Temple elder hosts live game show – The Temple News

The game show Weeding Out The Stoned at the Helium Comedy Club on April 20. | ASHLEY GATONGO / NEWS FROM THE TEMPLE

Crammed onto a small wooden stage with eight comedians, Alex Grubard paid tribute to his favorite holiday on April 20 by hosting a marijuana-themed game show at the Helium Comedy Club.

“Watching people just be funny on stage without having written anything beforehand, just being super genuine, it’s really great,” said Grubard, an English alumnus from 2015. “It’s one of my favorite things about of game show animation.”

In 2015, Grubard premiered his game show “Weeding Out The Stoned,” where audience members choose the only sober person from a list of high-profile contestants. This year marks the show’s seventh anniversary, and they’re celebrating by visiting nine venues across the country, with a special stop at the Helium Comedy Club of Philadelphia, located at 20th and Sansom Street, last Wednesday to honor the city where the show began. .

The eight comedians competing on Wednesday’s show included Jules Posner, Mariasha Makarova and Sidney Gantt.

The show featured nine rounds of sobriety tests, like reciting the alphabet backwards and explaining concepts, like how the U.S. Senate works. Candidates’ responses were timed, and at the end of each round, audience members shouted out whether they thought each individual candidate was “stoned” or “sober”.

The one who received the most boos from the audience left the stage, while the others stayed for the next round.

Before the start of the first round – “30-second explanations” – Grubard appointed audience member Jamie Lynn Roberts to judge the crowd’s responses and select the round’s loser.

Roberts, a stay-at-home mom, came to the show with her husband to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. She was both shocked and nervous when Grubard chose her to be a judge because she has stage fright and doesn’t like being the center of attention. However, she took on the task because she could do it from her seat, she said.

While the tests generally remain the same for each show, Grubard included a special addition on Wednesday night – a test where contestants had to suck helium from green balloons on stage and do a bit of standing improv.

Grubard enjoys interacting with the public and the competitors because it is a unique and authentic experience in the moment.

“I felt like everyone was laughing on stage, everyone had their moments to shine,” Grubard said.

Grubard selects candidates from local comedy clubs in each city he travels to. It does this to enhance the audience experience.

“It’s fun to have new blood on the show and new faces, people who are genuine because they haven’t been on the show 10 times,” Grubard said.

Makarova reached the final rounds of the game on Wednesday night. She had previously been on the show when it was held at the Good Good Comedy Theater on 11th Street near Spring, and was especially excited for Wednesday night’s edition because she wanted to try the helium balloon test. Until then, she had always been afraid to breathe helium.

“I conquered one of my fears,” Makarova said.

There were 16 contestants the last time Makarova appeared on the show, and she felt she had a better chance of winning on Wednesday because there were fewer contestants. She enjoyed her time on stage and felt the show was a great way to engage with the audience and celebrate the 4/20 holiday.

Posner, a Temple University student in the Master of Sports Business program, made it to the show’s final round, where he won after reciting the alphabet backwards.

Posner met Grubard nearly eight years ago in his hometown of San Francisco at a show they were performing together. The two have stayed in touch ever since and, because he’s a local comedian, Grubard asked him to compete on Wednesday.

As a stand-up comedian, Posner felt the show was a good distraction from his regular gig as it allowed him to be more creative and interactive with the audience. He was thrilled to participate and even more excited to win.

“It’s okay not to do your material, and just to do something different, something that’s a really different kind of shared experience, because people are actively participating in the show,” Posner said.

Grubard enjoys hosting every show and hopes it leaves contestants and audience members with a fresh perspective.

“I hope everyone had a good time, and maybe someone in the audience will have a second thought when their kids show up high,” Grubard said.