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A Family Affair. Chris Morris: Philly's Family Guy


Roxborough is one of Philly’s most family-friendly neighborhoods. It is a part of the city where older brothers take younger brothers to baseball games, a  Chris Morrisplace where moms take their daughters out for shopping sprees, a place where senior citizens gather for Bingo nights and, as made clear by the Morris family, it is a place where father and son can perform a comedy show together.

29-year-old Chris Morris has worked the city’s stand-up comedy venues for a few years now, wowing audiences with an old-school observational flair. His father, Speedy, has worked the city’s basketball sidelines for the past few decades, wowing audiences with victory after victory.

Every so often, the Morris’ take the stage at Roxborough’s Valley View Inn, hosting what they call “The Chris and Dad Show,” a comedy extravaganza that combines Chris’ manic antics with his father’s sly straight-man style, while also raising money for a variety of causes. “I love doing the show,” Chris said. “I get to work with my father. He’s my idol.”

Their first show together was Chris’ comedy debut. He was a junior in high school when his dad came up with the idea. At the time, Chris largely did impressions of famed personalities such as the Blues Brothers and Stevie Wonder. “I did what every young comic does,” Chris said. “I stole stuff.”

Chris’ interest in comedy began much earlier. At the age of eight, while vacationing down the shore, his father took him to a stand-up show. Chris fell in love with the idea of being an entertainer and, ever since that time, has chased this dream.

However, over time, Chris soon developed his own style, graduating into the city’s stand-up scene after taking a class at the Comedy Cabaret in Northeast Philly. Chris soon found himself working at various private events and halls throughout the city, many times with local act Joey Callahan in the Irish-  American themed “Lads of Comedy.”

One of Chris’ biggest influences is Don Rickles, the legendary stand-up comedian known for asking audience member’s questions and responding with hilariously insulting comebacks. Chris also reveres Chris Farley, Adam Sandler and Norm Macdonald, three people who starred on Saturday Night Live during his formative comedy years.

Chris, too, has dreams of one day acting on Saturday Night Live. He currently has one film role on his resume, playing a character in “Kids In America,” a 2005 film that also included Nicole Richie and George Wendt.

But until Chris reaches the world of Hollywood, you can be sure he will still be a Roxborough kid, doing what Roxborough kids do best: being a member of the family.