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One Small Step-Chip Chantry, Space Cadet


On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong made one big leap for mankind as he walked upon the moon.

Forty years later, local comedian Chip Chantry is hosting a comedy show dedicated to the moon landing. But he’s not doing it out of any dreams of personal space travel. It’s all about timely pragmatism.

“Do I have any fascination with the moon landing? No. None whatsoever. Frankly, I am still not convinced the entire thing was not staged. This month's show just happens to land (pun intended) on the 40th anniversary of man first walking on the moon,” Chantry said.

Chantry’s show is entitled… ahem… Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (w/ special guests), a monthly event held at Old City’s Khyber. It features the best in local comedy -- everything from individual stand-up, to local sketch comedy acts and all points in between.

“I have the drive, determination, and ambition it takes to produce and star in a one man show. I simply lack the talent and charisma to pull it off. So I outsource those departments to the best comedic talents in the city,” Chantry said. “What started as one boy's dream has become a comedy variety show of epic proportions. “

Last night's edition of Chip Chantry’s One Man Show featured all of the acts paying homage to the lunar landing in some fashion. His show is perfectly indicative of the local Philly comedy scene; everyone does things just a little bit differently than they do elsewhere.

On top of hosting his own show, Chantry has become a rising star in regional stand-up. He’s a regular at Center City’s Helium Comedy Club. He also just returned from a trip to Austin, Texas, a city he has performed at previously.

On-stage, Chip has an Eddie Haskell persona. He has the look of the boy next door, but his material reveals a skewed outlook on the world.  As a kid, Chantry was an avid viewer of MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour, a show which launched many a career. He knew then that one day he wanted to pursue comedy and eventually took a local comedy class.

He’s kept going ever since.

While Chantry performs with the grace of a skilled veteran, he has a perverse fascination for the shows that haven’t gone so well for him. One of his favorites came while emceeing Bloomsburg University’s version of American Idol, entitled “Bloom Idol.” It was a complete fiasco.

“Each contestant awkwardly stumbled through a rendition of their favorite Sarah McLachlan tune, followed by the inexplicable standing ovations of the packed hall. Then, each of these deluded sophomores would walk off stage, tears of joy streaming down their cheeks, and talk about the other contestants behind their backs,” Chantry said. “Meanwhile, I had to do material in between each of these ego orgies. So there I am, standing on a huge stage, in front of hundreds of faces inhaling Skittles and bawling over how stellar their suite mate's performance was, and I am rattling off lines like, ‘So, by round of applause, who here has pets? I did get consistent laughter though… from my brother on the ride home.”