Author Archives: Johnny Goodtimes

The Saturday Five

Yeah, OK, maybe I need to give up the ghost. I just can’t find the time on Fridays to do this jawn. So maybe it’s best I move it to Saturday. Regardless, some good stuff in here.

Where I’m Eating: I did a pizza contest in 2006, and concluded that Tony’s Pizza was top 3 in the city. It had probably been a decade since I had been there last, so when I was in the neighborhood last weekend, I thought it would be a good move to swing by and grab a pie. I gotta say that the pizza is just as terrific as I remembered. Sauce on top of the cheese, perfect crust, crispy pepperoni. Only drawback was a picture of Trump on the wall. Ugh. But that’s just how good Tony’s is; most places I would just write off after seeing Trump on the wall, but at Tony’s I really have to consider my options.

Where I Hate But My Kid Loves: Ok, so I don’t hate it, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled to hit up the Insectarium last weekend. My kid is a die hard fan of snakes, spiders, and scorpions and I gotta say they’re pretty much my three least favorite things on earth. So being in a room surrounded by them all was his version of heaven and my version of hell. But if you like that kind of thing, then the Insectarium is great. And the butterfly sanctuary was more my speed. Really cool, and they occasionally have a beer garden in there, which sounds cool.

What I’m listening to: I’m a fan of Philly rapper Vinnie Paz, so needless to say, I’m listening to his new album. It’s pretty solid. I especially loved the song Spilled Milk, which is about how his father didn’t stop smoking when the doctors told him to, and ended up dying when Vinnie was young. This is when he’s at his best, when he’s talking about the heartbreak he’s been through.

10 years old they told me my father dead

What the f**k was going through my father’s head

He ain’t think his youngins need his father

Had 10 million chances to change but didn’t bother

It’s like he didn’t love me enough to live

Or too selfish to make an adjustment for his kids

And you ain’t think you dyin’ would divide us

And you ain’t think a 10 year old boy needed guidance

Ain’t nobody talkin’ just bottle it up inside us

And shit can turn ugly when there’s no-one there to guide us

It’s all good, I still love you, I forgive you

But that ain’t gonna be something my son is gonna live through

He ain’t gonna lose me the way that I lost you

Because doing that to him is just something I couldn’t do

What Legend I got to Meet This Week: On Monday, the Philly Blunt crew sat down with Cornbread the Legend. For those who don’t know, Cornbread is credited as the first graffiti artist of the modern era. We talked about him tagging an elephant, how hip hop culture started in Philly, and how he was able to end his drug addiction after over 15 years. Great interview…drops on Monday.

What Ridiculous Project I Worked on this Week: Put together this ridiculous video with Reef the Lost Cauze for Shibe Sports. Pretty funny.

Everything You Need to Know About Quizzo Bowl XVI

WHO: Everybody who loves quizzo and want to celebrate the bar game that Philly made famous.

WHAT: Quizzo Bowl XVI, the longest running event of its kind in America.

WHEN: February 29th, 7 PM doors, 8 PM start.

WHERE: Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street.

WHY: Because you want to have an awesome time on the ONLY Saturday the 29th you’ll see until 2024, answering trivia questions, performing on stage, and engaging in general inanity.

WHAT’S THE ENTERTAINMENT? Pat Finnerty Live Band Karaoke.

HOW’S THAT GOING TO WORK? Simple. You’re going to drop three songs you want to sing in a bucket. They’ll draw out requests. They know so many songs that they’ll certainly know one of three. If they draw your song, you’ll get on stage to sing…but don’t blow it! Fastball Bob will be in charge of the gong.

HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS? $25, same as they’ve been for the past 15 years.

WHERE CAN I GET THEM? You can purchase them here. I will also have some on me next week at the quiz.

WILL THERE BE A CHARITY COMPONENT: Yes and it’s one I’m excited about. We’ll be doing a 50/50 during the quiz, so be sure to bring some cash. Juliette is a Vous regular and a teacher at Freire Charter School, and they have a field trip coming up…TO SPAIN! Most of these kids have never left Philadelphia, much less gone to another country, and I think it would be awesome if our community could help raise a few hundred bucks to help make sure this is a terrific trip.

WHERE CAN I FOLLOW UPDATES ON THE QUIZ? On the Quizzo Bowl Facebook page.

WHAT THE THEME? Quizzo Goes Underground.

WHAT’S THAT MEAN? Quizzo has gone too corporate, too mainstream. We need to return it to its roots!

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I don’t know. I’m just making this up as I go.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN A TYPICAL QUIZ GAME? It’s completely different. Video rounds, live music, special guests, guests who aren’t special, huge trophies, ETERNAL GLORY. It is a distillation of everything great about quizzo rolled up into one magical night.

ARE YOU HIGH? I wish.

IS THERE AN AFTERPARTY? Yup! For those of you who haven’t been to Underground Arts before, there’s a main area (the stage) and a “lounge”. The afterparty will be right next door in the lounge.

WILL THERE BE FOOD AND DRINK SPECIALS? Yup, and Underground Arts has legendary tamales maker Jenn Zavala (if you have never heard her Philly BLunt interview, YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT) running their kitchen, so the food is going to be awesome.

WILL THERE BE A PRO PHOTOG? Yep! Photo Lady Marissa will be on hand to take pro pictures of all participants.

WILL THERE BE PRIZES? Plenty.

WHAT AM I WAITING FOR? I have no idea. Buy your tickets. We’re at about 50 sold, 150 left. Let’s goooooooo!

Quizzo Bowl Tickets Now on Sale!

It’s official, folks. Quizzo Bowl XVI on the rarest of days, February 29th. We’re taking it underground this year, as this year’s quiz will be held at Underground Arts. And the between round entertainment will be…YOU! More details about the event coming later today, but for now just so you now, you can purchase tickets online by going here. Gonna be a great event, look forward to seeing you there.

Question of the Week

Who released the song Jazzman in 1974?

The Friday Five…On a Saturday!

Yes, I’m a day late. Couldn’t get it into yesterday’s schedule. But better late than never, here’s the Friday Five:

Where I’m Watching Basketball: At the Cathedral of College Basketball, of course. We are beyond blessed to live in a city that has a venue like the Palestra. Most field houses like this one have long since passed on for cookie cutter “modern” arenas, but this architectural marvel lives on. I watched Penn-Harvard there last week. Not a bad seat in the house.

Family Tradition I Love: At Super Bowl III, my dad and his roommate Ron decided to bet a 6-pack on the Super Bowl (my dad took the Colts, and lost to Broadway Joe). The next year, they did it again. And then, after college, they decided to travel to each others homes for the Super Bowl. Then the two got married and had kids, but decided even then to keep getting together for the Super Bowl, despite living 4 hours apart. So it became a part of our childhood, knowing that the Super Bowl was as much a holiday as Christmas or Thanksgiving. And on and on its gone, through their kids becoming adults, getting married, through tragedy and triumph. This past weekend we did it all again. What a wonderful tradition and what a wonderful weekend.

Where I’m Grabbing a Beer: Is there a better place to be on a Friday than Bob n Barbara’s? The lineup of the Crowd Pleasers has changed over the years, but the music still sounds as funky as ever and it puts everyone in there in a good mood. Just a magical, magical place.

What I’m Listening To: Kind of digging this new joint from G. Love and Special Sauce.

What I’m Reading: Like many, I’ve struggled to come to grips with the death of Kobe Bryant (I actually met he and Vanessa many years ago, and like everyone else, am just overwhelmed when I think about what she’s going through). I am still working on writing something about it. But I also struggle to come to grips with his legacy in light of what happened in Colorado. I think this article does a really fair job of talking about it.

Question of the Week

What 1964 film starred Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas?

Movie Week This Week!

The Friday Five for January 31st

Cool Thing I Did This Week: I’m going to be hosting a podcast with Billy Penn twice a month, and we recorded our first one on Thursday at WHYY studios. A lot of fun and great to meet their writers. Pretty cool! Should launch on Monday. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter. Not only is it a great recap of everything happening locally, it will also contain the podcast on Monday.

Podcast I’m Listening To: I’m a bit late to the party, but Chip Chantry turned me onto this one: S-town, about the bizarre goings on in a small town in Alabama. A reporter goes down there to investigate a murder, and ends up being a part of something else. I like it not only because it’s so well done, but because it reminds me a bit of where I grew up. A small town in the middle of nowhere, with enough interesting characters to make Twin Peaks look like Ozzie and Harriet.

What I’m Watching: Don Montrey, a member of Comedy Sportz who performed at our World Cafe Live Seinfeld quiz, posted this and I was kind of amazed by it. It’s called an Ames window, and it’s a hell of an optical illusion. It reminds us that what we see isn’t always what’s actually happening, and that sometimes our expectations guide our brains more than our eyes do.

Music I’m Listening To: I love this song by Brother Ali so much. It’s an impossibly beautiful song about a topic that we very rarely hear in music: love for self. Brother Ali is a rarity in hip-hop: an albino Muslim who is legally blind. In the song, he talks about reasons that he should be bitter, but instead is joyous. It’s wonderful.

Ayo, dependin’ on the day, and dependin’ on what I ate

I’m anywhere from twenty to thirty-five pounds overweight

I got red eyes and one of them’s lazy

And they both squint when the sun shines so I look crazy

I’m albino, man, I know I’m pink and pale

And I’m hairy as hell, everywhere but fingernails

I shave a cranium that ain’t quite shaped right

Face type, shiny, I stay up and write late nights

My wardrobe is jeans and faded shirts

A mixture of what I like and what I wear to work

I’m not mean and got a neck full of razor bumps

I’m not the classic profile of what the ladies want

You might think I’m depressed as can be

But when I look in the mirror I see sexy-ass me

And if that’s somethin that you can’t respect then that’s peace

My life’s better without you, actually

To everyone out there, who’s a little different

I say damn a magazine, these is God’s fingerprints

You can call me ugly but can’t take nothing from me

I am what I am, doctor, you ain’t gotta love me

Cool Thing That Happened This Week: Not only was Bowlizzo a huge success (we sold out all eight lanes and had a ton of fun), but something kind of cool happened. 15 years ago, I joined the Big Brothers program. On Sunday my little brother, now a graduate of Temple, brought his friends out for the event. It was his first ever quizzo. Pretty neat.

Question of the Week

Long before Frasier, there was this short-lived spin-off of Cheers, which focused on Carla’s ex-husband and his new trophy wife. (QoTW)

TV Comedy Week at Quizzo

All questions this week will be about comedies on TV….well or Netflix or Hulu or virtual reality glasses or whatever the hell the kids are watching these days. Hope to see ya this week!

TUESDAY

  • 6 PM Rothman Cabin at City Hall
  • 8 PM O’Neals with WID
  • 8 PM Dock Street

WEDNESDAY

  • 6:15 PM Locust Rendezvous
  • 8:30 PM Founding Fathers

THURSDAY

  • 8 PM Birra with Carl
  • 9:15 PM Bards

Quizzo Bowl XVI!

It’s official, folks! Quizzo Bowl XVI is going down on the rarest day of the year, February 29th, at the funkiest of venues, Underground Arts. Really wanted to mix things up this year, and I’m going into this one excited to basically peel back everything and start from scratch. I love the World Cafe Live, but it was time for something new. That does mean that there will be fewer tickets for sale this year, at a smaller venue. Tickets will go on sale later this week, so be sure to check back.

As for our musical guest this year, it’s going to be….YOU! We’re bringing the Pat Finnerty Live Band Karaoke Experience to Quizzo Bowl this year, so that YOU can perform between rounds. We’ll have a trophy for best performance, but we’ll also have a gong for those who are terrible. The gong, of course, will be operated by Fastball Bob.

I think things got a little too formulaic the past few years, so I’m taking a step back, looking at this very cool tradition we’ve got here, and working on ways to take it to another level. I hope you’ll join me. Let’s have some fun.

Everything You Need to Know About Bowlizzo

WHO: Me, you, and up to 6 teams of 8.

WHAT: Bowlizzo, a combination of quizzo and bowling.

WHEN: Sunday, January 26th at 6 pm.

WHERE: North Bowl.

WHY: Why not?

WILL TRIVIA BE ABOUT LIZZO? Uh, no. General knowledge trivia.

COST? 10 clams gets you a game of bowlizzo, a game of regular bowling, and shoes. It’s a hell of a deal.

WILL THERE BE PRIZES? Of course. Not only gift certs to the North Bowl, but also some bitchin’ ass trophies and medals.

WILL THERE BE FOOD AND DRINK SPECIALS? Of course. Yards Loyal Lager cans $4 and Yards PPA glasses will be $4 (pitcher only $15!) and $5 Stateside vodka highballs.

$10 FOR BOWLING AND $4 FOR GOOD BEER? THAT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: Right?

SHOULD WE JUST SHOW UP AT THE DOOR? I would recommend reservations…we’ve got eight lanes available for this and four are already spoken for. You can make reservations by calling North Bowl at 215-238-2695 or emailing them at events@northbowlphilly.com to reserve a slot.

WHY WOULD I POSSIBLY NOT DO THIS? I honestly have no idea. It’s the most fun you can have on Sunday night at 6 pm in Philadelphia. Point blank. Doooooo iiiiiiitttttt!!!!

The Friday Five

Where I’m Drinking: Congrats to Fergie, who just opened the GOAT on 19th and Sansom. I went by last night for Opening Night and it’s what Fergie does so well: no “concept”, just a place where people like to drink and talk. There wasn’t a huge crowd by the time I got there at 11 after Bards quizzo, but here’s the thing I found fascinating: people weren’t on their phones. Everybody in there was talking to someone else. And Fergie’s is the same way. In a world where we all walk around like zombies with a screen n front of our eyes, it’s no small feat.

It’s located in the same location as a notoriously bizarre bar that was there forever. I told Fergie, “It’s nice but it’s no Oh! Shea’s.” Without missing a beat, he said, “And you’re nice but you’re no Irish John.”

If you’ve never heard our interview with Fergie on the Blunt, do yourself a favor and listen now.

What I’m Listening To: Speaking of the Blunt, most of you know that Reef the Lost Cauze is my partner on that podcast, but he’s also one the best rappers in Philly. He recently released a new song, and it’s fantastic. He’s also appearing on stage on Sunday with Blackalicious at Ardmore Music Hall in what’s going to be a hell of a show. If you’ve never heard their song Alphabet Aerobics, do so now. It’s one of the most amazing rap songs ever made. I saw them at the TLA 15 years ago, and they were incredible.

If you wanna hear more from Reef, he earlier this week sat down on another podcast and talked about why he’s stopped touring, how having a daughter has changed him, and the inspiration he took from our recent Blunt interview with Joan Myers Brown. Good stuff.

Where I’m Grabbing Coffee: The Italian Market is my favorite neighborhood in the city. It really is the best of who we are: the energy, the diversity, rough around the edges but a lot of heart. My favorite Italian restaurant in the city (Villa Di Roma) and my favorite Mexican restaurant (Blue Corn) are side by side. You can delicious cheese from DiBruno’s and delicious gravy from Superior Ravioli. And it also has two of the best coffee shops in the city. Gleaners is the funkier of the two, and has one of the best people watching windows in the city. Anthony’s is a bit cleaner cut, but that’s not a dig at all. And I love the history: it’s a 4th generation family business.

What Weird Statue I Like: That bike robot one in front of Johnny Brendas.

Where My Favorite Mannequin Is: Meglio Furs. South Broad. God I freaking love that window. I don’t know what it is, I just love a window display that looks the same as it did when the place closed like 20 years ago. Some Twilight Zone shit.

New Instagram Page for Quizzo

After a couple of years of “What the hell do I do with these winner photos?” I’ve finally decided to do what I should have done all along: I’m putting them all on Instagram. You can follow the new JGTQuizzo page here, which will mostly be photos of winners, venues, and events.