Visible Friends Network was founded towards the end of 2012, around the time of the purported Mayan Apocalypse. Some people responded to the non-stop discussion of that new age nonsense by constructing bunkers in their back yards, some invested in healing crystals and magic “detox” diets, and a lot of us quietly muttered, “Oh geez, how stupid can you get?” But a chosen few got off their duffs and decided to form a VFN, a group that would use comedy to promote science and critical thinking.
GET REAL. COMEDY YOU CAN BELIEVE IN is an evening of stand-up comedy centered around freethought and skepticism, and it’s already the fifth such night they’ve organized. Some big names in Philadelphia comedy have come together to talk about… Well, there isn’t a very clear thread. We get one bit about intelligent design and Lego people that goes over well, and another about the Orthodox Jewish tradition of metzitzah b’peh (I’m sparing you the details, but it involves a penis, a mouth, and the word of God), but there’s hardly any science or critical thinking. For the most part, the sets are amiable but aimless. The comics are varied—some are more polished than others—but all the performers handle the crowd adeptly and land some seriously good punchlines. Most surprisingly, half of the acts are not white males. That kind of diversity is nice to see in a night of stand-up. For a gathering of skeptics, who tend to be very white and very male, it’s absolutely fantastic. [Underground Arts] September 19, 2013, fringearts.ticketleap.