Thursday, December 20, 2007

Comedy Troupe Behind YouTube Sensation "Heynabonics" To Perform Saturday Night at Odyssey Fitness Center in Wilkes-Barre

One Laugh At Least, the local comedy troupe behind the You Tube sensation "Heynabonics," will perform improv (AND the “Heynabonics” skit, YAY!) LIVE this Saturday, December 22nd at the Odyssey Fitness Center in Wilkes-Barre at 8:15 PM. Tickets are $12 for the general public or $10 for Odyssey members.

For more information, call (570) 829-2661 or visit the troupe's official website at

One Laugh At Least was recently profiled in both the Citizens Voice and The Scranton Times-Tribune. Also, one of the members of One Laugh At Least is Mr. Jack Gibbons (pictured in the articles with the boxing gloves), who is the husband of our very own Evelyn Gibbons (who also contributes regularly to the entertainment blog).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Blog: "From Crystal Club Soda to Gertrude Hawk Chocolate"

Fellow blogger Jason Schwass recently emailed me a link to his awesome Scranton blog. Titled From Crystal Club Soda to Gertrude Hawk Chocolate, the blog is a " a tongue in cheek look at Scranton, Pennsylvania." from eBay auctions of Scranton memorabilia to local news to local elections and politics.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Nickelodeon's KaBlam!: A Girl Named Fuzzball" by Kevin Dougherty

Kevin Dougherty, a Wilkes-Barre resident and filmmaker, emailed me yesterday about an animated short he did that aired on Nickelodeon's KaBlam!:

"'Fuzzball' takes place in the mythical "West Valley, Pennsylvania" and features church carnivals, bowling alleys...most of the locations are directly based on local stuff. If you look closely, you can see flyers on telephone poles for Cafe Metropolis in Wilkes-Barre (where I work)."

Kevin also added: "And speaking of Wilkes-Barre natives, I am finishing up a 3-page comic strip bio of Ham Fisher, creator of Joe Palooka. It is scheduled to run in Electric City paper December 28th. Its an interesting tale."

The short is awesome, by the way, so check it out.

Thanks to Kevin Dougherty for this reference.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stephen Karam, Playwright

In a letter published in the "Your Opinion" section of this morning's Scranton Times-Tribune, Vincent J. Vanston wrote a letter titled Rising Star about an off-Broadway play in New York titled Speech & Debate that he highly recommends. Of particular note is that the playwright, Stephen Karam, is a former Scranton resident.

A few weeks ago, one of our patrons, Gloria McDonough, also told me that Stephen Karam was a student at Scranton High School and his father was a principal. She also told me Mr. Karam went to Brown University and spend a semester at either Cambridge or Oxford University in the UK.

Currently playing (and recently extended) until February 24, 2008 and presented by the Roundabout Underground Theatre Company, Speech & Debate is a black comedy that tells the story of three misfits in a Salem, Oregon high school who reluctantly form their school's first debate team--only after discovering they are all linked together by their small town's sex scandal.

Karam's previous plays include Columbinus, a drama (co-written with PJ Paparelli) inspired by the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

Much thanks to Gloria McDonough for this reference.

UPDATE 1/14/08 My new fantastic colleague in Reference, Michele L., told me tonight she went to Scranton High School with Stephen Karam and was even on the high school debate team AND in chorus with him. She also said that he is an incredibly funny person, even acting in the high school production in Once Upon A Mattress.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Chelsea Lately (Friday, December 7, 2007)

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a local reference or a simple "plug" but, being that it was heard on the only television channel I ever watch, I thought I'd include it.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE fan of E! Entertainment Television. The E! True Hollywood Story, E! News, The Daily 10, The Girls Next Door and MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE The Soup -- what more can you ask for?

Last night, I was watching a repeat of E's new late-night half-hour talk show Chelsea Lately starring Chelsea Handler (the episodes featured guests Bridget and Kendra from The Girls Next Door). Towards the end of her panel discussion that begins each show (usually with 3 guest comedians), Chelsea said, "By the way, I'll be at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre (she pronounced it Wilkes-BARRA) this Saturday night and if you can't make it...then suck it."

Also of note, a few days after The Office Convention in Scranton, The Office's Melora Hardin (Jan) was a guest on Chelsea Lately. During the interview, Chelsea asked her, "Wasn't there some sort of convention you just got back from?" Though they discussed the convention for five minutes, neither Chelsea nor Melora mentioned Scranton by name.

To read the concert review from Citizens Voice, click here.

To read an interview with Chelsea from The Weekender, click here.

Chelsea Lately airs weeknights at 11:30 PM on E!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Amen (Season 1, Episode 22 - April 22, 1987) -- And a THANK YOU!

Don McKeon from Scranton, one of our regular contributors to the blog, emailed me a few days ago with the following:

"I was watching a show from the 1980's sitcom: Amen with Sherman Hemsley (from The Jeffersons), and the name of Scranton came up. The plot of the show featured the Deacon, Sherman H., trying to win a humanitarian award so he and his daughter could win the grand prize, a trip to the Holy Land. Sherman says to his daughter not to worry if they don't win the trip because, THERE'S ALWAYS SCRANTON!"

Amen aired Saturday nights at 9:30 PM on NBC from 1986 to 1991. Sherman Helmsley starred as Ernest Frye, the lawyer and scheming deacon of First Community Church of Philadelphia, who loses some semblance of control when the new minister, Rev. Reuben Gregory (Clifton Davis), had other ideas; every week, the two would have some sort of conflict over the runnings of the church. In addition, Frye's 30-year-old romantically frustrated daughter, Thelma (Anna Maria Horsford), developed a massive crush on the new pastor. The show also featured other great characters like sisters Amelia (Roz Ryan) and Casietta Hetebrink (Barbara Montgomery).

The Scranton reference appeared on the final episode (number 22) in the first (1986-87) season of Amen; titled "What's Up, Deacon?," it originally aired Saturday, April 22, 1987.

Thanks again to Don McKeon for another great Scranton reference. Keep 'em coming!

I also wanted to quickly add that I noticed that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Entertainment blog has passed 10,000 hits. Now I know that 10,000 hits over two years may seem a little low compared to daily hits for YouTube videos or visitors to Britney's website (heh heh); but honestly, when I began this blog, it was simply a labor of love for a movie fan who was fascinated how much the cities of Wilkes-Barre and Scranton (both pre- and post-Office) have permeated all aspects of entertainment and, quite frankly, I had no idea that other people would dig it as well.

So, to everyone who contributed to the blog, to everyone who has looked at it, and to everyone who told me (either in person or via email) how much they enjoy it, I just want to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!! You really made my day :-)