It’s been more than 30 years, but Joe Conklin still has it.
In fact, the nationally known comedian — and a local Philly favorite — has only gotten better with age. Most might know Conklin from WMMR and WIP SportsRadio. He’s also appeared on NFL Films Presents and Comcast Sportsnet, among many other shows.
But regardless of where you might have seen him, fans certainly remember hearing him. Conklin is widely known for his extremely accurate and hilarious impressions of Philadelphia figures like Bernie Parent, Harry Kalas and Allen Iverson.
“I’ve pretty much been doing the same act for more than 30 years,” said Conklin with a laugh. “I don’t see myself doing anything out of character anymore.”
Well, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Conklin’s latest venture has brought him to Lower Bucks County — Bensalem to be precise — thanks to a new partnership with Parx Casino. Known to many as the man of a thousand voices, Conklin will be headlining VIP events, voicing radio spots and hosting a weekly comedy night at the casino.
“I’m very excited. It’s a real natural fit,” said Conklin. “Parx is right there. I have a big following in Philly, especially in the Northeast. I look forward to it. We’ll have some great shows.”
The Conklin’s Comedy Night will kick off in the Parx 360 Lounge tonight, April 17, and continue every Wednesday evening. He’ll share the night with local and nationally known comedians.
“I only work with a handful of comedians normally because I don’t do the road or a lot of clubs, so I am excited about working with a whole new cast of characters, so to speak,” Conklin explained. “We’re going to have regular headliners up there every week.”
Conklin’s usual antics can be expected on stage. He’ll probably replicate voices of former Philadelphia Phillies announcer, the late Harry Kalas, former Eagles coach Andy Reid, Allen Iverson and Cole Hamels. And his impressions aren’t restricted solely to the world of sports. He can pull off a pretty good impersonation of President Obama and Mayor Nutter as well.
An Olney native, Conklin broke into the comedy scene early. His first big break arrived in 1975, he says, when he was a seventh grader at St. Helena School.
“I was doing imitations of Bobby Clark and Bernie Parent,” recalled Conklin, referring to the two iconic former Philadelphia Flyers. “And they’re still in my act today.”
Following his adolescent fame, Conklin attended Cardinal Dougherty High School, where he announced the Cardinals football and basketball games. He graduated in 1980 and then took his skills to Temple University, where he studied communications and theater.
In 1991, Conklin scored his first big-time gig, appearing on 610 WIP SportsRadio for weekly comedy segments. Two years later, he was offered a spot on the station’s morning show.
Since then, Conklin has received twelve AIR awards for Excellence in Broadcasting and he has been recognized by the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. Conklin has appeared on Entertainment Tonight, ESPN: Baseball Tonight and America’s Funniest People.
Nowadays, Conklin is staying plenty busy working corporate events, performing stand up and most recently, teaming up with Parx Casino.
“Parx is a whole new ballgame in that I’ll have to do a regular set every week,” Conklin explained. “But the fact that I can make a living making people laugh, which is what I’ve been doing sine I was a kid, is pretty cool.”
Conkin’s Comedy Night will premier on April 17 at 8 p.m. at Parx Casino, located at 2999 Street Rd. in Bensalem. Cost is $20 per person and includes two drinks. For more information, visit www.parxcasino.com.