A Weird Interview with Sidney Gantt and Kevin Ryan of the New Monthly Comedy Show, “Tough Stuff”

Philly’s comedy scene has been steadily gaining momentum over the past few years, and that’s something you should probably already know, unless you’re a total recluse loser who’s afraid of laughter and fun. And just as the likes of Doogie Horner and Tommy Pope are starting to break nationally, the next rank of Philly’s funny guys are stepping up to take the reins of the local scene. Enter Kevin Ryan and Sidney Gantt, two comedians who perform regularly each week at shows such as Thursdays at the Raven Lounge and Laughs on Fairmount.

I recently sat down with Sidney and Kevin (seriously, we all sat down on proper seats) to talk about their new monthly show, Tough Stuff, which will start this Friday, February 22nd at The Headhouse  (122 Lombard St).

Aroundphilly: What’s different about the Tough Stuff Comedy Show?

Kevin Ryan: For one the show is hosted by both if us simultaneously, which is different from the usual show.

Sidney Gantt: Also, after their sets, we’ll sit down with a two of the comics for a ridiculous story; we then dissect every decision in that story with help from the audience.

AP: What type of comedians do you book for a show like this?

S: Funny comedians that don’t embarrass easily, so we can see what it takes to embarrass them. We’re actually not even trying to do a show, we’re just trying to find every comedian’s breaking point so we can be the only comics left.

K: For the first show we booked awesome comics who ended up being all good friends of ours.

AP: What is your goal for the Tough Stuff Comedy Show?

S: We really want this to be a show that comedians hear about and want to do because of how fun it is. And we want audiences to feel like they need to be at every show or they’ll miss something that could never be duplicated.

AP: Why the Headhouse?

K: The Head House has a really cool performance space upstairs that we really liked.  They also have an old school bathtub behind the bar, that hopefully I will end up in by the end of the night.

AP: How did you decide to do the show together?

S: When Kevin and I interact with each other, a crowd tends to form around us. Half the people think we’re hilarious, and the other half think we’re about to hilariously murder each other. With that being said, we  have some kind of strange chemistry that’s like finding a unicorn at a train wreck, and it’s weird at first, until you find out that the unicorn caused the train wreck and everything somehow seems to be okay.

AP: Why is there so much hostility between the two of you?

K: I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

AP: How are you able to also be friends?

S: I think we both keep coming back for the hostility. Anybody can base a friendship off of friendship, but what we have is special.

AP: If you could give your co-host any super power, what would it be?

K: I would give him the ability to finally beat me in an arm wrestling match.

S: I would give Kevin the power to convert fried foods into high self-esteem. I know that seems like I’m taking a shot, but I’m not. Kevin loves fried foods, and I support over indulgence, so I just want my buddy to be able to knock back a bucket of chicken and feel good about it.

Check out Tough Stuff’s Facebook page for more info and updates. And be sure to follow them on twitter @KevinRyan00 and @SidneyWithAnI.

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Chris Lipczynski

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