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Comedian Spotlight: Jon Goff

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Usually, a mention of the phrase “PowerPoint” brings dark thoughts about boring office or classroom presentations. But not to Jon Goff, who has made his mark by somehow turning a Microsoft Office application into a comedic medium

Jon GoffGoff uses a combination of photographs, images and other things he finds online to create a funny PowerPoint presentation. One example comes from a slideshow he developed entitled “How to Avoid Having Sex at Your Prom,” which featured a picture of “space cave art” he found on someone’s website. “I've always thought Powerpoint animation and fonts are really funny. Given that you can find a picture of almost anything you want online, I'm actually surprised more people aren't Powerpoint comedians,” Goff said. “Once I start digging around online, the jokes write themselves. It's pretty time consuming but I have no problem spending 15 or 20 hours looking at your Flickr account.”

Goff started to attend the popular weekly open mic night at Helium. However, as so many people try to get slots at Helium, Goff only found himself on stage a handful of times. In order to differentiate himself, he came up with the PowerPoint routine. He debuted it at a dinner party, where he showed his guests the stunningly wide array of potato-based ClipArt found in Microsoft packages. “It was a minor hit,” Goff said. He soon branched out to Bedtime Stories, a local monthly variety show based around a specific topic. Goff created a PowerPoint game called “Hipster or Carnival Worker,” where audience members had to guess if the person featured was a Vampire Weekend-listening cool cat or a guy who operates The Scrambler. (If audience members guessed correctly, they were awarded a free can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.)

Off-stage, Goff is as nice as nice can be. This could possibly be attributed to growing up in a small town in North Carolina. “I'm polite and agreeable. I'm a loud, easy laugher. If that makes me Southern, I'm glad. Also, I'm a gentleman through and through,” Goff said. Goff moved to Philly in 2000. And he’s stayed here ever since. “I love Philly. It's a shame a lot Philadelphians will never be able to see it through the wide eyes of a small town southern boy looking to have a good time. It's a blast,” Goff said. “ So stop littering already.”