Dan Gross: Arlen Specter: He'll be missed by Big Daddy Graham and Joe Conklin

Arlen Specter was a hit during the open mic segment at the Helium Comedy Club on Sansom Street.
Arlen Specter was a hit during the open mic segment at the Helium Comedy Club on Sansom Street. (DAVID SWANSON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: October 16, 2012

AMONG THOSE who will miss Arlen Specter are his comedy buddies.

The former longtime U.S. senator, who died of cancer Sunday at 82, released a statement while hospitalized recently that he looked forward to getting back on the stand-up comedy stage.

He was booked to perform Nov. 16 at the Media Theatre with 94 WIP's Big Daddy Graham and Joe Conklin.

Graham recalls the first time he worked with Specter at the Phoenixville Theater a couple of years back.

"I had never met him, but had interviewed him a lot on the air. I was sitting in the green room waiting to go on," Graham said.

"And he came into the room all by himself and said to me, 'I hear you are battling cancer,' " said Graham, who was in treatment for throat cancer at the time.

"And we talked for about 20 minutes. Then I realized how he managed to survive in his line of work as long as he did. Personal contact," said Graham, adding that Specter went out on stage that night "and killed."

Graham offered his condolences to Specter's family and said he'll be irreplaceable at the Media show.

OUT AND ABOUT

* "Desperate Housewives" star

Eva Longoria dined with a party of 20 in a private room at Pod (3636 Sansom) after speaking Wednesday at the Wharton School. Longoria went for California roll and chicken Negi robata with Tokyo scallion.

* Torre (1217 S. Broad) held closing time on Saturday night to handle the needs of three big defensive tackles from the Detroit Lions who had a late arrival at the airport.

Torre owner Mark Rosenfeld kept his big and tall menswear store open for Corey Williams, Sammie Hill and Nick Fairley, who picked up sportswear from Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Jordan in mostly 3X and 4X tall sizes. The guys ended up back at the team hotel in time for their curfew and meeting.

'Future Weather' coming soon

"Future Weather," the locally shot and environmentally themed family drama starring Lili Taylor ("Say Anything," "Six Feet Under), Amy Madigan ("Field of Dreams"), William Sadler ("Shawshank Redemption," "Die Hard 2"), Perla Haney-Jardine ("Kill Bill," "Spider-Man 3") and Marin Ireland ("Homeland," "Mildred Pierce") will have its first Philadelphia screenings at the Philadelphia Film Festival.

The film, which played the Tribeca Film Festival and nearly a dozen other fests, screens at the Prince Music Theater (1415 Chestnut) at 7:35 p.m. Oct. 22, 5 p.m. Oct. 25 and 4:45 p.m. Oct. 26.

Writer/director Jenny Deller is in competition for the Pinkenson Award for Local Feature and the Archie Award for First Feature Director.

The film was produced by Kristin Fairweather.

This weekend the film is one of five features up for a $100,000 prize at the Heartland Film Festival in Indiana.

For more info, visit futureweathermovie.com or filmadelphia.org for full fest lineup.

Allentown anchor's Twitter milestone

Rob Vaughn, anchor of 69 News at WFMZ in Allentown and a Temple graduate, became the millionth Twitter follower of Comedy Central's "Daily Show," on Friday.

The show's Twitter account, @TheDailyShow posted "Thanks to @RobVaughnNews, our 1 MILLIONTH FOLLOWER! We'd give you a prize but . . . come on. Aren't you a little late to the party?"

'Next Big Thing' at North Star

Singer Donna Missal, who appeared on Oxygen's "The Next Big Thing," plays at 8 p.m. Monday at the North Star Bar (27th and Poplar). Musician and producer Mike Onufrak, a La Salle College High and Temple grad who has toured in the past with AM60 and the Mosquitos, is also on the bill.


Contact Dan Gross at grossd@phillynews.com or 215-854-5963. Follow him on Twitter @PhillyGossip or at Facebook.com/dangrossphillygossip. Read his blog at PhillyGossip.com, or for his latest columns see philly.com/dangross.

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