Located at 20th and Sansom streets, the club holds shows Tuesday through Saturday including an “Open Mic Night” on Tuesday for new and upcoming comedians.
“It’s kind of a nice place to mix business with a night out,” said Matt Jenkins, a 20-year-old Drexel University student.
The club seeks to promote a relaxing atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Fit to a modern style, the lights are dimmed while table candles set the scene. A bar and lounge area lead into the main room where you are waited on for food and drink service.
Owner Marc Grossman opened Helium last June when he noticed that Philadelphia lacked New York City’s variety of comedy clubs.
“Philly didn’t have a comedy club that featured national headliners every week,” Grossman said. “It’s not a bar scene, it’s something different to do after dinner.”
At “Open Mic Night,” Helium welcomes new talent and allows comedians to perform and receive feedback.
“It’s cool; six to seven new guys try to groom comics,” said Jenkins, who is also an usher at the club.
University of Pennsylvania student Jason Schneider is also pursuing a career in stand-up comedy and opens shows at Helium.
“It can be challenging and not everyone can do it,” Schneider said. “Just get onstage as much as possible, it’s all about experience. Keep writing, keep performing.”
From Wednesday through Saturday, Helium keeps the laughs going with well-known comedians from TV’s Comedy Central.
“With no interruption, we have top-notch great talent and a smart audience,” Grossman said.
Marvin Todd, a stand-up comedian who has performed on Comedy Central and Def Comedy Jam, said he enjoys the hype in performing.
“Performance comes pretty natural to me, I try new things each time if something else doesn’t work,” Todd said.
Helium is planning an even bigger lineup for the spring. Beginning March 20 through April 1, DC Benny from Comedy Central will perform. His performances have been featured on Showtime at the Apollo and the Chris Rock Show and he has also appeared on Law and Order. David Crowe, Def Comedy Jam’s Keith Robinson and Jimmie Roulette will also perform at Helium in the coming weeks. Tickets cost $15 to $20. Show your college ID and receive $5 off. You must be 21 to enter.
Don’t watch TV for your humor – head out to Helium this weekend for some real comedy. Trust me, your mouth will thank you for it.
Stacy Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.