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.


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.


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 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.

Update on Toy Drive

Hey gang, just made the toy drive spreadsheet a lot easier to use. I have included links to all of the toys, so that all you have to do is write down your name, click on the link, order the toy and get it shipped to the address below. It will literally take less than 20 seconds and will make a child’s Christmas. As of now, things are moving slower than past years, and if more people don’t step up, over 45 kids won’t get toys this Christmas, which would just be heartbreaking.

Most of the toys left are in the $10-$25 range. Once you purchase them, just have them shipped to:


1505 W. Allegheny Ave.

Philadelphia, PA 19132

Amazon does the shipping! All you have to do is put in the address. They don’t need to be wrapped, nothing. All you have to do is buy one. If you would prefer to buy something locally and drop it off, you are welcome to. Just drop your toy off at Shibe Sports at 13th and Walnut. And finally, if you’d prefer to donate money and let me get the toys, that’s fine too. You can either give me the money at quizzo or send the money to johnny@johnnygoodtimes dot com on PayPal and write “Toys” in the subject box. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far!

The Friday Five

Not as much locally to talk about this week, as I spent a long weekend in Richmond, but still some fun stuff to talk about:

What I’m Watching: Just watched Dolemite Is My Name on Netflix, and it was a hell of a lot of fun. Highly recommend. Love movies about people who aren’t the most talented or most gifted, but simply the most determined, and if there was any one word that described Rudy Ray Moore, it was “determined”. Reminded me of another Rudy. And the acting is terrific. Eddie Murphy is at his best, and Wesley Snipes is just terrific.

What I Learned This Week: That Ballad of a Thin Man by Bob Dylan was one of the main theme songs of the Black Panthers. From an article on Red Bull Music Academy: The song’s lyrics, which describe a man who enjoys watching circus geek shows, struck a chord with (Huey P.) Newton. He saw the titular character, Mr. Jones, as an upper class white man who indulged in exploring the black ghetto on Sunday afternoons to check out the prostitutes and inhabitants of the decaying community. The fictional Mr. Jones was a voyeur of sorts, and got off on watching what Newton called a freak show...According to Newton, the circus freaks mentioned in the song, including the sword swallower and the one-eye midget, represent the disadvantaged ghetto residents who aren’t interested in serving as entertainment for Mr. Jones. They instead demand payment for a trick or some food or drink. Otherwise, they’d like Mr. Jones to shove off and go home.

What I’m Reading: Great 1985 Esquire piece on Dr J. Interesting dude, and a great article. Can’t imagine too many elite athletes today discussing the tenets of religion with a reporter.

But it wasn’t until our discussion in his office, during a laborious spiel of mine concerning the duty of the seeker to examine the varieties of religious experience, that Julius began to get pissed.

“I just can’t agree,” he said, “because even if you do manage to synthesize all these systems, what good is it going to do you? Even if you’re the smartest man on earth, even if you’re Albert Einstein, you’ll still only have a thimbleful of all the knowledge in the world. Where does that lead you? Digging and grinding on this unbelievable quest? Is there happiness in that? So it comes down to making concessions … down to knowing you’re not the wisest or the smartest, not the ultimate of anything, but knowing too that you have this powerful need to grasp something meaningful, something purposeful … you want a way, a way that makes sense for you, that you can embrace.”

The guy who wrote it, Marc Jacobson, would 15 years later do a piece on Franck Lucas that would be the inspiration for American Gangster. Also worth a read.

The lychee martini at Xiandu.

Where I’m eating and drinking: Xiandu Thai. I’ve really come to love this place over the past few months. My move is to get their for pickup before 7, have a Happy Hour cocktail while I wait for my takeout, and then come home a conquering hero with terrific Thai food. Get the lychee martini! This past time I got the the drunken noodles and the pineapple fried rice, but no matter what I get there it’s great. It’s my favorite Thai place in Philly.

Goofy Little Project I’m Working On: I started this awhile back, took a long break, and just started back on it. I’m a huge fan of the book Travels in Philadelphia by Christopher Morley (you can read the entire book online, though I’d suggest you get a physical copy if you really like it.) I decided awhile back to start an instagram page where I went back to places he wrote about in the late 1910s for the Philadelphia Evening Ledger and take pictures of them 100 years later. Kind of fun to see what’s changed and what’s the same after this much time.

Happy 18th Birthday To My Damn Cat

“Shut the f*ck up,” are the first words out of my mouth most mornings. I know that makes me sound crude and uncivilized, but when an animal the size of a breadbox is screaming in your face at 6:15 am, a time when you’d saw off your right arm with child-proof scissors for another hour of sleep, I don’t think it’s unreasonable. Typically I’ll then push her off my bed, which is basically a couch from a nice neighborhood.*

“MEOW!” she’ll scream from the floor.

“Please…PLEASE!” I’m begging now. “Shut…Up! PLEASE!” It has no effect.

“Meow!” Having been tossed from the trundle bed, she exacts her revenge in the hallway, knowing that my wife can now hear the meows from the other room, and if SHE has to get up an hour early on a work morning to feed the damn cat, I’LL be the bad guy.

“Meow!” A decibel higher. So I lay, one eye open, a battle raging in my mind over which is worse, losing an hour of beloved sleep or having my wife mad at me because she had to get up early. My decision is obvious, and I begin the slow slog down the stairs.

In October of 2001, my girlfriend Colby, my buddy from Hawaii Duff, and I had decided on somewhat of a lark to move to Philadelphia with essentially no money in the bank, and after a couple of weeks grew tired of sitting on camping chairs.

I lived on 6th Street, just south of South Street, in the old Levi’s Hot Dog building. It wasn’t far from where much fancier people put decent furniture out on the sidewalks on Mondays. One day, when walking home from another disastrous lunch shift at Sfizzio’s (where Zahav is now…that’s a whole other story), I came across a small sectional on the curb, and as I had a friend from work with me, decided to take it to the apartment. Initially, the small sofa was the height of luxury for guys who had spend the first two weeks in Philly in camping chairs. But it held a dark secret: it was inhabited by mice, and within a few days they had begun to attack the kitchen. It was time for a cat.

Colby and I went to the Morris Animal Refuge just before Halloween with the intent of taking home a kitten, but we saw two who were brother and sister and didn’t have the heart to tear them apart from each other. So we took home two kittens, who we named Popiko (it means “cat” in Hawaiian, we shortened it to Popo) and Malia (after a mischievous dolphin that I loved when I worked at Dolphin Quest in Hawaii) in the hopes that they would alleviate the mouse problem.

Duff enjoyed taking ridiculous pics of the cats playing basketball.

Popo was the early star, active and excitable the way a kitten should be, never catching mice but letting his presence be known. Malia, on the other hand, spent most her time chasing her own tail and staring at candles. So it came as a shock when one night Malia hopped up on our “coffee table” (technically a piece of wood placed on top of milk crates) with a mouse in her mouth. She was hailed as a conquering heroine, and the pride she found that night has carried her through to this day.

Colby and I broke up a year later, and for some godforsaken reason I demanded to keep the damn cats when I moved in with a work friend in early 2003. One night that spring, a door in the back was left open, and Malia disappeared. Frantically, I made up posters and hung them on telephone poles. I then walked into the back alley calling her name.

“Malia! Malia!” Finally I heard a meow, loud but coming from a distance. I looked over walls, behind alleyway detritus, until finally I decided to look up. Stunned, I saw her perched atop the second story roof of a nearby house. How she got up there will always be one of life’s great mysteries. In the meantime, I had to figure out how to get her down. I went home, grabbed a ladder, and tied a shoestring to it. I climbed the ladder to the top of a back porch, then MacGuyver-style lifted the ladder up by the string. I climbed it again, and leaning tenuously (as one does atop a ladder on a flimsy deck porch) I reached for her. I was hoping to expedite the process, knowing that at any second a neighbor could be dialing the police in reference to a man on a ladder on top of a nearby porch deck. Playfully she avoided my reach and went to rub up against a nearby chimney.

“You little bitch,” I muttered under my breath to no-one in particular. “Malia, come here.” She meowed, rubbed up against the chimney one more time, then pranced over my way. I grabbed her, dropped the ladder down one floor by the shoestring, and together we descended.

The past 18 years have gone whirring by, and she’s been there for just about all of it: multiple roommates, girlfriends, and other pets moving in and out. She has taken it all in stride. Like most cats if there’s food in the bowl come morning and again in the afternoon, the rest takes care of itself. After six years apart, Colby returned to Philly and we got back together, then got married. Malia could have cared less, though it did give her one more human to draw heat from when the weather turned cold. Once we had a kid, there were two.

Let’s not get overly romantic here: once you have a dog, a wife, and a kid, the cat takes a backseat, and becomes more of a chore than a close companion. But she went missing again in October of 2015, and I found myself once again desperately searching the back alleys of the neighborhood for her, posting flyers on telephone poles again, looking under nearby parked cars. Don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, I suppose. After a couple of weeks of fruitless searching, my buddy Vaughn came by to help me hit up a few alleys. After an hour or so, we called it quits.

“You put up signs, you’ve spent days searching through alleys for her, you’ve done everything you can do,” he said. “Now it’s for the universe to decide.”

I would continue to walk to the wall in our back yard, call out her name, and shake the cat food, but once we past the month milestone it seemed to be little more than a pitiful habit. Until, one night, I saw something move down the alley.

“Malia!” I cried. She ignored my call and kept scurrying towards the gate at the end of the alley that emptied onto Pemberton, slid through the grates, and ran across the street.

The next night, I walked back there again. I was about 75% sure I had seen Malia the night before, but couldn’t be certain. I peered into the alley again. There she was. “Malia! It’s me! Come here!” She looked up, saw me, and sauntered back the other way.

“You little bitch,” I muttered under my breath to no-one in particular. At this point I was just annoyed. “Well she’s had her chance to come back. She knows where we are.” I stomped back into the house.

It was late October, and the next night the temperature dropped drastically. Sure enough, Malia came prancing back into the yard. The queen, after a month abroad, was ready to be pampered, fed, cleaned up after, and most importantly kept warm by her people.

Her brother died in 2019, at age 17. He was, for about the past decade leading up to his death, an old man: feeble, sickly, and cranky. He existed to eat and ate to exist and the rest of it was bollocks. Malia is quite different. She has always enjoyed it when company comes over. She loves being rubbed on the head and adored and worshipped like the goddess she undoubtedly is in her own mind. A few months ago she decided she was sick of cat food, and simply stopped eating. She was essentially on a hunger strike, and willing to die for the cause. And so we started buying tuna fish, which she enjoyed for the next month, until she decided she was ready for cat food again.

Is there a moral here? Have I learned anything over the past 18 years, other than “Maybe shoulda gotten a dog”? I don’t know. Does there need to be? Isn’t that kind of the point of cats, that there is no point, they just confound you by hopping in front of the coffee pot, fridge, or sink, wherever it is that you’re trying to get to? That their existence is driven not by love or affection but by food and body heat, and that we spend thousands and thousands of dollars over the years to give them both? There’s probably some sort of moral about unconditional love buried in here somewhere, but my sleep deprivation has left me incapable of articulating it. I’ll just leave it to the universe to decide.

*My wife and kid sleep in the “good” bed, as he has taken over my role as “preferred cuddler” in this house, and the cat and I sleep on what I only found out three weeks ago was called a trundle bed.

Epilogue: Malia passed away on July 30, less than three months short of her 20th birthday. We will miss her terribly. And we will roll our eyes and laugh….a lot…whenever her name is brought up.

Five Fun Facts From Last Week’s Quiz

Gonna start posting about the more interesting questions I ask each week. Here are a few fun facts from last week:

Q: Who had a hit with the song Keep on Loving You?

A: REO Speedwagon. Curious how they got the name? Band member Neal Doughty took a History of Transportation class in college. One day he walked into class, saw the words “REO Speedwagon” on the board, and went with it. The REO Speedwagon was a 1915 car made by Ransom Eli Olds, who also gave us Oldsmobile.

1915 REO Speedwagon
1915 REO Speedwagon

Q: If a US coin is marked with a D, it was minted in what city?

A: Denver actually produces the most coins of any mint in the world.

Q: What four letter word comes to us from carnival sideshows, where it described people who would bite the heads off of snakes and chickens?

Geek. The following is from the Geek Anthropologist: it wasn’t until sometime in the early 19th century that, “the Scottish word geck, meaning ‘fool,’ changed to geek and began being used to describe a certain kind of carnival performer. Geeks specialized in eating live animals, including biting the heads off live chickens”. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “The modern form and the popular use with reference to circus sideshow ‘wild men’ is from 1946, in William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley”. Initially used to refer to a very specific type of carnival performer, the word soon became synonymous with freaks—that is, any individual who exhibited a physical trait that deviated from what was commonly understood within a society or culture as “normal.” Although the term designated a sense of social stigma and shame, circus and sideshow performers adopted the term “geek” as a collective and positive form of identity. While the general public could come to gawk at the freaks, performers referred to themselves as geeks, established in opposition to the norms and rubes in the audience. 

Q: Because this 1995 rap hit heavily sampled Stevie Wonder, Stevie wouldn’t allow any cursing in it.

A: Gangsta’s Paradise, which sampled heavily from Stevie’s song Pasttime Paradise. Rolling Stone did a great oral history of the song a few years ago. This is from Coolio: “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death/I take a look at my life and I see there’s nothing left” — I freestyled that; that came off the top of the dome and I wrote that down. I thought about it for a minute, and then I wrote the whole rest of the song without stopping, from the first verse to the third verse. You know, I like to believe that it was divine intervention. “Gangsta’s Paradise” wanted to be born; it wanted to come to life, and it chose me as the vessel.

I found this fascinating, because Steven King, in his terrific book On Writing, says the following: “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

In other words, Gangsta’s Paradise was out there, Coolio just discovered it and did an expert job of digging it up!

Q: What man popularized tobacco in England, spent 13 years in the Tower of London, was let out to try to find the town of El Dorado, then was beheaded upon his return?

A: Sir Walter Raleigh. He was also dissed by the Beatles in their song I’m So Tired: “Although I’m so tired, I’ll have another cigarette/And curse Sir Walter Raleigh/He was such a stupid git.” After his execution, his wife was presented his head, which she had embalmed and carried around in her handbag. (Seriously.)

A Few Remembrances of 9/11/2001

My buddy Nat and I, August of 2001.

Nothing particularly salient or exciting about my 9/11 experience, but for posterity’s sake, I thought I’d write a few words.

I had moved back to Virginia from Hawaii the previous November, determined to move to New York and write plays. I was young and dumb and had big dreams. But first I needed money and restaurant experience. So I stayed at my dad’s house in Nassawadox, took a gig as a substitute teacher, and waited tables at the Trawler. At the end of August, 2001, I went to New York to try to find an apartment and a job. I interviewed with someone who worked on the Sopranos. The job was 60 hours a week, consisted more or less of getting coffee for the stars of the show, and paid $26k a year. I looked at apartments in Brooklyn and Queens. The cheapest one was in Queens, and was essentially a hallway with a shared kitchen. It was $1500 a month…to move in, I needed first, last, security and “finders fee”, an astounding little real estate trick where you essentially gave away money for absolutely nothing. I didn’t have $6000. New York was not going to happen.

So I went back to Virginia, depressed and with no real prospects. My “New York or Bust” mentality had gone bust. A few days later, my sister and her then boyfriend came to visit from Hawaii, where she was still living.

It was a mutual friend of mine and my sisters, Katie, who woke me up that Tuesday morning with a phone call (on the landline of course, as at the time, none of us had cell phones).

“Have you seen that an airplane crashed into the World Trade Center?” she asked.

Still half asleep, I replied, “No. Let me get my sister.” I hollered downstairs for Errin. The TV at the house was not on. Nobody knew what was happening.

I remembered thinking that it was bizarre that a plane had veered so far off course as to hit downtown New York. Then I went downstairs, turned on the news, and sat there stunned, my anxiety and the TV news telling me that the world was ending.

Time has created a thick enough haze that the rest of the day only plays out almost as a series of photos. I remember writing down my feelings, something to remember my thoughts as I was feeling them in a notebook which has long since disappeared. We sometimes forget in retrospect, but at the time it was happening, we had NO CLUE exactly what it was that was unfolding. Was the entire country under attack? Were these 4 planes the start of hundreds of them falling from the sky? It truly, for a few hours at least, felt like the apocalypse.

Some friends and I went to the Exmore Diner for lunch. Of all the strange and absurd thoughts I had that day, for some reason I remember one of them being “Well if this is it, I want my last meal to be at the Diner.” Plus we just had to get away from the TV for an hour or two, try to process the madness without being absorbed by it.

I don’t remember much else. It’s incredible how 18 years can fracture the memories of even the most memorable days of our lives. But there are a few things I still recall: calling the blood bank to see if they were accepting donations that could help New York (they could always use blood, they said, but not for New York). My sister making a call to Hawaii, and was told that she no longer had a job and should not come back if she could help it…the economy was about to be crippled now that people were too scared to fly.

Her boyfriend at the time actually flew back to Hawaii on, I believe, Friday the 14th to retrieve their things. I had never heard of anything crazier than getting into airplane 3 days after watching those images on TV over and over and flying across the world, then the next day turning back around and flying back, a 12 hour flight including layover. He might have been the only person on the plane. I don’t think I flew anywhere for the next year at least.

The fear of another attack was crippling, both personally and for society as a whole. Remember the whole “Dirty Bomb” scare? The anthrax in the mail? We were shown that beneath our outwardly tough exteriors we were scared, vulnerable, and worried.

I was also not technologically savvy. I remember a few days after 9/11, seeing a picture of a man on the WTC rooftop, with a plane about to hit it, and thinking “My God, that’s awful.” It’s almost funny that now my mind would instantly realize the picture was a hoax, but at the time online hoaxes weren’t a usual thing.

I still have a journal I loosely kept in the late 90s, early 2000s, but never look at it. I decided to give it a look to see if there was anything that jogged any memories. Not really, just a corny, supposedly deep message the week after.

September 17th

One week ago I went to bed convinced I knew it all. Now I know nothing.

I moved to Philadelphia the next month, into a tiny apartment just off of 6th and South. By that point, things had returned to some semblance of normal, though they’d never quite be the same. Independence Hall now had awkward barriers surrounding it, as if a dedicated suicide bomber was going to be repelled by a 3 foot fence. But it was a lie we told ourselves to believe that something, ANYTHING was being done to prevent another attack on our institutions.

I left one more short journal entry about it.

October 12th

Things are extremely frightening right now. Anthrax in Florida and New York. Attacking Afghanistan regularly. There will be revenge and moving to Philly does make me nervous.

There was a sense of unity for those next several weeks, but it soon went away, as anything seen as not appropriately “patriotic” meant that “the terrorists had won”. It soon became apparent that the Iraqis, who had nothing to do with 9/11, were going to be blamed for it, and that protests by hundreds of thousands of people in the streets to try to stop the war were fruitless.

The War in Iraq both ended the sense of national unity and split the country in half, a fissure that subsequent politicians have manipulated until we’ve reached a point where if terrorists attacked again, we’d attack and blame each either other instead of them.

There was a chance to learn from 9/11 and to emerge a better nation. We blew it. We pay no more attention to our fire fighters and EMT crews than we did on 9/10/01, while we love our reality show celebs so much that we made one President. We responded to 9/11 by becoming more artificial, more sarcastic, and less sincere, with a shorter fuse and less patience with each other. It’s a sad postscript to the saddest day in American history, a day that we promised we’d never forget, but one in which each year we remember less and less, both through the haze of time and in our treatment of one another.

A Few Summer Highlights


Hope everyone had a bitchin’ summer. As we return to reality, wanted to pass along a few things I enjoyed the hell out of this summer.

1. The Four Seasons Bar. Holy shit this spot is amazing. Pro tip: go on a Sunday.



2. Free Meek on Amazon Prime. Fascinating look at an incoherent probation system that is built in many ways to destroy black males. The doc is a bit one sided (extremely pro-Meek), but terrific nonetheless. I remember thinking that the whole Free Meek thing was kind of bizarre when it was at its apex, but now it all makes sense.

3. The powdered, cream filled doughnuts at Corner Bakery in Onancock. Ok, ok, so you’ll have to drive 4 hours for this one, but it’s worth it. These are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had in my life. If you’re traveling down Route 13 at any point, do yourself a favor, drive about a mile off the highway, and hook it up.

04. I’ll Be Loving You Forever. Fun write up about a woman who grew up a huge NKOTB fan, and who went to see them in concert recently.

5. Taking a run to wherever Parks on Tap is, then grabbing a couple of beers. A great way to knock off some calories and then put them immediately back on. PoT “runs” through the end of September, so still a chance to attack your knees and then attack your liver.

6. Recording the Philly Blunt. We had a great summer lineup, from Ben Franklin to John Bolaris to total stranger Marissa who randomly walked in the podcast and proceeded to tell us one of the most amazing stories we’ve ever heard from her days as a webcam girl.

7. Roadside America. This one is particularly great if you have a 5 year old. Located in the incredibly named Shartlesville, PA, this massive miniature village and train set was initially built by Laurence Gieringer in 1935. The display includes waterfalls, mountains, and over 2000 feet of railroad track. Every half an hour, the lights go down, the little lights in the miniature houses come on, and God Bless America by Kate Smith plays. Everything in the display is handmade. It is truly awe inspiring work.


8. The Wachapreague Carnival. Another one you’ll have to travel for, but it’s a great piece of small town Americana every year around the 4th of July.

0-89. Fireworks at the Ballpark. Would have liked to see the bats produce more fireworks this season, but the actual fireworks show they put on is terrific. Wife and I also saw Avett Brothers at the ballpark. We saw them last year at Red Rocks, and so this didn’t quite live up to that standard, but still a really cool experience. 



10. Karaoke Quizzo. The latest quiz at the World Cafe Live was the most fun one I did this summer. It was for Hamilton, and we did karaoke between rounds….It was awesome. Next quiz is September 18th, and we’ll be doing karaoke again. More details coming soon.




State of the Union


Been a lot happening lately and a lot of questions being asked so wanted to give everybody an update all at once. First of all, there is no more quizzo at the Sidecar, at least for now. People have been asking me if I plan on picking up another Tuesday quiz, and the honest answer is: I don’t know. I’m going to think on my game plan over the 4th of July holiday and try to figure it out then. Hope to have a plan figured out by mid-July.

Speaking of which, next week’s quiz is gonna be 4th of July themed and hosted by Boots. Tuesday at O’Neals, Wednesday at Locust Rendezvous at 6:15, and at Founding Fathers at 8:30.

There are some fun things planned for summer. Stranger Things quiz was cancelled for the 9th of July, but we’ll be coming back with a Hamilton quiz in August at the World Cafe Live. As I’ve said repeatedly, these are terrific quizzes, complete with video rounds, live performances, etc. If you’re a Hamilton fan, keep an ear out. More details coming soon.

YES! I am excited to announce that I am returning to the Oval this summer. Quizzes begin on July 20th and will be every Saturday at 4 pm through August 17th. These have been a ton of fun in the past and I’m looking forward to another great summer season.

I’d love to do an invitational-type event this summer, just put together in a different way than in the past…sort of a “Summer Slam” type deal that we could do, maybe at WCL. Gonna think on this one over the 4th of July week and see what I can put together.

I’m looking for new music to play between rounds! Go to the Johnny Goodtimes Facebook page and let me know what you’re listening to these days.


In terms of what I’ve been up to other than quizzo, the podcast is doing great. Recent interviews have been with Yards founder Tom Kehoe, NY Times bestseller Jennifer Weiner, and then a totally random but amazing interview with photographer and former cam girl Marissa. New one drops on Monday with former weatherman John Bolaris. And oh man, is it a doozy.


In Shibe news, we opened a second store at the King of Prussia Mall! We just kicked it off on June 1st, and we’re really excited about it. We got amazing murals put on the walls by Chalk Art Philadelphia which are well worth checking out, whether you buy anything or not. The Mall has been an interesting experience…I had hardly ever spent time in malls until we started on this project, and wow, is it a different world. The KOP Mall is so massive, it really is its own ecosystem. I can’t believe this is me saying this, but it’s actually kind of awesome. Diverse crowd*, lots of young people, lots of interesting places to shop. Hope you’ll come check us out. We’re right by the clock tower.

That about does it. If anyone has any thoughts, concerns, or questions, feel free to hit me up at the Facebook page or on my twitter. Quiz is on for tonight: back in business at Birra at 8 pm and Bards at 9:15. Hope to see ya tonight!

*let’s be real: I was surprised to learn that a suburban mall was more diverse than Center City.