Phil Wang

Phil Wang

Former Cambridge Footlights president who won the 2010 Chortle Student Comedy Award at the start of his stand-up career. He was one of the contestants in series seven of Taskmaster in 2018 - the same year his stand-up routine featured in Netflix's Comedy Lineup series. In 2021, his first full-length special, Philly Philly Wang Wang was released on the same platform.
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Phil Wang: The Real Hero In All This

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Phil Wang has now reached the point where he has spent exactly half his 32 years in the UK, and half in Malaysia. Yet he still finds some caucasian foibles peculiar, observing them with the remote eye of a documentarian making White Planet. Westerners’ fear of reheating rice especially baffles him.

His astute reflections are delivered with an aloof, wry wit. While the material is often silly, he underplays it – subdued emotions that could well be down to his ultra-reserved Chinese father, whose coolness at what should have been a heartrending reunion is amusingly described here.

Wang’s stint in Australia has given him plenty to ponder, from Melbourne’s coffee culture to the national habit of abbreviating any word, however inappropriate. Some of these routines probably wouldn’t fly anywhere else, so it’s testament to his work ethic that he’s included them.

Even over Covid he recorded his first special at the London Palladium and published his memoirs. Mentioning them on stage may seem like humblebrags, but no one likes a bighead and he instantly undermines any sense of achievement. Netflix buried his stand-up show so deep he could barely find it, and he had to embarrassingly fact-check some intimate personal information in the book which leads to a very extended dick joke.

Wang has a fine way with words that produces some vivid mental images and excellent punchlines, while occasionally using linguistic flair to prop up more quotidian observations. His rant about people with photos of themselves in their own home would probably  be flimsy without the repetition of the phrase ‘pictures of people who live in the house, in the house.’

But a ‘free the nipple’ routine is beautifully absurd, highlighting a weird societal taboo, and more typical of a comic who combines intelligence and insight with dumb jokes, and a healthy streak of self-deprecating humour.

Phil Wang: The Real Hero In All This is at Max Watts at 6pm until April 16.

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Published: 14 Apr 2022


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Comedy Zone 2011

Life Doctor

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Phil Wang: Anti-Hero

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Phil Wang: Mellow Yellow

Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Phil Wang: Philth

Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Phil Wang: Philly Philly Wang Wang

Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Phil Wang: The Real Hero in All This


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