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Meet Animated Illustrator and Comedian, Doogie Horner!

doogiehorner_Steve Belkowitz
Comical and endearing, Doogie Horner returns from Brooklyn to his original homeland, the City of Brotherly Love, for a behind-the-scenes look at Kid Athletes, illustrated by Horner and written by David Stabler. He will be joined by Super Bowl Champion Raheem Brock, who will also be sharing his own personal story of how he became a professional athlete, creating a marvelous combination of humor and inspiration.

Doogie is the author of 100 Ghosts (Quirk Books, 2013) and Everything Explained Through Flowcharts (HarperCollins, 2010). His art and writing have appeared in Wired, McSweeney’s, Fast Company, Boing Boing, the Believer, the London Times, the Sun, and other publications. His comedy achieved national attention when a video of him taming a hostile crowd on America’s Got Talent became a viral sensation. He has designed numerous book covers, including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Here’s the man, himself.

FPA: Your work with Philebrity involved a lot of very entertaining list-making. In honor of our 14th Annual Festival, give us a list of 14 things you miss about living in Philadelphia since you’ve moved to New York.

DH: I’m not going to lie, I wish this was your 10th Annual Festival. 14 is a long list! That’s not a list–that’s a novel!

This list will probably be more heartfelt than entertaining, but here you go.

1. Ping pong at Bob and Barbara’s
2. Federal Doughnuts
3. Possums that are so bold they’ll climb up your back and steal the Wawa shorti right out of your hand
4. The La Colombe in Rittenhouse. Especially their iced coffee.
5. Brickbat Books, my favorite bookstore.
6. Gangs of Fishtown children throwing snowballs at me and calling me names
7. Talking to the comic book guys at Brave New Worlds in Old City
8. Buying a house with your debit card
9. My neighbor in Fishtown who we could hear through the walls, screaming in Spanish all hours of the night and day
10. Helium Comedy Club
11. Working at Quirk Books, especially with my friend Jason Rekulak
12. Smoking marijuana with Mayor Nutter inside the Liberty Bell
13. The Franklin Mortgage, my favorite cocktail bar
14. Digging up Ben Franklin’s grave on the 4th of July to do spells and stuff

FPA: Who is your favorite kid athlete?

DH: I don’t know if I have one. They were all fun to draw. I enjoyed drawing Bruce Lee because he had some cool scenes, and same for Babe Didrikson. I guess Babe Ruth’s story was the most interesting for me. His parents put him in an orphanage! That must have been tough. I like that Yao Ming’s parents were also super tall, and had special giant furniture installed in their house.

FPA: You were a contestant on America’s Got Talent. Tell us something we don’t know about the show. Any story-worthy TV shenanigans?

DH: I don’t have dirt on any stars that you’ve heard of. I have plenty of stories about the other contestants, but I doubt you remember Harmonica Pierre or The Maniacs. The best part of doing the show is hanging out with all the other contestants. There is a lot of down time on the show. You sit and wait for hours, and you’re together with all the other contestants, and you’re all bored out of your minds, so you end up performing for each other—playing music, dancing, doing magic tricks or telling jokes.

While we were shooting in Las Vegas, I was hanging out with Michael Grasso, a contestant on the show who’s a magician. We were crossing through the casino lobby heading towards the elevators when someone recognized Michael. “Hey Magic Mike!” they yelled, “do a trick!” and they tossed a quarter at him.

Michael is a great magician, but he’s not super personable. He doesn’t like talking to strangers, and he didn’t want to stop to talk to this guy. So, without breaking his stride, and using only one hand, he made the quarter disappear, then reappear, then become two quarters, then disappear again, and then we were in the elevator and the doors closed. It was pretty cool, and I still don’t know how he made the quarter multiply into two quarters. Does he always have a spare quarter taped to his wrist?

FPA: If you had to invent a sport that would make you the best athlete/player of the sport in the world, what would it be?

DH: Reading/Coffee Drinking/Napping triathlon

FPA: For athletes, the meal they eat right before a match, race, etc. is really important to their performance. What is Doogie Horner’s ideal meal before he gets up on stage to do standup comedy?

DH: It doesn’t matter. I know some comics don’t like to eat before they go on stage, but I don’t mind. When I first started performing, I was nervous so I’d have a few drinks before going on stage. After a while I got less nervous, but would still have a drink or two out of habit. At a certain point though, a couple years ago, I changed my performance style to be less deadpan, more natural and improvisational, so I had to stop drinking entirely because it slowed me down too much. Also it’s bad for your health to do that every single night; it’ll catch up with you.

So anyhow, now before a show I usually don’t eat anything. I just drink some water. Maybe I’ll have some coffee or a Diet Coke if I’m tired. After the set I’ll maybe have a whiskey on the rocks or a salad. Most comedy club food is pretty bad though.

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Grab your tickets!


DATE Saturday Nov. 14
TIME Doors at 4:30PM, Show at 5PM
LOCATION Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St., Philadelphia)
Before Oct. 23: $13
After Oct. 23: $15
FPA Members: $12

Children under 10 free.

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Upcoming Events
  • StorySlam: Windfall
  • Date: August 27, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Venue: CSZ Philadelphia
  • Location: 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107