Stand-up comedy from the Hammersmith Apollo. In this episode, stand-up and TV star Joe Lycett hosts as he introduces Ivo Graham and Phil Wang to the stage.
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This programme contains some strong language.
Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome your host for tonight, Joe Lycett.
Hammersmith Apollo, hello, everyone!
Give me an, "Ooh!"
Give me an, "Ah, ha, ha, ha!"
-Ah, ha, ha, ha!
Yes! Let me hear you say, "Hell, yeah!"
Then, as camp as you can, give me an, "Ooh, no!"
You shook your head at that.
He's going, "I'm not going to do a camp thing!"
Give yourselves a round of applause.
So, right, I broke my elbow.
-I did. I got into a fight.
-Did you win?
-You should see the other guy.
She's fine, she's back at school.
No, I don't want to talk about the elbow.
I don't want to talk about it, cos, you know, I just want to keep it low-key.
That's why I wore this sling.
What I've realised is I'm not going to be able to get up now.
I've really shat myself up, here, haven't I?
So I want to talk about Birmingham, because I'm from Birmingham.
Anyone from Birmingham in? CHEERING
Oh, loads of you. Hello, welcome.
I want to talk about my friend, Claire. She's from Dudley.
If you don't know Dudley, they have very thick accents there.
IN A BIRMINGHAM ACCENT: She sort of talks like that, like she's waiting to die.
I love Claire, but she's a few condoms short of an orgy, that girl.
She microwaves her clothes to dry them.
She never cleans the microwave, so she always smells of baked beans.
And she gets so drunk. Anyone getting drunk tonight?
CHEERING Oh, a few of you. OK.
Out of jobs. OK.
She gets so drunk.
We go out gay clubbing, you see.
You know, we'll club a gay to death maybe once a month.
HE SIGHS Oh, she gets so drunk!
I had to put her in a cab before midnight the other week.
She'd got this bag of chips covered in curry sauce.
She's not very graceful in heels at the best of times,
she sort of looks like when I put toilet rolls on my cat's legs.
You know, just sort of...
Taxi driver spotted her a mile off.
He's like, "You're not coming in this cab with those chips."
She went, "All I want in my life is these chips.
"That's all I've ever wanted."
He's like, "If you soil the cab in any way, you'll have to pay a big fine."
She says, "I won't, I promise, I just want these chips."
He was like, "All right."
I open the door for her, she tripped,
just pissed the chips into the cab!
It was like all over the window, into the chair.
Basically, she was so drunk she just went, "Shhh!"
and started pushing them into the road. She's not right, she's not right!
When she gets drunk, she comes up with these little wisdoms, these little philosophies.
She's come up with one I'm trying to live my life by.
Claire thinks if somebody is difficult with you in life,
awkward, making your life hard for any reason,
you shouldn't try and rationalise with them,
you shouldn't try and speak with them on their level,
you should try and out-weird them.
Which came very useful for me in my local post office.
There's a woman in my local post office, I don't like her.
She's been there 20 years. She's smug.
She's got one of those faces that's so smug it sort of folds into itself.
She looks like someone's punched a quiche.
AND she's called Lorraine.
She's always got some quip, some line.
I went in with my passport form, I was getting a new passport,
and they do a check-and-send service in the post office.
So I handed the form and she licked a finger, and went through and went,
"Oh, your referee has spelt 'neighbour' wrong."
And I went, "What?"
She's like, "He's missed out the H on 'neighbour'. You'll have to fill it in again."
I said, "Well, surely that's all right?"
And she went, "No, no, there can be no risk of any confusion as to what that word means.
"You'll have to fill it in again." Pushed it back at me.
I thought, I'm not having this. It takes ages to fill out that form.
You have to send off for it, you have to get a referee.
I thought, I'm not having it.
So I thought, I'll be a bit weird with her.
So, I went, "Oh, no, sorry, he's not my neighbour, he's my doctor."
She went, "What?" I said, "He's misspelt 'doctor'."
"Doctor, obviously spelt D-O-C-T-O-R,
"he's spelt it N-E-I-G-B-O-U-R. He spelt doctor wrong."
And she went, "No, that clearly says 'neighbour'."
SARCASTICALLY: "Oh, does it?"
And then I glassed her.
Now... Oh, I've got a question.
Anyone in from Isis?
No-one saying "no" very quickly.
I was thinking about Isis the other day. I was thinking, why would you join Isis?
I think the people that join Isis, they have a lack of love in their hearts, that's what I think.
You can't push a gay off a bridge with love in your heart.
Believe me, I've tried!
I was thinking, where is there an abundance of love in the universe?
And I realised - it's Grindr.
So, I've signed up to Grindr posing as an Isis militant.
Go with me!
If you don't know what Grindr is,
it's the dating app, it's like a gay Tinder.
I say it's dating, it's an absolute fuck-fest.
So I'd had a few conversations. A guy called Craig was the first one.
He put, "Lol, are you Isis?"
I said, "Yes, death to the West."
He put, "OMG, I know a drag act called Alexandra Burqa, you'd love her."
AS X FACTOR VOICE: Alexandra Burqa!
I'd love that!
I was in character as an Isis militant, though, so I said, "Doesn't sound very good."
He said, "Yeah, to be fair, it is shit. Do you want to meet?"
So, success, someone willing to love someone from Isis.
Next one, oh, I was pleased with this.
It was James, his name was.
He put, "Want a blow?"
I put, "What building?"
He put, "OK...
"Tell me more about yourself."
I said, "I serve the Islamic State."
He put, "I serve in Wagamama's."
He actually did! He did!
Then I didn't reply for a bit, because I was a bit busy.
I got another message about an hour later.
He put, "Tell me, if you could do anything,
"what would you want to do to me?"
I said, "I would destroy you and your civilisation."
He put, "That's hot."
"Where shall we meet?"
I said, "In hell!"
He put, "Is that a nightclub?" So, I think that's a success.
Final one, Barry, bless Barry.
He put, "ASL?",
Which means age, sex, location, if you're not familiar.
I put, "18, male, Syria."
He put, "Syria?"
I said, "Yes, I'm serious."
He put, "Ha-ha, I'm in Milton Keynes."
I said, "Milton Keynes is full of whores."
He put, "OMG, tell me about it."
A bit of business I've been up to.
So, yes, I live in Birmingham still.
I know I don't have the accent. I know, I just never had it.
I was watching Fox News the other week.
The reputable news source that is Fox News.
They described Birmingham as 100% Muslim.
Alaikum Salaam's what you say back. Don't worry, we'll work it out.
I was interested in that, because 100% Muslim they said.
There's a sort of truth in it, there's a lot of Muslims in Birmingham.
A lot of all cultures there.
We're known for being multicultural. We're quite good at it, really.
One of the most famous Muslims in Birmingham is Malala Yousafzai.
I don't know if people are familiar with her? Yes, she's brilliant!
CHEERING Yes, yes.
If you don't know who she is, she's an 18-year-old schoolgirl
who was shot at by the Taliban for wanting to be educated.
She now goes to Edgbaston High School For Girls.
It's a private school, I don't think she pays the fees.
I personally would hate to go to school with Malala Yousafzai.
Can you imagine a show-and-tell day with Malala?
"OK, class, what have you brought in? Sally, let's start with you."
And Sally goes, "I've brought in a papier mache cat that I made."
"OK, anyone else bring anything in. Malala, did you bring anything in?"
"This Nobel Peace Prize."
"Sally, you're a piece of shit!"
I'd hate to be her teacher as well.
You wouldn't be able to tell Malala off for anything.
"You on your phone, Malala?"
"Texting Barack Obama, actually, so..."
"Oh, sorry! Um... Sally, you're a piece of shit."
Poor Sally. No, I made her up.
No, I was annoyed about that. I was annoyed when they said we're 100% Muslim,
because when they say things like that, there's a subtext, isn't there?
What they're saying is that we should be worried about that -
there's something terrifying, frightening about Muslims.
I think we've got a problem.
I think we're using the word Muslim far too quickly to describe people
doing atrocities, when they don't represent Muslims any more than I do.
And I think we should be using a more accurate word for those people,
which I'm going to argue is "knobhead".
It's a political rally now, don't worry.
There'd be levels of knobhead.
You'd have a moderate knobhead, all the way up to fundamental knobhead.
And if we all did it, if we all did it, the news would have to catch up.
They'd have to go, "Today, two knobheads bombed a car."
They'd have to do it if we all...
And it wouldn't necessarily be to do with terrorist activity,
not just that, just ANY knobhead-y activity would get the knobhead word. I've thought of some.
People that wear a festival wristband AFTER a festival.
The worst! "I went to Reading..."
It's November, you're in a Costa, you're a knobhead!
Couples that put a lock on a bridge.
You're both knobheads, sorry. Hate that, hate it.
Have to be careful here, I don't mean all mothers by any means,
just a lot of my friends are having kids at the minute
and it's the sort of mothers that go, "Don't tell me how to raise my kids!"
And you're like, OK,
but she is trying to eat a Petits Filous with an electric razor, so...
You're a bit of a knobhead, aren't you? Ever so slightly!
Amanda Holden, fundamental knobhead.
I just don't like her, I don't like her!
Don't encourage me, because I'm sure she's lovely,
I just think she's despicable.
No, I don't have a problem with Muslims in Birmingham at all,
happy to have them, I think they add to our city and to our culture.
I think the big problem we have in Birmingham,
it's happening around the country, actually...
We have a lot of artisan coffee shops.
You know the sort of places I'm on about?
Shoreditch is full of them, kind of like distressed wood,
that kind of thing.
And they serve flat whites and they'll say things like,
"We support local artists."
And you know that because the art on the wall is shit.
Dozens, dozens in Birmingham, they're all shit.
Oh, no, there's one I quite like, there's one I quite like.
I can't say the name for legal reasons.
They do an avocado and feta smash!
Very aggressive word, I feel,
for what is essentially pressing with a fork.
Avocado and feta smash.
And for £1, £1.50 extra, you can get a poached egg on top.
It's a lovely way to start the day.
I went in recently and I said to the girl,
I said "I'd like the avocado and feta smash, please, with a poached egg".
And she went, "Oh, we don't do the egg any more."
I said, "why's that?"
She went, "The kitchen was struggling to cope."
When I hear the phrase "struggling to cope", I think of, I don't know,
a single mother, trying to juggle career, childcare, heartbreak.
I don't think of someone cooking a fucking egg!
So I'm boycotting them now. Boycotting them.
We've got a 24-hour Starbucks as well.
Nobody asked for one, we've got one.
The staff at 4am - genetically closer to a moth.
I've only been in once, it was about 4am, actually.
I got back late from a show, I thought, I'll treat myself, have a hot chocolate.
The guy behind the counter obviously couldn't cope with daylight
or anything because he was like, "Can I take a name"?
I was like "Yeah, it's Joe. Can I ask why?"
He was like, "Just in case the order gets confused."
I looked around an empty Starbucks.
Shuffled along to the service counter,
took him ages to make it and then he went, "Hot chocolate for John."
So to prove a point, I just waited.
"John will be here in a minute, won't he?
Oh, he loves a hot chocolate, our John!"
Now, I'm going to tell you a final thing
and then I'm going to bring on your first act.
Are you up for this?
What I want to tell you about is the thing I've been doing in my office.
I've got this office in Birmingham,
it's like a little space that I sort of write stuff in and whatever,
and I've got, like, this snap frame on the door, which is where
the other businesses have their business name.
But I'm not a business, so I just leave it blank most of the time.
But sometimes I get drunk in the office and I put silly things in the snap frame.
And I just did a thing where I put in the snap frame,
I put a sign up, I put a sign up which said,
"Have you seen this cat?"
with a picture underneath it that's clearly a fox.
Then I just put,
"Missing from the area, answers to the name of Samantha Peterson.
Any information to Peter at [email protected]"
I just made up these things.
Made myself smile, didn't think of it again
until a couple of days later I got an e-mail from Carol.
"Mr Lycett, it has come to our attention that you have a sign
"for a lost cat in your office door snap frame.
"May I remind you that it states in your contract that we have a strict
"policy on animals in the building, as this is a workplace.
"Animals are not permitted, and anyone found with animals
"in their units could have their contract terminated.
"Regards, Carol, Management Assistant."
First of all, I checked the contract, nothing in there about animals,
so she's got nothing on me.
Second of all, it's a picture of a fox, Carol.
"Hello, Carol. My apologies, there has been a simple misunderstanding.
"There is indeed a sign for a lost cat in the snap frame,
"but Samantha Peterson is not my cat.
"I am attempting to find her as I believe she has been stealing from me.
"I popped into the office late one night last week
"and discovered that my collection of antique biscuits had been disturbed."
"Outside the building I spotted a cat and instinctively shouted, Samantha Peterson!"
"The cat turned, and so I deduced that is her name.
"I know she has my biscuits.
"Any help you can provide would be most appreciated.
"Many thanks, Joe Lycett."
Carol sent me a reply.
"Mr Lycett, I'm sorry to hear about the disruption at your office,
"but I would like to politely ask you to take the sign down.
"The surrounding businesses have made complaints
"that their clients are being disturbed by your sign..."
How you can be disturbed by a sign, I don't know.
She sent me another e-mail straight after, she said,
"Also, can I ask what the Peter Peterson e-mail address is on the sign?
"Are you sharing the office space? Because it's a sole occupancy."
I replied, "Hello, Carol, no, Peter is my private investigator.
"He has agreed to live in the office and work on this case for
"as long as is necessary.
"I've replaced the sign, with my compliments. Many thanks, Joe."
I replaced the sign with the same picture of a fox,
just with "Wanted dead or alive" over it.
A day later, another e-mail from Carol.
"Mr Lycett, we've had more complaints
"that you've replaced the sign with a very similar sign.
"Also, you can't have anyone living in your office.
"Is there a time we can speak on the phone today?
"It would be easier to discuss this rather than over e-mail. Regards, Carol."
I didn't want to speak to her over the phone, so I replied,
"Carol, I'm afraid that will not be possible.
"I've been advised by Peter Peterson that I shouldn't use the phone
"as it could be bugged."
She replied, "OK, Mr Lycett,
"I just had one of our security guys go round
"and there is no-one answering the door and the lights appear to be off,
"so I'm fairly confident your investigator isn't living in the office.
"As long as you don't have pets in the office,
"I'm happy to forget the whole thing. Regards, Carol."
Very diplomatic, very considerate, on Carol's part.
"Carol, Carol, Carol..."
"Of course your security man didn't spot Peter Peterson -
"he is a private investigator.
"And shape shifter.
"He lives in the cracks.
"He's watching you when you least expect it.
"He lives in the shadows of your darkest fears
"and your weakest moments when you're naked and vulnerable,
"he's there, watching, waiting, protecting.
"He lives through all of us, within us, beside us.
"He's the breath on the back of your neck, the breeze in your hair, the moisture in the air. Cheers, Joe."
I also put,
"PS, also, FYI, I found Samantha Peterson last night.
"I slaughtered her as a sacrifice to our beloved gods
"and burned the body in a tribal ceremony.
"I took the sign down this morning."
Carol replied, "Thank you."
So, yeah, I'm going to introduce the first act now.
I love this guy. I've worked with him for years,
since we both started stand-up, and I just think he's wonderful.
So please give all your love and warmth for the amazing
Good evening, Live At The Apollo!
My name's Ivo. I'm going to tell you a few things about myself.
Let's start off with the big news, I've got Amazon Prime.
Not sure how many of you are currently riding
the Amazon Prime wagon.
It's a hell of a wagon to ride,
living in the next-day delivery dream.
What a thrill.
Or at least it was, for the first month.
You know how it is, just meant to be a bit of fun before Christmas,
Forgot to cancel the trial in time.
Now I'm trapped.
Walking around every day with an Amazon Prime subscription
I neither want nor need.
The world's shittest superpower.
Going up to strangers in the street,
"Do you need anything tomorrow? It can be arranged."
But people are jealous.
Like my flatmate, he tried to muscle in on my Amazon Prime action.
He said, "I need a book quite urgently, would you mind ordering it for me off your account?"
I said, "Yeah, sure, why not? Spread the love."
But then overnight, had a bit of a change of heart,
thought to myself, you know what? No!
My Prime privilege is not something to be bandied around willy-nilly.
I've paid my money - I didn't mean to, but I have.
I've joined an exclusive club
and it's not for me to bail-out the muggles.
So that book arrived the following morning
and I kept it in my possession for another two to four working days.
Because I'm an extremely petty man.
What else can I tell you about myself?
I've got a girlfriend, that's very exciting.
Or at least it was, for the first month.
You know how it is -
just meant to be a bit of fun before Christmas, really, but...
I forgot to cancel the trial in time.
Now I'm trapped.
I'm joking. I am extremely grateful.
I was a very late starter
to the whole world of sex and relationships.
I remember there was a bet amongst my group of friends at school
that I'd be the guy in the group that would not have sex
until after they left school.
To most people, that's an insult.
To me, very much challenge accepted.
I took those expectations and I surpassed them
by the length of an additional educational establishment.
I'm not ashamed of that,
tried to turn it into something I'm sort of proud of,
like a sort of modesty Top Trump.
Obviously I'm well aware that age of virginity loss,
not an official category in most official Top Trump sets, but...
I like to imagine that it is, because if you had this guy,
your opponent would need to be packing
some pretty strong Christians or he'd be going home.
I wasn't helped when I was growing up by the fact that
I spent most of my childhood at an all-boys boarding school.
My parents sent me away to an all-boys boarding school
for the first time when I was seven years old.
I don't blame them. It was a good decision. I was a shit.
I was asking too many questions.
The big questions, questions no parents are prepared to answer.
How are babies made?
What's happened to the dog?
Why does Home Alone 3 have a different child?
Too many questions.
"Send him away at the earliest possible juncture,
"let somebody else explain Macaulay's problems to the boy."
For five years as a teenager I studied at probably
the least popular all-boys boarding school of them all.
I studied at a school called Eton College.
I like to drop that quite early into all of my stand-up sets,
just in case anyone in the crowd was liking me too much.
I wasn't a popular kid at Eton, but I wasn't bullied, no,
and I'll tell you why, because I was house catering rep.
Nobody fucked around with the house catering rep,
I'll tell you that much for free.
Or, to narrow it down,
nobody with a nut allergy fucked around with the house catering rep.
The rest of the boys, not so bothered, admittedly,
but those select few,
living every day in constant fear of the genuine anaphylactic danger
that I posed.
Skulking around in the canteen,
big bag of macadamias poking out my pocket,
as if to say, "You know who I am, and you know what I'm capable of."
Most exciting times for me as a teenager,
going to parties in my holidays.
Usually about one party a year, just to keep my hand in.
I wasn't invited by girls my own age, no,
I was invited by their mums, who in turn were asked to do so by my mum.
My mum was like my agent, back in the day.
Very popular mum on the East Wiltshire social scene.
Some of that popularity trickled down
and I'd go to these parties and I'd be a hit -
not with the girls my own age, but with their mums,
because the mums trusted me.
They knew what they were getting from the other boys
at their daughters' parties,
getting red wine stains in the carpet and sexually transmitted infections.
Not from this guy. They knew what they were getting from me -
a box of Quality Street at the start of the night,
a hand with the washing up after dinner,
and a thank you letter in first class post the following day.
I don't like to boast too much on stage, but I'm not ashamed to say
that I write a fucking good thank you letter.
All the trimmings, ink fountain pen, velum parchment paper,
one crazy summer even experimented with a wax seal.
The overheads were too crippling in the end,
but it was a hell of a summer, I can tell you.
It's a disappearing art in the digital age,
the old-fashioned thank you letter. I loved it, the formality of it.
Writing my address in the top right-hand corner,
just in case any of the mums wanted to write back.
They never did, but I gave them the option.
Date underneath, the classic six-figure date formation -
day, month, year.
Unless it was an American family, obviously, in which case
still day, month, year, because they must learn.
Changing the world one letter at a time.
Sometimes I was so keen to get started on my thank you letter
I'd start it while still at the party itself.
Usually in the late hours of the night a schism would occur,
everyone else would be in the next dorm playing spin the bottle or strip poker,
I'd be on my own at the desk, bashing out the first draft,
deciding whether or not to dedicate an entire paragraph
to the Viennetta.
I went to university and things got more exciting at university.
There were girls there, I became friends with them, sometimes good friends.
I was often told by my female friends
that I would make a great boyfriend.
These females and their addiction to the hypothetical tense.
When will they have the courage to turn these theories into a reality?
I'm sure a few of us here have been told that we would make great boyfriends or great girlfriends.
One of those compliments which loses its appeal quite quickly, I think,
like being told by your computer you have excellent password strength.
Eventually the compliment wears off.
I know I've got a good password.
How about a bit more attention to my banging secret question?
The real jewel in the crown,
an entire childhood spent misleading people about who my best friend
was specifically with this in mind.
At university it stopped being about going to parties,
started being about going to clubs.
I'm not having a go at clubs.
As an adult now I quite enjoy going to clubs, I go quite often,
I'm an absolute slave to the rhythm.
Back in the day, very nervous,
and never more nervous than the first time it was proposed that
we travel to London specially for a club night.
I remember consulting the itinerary that afternoon saying,
"Guys, I've seen when our train gets in and when the last train home departs.
"That's going to afford us about 45 mins max of boogie time, what's going on?"
To which I received a truly chilling response.
The guy said, "Oh, no, you've got it wrong -
"not the last train home tonight, first train home in the morning."
Does anything send more of a shiver down the spine of a nervous debut
clubber than that?
You guys know how UK train tickets work -
that's going to exceed the remit of our same-day return.
There's no next-day return!
I was being asked to stump up for an open return,
commit to a potential month of clubbing.
A month spent at the O2 Academy Brixton,
me and 3,000 of South London's rudest boys.
As I found out as I entered my second hour of
holding the door open for them.
Listened to drum and bass, a genre I thought I would enjoy.
I quite enjoy bands without a guitar player.
Thought we'd be listening to something like Keane.
There were no other Keane fans in the O2 Academy Brixton that night,
or at least no others wearing an official band T-shirt.
It was a night of crime.
People were breaking into the venue without tickets,
people were smoking indoors, people were doing drugs in the loos.
Not having a go at any of these things,
we've all broken the rules at some point in our lives.
I once sold multipack cans of Coke individually at a church fete.
Made a sweet, sweet £4 profit off my mum's friend, Yvonne.
We're all going to hell.
Got no objection to it.
I was often told by my friends at university that
I would make a great drug-taker.
But I wasn't partaking in any illegal activities that night.
However, despite this, I was mistaken on the dance floor
not just for a drug-taker, but for a drug dealer.
Man caught me rubbing my gums,
misunderstood the situation, approached me,
attempted to make a purchase.
There's no lower moment in your life than when you have to explain
to a potential client that what you are applying is not, in fact, MDMA, but Bonjela.
That's right, my good man, and in a couple of hours' time
you guys will be coming up and my ulcers are going to be going down.
Had to push on through till brunch.
My life has improved now as an adult man with a girlfriend.
It's given me a new confidence, a confidence bordering, admittedly, on smugness.
Of course you're going to feel smug, walking around town every day with a girlfriend on your arm.
In my opinion, the third best thing you can walk around town with,
after £100 in cash and a water bottle you filled up at home.
Not a perfectly universal feeling, that,
but there's a few legends in the room who know what it's like.
That thrill, sashaying about the place with a bottle of pre-filled faux-Evian on the go,
sometimes pre-refrigerated on the days when you're really nailing life.
Looking at strangers on the Tube thinking,
"You're probably thinking I bought this bottle of Vittel from a shop. Bloody did, in 2012."
And having a girlfriend is nearly as exciting as that.
I like it.
I remember the first time I went back to my girlfriend's flat.
We met, we kissed at a party - finally I'd kissed a girl at a party,
and what a kiss it was.
If I had to rate the kissing, probably rate it as 12A,
12A-rated kissing action,
in that my parents weren't there,
but their presence would have been reassuring at times.
We then decided to share a taxi from the party.
It was a taxi of purely geographical logic, I can't stress that enough.
Her flat was halfway between the party and my flat,
it made sense to share.
The route was eccentric, but not implausible.
It would stand up in court.
Taxi pulls up outside her flat, she turns to me, she says,
"Oh, you can just come and stay the night here, if you want?"
That's not the exciting bit of the story.
The exciting bit of the story, getting to turn to the taxi driver
in the front and say, "Actually, mate...
"We'll both be getting off here, if that's all right?"
Mixed response at the Apollo tonight.
That's the greatest moment of my life so far, take it or leave it.
You'd understand if you'd been there, if you'd seen the taxi driver's face.
The most amazing mixture of emotions on his face.
He was angry, of course he was angry.
Just been referred to as "mate" by a posh child.
But he was proud, as well, a real sort of paternal pride on his face.
More pride than my actual father showed when I told him the following morning.
He did not believe me.
But that didn't matter because I had my proof.
"If it didn't happen, Dad, then who am I writing this thank you letter to?"
Tradition is tradition.
Ladies and gents, this has been an absolute privilege.
Thank you so much for having me.
I've been Ivo Graham. Goodbye!
Right, it's time for your next act.
I love this act so much, you're going to have such a brilliant time,
so please give all your love and warmth for the amazing,
the wonderful Phil Wang!
Hey, guys, hey, how's it going?
Good to hear, all right, yeah.
It's me, Phil Wang!
Phil Wang, that's right, real name, Phil Wang.
"Phil" and then "Wang".
First you hear "Phil", then you think, "Oh, everything's normal."
Then, bang, "Wang"!
Out of nowhere, like a bat out of hell.
I love introducing myself, I love introducing myself,
favourite thing to do.
Every time I meet a new person, every time I meet a new person -
a new person as in a stranger,
not a baby...
I don't tell babies my name.
Babies don't care.
Babies are rude.
But every time I meet a stranger
I like to say, "Hi, I'm Phil, Phil Wang."
"Phil by name, Wang...
"by second name, Phil Wang."
That's how names work. That's how names work, for me, Phil Wang.
Lovely to be here. Got to come clean with you, folks,
I'm not very good at starting performances.
I tend to just say my name a bunch of times.
And hope for the best.
Starting's the hardest part.
Starting's the hardest part of comedy. Most difficult part of the job.
Comedians employ a whole host of tricks to start.
What a lot of comedians like to do is like to start by pointing out a
celebrity they look like, you know,
like a weird thing they bear a resemblance to.
And it's funny, apparently if you look at me, right, and, like,
squint really hard,
that's racist, so...
Don't do that.
You'll get kicked out of the Apollo.
Thanks so much for coming out tonight, by the way.
I love live comedy, I think it's my favourite form of entertainment,
Some people have very strange ideas about what entertainment is,
some people find very strange things entertaining.
There are people out there, some people love scary movies.
I hate scary movies.
They're too scary.
They scare the shit out of me.
Every time see a scary movie, I'm scared for days.
I hate them, but people love them.
People actively seek them out,
actually enjoy the sensation of being scared by a movie.
I've never understood that attitude at all.
I've never been frightened in real life and gone,
HE GASPS FOR AIR
"Yeah, I'll pay for that. Yeah, all right".
I feel horrible, £13, sure, yeah.
Let's go now. Ridiculous.
My friend's like this, my friend Jason, loves scary movies.
Jason can't get enough of scary movies, absolutely loves scary movies, Jason.
Now Jason is black,
which I only mention because you imagined him white and he isn't.
His race is not relevant to the joke,
I just don't see why you should have the wrong picture.
But Jason loves scary movies
and he's always trying to get me to go see them with him,
go to the cinema and see scary movies with him.
I'm like Jason, "I don't want to pay money to feel worse".
That's an illogical exchange, that's a bad transaction, Jase.
I don't want to do that. I was thinking about it.
It's such a first world privilege, don't you think?
To enjoy scary movies.
What a first world, Western privilege.
I mean, how comfortable is your life that you have to go out
and buy a ticket, just to know what it's like to feel under threat?
You know, no-one in the Democratic Republic of Congo saw The Grudge, you know?
They don't need that shit, they've got real life stuff to deal with.
I guess it's a masochism, right, to enjoy scary movies?
A masochism, to derive pleasure from a pain.
And I understand masochism, I have to say I do,
because I like spicy food.
Love spicy food. It hurts me in my little Asian gob, but I love it.
And if you think about it,
spicy food is actually a lot like scary movies.
If it's good, you feel alive.
If it's really good, you shit yourself.
What else about me? I'm 26, I'm 20-goddam-6.
People often think I'm older,
because although I am 26, I look terrible.
I look gross and old, I guess.
Mothers, lock up your...selves.
Old Wang's on the prowl.
He gonna getcha.
I'm a bit fat, I suppose, I don't look great, I'm a bit fat.
I don't struggle with my weight.
People my shape and size often say they struggle with their weight,
they're always very sad, "Oh, I struggle with my weight".
I don't struggle with my weight.
"Struggle" implies that I fought back at some point.
I didn't... I helped.
I was very much an accomplice to my weight.
I was no barrier of entry to my weight.
My weight knocked at the door and said, "Can I come in?"
And I said, "Can I keep playing video games and touching myself?"
And my weight said, "Yeah"... "Come in!"
"Take off your shoes, though. Chinese house."
I have been trying to work on my look, though.
I've been trying to look better, I'm trying to work on my look.
I think it's important for all of us to have a distinct look that we like
and to accomplish it as best we can
and so, I have settled on the look of Cambodian dictator.
It's a pretty strong look.
It's been getting me a lot of respect recently,
mainly from Cambodian people.
But then I got fun shoes at the end.
Racist people think that I'm barefoot, but there you go.
That's a joke about colour, a joke about colour now.
Look, I've been trying to smile more, as well.
I've been trying to...
Smile more, you're supposed to look better when you smile,
so I've been making an effort to smile more.
I've always been told to smile my entire life, I've been told smile.
My entire life I've been told to smile by strangers.
Since I was a kid, strangers would just come up to me,
kick me in the head, "Smile!".
It still happens now, strangers tell me to smile.
Apparently I have a thing called resting bitch face.
Yeah? Fellow sufferer, I can see.
Resting bitch face.
I guess when I'm active I look OK, but when I rest I look like a bitch.
And it bothers people.
I have to fix it for them for some reason.
I get harassed all the time. I'm a grown-ass man.
I still get harassed in the street by strangers telling me to smile.
Female builders shout at me.
They do. Female builders on female construction sites shout across the street.
"Give us a smile, love", they shout at me.
"Oh, come on, Gok, give us a smile".
And they squeeze their breasts.
It's very threatening, I don't like it.
So I've been trying to smile more, I've been making an effort,
keep the builders at bay.
Try and stay safe on the streets and trying to smile.
It does mean, though,
I've had to give up on the look I've always wanted,
which is the strong silent type.
That's what I've always wanted to be, strong, silent type.
A lot of fellas go for that look, most reward for least effort,
strong silent type.
But what I've come to realise is that, in order to pull
that look off, you need a jawline.
And old Wang don't have no jawline.
That's not my face. I basically have one cheek and then two eyes,
and that's it.
It doesn't work for me, I can't do that.
It's not fair. A guy with a good jaw, he can do that,
a guy with a strong jaw, he can be the strong silent type.
He can stand there, furrow his brow in silence.
People look at that guy, they give him the benefit of the doubt, every time.
"Oh, wow, what a stoic, fascinating man.
"One can only imagine what thoughts are occurring in that chiselled skull".
I can't do that. If I stand in a corner and just...
People look at me and go, "Why is that giant Korean baby so grumpy?"
"Get that huge Mongolian toddler out of here."
"He is bothering us!"
People always ask me where I'm from.
People always say, "Hey Phil, Phil Wang."
"Where are you from?"
Then I say, "Oh, London".
And then they say, "No!"
"Nice try, Phil Wang."
"Where are you originally from?"
"Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, somewhere like that?"
It happens all the time.
It upsets me, you know, I don't like it, because I'm British.
I love being British.
I have a British passport and I'm very proud to be British.
But I think what annoys me the most about the whole thing is that
I am actually originally from Malaysia, yeah.
So I don't say that!
And then they are right to have asked,
I mean that's the most difficult part of the whole thing.
Because they shouldn't have asked, but it turns out,
they were right to have asked.
Because they were spot on, to be fair to them,
but it was a racist suspicion...
..for them to have...
But the suspicion was correct in the end, so...
I'm always conflicted. Am I offended by their narrow-mindedness
or impressed with their detective skills?
Good work, Colombo.
I suppose racism isn't always black and white.
There are shades of yellow, too.
Thank you, thank you very much.
I'm enjoy my life in the UK, though, I like it a lot here.
I got myself a girlfriend.
Got myself an English girlfriend, living the immigrant dream.
It will be your jobs next.
Nah, the women will do.
Women are miracles, jobs are boring.
She's great my gal, she's brilliant.
She's a vicar's daughter.
A vicar's daughter...
The atheist's ultimate victory.
Take that, God,
old Wang snagged one of your lambs.
I snuck in your pen and I nabbed your lambs.
Hopefully going to have kids with my lady,
I want to have kids with my gal.
My girlfriend, she's a white lady, no problem with that, big fan.
Big fan of the white ladies. So much so actually that I've decided that
I'm only ever going to children with a white lady, right?
Not only that, my sons will only ever have children
with white ladies.
Their sons will only have children with white ladies.
And this will go on and on, on and on,
generation after generation after generation,
until every trace of Chinese gene has gone, every memory of me erased,
they won't even know I ever existed, right?
Because I have a dream that, in 1,000 years, the UK will be full
of white people who are all called Wang and don't know why.
Thanks very much, guys. I'm Phil Wang. Wonderful!
Ivo Graham and Phil Wang.
I've been Joe Lycett. See you again!
At the forefront of its genre, the roll call of stand-ups who have performed in front of the famous Live At The Apollo lights plays out like a who's who of comedic royalty, and this series is no different. Each episode sees a national (and sometimes international) stand-up both compering and performing, before introducing two of the best-established and up-coming stand-ups to the stage.
In this episode, stand-up and TV star Joe Lycett hosts as he introduces the brilliant Ivo Graham and uniquely eccentric Phil Wang to the stage.