Category Archives: Philadelphia

A Few Thoughts on the Death of Joey Vento

Quite a few years ago, I went down to Mexico to do some work at a dolphin facility. The vast majority of the employees were Mexican, and it was probably pretty obvious to them that I was getting paid quite a bit more during my few weeks there than they were. I worked hard and I tried to earn their respect, though they had every right to begrudge me.

A few nights after arriving, I went out for drinks with a few guys on the staff. We went to a small beer stand that had all of its seats outside. The guys I worked with ordered the first round of beers and we sat around and chatted. At one point I went up to grab a couple of brews. When I came back, one of the Mexican guys I was working with who spoke fluent English (and didn’t demand that I speak fluent Spanish) asked, “How much did you get charged for those?” I told him $2.50 each. A more than reasonable price, I thought. He was apoplectic. He stormed toward the counter, screaming in Spanish. It turned out that the bartender had charged everyone else $1.50, but had charged me a buck more. He went up one side of the bartender and down the other, then came back to the table and said, “Come on, let’s get out of here. Nobody is going to treat a friend of mine like that.”

I still get goosebumps when I think about that. A guy I had only known for a few days had seen me as more than just some gringo coming in to make some money. He had stuck up for me when I got treated like shit by a bartender for the crime of not being from that country, and for not speaking that language. My friend didn’t see me as an American coming in to make money for a month and then blow out of town. He simply saw me as another human being, a fellow man who was deserving of respect.

And that’s perhaps why I personally found Joey Vento so infuriating. He took the complete opposite approach from my friend. He saw people working their asses off to make less money than he and his friends, but showed no respect for them. He saw them not as fellow humans worthy of his respect, he saw them as “invaders” who were “murdering like 25 of us a day…molesting like 8 of our kids a day.” He took the debate from a reasonable one about how to deal with illegal immigration and turned it into a race war, bashing Mexican “anchor babies” and “drug dealers”every step of the way. Furthermore, he ripped the immigrants inability to speak English, calling them “morons” .

All of this without a hint of irony, despite the fact that his own English was highly suspect. And though he admitted that his first-generation grandparents never mastered the English language, he simply couldn’t understand why current first-generation Mexicans failed to do so, and mocked them for it. His supreme lack of irony would have been amusing had it not been so spiteful.

At the time Joey Vento opened Geno’s Steaks,  his father was in jail for committing murder, while his brother was imprisoned for drug dealing. Undoubtedly, there were many Americans who at the time would have held the Vento family up as an example as to why America needed to stop admitting so many Italians into this country, and why Joey Vento didn’t deserve a chance to start his own business. (Make no mistake, there was until recently ample anti-Italian sentiment in this country.)

But anyone who did so was wrong. Joey Vento was his own man. He was not his brother, he was not his father. He was an individual, a human being. And because this is America, he got a chance. By working his ass off, he made the most of it. He turned a $2000 investment into the most famous cheesesteak restaurant on earth. He was the very embodiment of the American dream.

He walked and talked with a swagger, and he had every right to. In business, he became what every American who has started a business with little more than the change in his pocket and a dream in his head wanted to become. He had built more than a success, he had built an institution, and he had done it all through his own blood, sweat, and tears.

But when immigrants came to his neighborhood, some legally and some illegally, most with the same dreams that Joey’s grandparents had…not coming with the hopes of striking it rich, but coming with the hopes that perhaps their grandchildren would have an opportunity to have a better life than they had…he treated them the way his grandparents had been treated by so many small minded Americans 100 years ago. He had risen from humble beginnings into a position of power, and then used that power to oppress people because they spoke a different language, came from a different culture, and were a slightly different shade than his ancestors.

In his view, they (his most commonly used phrase in every speech I’ve heard him make was “those people”) were not people trying to make things better for future generations that they might not even live to know, like Joey’s family had. “Those people” were “criminals” and “child molestors” and “drug dealers” and “murderers”. His appreciative audiences roared, and he was feted as a patriot by 1210 AM and FoxNews.

It was Thomas Jefferson’s dear Italian friend Philip Mazzei who wrote to Jefferson in the early 1770s that it was his belief that “All men are created equal.” Because Thomas Jefferson co-opted the phrase (Mazzei originally wrote it in Italian, but instead of insisting that he “Speak English”, Jefferson decided to translate it from the Italian) and used it in the greatest document ever written, Joey Vento got a chance in this great nation to make his dreams come true. He made the most of that opportunity, and his family and friends have every right to be proud of his incredible achievements. He not only ran an internationally renowned cheesesteak joint, Joey donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charitable causes, $60,000 a year to a local hospice alone. In a city probably populated by more characters than any other city on earth, he was as colorful as anyone, and in the terrific documentary This is My Cheesesteak, he came off as hilarious, charming, and unique. If it wasn’t for the xenophobia, I have a feeling I would have really liked the guy.

I offer condolences to his family and hope that he Rests in Peace. But I regret that he became a hero for a small group of people who are looking for simple answers to complex problems, instead of a hero for a whole city. He was a remarkable man. It’s a shame that instead of being remembered solely for his business acumen, his gregarious nature, and his charitable heart, his legacy will also be that he seemed to believe that some people deserved to be treated differently because of their culture, language, and country of origin. It is worth noting that there is a bartender in Mexico who feels the exact same way.

Johnny Goodtimes is a quizzo host, contributer to Comcast Sports, and founder of Phillysportshistory.com. To follow him on twitter, click here.

Quizzo Overrated Says Philly Mag.


Philly Mag is a magazine written for Lower Merion moms, who as a demographic don’t play a lot of quizzo. So I don’t think Philly Mag’s assessment of quizzo as “Overrated” will really affect my bottom line a whole lot, but I do think it’s a bit of a low blow. For one thing, I was asked by a Philly mag staffer (who shall remain nameless, but is a good friend of mine who runs a certain local food blog. But again, no names) asked me to help give him some overrated/underrated ideas, which I gladly did. Then, after spending my time (free of charge, mind you) sending them ideas, quizzo gets trashed in their overrated piece?

Apparently par for the course for Philly publications. A few years ago, Philadelphia Weekly asked me to help rate their top 50 bars. I gladly did so, only to pick up the issue and that in that very same article they had listed Fergie‘s as the best quizzo in town. Was everyone who makes editorial decisions for local publications raised by wolves? Manners, people, manners.

But that’s not what really bothers me about this. What really bothers me is that the assessment of “Overrated” doesn’t make any sense. Overrated how? Is quizzo overrated because of the non-stop media coverage? The numerous corporate sponsorships? The people rioting over it in the streets? Furthermore, how does anyone on the Philly Mag staff know if it’s overrated? I don’t think they have quizzo at (Insert Flavor of the Month Scenester restaurant here), where the draft beers are $8 and the passenger pigeon terrine is “to die for”, so I’m not sure what they’re basing it on.

Quizzo is what it claims to be. A simple way for friends to have an excuse to drink a couple of cold ones at the bar on a Tuesday and hang out for 2 hours. How can that be overrated? If you’re gonna say that I’m overrated, or Irish Jon is overrated, or what have you, then you at least try to have an argument. But I’m not sure how quizzo itself can be construed as overrated. That’s like saying that beer is overrated or a night on the town is overrated.

Furthermore, your magazine is called Philadelphia magazine, and you’ve never run a piece on quizzo (that pic of me in Philly mag a couple of months ago was awesome, but the article was about the Phillies, not about quizzo), which has gone from a small Irish bar tradition among friends to a multimillion dollar national phenomenon in the past 20 years, and which started for all intents and purposes right here in Philly. That would make it different from some of your overrated things like cheesesteaks and Rocky, which you’ve written about, oh I don’t know, every single month for the past 35 years.

But that’s not what really pisses me off. What really pisses me off is that they have both Cole Hamels and the Palestra as “Rated”. Cole Hamels is the most underrated World Series MVP in history (he got booed earlier this year AT HOME) and the Palestra is half-full for most games despite being the coolest basketball arena in the country. I know most of you don’t get a chance to watch sports while you’re drinking French 75s at Swanky Bubbles**, but then goddamnit all hire somebody that knows something about sports. I know a guy, and as much as he rails against it, he loves passenger pigeon terrine. Furthermore, he was raised by wolves.

**Is that place even still open?

The Raelians Want You to Go Topless

This week we had the question, “What cult of nutjobs claimed to have created a human clone in 2002?” Strangely, almost no teams got this except at the Black Sheep, where most teams got it. The answer was the Raelians. Here is an article about that cloned baby, appropriately named Eve.

The Raelians eventually hope to develop adult clones into which humans could transfer their brains, Rael said. “Cloning a baby is just the first step. For me, it’s not so important,” he said. “It’s a good step, but my ultimate goal is to give humanity eternal life through cloning.”

So these people are obviously bat$hit crazy, but they’re not all bad. One of their big causes is topless rights for women. According to a website they operate called GoTopless.org,

“As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests.”

We couldn’t agree more. They are holding a National Go-Topless Day on August 21st to support the cause. A number of cities are participating, including New York, DC, and Chicago. But thus far, no Philly. I think somebody needs to pick up the torch here. I would do it myself, but something tells me the wife would hit me over the head with a frying pan. So if you’re out there, and you believe in freedom, contact the Raelians immediately.

5 Quick Questions with Tonight’s Guest Host Felicia D’Ambrosio

We had a great time with last night’s guest hosts Suzy Woods and Drew lazor. Suzy handled the notoriously tough Vous crowd like a champ, and the round Drew wrote about food was damn good (I’ll post it a little later.)

Tonight, we welcome Felicia D’Ambrosio. She is managing editor at Grid Philly, writes for the City Paper, and is partnering with Michael Solomonov, among others, to open the highly anticipated Federal Doughnuts this summer. Here she talks about her best night of bartending, the most underrated bar in the city, and teaches us something we didn’t know about beer.

JGT: You took the bartender to food writer path. Give us one of your favorite bartending memories.

FELICIA: One of my best bartending nights was when the Phillies won the World Series.  I had been tending bar for much of the playoffs at the Belgian Cafe, and a huge groups of regulars had coalesced around the one TV.  When the end of the last game seemed imminent, and our victory close at hand, I began closing checks as fast as possible ’cause I knew everyone was going to go berserk.  They did indeed, and Chef Evan popped open tons of cheap champagne and we sprayed the crowd and screamed ourselves stupid.  Kisses all around. Then I rode my bike home through the debris of the Broad Street mayhem. Best night ever.

JGT: You know a lot about beer, having both written extensively about it and served it. Tell us something about beer we don’t know.

FELICIA: There’s much debate about how beer came about in the first place, as it was almost certainly an accident. There’s “wet grain” theory, and my favorite, “magic stick” theory.  As in, prehistoric people would stir the pot of grain gruel with the magic stick, which was inoculated with yeasts, and would start the conversion from porridge into sweet intoxicant. Dr. Ernie Schuyler of the Academy of Natural Sciences has some great research on the topic.

JGT: What’s the most underrated bar in the city?

FELICIA: Jose Pistolas is awesome, especially the upstairs. It’s sort of an employee lounge for the Monk’s crew (Joe Gunn is one of ours from back in the day) — great bartenders, huge beer selection, and shots of Jameson big enough to kill you.

JGT: What’s your prediction for the “Next Big Thing” on the Philadelphia bar and dining scene?

FELICIA: I’m still waiting for ramen, but the Royal Izakaya should be open soon, so we’ll see if that spawns imitators. Since I’m opening a fried chicken-and-donuts place with CookNSolo and the Bodhi Coffee guys, I’ll say gourmet donuts and fried chicken.

JGT: Ok, same question I closed with on Lazor. It’s 8 p.m. You’re being executed at midnight (needless to say, for a crime you didn’t commit). What’s your last meal?

FELICIA: My mom-mom’s manicotti and my great-grandmother’s Thanksgiving stuffing. A magnum of vintage Dom and a bottle of Cantillon Fou’ Foune. A giant pile of strawberries in season with DiBruno Bros. burrata and the best olive oil money can buy. The lobster custard served in an egg from Talula’s Table, then some king crab legs and butter. I’ll finish off with more from my mom-mom: her cream puffs, then some of Mr. Martino’s chocolate pudding. This is exactly how I plan to die, anyway.

Here’s another great interview with Felicia on Grub Street a couple of years ago.

Meet Drew Lazor, Who Guest Hosted a Round Wednesday at Black Sheep

We’ve got a couple of guest hosts at quizzo tonight. One of them most of you already know. The Beerlass, aka the Lovely Ginger, will host our opening round at the Rendezvous tonight. Beer Lass is well known in beer circles for repping for Sly Fox, for hosting the IPA girls beer club, and for running her Beerlass blog. Of course, she has also helped me at several Quizzo Bowls.

The other one is not as well known in quizzo circles, but is quite well known in food circles. Drew is the Food and Web editor at the City Paper and creator and editor of the popular Philly food blog Meal Ticket. Drew was so fired up he asked if he could write his own round. I said “Sure.” He’ll host that round tonight at Black Sheep.

I asked Drew a few questions about himself, the best and worst of the local food and drink scene, and what he’d request for his last meal:

1. When did you first become interested in writing about food?

Have definitely always been into food, but mostly the egregious overeating of it until I was assigned the “Feeding Frenzy” restaurant column as a college intern at City Paper. Kinda went from there with it and eventually became the food editor. Now when people ask me what I do I tell them I write articles about cheeseburgers.

2. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

A few years ago Georges Perrier called me at work and yelled at me for a solid 15-20 minutes because he was upset about a (very positive!) review Trey Popp wrote of Le Bec-Fin, right after it had rejiggered its approach to become more casual. I was so flattered! Seriously. I’m pretty sure he didn’t care who it was who answered the phone, he simply unloaded on my ass because I picked up, but still, I’ll never forget that. GP tore me apart! As far as writing goes I enjoyed writing a long piece about pizza in Philly last summer.

3. Give us three of your favorite restaurants in Philly and a quick reason why.

This is always difficult but I’ll try. Mémé because it’s an honest place and it has bone marrow and fried chicken. Nan Zhou because I like to watch the dudes stretch noodles and slap them on the counter. Bistrot La Minette because it feels like France and I’ve never even been there.

4. What’s the coolest thing about the Philly food scene right now?

All the street food that’s been popping off! All the trucks are great of course but then you’ve got a lot of up-and-coming operations that are outdoor/stationary, like the carts setting up at Garden Variety at 2nd/Poplar. And then the Vendy Awards are happening in July here too. I think it’s cool that it’s growing so quickly.

4b) What’s the lamest thing about the Philly food scene right now?

I’ve been whining about this for years. There is no late-night pho. WHY IS THERE NO LATE-NIGHT PHO PLACE? PLEASE SOMEONE OPEN THIS.

5. You’re being executed at midnight. The warden takes your order at 8 p.m. What are you ordering?

My mom’s lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), my dad’s Yorkshire pudding, my girlfriend’s guacamole, sizzling mussels from Mémé, beef and tripe in chili oil from Han Dynasty, a crab pie from Matthew’s in Baltimore, Arista roast pork sandwich from Paesano’s, Kelly’s burger from Grace Tavern and the entire suckling pig situation from Amada, washed down with a Yards Philly Pale Ale, a Ballast Point Sculpin, a Penicillin from The Franklin and anything with bourbon in it from Southwark. Then Sour Patch Watermelons. And a Twix. With water. Whole lotta water.

Thanks Drew. We’ll see ya tonight!

Coolest Photo You’ll See All Day


Doesn’t this look like a Tim Burton movie set? It’s actually Schmidt’s Brewery. I posted a 1970s Schmidt’s ad on the Phillysportshistory site that’s pretty cool and started doing some research on Schmidt’s. What you’re seeing above is the entrance to their brewery, where the Piazza at Schmidt’s now stands. Here’s some info, courtesy of the awesome Philaplaces website (you’ll also find some more great photos there):

Poised on the boundary between Northern Liberties and Kensington, this sprawling 15-acre site was home to Schmidt’s, Philadelphia’s largest and most famous brewery, established in 1860. Schmidt’s was the last survivor of Philadelphia’s brewing industry, closing down in 1987 after over 125 years and leaving Philadelphia without a brewery for the first time in 300 years. Schmidt’s Beer — and its tenacity — was a point of pride for all Philadelphians. The Schmidt’s closure signaled once and for all the end of Philadelphia’s industrial era.

Andy Reid Supports Steve-O


Anyone who is a registered Republican and lives in Philadelphia, please go to the polls tomorrow to vote for Steve Odabashian and only Steve Odabashian. Those of us who have been lucky enough to know Steve are well aware of the fact that he is not a seasoned politician. If we was, we probably couldn’t stand him. Instead, Steve is a caring, thoughtful, and compassionate human being who is running for this office not for money, glory, or power, but because he loves this city and he wants to help it reach its potential. Not to mention that he has won 3 Quizzo Bowls with an intellect that, quite frankly dwarfs most of his opponents (who combined have won 0 Quizzo Bowls.) Please get out to vote tomorrow, and please vote Steve-O. Furthermore, if any of you are free and want to help Steve out tomorrow, please contact him on facebook.

Quizzo Community Raises Over $500 for CHOP

Just got back from Drexel, where I got my head shaved. An incredible amount of support from the quizzo community. Not only was the person who told me about the program a quizzo player, but in a mere four quizzes, on a week that wasn’t even jam packed, we raised over $500 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Oncology Department. An awesome, awesome display of giving. Thanks to each and every person who donated. We raised $479 at quizzo, plus another $50 online. If you would like to donate, you can still do so. Just click here to make an online donation.

100% of the proceeds go towards enriching the lives of children with cancer. For more information click here. Thanks again!

Steve-O vs. Abe Lincoln


As most of you know, Lambda star Steve-O is running for City Council. As you may not know, he has enlisted our good friend Chip Chantry to help with the campaign. The results are predictably insane. Here is Steve’s campaign website.

RELATED: Chip and Johnny star in Dr. Hank’s Used Catheter Emporium.

Who Killed the Lindbergh Baby?


At quizzo earlier this week, I asked, “Who was convicted and executed for kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby?” It was a tough question, and few teams got it right. However, it would have been an Easy Round question 70 years ago. After all, this was the Crime of the Century, as big of a deal then as the Simpson murders were in the 1990s, if not bigger. Charles Lindbergh was a much bigger star in America than OJ Simpson ever was, and the 1932 kidnapping of his child from their home in Hopewell, NJ (less than 45 miles from Philadelphia) was front page news for months. It returned to the front pages a couple of years later when an arrest was made.

Bruno Hauptmann was arrested for the kidnapping and murder (and was the answer to the quizzo question). He vehemently argued for his innocence, and though most of the evidence against him was circumstantial, he was convicted and executed. He was probably guilty, but it certainly didn’t help his case that his lawyer, Edward J. Reilly, was a crazed drunk who did an awful job representing him.
He was florid, hulking, bombastic —he wore a swallow-tail coat and striped trousers —and something of a boozer. The lunch breaks during the trial often presented Reilly with opportunities to consume a number of drinks…While a resident of Flemington during the six-week trial, he had an endless stream of “stenographers,” all of them uniformly gorgeous, who visited his quarters each evening…There is little doubt that he invented and hired witnesses, fabricated statements to the press, and deliberately misled the jury. His incompetence even dismayed Hauptmann, who, during the long trial, had only one fifteen-minute private conference with his principal attorney. He alienated his own client, his co-counsels, the jury, and the spectators by his senseless bullying of prosecution witnesses. He missed a crucial opportunity to raise reasonable doubt when, to the complete mystification of his colleague, Lloyd Fisher, he conceded that the corpse of the child discovered by William Allen was indeed Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr…Two weeks after the verdict, drunkenly raving, he was taken away to a Brooklyn hospital in a straightjacket.

There are a lot of other fascinating facts about the trial. Amelia Earhart sent a letter to the Governor of New Jersey asking him to halt the execution. An eyewitness who placed Hauptmann at the scene of the crime was legally blind. The chief of the New Jersey State Police, who was among the first on the scene when the baby was kidnapped, was Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, father of the famous Army General. Here’s another very fascinating look at the crime and the trial. And finally, a heartbreaking video of the young child shortly before he was kidnapped, a reminder that this was a very real, very tragic crime and not just a tabloid sensation.

Want To Stop City Council from Raiding City’s Coffers? Help Get Steve-O Elected.

steveoAnyone who has played my quizzo regularly for the past few years knows Steve Odabashian. He is not only a member of 3-time Quizzo Bowl winners Lambda, he is also an Andy Reid impersonator and a terrific piano player. Steve has decided to throw his hat into the ring and run for City Council this year, and I can’t think of a better person to run for office.

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not identify with Republicans on most if not all social issues, but if it helps get Steve on the ballot, I am happy to switch my affiliation for this election. Many of the city’s Democrat leaders have become complacent, and the only way to shake them out of their complacency is for the people of this city to let them know that they are willing to look at the other side of all issues instead of just blindly voting D. Here is an interview with Steve about his campaign, how he wants to elimate wasteful spending in the city, and whether he’d run on a Milton Street ticket. -ed

Steve-O, what inspired this run for City Council?

Over the last 4 years, Philadelphia government has found itself in the news more frequently.  Sadly, it is rarely for anything good.  I feel like Philadelphia leadership has developed a real sense of complacency.  Hundreds of millions of dollars in accounts receivable go uncollected or even worse, turn up “missing” way more than should be tolerated.

Meanwhile, elected officials take advantage of loopholes which allow them to raid the city’s coffers.  DROP is a program that allows city employees to set a retirement date 4 years in advance.  During those 4 years, they continue to collect salary, while their pension payments draw interest (at a ridiculously generous rate of 4.5%) over the next 4 years.  They then collect that lump sum on retirement date.  Elected officials have been retiring for one day, and then unretiring and running for reelection.  If you ask me, this is nothing short of raiding the bank account of a city that is in a serious budget crunch. It is unconscionable that any council person (including my opponent, Frank Rizzo, Jr.) would break a promise to retire and take advantage of a financial sinkhole of a program when the city needs that money more than ever.  No more, I say. If I am going to complain about the city’s complacency, then I can’t just watch it happen and be complacent myself.  Even if I lose, at least I am drawing attention to some of our biggest problems.  Philadelphia is quickly on its way to becoming the next Detroit if the city doesn’t stop spending beyond its means.  And that scares and saddens me.

I don’t know your personal politics that well, but I will admit I was a bit surprised when I found out that you were running as a Republican. Why are you running as a Republican?

I am very independent thinking.  My platform is mostly centered on Philadelphia’s fiscal irresponsibility, and that message will tend to fire up the Republican party more (especially when the one incumbent Republican, Frank Rizzo Jr., is enrolled in DROP and will collect a nice 6-figure lump sum payment and break his promise to retire).

Have you ever considered running on a Milton Street-Steve Odabashian ticket?

No, but if Philadelphia were ever to host a celebrity boxing type event, I think I could take him.

What kind of change do you, a political outsider, really think you can bring to City Hall?

You just answered the question yourself.  I am a political outsider, and that’s a good thing in this era of corrupt Philly politics.  The public is dying to get a new guy in there.  I am learning this by canvassing the various neighborhoods of Philadelphia.  They are sick of politics as usual, just as I am.  Many council members have been in there for over 10 years. They have gotten way too comfortable with their old (and non-efficient) ways of not getting things done.

What can people do if they want to help the campaign?

My most urgent need is for people to register to be Republican. It takes about 5 minutes if you go down to 520 N Delaware Ave (near Delilah’s, I kid you not).  They are open from 8:30 to 5 on weekdays. Several lifelong Democrats I know have done this, and I am humbled.  They tell me that they vote for candidates and not for parties.  It sounds like message is resonating strongly with people on both sides of the political spectrum.

I need well over 1000 signatures by March 8, and we are at about 600.  Once you are registered Republican (and a Philly resident), people can help me get signatures from other Philly resident registered Republicans.  If we can get about 20-30 people that each get about 20-30 names (that takes about 2-3 hours), it will get me on the ballot for the primary.

If you are a Republican, please contact me (odabashian@yahoo.com) so that I can get you to sign the petition. This campaign is as grassroots as it gets, and each and every signature counts. I need to get about 600 more signatures in the next week, or my hope of making Philly’s fiscal irresponsibility a major theme in the upcoming campaign will not come to pass. Thank yo

u!


A mere one week after declaring his candidacy and entering the field as a virtual unknown, Steve recently came in 6th out of 10 candidates in a straw poll of Philadelphia Republican Committee members that attended a candidates forum this past Saturday. The top 5 Republicans will advance from the primary. Steve has a real shot of advancing, but he has to get signatures. Please contact he or I if you are interested in either switching parties for this election or are a Republican and want to sign the petition to get him on the ballot. Please click “Like” below to help spread the word. Grassroots, folks! Let’s do this!


1980s Hip Hop in Philadelphia


Here is an absolute gem at least a few of you will appreciate. It’s a documentary of Philadelphia hip-hop. The best part is that the doc itself was apparently shot in the 1980s. Focuses on Will Smith, Schoolly D, and other local luminaries from the good ol’ days. And needless to say, even if you’re not a rap fan, you’ll enjoy the shots of 1980s Philadelphia. Thanks to Steve K. for bringing this to my attention. If anyone ever sees anything cool Philly related or quizzo related, please bring it to my attention
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Part Two of the doc is here.

Part Three is here.

Quizmaster Chris Don’t Need No Stinking Badges!

Picture 9It is no secret that if there one thing we take delight in, it is reading Quizmaster Chris when he goes off on a moral crusade. Who can forget the time he accused a large company of being “morally challenged mother-stabbers and father-rapers” because they made him fill out a W-9? Or the time he got into a rivalry with Big Daddy Graham? Or when he got himself into the middle of the greatest Scotland is/is not a country debate that has ever taken place, on earth, ever?

So when we read that Chris nearly came to fisticuffs while working at the polls last week, and that the brouhaha had shut down the polls for heaven’s sake, we got the popcorn and the hot cocoa ready. We figured that the show was about to begin. Good old fashioned Philly political corruption (at the Mummers Museum no less), and Quizmaster Chris was smack dab in the middle of it? This had Instant Classic written all over it. But so far, nothing on his blog. Thankfully, the Daily News story itself had some real gems in it.

(Quizmaster Chris) Randolph got into a shouting match with the man who was sitting in the seat reserved for the minority judge of elections. Randolph told him to give up the post.

“Shut the hell up!” said the man, who declined to give his name. “I’m tired of looking at your face and listening to your fat mouth.”

The argument escalated when Michael Harrison, a volunteer for the Democratic ward leader Ed Nesmith, asked Randolph to produce a badge or credentials.

“I have a court order,” responded Randolph. “I don’t need credentials. We don’t need no stinking badges.”

“Don’t disrespect me like that,” said Harrison, who leaned close to Randolph’s face. “This court s— here, don’t mean s— to me! I will f— you up!”

Harrison and Randolph appeared eager to take the fight outside, but two police officers arrived about 1:15 p.m. and a sergeant ordered the polls shut down to sort out the dispute.

My favorite part is when the guy says, “Don’t disrespect me like that.” What? Was he wearing a sombrero at the time? Otherwise, how could he have been offended by a line from the Treasure of the Sierra Madre? That being said, great comeback from Quizmaster Chris when asked to produce a badge.

There is somewhat heated back and forth with someone in the comments section of the article, but mostly just between Chris and some guy who just seems keen on ruffling his feathers. QC doesn’t really fall for the bait. Nonetheless, we want to hear, from Quizmaster Chris, what happened on that day. Our popcorn is getting stale.

Sarah Palin Has a More Limited Vocab Than Paris Hilton

palinI was reading this piece about Sarah Palin in Vanity Fair, and got to this text of a speech she gave in Missouri about how smart she and her followers are: “They talk down to us. Especially here in the heartland. Oh, man. They think that, if we were just smart enough, we’d be able to understand their policies. And I so want to tell ’em, and I do tell ’em, Oh, we’re plenty smart, oh yeah—we know what’s goin’ on. And we don’t like what’s goin’ on. And we’re not gonna let them tell us to sit down and shut up.”

I couldn’t help but notice that a staggering 62 of the 72 words (86%) in that paragraph were exactly one syllable long. And 3 of the “big words” were goin’, goin’, and gonna. Don’t let anybody tell you and your followers that they are simple, Sarah. After all, you do know a 4 syllable word (especially). I don’t exactly hang out with rocket scientists, but I can’t imagine any of my friends using almost exclusively one syllable words. Hell, I can’t imagine that if I had a discussion with my 3 year old niece, 86% of her words would be one syllable long.

Well, this experiment isn’t exactly scientific, but I thought, “Why don’t I check out the last 72 words Paris Hilton has written on twitter?” Palin can’t possibly have a more limited vocab than Ms. Cocaine Gum herself, right? Wrong. Of the last 72 words Paris has written on twitter (not including @s, links, people’s names, or xoxo), 55 of them were one syllable long (76%). Dunno if this means anything, but it looks like these geniuses who follow Sarah Palin would be a bit overwhelmed if Paris “Big Words” Hilton took the stage.