Northeast Times

Joe Conklin: A perfect match

— Joe Conk­lin is team­ing up with Parx Casino and will be host­ing ‘Conk­lin’s Com­edy Night’ every Wed­nes­day.

Joe Conk­lin ra­dio per­son­al­ity on 93.3 WM­MR’s morn­ing pro­gram. John Tag­gart

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.

You can reach at myerkov@bsmphilly.com.

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