Philadelphia, PA – Billed as a brutal night of comedy for two local sports talks legends, guests at the Sports Roast of Angelo Cataldi and Howard Eskin, held Thursday night at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia, were subjected to flat jokes and bad puns from local sports figures for nearly two hours.
However, the room was abuzz after an up and coming comic force really made its presence felt throughout the event.
Jim Dennings, a South Jersey resident who bought a ticket to support Philly Coaches vs. Cancer, said the night started off rough but quickly turned around once the audience got on the same page.
“Joe Conklin got on stage and started doing his stupid Andy Reid impression for the millionth time, and I just kind of blanked out. I knew I was going to be in for a long night,” Dennings said.
But then, something miraculous happened.
“While he (Conklin) was going on and on about how he needed to put Cataldi and Eskin in better positions to win, I started to daydream about Conklin collapsing on stage from a massive heart attack and it just brought a smile to my face. I noticed twinkles in peoples eyes at my table, and soon I couldn’t stop laughing. It was hilarious to think about him just succumbing to a massive cardiac event and the roast ending so we could all just go home. Everyone was in stitches, it was killing!” Dennings said, still chuckling from the memory.
Guests reportedly fantasized about Eskin having a malfunctioning pacemaker go on the fritz during the introductory jokes and the event being cancelled, Al Morganti needing an emergency stent placed before intermission and the event being cancelled, and Bernard Hopkins ranting about Donovan McNabb for so long it triggered a mild heart attack and the event being cancelled.
However, the highlight of the roast came 45 minutes into the night, as guests reportedly experienced a synchronized day dream of Cataldi abruptly standing up from his chair, clutching his chest, and falling face first into an open grave.
“I couldn’t stop laughing. What a great gag! That really brought a smile to my face and was absolutely worth the $125 price of admission. Such a fresh, hilarious premise. And it didn’t need to be crass or dirty to get laughs, I liked that,” Amanda Thompson of Queen Village told the Coggin.
At press time, Merril Reese was notably the only dignitary at the event that guests did not fantasize keeling over and being transported to Jefferson University Hospital.