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A Night at the Helium Comedy Club with WXVU

Written by on February 6, 2023

The main hall at Helium Comedy Club.

The main hall at Helium Comedy Club.

In an effort to engage more with Philly nightlife before their impending graduation, WXVU Station Manager Allison Bajada and Business Director Ryan Dery visited the Helium Comedy Club on the evening of Saturday the 27th. The main event: Adam Friedland, creator and eponymous host of premier center-left talk show The Adam Friedland Show. The comedy club is a stone’s throw away from Center City at 2031 Sansom St, in a lively and welcoming neighborhood. Though the club has an unassuming exterior, a short walk down a corridor brought us to a large, well-appointed hosting space. It was a cozy and electric environment, packed with tables surrounding a small stage in the front. The servers were attentive and quick to bring us the tasty food and drinks we ordered. 

The diverse crowd was made up of people of all ages, with many college students like ourselves packing the club. Many were there to see headliner Adam Friedland, as his name was met with uproarious applause; others were comedy lovers who were sure to become fans after his set. Everyone was engaged and lively, and any mention of the Eagles was sure to elicit an excited response (Go Birds!). We had perfect seats: close enough to the stage for the comedians to look us in the eye, but outside of the “splash zone” – as one of the comics called it – where attendees could be asked questions. 

Allison and Ryan attending Adam Friedland’s show at Helium Comedy Club.

Allison and Ryan attending Adam Friedland’s show at Helium Comedy Club.

The host of the night was local comedian Rob Stant, who did a great job warming up the audience and discussing activities of a more explicit nature he partook in with his wife. Unfortunately, we cannot repeat these jokes here, but we assure you they were funny. The guest comedian of the night was Jake Silberman, who joked that everyone eventually has their last “good jump” and lamented that his last was behind him. The night’s featured comedian was Sahib Singh, who was incredibly talented (and who will be returning to the Helium Comedy Club later in February!). He asked the crowd if they were on LinkedIn – to many nods of affirmation – going on to joke about how he has never obtained a job through the platform. What he does use it for, though, is endorsing his friends for skills he knows they do not have. He had the crowd in uproarious laughter through his story of middle school bullying. Sahib, who is Sihk, was regularly mocked for wearing the traditional turban that all Sihk men wear. After telling his mother about the bullying, she held a presentation for the school explaining Sikhism, much to Sahib’s embarrassment. He said that, contrary to his mother’s goal,  the presentation did not stop the bullying. It did, however, make it more accurate, as his cruel peers were now equipped with the right names of his turban and the country his family originated from. The crowd cheered loudly for Sahib as he walked off stage. 

Stand-up comedian Adam Friedland.

After Sahib, headliner Adam Friedland took the stage, to much applause. Clearly excited to be back in his hometown of Philly, he began to tell a story about his upbringing and his father, who was a boxer. It became apparent that he had duped us: Adam was describing the plots of the movies ‘Rocky’ and ‘Creed’, replete with a humorous impression of Sylvester Stallon. In his next bit, he began to apologize to all the women in the crowd for the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade (for which Allison was very grateful). He suggested that they should attempt a January 6th-style attack on the government to try to reverse the court’s decision. Continuing on the subject of January 6th, he informed the crowd of the starkly different ways that he and his father reacted to the event. While Adam’s father was horrified, fearing that our very democracy was at stake, he described finding the antics of the day hilarious, mentioning the insurrectionist who “farted in Nancy Pelosi’s chair”. Moving on from political comedy, Adam tried to do some “crowd work” with the audience with moderate success. He remarked that crowd work has become very popular as of late and he wanted to cash in on the trend. However, he quickly lost control of the crowd, who devolved into cheering, booing, and Eagles chants. When he asked an audience member what their job was, the crowd cheered louder than Adam could handle. If you’re reading this, Adam, stick to planning jokes ahead of time. 

We had a fantastic experience at the Helium Comedy Club and expect to return soon (hopefully to see Sahib perform more!). The skilled comedians, warm atmosphere, and bold spirit of the Philadelphia crowd made our time spent there incredibly enjoyable. If you’re looking for a great way to spend a Saturday night, we would strongly suggest you check out the Helium Comedy Club.