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Meet Your Host for the 16th Season Grand Slam, Chip Chantry!

He’s opened for comedy legends Louis CK, Bob Saget, and Dave Chappelle. See why these leading comics have shared the stage with him when he shares the stage with Philadelphia’s top storytellers at the Grand Slam next Thursday, May 12 at World Cafe Live. Meet comedian Chip Chantry! {{TICKETS ON SALE HERE.}}

Chip_horizontalFPA: You opened for Louis CK’s secret Philly show last month. How did that happen? Tell us what your reaction was like when you heard the news that you got the gig.

CC: I found out at noon the day of the show. I knew I was going to see the show, even though I didn’t know who it was going to be. When the owner of Helium called me to see if I could open, I immediately said yes, without even knowing who it was. When I found out, I was floored. Also, I was standing in the middle of a convenience store when I got the call, and got a few looks from people. So I guess I looked shocked.

FPA: In addition to being a standup comedian, you’re also a writer for comedy television. Is there a different approach to writing for TV versus writing for the stage?

CC: When you write for TV, you’re writing for someone else, so I think the biggest difference is knowing their voice. When it’s stand up, it’s just me, so I know where I’m coming from. But it’s fun to work in someone else’s voice, and put your own stamp on it. It’s a fun challenge.

FPA: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?

CC: This isn’t as crazy as it is heartbreaking, so buckle up! A few years ago, I was asked to do a Nerd Nite show in Philly, which is a great event that combines entertainers and scholarly talks. It’s a lot of fun.

The room was packed with a few hundred 20 and 30-something-year-old self-proclaimed nerds that night, ready for a show. I was psyched!

Right before they introduced me, the host announced to the crowd that Steve Jobs just died. SHE ANNOUNCED THAT STEVE JOBS DIED IN A ROOM FULL OF NERDS, AND THEN SAYS, “Your next act is comedian Chip Chantry.”

That’s like going to do a set at the Basketball Hall of Fame, and having the host announce that Michael Jordan died. There were literally people in tears while I was trying to sling my jokes. So do me a favor: If, on the night of the Grand Slam, the world’s most famous storyteller dies, PLEASE KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

FPA: Do you have any pre-show lucky rituals? Lucky socks or underwear?

CC: Having an empty bladder always seems to help matters.

FPA: What piece of advice would you give this season’s Grand Slam contestants?

CC: Pray that if the world’s most famous storyteller dies that night, no one announces it right before you go on.

FPA: Is there a dumb childhood joke that you still love, and why?

CC: I like to think of myself as pretty comedically refined and sophisticated, but whenever the Coyote falls off a cliff wearing rockets shoes, I’m on board for the laugh.

FPA: This year marks First Person Arts’ 15th Anniversary. Tell us your own story on the Grand Slam theme of “Where I Come From” in 15 words!

CC: You see, when it comes to my hometown and upbringing, I would have to say…

FPA: Do you think there’s a difference between standup storytelling and comedy? What role does storytelling play in your work?

CC: I think it’s all about emotion, and what emotions you can spark in the crowd. For comedy, getting the laugh is obviously the goal. But when I started telling more stories in my stand up–true stories–the comedy became so much more authentic and real. I tell a few stories that include some tragic topics, but if I can strike a real emotional response from the crowd, then throw in a punchline, the laughter is so much better. It’s a release from the tension.

16th Season First Person Arts Grand Slam
DATE: Thursday, May 12
TIMES: Doors at 7PM, Show at 8PM
LOCATION: World Cafe Live
TIX: $17-22 | BUY

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