In EXIT INTERVIEW, local improviser Steve Kleinedler asks former members of the Philadelphia comedy scene about their time here and what they’re up to now.
Today, Steve chats with Meg Favreau. (Meg left Philadelphia the exact same weekend that Steve moved in!) Here, Meg did Meg & Rob Sketch Comedy, created and hosted Sketch Up or Shut Up, and was part of the improv ensemble Real Housewives of Philadelphia. In LA, Meg has taught sketch at The Nerdist School; written for a UCB Maude team; and written for, performed on, and directed house sketch teams at iO West. She’s also written sketches for The Fine Brothers, FRED, and Collab’s Team Internet Live. (Examples of her work are at the end of the interview.)
1. What years were you in Philly?
I lived in Philly from June 2005 until March 2011, and my first comedy performance–a puppet show with Rob Baniewicz as part of a Pixies tribute night at The Fire–was in late 2006.
2. What prompted you to leave Philly?
I wanted to write for TV, and that’s just easier to do if you live in LA.
3. What do you miss most about Philly?
I love how Philly comedians, at least when I was there, developed their own strong, unique voices. There was no UCB or iO or Second City or wherever to go to and learn, so people really followed their guts on what they found funny. Even after having been in LA for five years and having done festivals in other cities, some of the most unique, surprising, laugh-out-loud stuff I’ve seen has been from Philly people.
Non-comedy: Riding my bike everywhere. Very cold Yuengling on draft. Going inner tubing in the summer. Friends.
4. What’s your favorite recollection about the Philly comedy scene?
Oh, gosh. There are so many things!
My favorite memory from a show with Rob was one time when we hosted Sketch Up or Shut Up together as the Old City girls (who are terrible girls who go out in Old City, if that’s not obvious). At one point, Rob, dressed in drag, disappeared into the Shubin basement and came back up holding one those pasta meal posters, of the couple eating the spaghetti or whatever it was, and said “Hey, free pizza pictures!” even though there is no pizza in that image. This is probably a “you had to be there” sort of thing, but I still laugh out loud every time I think of it. I’m giggling right now writing this!
In general, Sketch Up or Shut Up was always such a delight, full of friendship and weirdness. My favorite part of each show was towards the end of the evening, when I’d ask people in the audience if anybody else had anything. That almost always ended up being some of the most transcendent, strange stuff.
Pretty much everything at Chip Chantry’s One Man Show for the moon landing anniversary, including Brendan Kennedy in a too-small Iron Man costume playing drunk Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
5. What would it take for you to move back?
A lot, honestly. There’s are many things I love about Philly, but I also really dislike the winter (anywhere, not just in Philadelphia). I also like living in a city where there are comedy jobs. Oh! And if they haven’t already, Johnny Brenda’s changing that weird bar bottleneck in the show space so I stop having panic attacks up there.
Check out some of Meg’s work at:
Also, Meg made this box for manual “Deal With It” gif sunglasses: https://vimeo.com/173624481
Meg’s website is megfavreau.com.