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So Bad It’s Good: Meet Philly’s Angry Young Man


“There appears to be an endless amount of poor literature out there,” said Brendan Kennedy, the host of Guilty Pleasures, a monthly comedy show Brendan Kennedythat shows the good in the bad.

Every month, Kennedy and his friends re-enact the worst they can find in screenplays, stories and more. The Guilty Pleasures cast has performed everything from college melodramas to confusing Mafia action-comedies, turning the dredges of the written word into non-stop hilarity.

Kennedy, a native of Montgomery County, gets his material mostly by scouring the Internet and talking to friends who may have a few skeletons in their closet. He even once made a purchase from a Christian door-to-door salesman to procure something dreadful. His favorite piece so far was a rejected script written for CBS’ “Two and ½ Men.”

“So many people love that show and it just irritates me,” Kennedy said. “I took great pleasure in presenting a really extra crappy version of their show to an audience's amusement.”

It may sound like Kennedy has a bit of anger in him, being that he finds enjoyment in the ridicule of popular sit-coms. Kennedy would be the first to tell you that, yes, he is indeed mad at the world.

“I was once described as a silly misanthrope, and I think that's a very good way to sum up my stand-up style,” Kennedy said. His main comedy influences are George Carlin and Doug Stanhope. However, he also draws a ton of inspiration from The Dead Kennedys, a seminal 80s punk rock group that was known for their furious anger at the world’s many hypocrisies.

“When I first heard their music, I remember thinking about how cool I thought it was that they were pissed at stupid people for being so dumb. From Reagan to hippies, they hated everyone who's personal philosophy was just justification for their crummy behavior, as opposed to real wisdom to live by,” Kennedy said. “And they used humor in their songs like, for example, ‘Kill the Poor.’ That's a song about neutron bombs, and how we could use them to just kill off the poor and build golf courses and country clubs in their place. I love mean and dark humor like that and that's what I try to do with my stand-up.”

But this is not to say that Kennedy is a surly bundle of unapproachable angst. Off-stage, he’s one of the nicest people around. But yes, he is angry. And he does take satisfaction from the poor work of others.

“The blood is on our hands,” he said.


Guilty Pleasures is performed monthly at The Shubin Theater, in conjunction with “PHIT Week.” His next show is Tuesday, August 5th at 8pm.