Episode 6 Live at the Apollo


Episode 6

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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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language.

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Ladies and gentlemen,

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please welcome your host for tonight, Joe Lycett.

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CHEERING

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Hammersmith Apollo, hello, everyone!

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Give me an, "Ooh!"

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-AUDIENCE:

-Ooh!

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Give me an, "Ah, ha, ha, ha!"

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-AUDIENCE:

-Ah, ha, ha, ha!

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Yes! Let me hear you say, "Hell, yeah!"

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-AUDIENCE:

-Hell, yeah!

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Then, as camp as you can, give me an, "Ooh, no!"

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-AUDIENCE:

-Ooh, no!

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You shook your head at that.

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He's going, "I'm not going to do a camp thing!"

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Give yourselves a round of applause.

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Lovely.

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Hello.

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So, right, I broke my elbow.

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-AUDIENCE MEMBER:

-Did you?

-I did. I got into a fight.

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-AUDIENCE MEMBER:

-Did you win?

-You should see the other guy.

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She's fine, she's back at school.

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No, I don't want to talk about the elbow.

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I don't want to talk about it, cos, you know, I just want to keep it low-key.

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That's why I wore this sling.

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It's silver!

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What I've realised is I'm not going to be able to get up now.

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I've really shat myself up, here, haven't I?

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Right.

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Ha!

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So I want to talk about Birmingham, because I'm from Birmingham.

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Anyone from Birmingham in? CHEERING

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Oh, loads of you. Hello, welcome.

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I want to talk about my friend, Claire. She's from Dudley.

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If you don't know Dudley, they have very thick accents there.

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IN A BIRMINGHAM ACCENT: She sort of talks like that, like she's waiting to die.

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I love Claire, but she's a few condoms short of an orgy, that girl.

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She microwaves her clothes to dry them.

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She never cleans the microwave, so she always smells of baked beans.

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And she gets so drunk. Anyone getting drunk tonight?

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CHEERING Oh, a few of you. OK.

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Out of jobs. OK.

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She gets so drunk.

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We go out gay clubbing, you see.

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You know, we'll club a gay to death maybe once a month.

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HE SIGHS Oh, she gets so drunk!

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I had to put her in a cab before midnight the other week.

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She'd got this bag of chips covered in curry sauce.

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She's not very graceful in heels at the best of times,

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she sort of looks like when I put toilet rolls on my cat's legs.

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You know, just sort of...

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Taxi driver spotted her a mile off.

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He's like, "You're not coming in this cab with those chips."

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She went, "All I want in my life is these chips.

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"That's all I've ever wanted."

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He's like, "If you soil the cab in any way, you'll have to pay a big fine."

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She says, "I won't, I promise, I just want these chips."

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He was like, "All right."

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I open the door for her, she tripped,

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just pissed the chips into the cab!

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It was like all over the window, into the chair.

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Basically, she was so drunk she just went, "Shhh!"

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and started pushing them into the road. She's not right, she's not right!

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When she gets drunk, she comes up with these little wisdoms, these little philosophies.

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She's come up with one I'm trying to live my life by.

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Claire thinks if somebody is difficult with you in life,

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awkward, making your life hard for any reason,

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you shouldn't try and rationalise with them,

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you shouldn't try and speak with them on their level,

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you should try and out-weird them.

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Which came very useful for me in my local post office.

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There's a woman in my local post office, I don't like her.

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She's been there 20 years. She's smug.

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She's got one of those faces that's so smug it sort of folds into itself.

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She looks like someone's punched a quiche.

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AND she's called Lorraine.

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She's always got some quip, some line.

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I went in with my passport form, I was getting a new passport,

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and they do a check-and-send service in the post office.

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So I handed the form and she licked a finger, and went through and went,

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"Oh, your referee has spelt 'neighbour' wrong."

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And I went, "What?"

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She's like, "He's missed out the H on 'neighbour'. You'll have to fill it in again."

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I said, "Well, surely that's all right?"

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And she went, "No, no, there can be no risk of any confusion as to what that word means.

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"You'll have to fill it in again." Pushed it back at me.

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I thought, I'm not having this. It takes ages to fill out that form.

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You have to send off for it, you have to get a referee.

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I thought, I'm not having it.

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So I thought, I'll be a bit weird with her.

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So, I went, "Oh, no, sorry, he's not my neighbour, he's my doctor."

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She went, "What?" I said, "He's misspelt 'doctor'."

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"Doctor, obviously spelt D-O-C-T-O-R,

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"he's spelt it N-E-I-G-B-O-U-R. He spelt doctor wrong."

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And she went, "No, that clearly says 'neighbour'."

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SARCASTICALLY: "Oh, does it?"

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And then I glassed her.

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Um!

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Now... Oh, I've got a question.

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Anyone in from Isis?

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No-one saying "no" very quickly.

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I was thinking about Isis the other day. I was thinking, why would you join Isis?

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I think the people that join Isis, they have a lack of love in their hearts, that's what I think.

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You can't push a gay off a bridge with love in your heart.

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Believe me, I've tried!

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I was thinking, where is there an abundance of love in the universe?

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And I realised - it's Grindr.

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So, I've signed up to Grindr posing as an Isis militant.

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Go with me!

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If you don't know what Grindr is,

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it's the dating app, it's like a gay Tinder.

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I say it's dating, it's an absolute fuck-fest.

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So I'd had a few conversations. A guy called Craig was the first one.

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He put, "Lol, are you Isis?"

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I said, "Yes, death to the West."

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He put, "OMG, I know a drag act called Alexandra Burqa, you'd love her."

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Alexandra Burqa!

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AS X FACTOR VOICE: Alexandra Burqa!

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I'd love that!

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I was in character as an Isis militant, though, so I said, "Doesn't sound very good."

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He said, "Yeah, to be fair, it is shit. Do you want to meet?"

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So, success, someone willing to love someone from Isis.

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Next one, oh, I was pleased with this.

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It was James, his name was.

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He put, "Want a blow?"

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I put, "What building?"

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Completely unacceptable.

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He put, "OK...

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"Tell me more about yourself."

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I said, "I serve the Islamic State."

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He put, "I serve in Wagamama's."

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He actually did! He did!

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Then I didn't reply for a bit, because I was a bit busy.

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I got another message about an hour later.

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He put, "Tell me, if you could do anything,

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"what would you want to do to me?"

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I said, "I would destroy you and your civilisation."

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He put, "That's hot."

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"Where shall we meet?"

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I said, "In hell!"

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He put, "Is that a nightclub?" So, I think that's a success.

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Final one, Barry, bless Barry.

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He put, "ASL?",

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Which means age, sex, location, if you're not familiar.

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I put, "18, male, Syria."

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He put, "Syria?"

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I said, "Yes, I'm serious."

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He put, "Ha-ha, I'm in Milton Keynes."

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I said, "Milton Keynes is full of whores."

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He put, "OMG, tell me about it."

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A bit of business I've been up to.

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So, yes, I live in Birmingham still.

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I know I don't have the accent. I know, I just never had it.

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I was watching Fox News the other week.

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The reputable news source that is Fox News.

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They described Birmingham as 100% Muslim.

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Salaam Alaikum.

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Alaikum Salaam's what you say back. Don't worry, we'll work it out.

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I was interested in that, because 100% Muslim they said.

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There's a sort of truth in it, there's a lot of Muslims in Birmingham.

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A lot of all cultures there.

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We're known for being multicultural. We're quite good at it, really.

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One of the most famous Muslims in Birmingham is Malala Yousafzai.

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I don't know if people are familiar with her? Yes, she's brilliant!

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CHEERING Yes, yes.

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If you don't know who she is, she's an 18-year-old schoolgirl

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who was shot at by the Taliban for wanting to be educated.

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She now goes to Edgbaston High School For Girls.

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It's a private school, I don't think she pays the fees.

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I personally would hate to go to school with Malala Yousafzai.

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Can you imagine a show-and-tell day with Malala?

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"OK, class, what have you brought in? Sally, let's start with you."

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And Sally goes, "I've brought in a papier mache cat that I made."

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"OK, anyone else bring anything in. Malala, did you bring anything in?"

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"This Nobel Peace Prize."

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"Sally, you're a piece of shit!"

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I'd hate to be her teacher as well.

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You wouldn't be able to tell Malala off for anything.

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"You on your phone, Malala?"

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"Texting Barack Obama, actually, so..."

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"Oh, sorry! Um... Sally, you're a piece of shit."

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Poor Sally. No, I made her up.

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No, I was annoyed about that. I was annoyed when they said we're 100% Muslim,

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because when they say things like that, there's a subtext, isn't there?

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What they're saying is that we should be worried about that -

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there's something terrifying, frightening about Muslims.

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I think we've got a problem.

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I think we're using the word Muslim far too quickly to describe people

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doing atrocities, when they don't represent Muslims any more than I do.

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And I think we should be using a more accurate word for those people,

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which I'm going to argue is "knobhead".

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It's a political rally now, don't worry.

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There'd be levels of knobhead.

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You'd have a moderate knobhead, all the way up to fundamental knobhead.

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And if we all did it, if we all did it, the news would have to catch up.

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They'd have to go, "Today, two knobheads bombed a car."

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They'd have to do it if we all...

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And it wouldn't necessarily be to do with terrorist activity,

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not just that, just ANY knobhead-y activity would get the knobhead word. I've thought of some.

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People that wear a festival wristband AFTER a festival.

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The worst! "I went to Reading..."

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It's November, you're in a Costa, you're a knobhead!

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Couples that put a lock on a bridge.

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You're both knobheads, sorry. Hate that, hate it.

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Sanctimonious mothers.

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Have to be careful here, I don't mean all mothers by any means,

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just a lot of my friends are having kids at the minute

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and it's the sort of mothers that go, "Don't tell me how to raise my kids!"

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And you're like, OK,

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but she is trying to eat a Petits Filous with an electric razor, so...

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You're a bit of a knobhead, aren't you? Ever so slightly!

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Amanda Holden, fundamental knobhead.

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I just don't like her, I don't like her!

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Don't encourage me, because I'm sure she's lovely,

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I just think she's despicable.

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No, I don't have a problem with Muslims in Birmingham at all,

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happy to have them, I think they add to our city and to our culture.

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I think the big problem we have in Birmingham,

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it's happening around the country, actually...

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We have a lot of artisan coffee shops.

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You know the sort of places I'm on about?

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Shoreditch is full of them, kind of like distressed wood,

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that kind of thing.

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And they serve flat whites and they'll say things like,

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"We support local artists."

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And you know that because the art on the wall is shit.

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Dozens, dozens in Birmingham, they're all shit.

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Oh, no, there's one I quite like, there's one I quite like.

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I can't say the name for legal reasons.

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They do an avocado and feta smash!

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Very aggressive word, I feel,

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for what is essentially pressing with a fork.

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Avocado and feta smash.

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And for £1, £1.50 extra, you can get a poached egg on top.

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It's a lovely way to start the day.

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I went in recently and I said to the girl,

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I said "I'd like the avocado and feta smash, please, with a poached egg".

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And she went, "Oh, we don't do the egg any more."

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I said, "why's that?"

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She went, "The kitchen was struggling to cope."

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When I hear the phrase "struggling to cope", I think of, I don't know,

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a single mother, trying to juggle career, childcare, heartbreak.

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I don't think of someone cooking a fucking egg!

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So I'm boycotting them now. Boycotting them.

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We've got a 24-hour Starbucks as well.

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Nobody asked for one, we've got one.

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The staff at 4am - genetically closer to a moth.

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I've only been in once, it was about 4am, actually.

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I got back late from a show, I thought, I'll treat myself, have a hot chocolate.

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The guy behind the counter obviously couldn't cope with daylight

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or anything because he was like, "Can I take a name"?

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I was like "Yeah, it's Joe. Can I ask why?"

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He was like, "Just in case the order gets confused."

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I looked around an empty Starbucks.

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Shuffled along to the service counter,

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took him ages to make it and then he went, "Hot chocolate for John."

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So to prove a point, I just waited.

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"John will be here in a minute, won't he?

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Oh, he loves a hot chocolate, our John!"

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Now, I'm going to tell you a final thing

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and then I'm going to bring on your first act.

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Are you up for this?

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CHEERING

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What I want to tell you about is the thing I've been doing in my office.

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I've got this office in Birmingham,

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it's like a little space that I sort of write stuff in and whatever,

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and I've got, like, this snap frame on the door, which is where

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the other businesses have their business name.

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But I'm not a business, so I just leave it blank most of the time.

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But sometimes I get drunk in the office and I put silly things in the snap frame.

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And I just did a thing where I put in the snap frame,

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I put a sign up, I put a sign up which said,

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"Have you seen this cat?"

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with a picture underneath it that's clearly a fox.

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Then I just put,

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"Missing from the area, answers to the name of Samantha Peterson.

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Any information to Peter at [email protected]"

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I just made up these things.

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Made myself smile, didn't think of it again

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until a couple of days later I got an e-mail from Carol.

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Carol wrote,

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"Mr Lycett, it has come to our attention that you have a sign

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"for a lost cat in your office door snap frame.

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"May I remind you that it states in your contract that we have a strict

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"policy on animals in the building, as this is a workplace.

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"Animals are not permitted, and anyone found with animals

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"in their units could have their contract terminated.

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"Regards, Carol, Management Assistant."

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First of all, I checked the contract, nothing in there about animals,

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so she's got nothing on me.

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Second of all, it's a picture of a fox, Carol.

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I replied...

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"Hello, Carol. My apologies, there has been a simple misunderstanding.

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"There is indeed a sign for a lost cat in the snap frame,

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"but Samantha Peterson is not my cat.

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"I am attempting to find her as I believe she has been stealing from me.

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"I popped into the office late one night last week

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"and discovered that my collection of antique biscuits had been disturbed."

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"Outside the building I spotted a cat and instinctively shouted, Samantha Peterson!"

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"The cat turned, and so I deduced that is her name.

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"I know she has my biscuits.

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"Any help you can provide would be most appreciated.

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"Many thanks, Joe Lycett."

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Carol sent me a reply.

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"Mr Lycett, I'm sorry to hear about the disruption at your office,

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"but I would like to politely ask you to take the sign down.

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"The surrounding businesses have made complaints

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"that their clients are being disturbed by your sign..."

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How you can be disturbed by a sign, I don't know.

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She sent me another e-mail straight after, she said,

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"Also, can I ask what the Peter Peterson e-mail address is on the sign?

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"Are you sharing the office space? Because it's a sole occupancy."

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I replied, "Hello, Carol, no, Peter is my private investigator.

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"He has agreed to live in the office and work on this case for

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"as long as is necessary.

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"I've replaced the sign, with my compliments. Many thanks, Joe."

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I replaced the sign with the same picture of a fox,

0:16:190:16:21

just with "Wanted dead or alive" over it.

0:16:210:16:23

A day later, another e-mail from Carol.

0:16:280:16:30

"Mr Lycett, we've had more complaints

0:16:310:16:34

"that you've replaced the sign with a very similar sign.

0:16:340:16:36

"Also, you can't have anyone living in your office.

0:16:360:16:38

"Is there a time we can speak on the phone today?

0:16:380:16:40

"It would be easier to discuss this rather than over e-mail. Regards, Carol."

0:16:400:16:43

I didn't want to speak to her over the phone, so I replied,

0:16:430:16:46

"Carol, I'm afraid that will not be possible.

0:16:460:16:48

"I've been advised by Peter Peterson that I shouldn't use the phone

0:16:480:16:51

"as it could be bugged."

0:16:510:16:52

She replied, "OK, Mr Lycett,

0:16:580:17:00

"I just had one of our security guys go round

0:17:000:17:02

"and there is no-one answering the door and the lights appear to be off,

0:17:020:17:05

"so I'm fairly confident your investigator isn't living in the office.

0:17:050:17:08

"As long as you don't have pets in the office,

0:17:080:17:09

"I'm happy to forget the whole thing. Regards, Carol."

0:17:090:17:12

Very diplomatic, very considerate, on Carol's part.

0:17:120:17:15

I replied.

0:17:150:17:16

"Carol, Carol, Carol..."

0:17:190:17:21

"Of course your security man didn't spot Peter Peterson -

0:17:220:17:25

"he is a private investigator.

0:17:250:17:28

"And shape shifter.

0:17:280:17:29

"He lives in the cracks.

0:17:290:17:30

"He's watching you when you least expect it.

0:17:300:17:32

"He lives in the shadows of your darkest fears

0:17:320:17:34

"and your weakest moments when you're naked and vulnerable,

0:17:340:17:37

"he's there, watching, waiting, protecting.

0:17:370:17:39

"He lives through all of us, within us, beside us.

0:17:390:17:41

"He's the breath on the back of your neck, the breeze in your hair, the moisture in the air. Cheers, Joe."

0:17:410:17:45

I also put,

0:17:530:17:54

"PS, also, FYI, I found Samantha Peterson last night.

0:17:540:17:57

"I slaughtered her as a sacrifice to our beloved gods

0:17:570:18:00

"and burned the body in a tribal ceremony.

0:18:000:18:02

"I took the sign down this morning."

0:18:020:18:04

Carol replied, "Thank you."

0:18:040:18:06

OK!

0:18:150:18:17

So, yeah, I'm going to introduce the first act now.

0:18:170:18:19

I love this guy. I've worked with him for years,

0:18:190:18:22

since we both started stand-up, and I just think he's wonderful.

0:18:220:18:24

So please give all your love and warmth for the amazing

0:18:240:18:27

Ivo Graham!

0:18:270:18:29

Good evening, Live At The Apollo!

0:18:450:18:47

My name's Ivo. I'm going to tell you a few things about myself.

0:18:490:18:52

Let's start off with the big news, I've got Amazon Prime.

0:18:520:18:55

Not sure how many of you are currently riding

0:18:570:18:59

the Amazon Prime wagon.

0:18:590:19:01

It's a hell of a wagon to ride,

0:19:010:19:02

living in the next-day delivery dream.

0:19:020:19:05

What a thrill.

0:19:050:19:07

Or at least it was, for the first month.

0:19:070:19:10

You know how it is, just meant to be a bit of fun before Christmas,

0:19:100:19:13

really, but...

0:19:130:19:14

Forgot to cancel the trial in time.

0:19:140:19:16

Now I'm trapped.

0:19:180:19:19

Walking around every day with an Amazon Prime subscription

0:19:190:19:22

I neither want nor need.

0:19:220:19:24

The world's shittest superpower.

0:19:240:19:27

Going up to strangers in the street,

0:19:270:19:28

"Do you need anything tomorrow? It can be arranged."

0:19:280:19:32

But people are jealous.

0:19:340:19:35

Like my flatmate, he tried to muscle in on my Amazon Prime action.

0:19:350:19:38

He said, "I need a book quite urgently, would you mind ordering it for me off your account?"

0:19:380:19:42

I said, "Yeah, sure, why not? Spread the love."

0:19:420:19:45

But then overnight, had a bit of a change of heart,

0:19:450:19:48

thought to myself, you know what? No!

0:19:480:19:50

My Prime privilege is not something to be bandied around willy-nilly.

0:19:500:19:54

I've paid my money - I didn't mean to, but I have.

0:19:540:19:57

I've joined an exclusive club

0:19:580:19:59

and it's not for me to bail-out the muggles.

0:19:590:20:03

So that book arrived the following morning

0:20:030:20:04

and I kept it in my possession for another two to four working days.

0:20:040:20:09

Because I'm an extremely petty man.

0:20:090:20:11

What else can I tell you about myself?

0:20:120:20:13

I've got a girlfriend, that's very exciting.

0:20:130:20:16

Yes.

0:20:160:20:17

Or at least it was, for the first month.

0:20:170:20:20

You know how it is -

0:20:200:20:22

just meant to be a bit of fun before Christmas, really, but...

0:20:220:20:26

I forgot to cancel the trial in time.

0:20:260:20:28

Now I'm trapped.

0:20:290:20:31

I'm joking. I am extremely grateful.

0:20:320:20:35

I was a very late starter

0:20:350:20:37

to the whole world of sex and relationships.

0:20:370:20:38

I remember there was a bet amongst my group of friends at school

0:20:380:20:41

that I'd be the guy in the group that would not have sex

0:20:410:20:44

until after they left school.

0:20:440:20:45

To most people, that's an insult.

0:20:450:20:47

To me, very much challenge accepted.

0:20:470:20:50

I took those expectations and I surpassed them

0:20:500:20:52

by the length of an additional educational establishment.

0:20:520:20:57

I'm not ashamed of that,

0:20:570:20:58

tried to turn it into something I'm sort of proud of,

0:20:580:21:00

like a sort of modesty Top Trump.

0:21:000:21:02

Obviously I'm well aware that age of virginity loss,

0:21:020:21:04

not an official category in most official Top Trump sets, but...

0:21:040:21:08

I like to imagine that it is, because if you had this guy,

0:21:080:21:11

your opponent would need to be packing

0:21:110:21:13

some pretty strong Christians or he'd be going home.

0:21:130:21:16

I wasn't helped when I was growing up by the fact that

0:21:180:21:20

I spent most of my childhood at an all-boys boarding school.

0:21:200:21:22

My parents sent me away to an all-boys boarding school

0:21:220:21:24

for the first time when I was seven years old.

0:21:240:21:26

I don't blame them. It was a good decision. I was a shit.

0:21:260:21:29

I was asking too many questions.

0:21:290:21:31

The big questions, questions no parents are prepared to answer.

0:21:310:21:34

How are babies made?

0:21:340:21:36

What's happened to the dog?

0:21:360:21:37

Why does Home Alone 3 have a different child?

0:21:370:21:39

Too many questions.

0:21:390:21:40

"Send him away at the earliest possible juncture,

0:21:410:21:44

"let somebody else explain Macaulay's problems to the boy."

0:21:440:21:47

For five years as a teenager I studied at probably

0:21:500:21:52

the least popular all-boys boarding school of them all.

0:21:520:21:55

I studied at a school called Eton College.

0:21:550:21:57

I like to drop that quite early into all of my stand-up sets,

0:21:570:21:59

just in case anyone in the crowd was liking me too much.

0:21:590:22:03

I wasn't a popular kid at Eton, but I wasn't bullied, no,

0:22:030:22:05

and I'll tell you why, because I was house catering rep.

0:22:050:22:08

Nobody fucked around with the house catering rep,

0:22:100:22:12

I'll tell you that much for free.

0:22:120:22:14

Or, to narrow it down,

0:22:140:22:16

nobody with a nut allergy fucked around with the house catering rep.

0:22:160:22:20

The rest of the boys, not so bothered, admittedly,

0:22:200:22:22

but those select few,

0:22:220:22:24

living every day in constant fear of the genuine anaphylactic danger

0:22:240:22:27

that I posed.

0:22:270:22:29

Skulking around in the canteen,

0:22:290:22:31

big bag of macadamias poking out my pocket,

0:22:310:22:34

as if to say, "You know who I am, and you know what I'm capable of."

0:22:340:22:37

Most exciting times for me as a teenager,

0:22:390:22:41

going to parties in my holidays.

0:22:410:22:43

Usually about one party a year, just to keep my hand in.

0:22:430:22:46

I wasn't invited by girls my own age, no,

0:22:460:22:48

I was invited by their mums, who in turn were asked to do so by my mum.

0:22:480:22:51

My mum was like my agent, back in the day.

0:22:510:22:54

Very popular mum on the East Wiltshire social scene.

0:22:540:22:58

Some of that popularity trickled down

0:22:580:23:00

and I'd go to these parties and I'd be a hit -

0:23:000:23:01

not with the girls my own age, but with their mums,

0:23:010:23:04

because the mums trusted me.

0:23:040:23:06

They knew what they were getting from the other boys

0:23:060:23:08

at their daughters' parties,

0:23:080:23:09

getting red wine stains in the carpet and sexually transmitted infections.

0:23:090:23:13

Not from this guy. They knew what they were getting from me -

0:23:130:23:15

a box of Quality Street at the start of the night,

0:23:150:23:18

a hand with the washing up after dinner,

0:23:180:23:20

and a thank you letter in first class post the following day.

0:23:200:23:24

I don't like to boast too much on stage, but I'm not ashamed to say

0:23:240:23:26

that I write a fucking good thank you letter.

0:23:260:23:30

All the trimmings, ink fountain pen, velum parchment paper,

0:23:300:23:33

one crazy summer even experimented with a wax seal.

0:23:330:23:35

The overheads were too crippling in the end,

0:23:370:23:39

but it was a hell of a summer, I can tell you.

0:23:390:23:42

It's a disappearing art in the digital age,

0:23:420:23:44

the old-fashioned thank you letter. I loved it, the formality of it.

0:23:440:23:47

Writing my address in the top right-hand corner,

0:23:470:23:50

just in case any of the mums wanted to write back.

0:23:500:23:52

They never did, but I gave them the option.

0:23:520:23:55

Date underneath, the classic six-figure date formation -

0:23:550:23:57

day, month, year.

0:23:570:23:59

Unless it was an American family, obviously, in which case

0:23:590:24:01

still day, month, year, because they must learn.

0:24:010:24:05

Changing the world one letter at a time.

0:24:050:24:08

Sometimes I was so keen to get started on my thank you letter

0:24:130:24:16

I'd start it while still at the party itself.

0:24:160:24:18

Usually in the late hours of the night a schism would occur,

0:24:200:24:23

everyone else would be in the next dorm playing spin the bottle or strip poker,

0:24:230:24:26

I'd be on my own at the desk, bashing out the first draft,

0:24:260:24:30

deciding whether or not to dedicate an entire paragraph

0:24:300:24:33

to the Viennetta.

0:24:330:24:34

I went to university and things got more exciting at university.

0:24:390:24:41

There were girls there, I became friends with them, sometimes good friends.

0:24:410:24:44

I was often told by my female friends

0:24:440:24:46

that I would make a great boyfriend.

0:24:460:24:49

These females and their addiction to the hypothetical tense.

0:24:490:24:53

When will they have the courage to turn these theories into a reality?

0:24:530:24:56

I'm sure a few of us here have been told that we would make great boyfriends or great girlfriends.

0:24:580:25:02

One of those compliments which loses its appeal quite quickly, I think,

0:25:020:25:05

like being told by your computer you have excellent password strength.

0:25:050:25:09

Eventually the compliment wears off.

0:25:110:25:14

I know I've got a good password.

0:25:140:25:16

How about a bit more attention to my banging secret question?

0:25:160:25:19

The real jewel in the crown,

0:25:190:25:21

an entire childhood spent misleading people about who my best friend

0:25:210:25:24

was specifically with this in mind.

0:25:240:25:26

At university it stopped being about going to parties,

0:25:310:25:33

started being about going to clubs.

0:25:330:25:35

I'm not having a go at clubs.

0:25:350:25:37

As an adult now I quite enjoy going to clubs, I go quite often,

0:25:370:25:39

I'm an absolute slave to the rhythm.

0:25:390:25:41

Back in the day, very nervous,

0:25:430:25:45

and never more nervous than the first time it was proposed that

0:25:450:25:48

we travel to London specially for a club night.

0:25:480:25:50

I remember consulting the itinerary that afternoon saying,

0:25:500:25:53

"Guys, I've seen when our train gets in and when the last train home departs.

0:25:530:25:57

"That's going to afford us about 45 mins max of boogie time, what's going on?"

0:25:570:26:01

To which I received a truly chilling response.

0:26:010:26:04

The guy said, "Oh, no, you've got it wrong -

0:26:040:26:05

"not the last train home tonight, first train home in the morning."

0:26:050:26:09

Does anything send more of a shiver down the spine of a nervous debut

0:26:090:26:11

clubber than that?

0:26:110:26:13

You guys know how UK train tickets work -

0:26:130:26:15

that's going to exceed the remit of our same-day return.

0:26:150:26:19

There's no next-day return!

0:26:190:26:21

I was being asked to stump up for an open return,

0:26:220:26:25

commit to a potential month of clubbing.

0:26:250:26:27

A month spent at the O2 Academy Brixton,

0:26:300:26:32

me and 3,000 of South London's rudest boys.

0:26:320:26:35

As I found out as I entered my second hour of

0:26:360:26:38

holding the door open for them.

0:26:380:26:40

Listened to drum and bass, a genre I thought I would enjoy.

0:26:420:26:45

I quite enjoy bands without a guitar player.

0:26:450:26:48

Thought we'd be listening to something like Keane.

0:26:480:26:52

There were no other Keane fans in the O2 Academy Brixton that night,

0:26:520:26:55

or at least no others wearing an official band T-shirt.

0:26:550:26:59

It was a night of crime.

0:27:000:27:01

People were breaking into the venue without tickets,

0:27:010:27:03

people were smoking indoors, people were doing drugs in the loos.

0:27:030:27:06

Not having a go at any of these things,

0:27:060:27:07

we've all broken the rules at some point in our lives.

0:27:070:27:10

I once sold multipack cans of Coke individually at a church fete.

0:27:100:27:14

Made a sweet, sweet £4 profit off my mum's friend, Yvonne.

0:27:150:27:18

We're all going to hell.

0:27:180:27:19

Got no objection to it.

0:27:220:27:23

I was often told by my friends at university that

0:27:230:27:25

I would make a great drug-taker.

0:27:250:27:27

But I wasn't partaking in any illegal activities that night.

0:27:290:27:31

However, despite this, I was mistaken on the dance floor

0:27:310:27:34

not just for a drug-taker, but for a drug dealer.

0:27:340:27:37

Man caught me rubbing my gums,

0:27:370:27:38

misunderstood the situation, approached me,

0:27:380:27:40

attempted to make a purchase.

0:27:400:27:42

There's no lower moment in your life than when you have to explain

0:27:420:27:45

to a potential client that what you are applying is not, in fact, MDMA, but Bonjela.

0:27:450:27:49

That's right, my good man, and in a couple of hours' time

0:27:500:27:53

you guys will be coming up and my ulcers are going to be going down.

0:27:530:27:57

Had to push on through till brunch.

0:27:570:28:00

My life has improved now as an adult man with a girlfriend.

0:28:030:28:06

It's given me a new confidence, a confidence bordering, admittedly, on smugness.

0:28:060:28:10

Of course you're going to feel smug, walking around town every day with a girlfriend on your arm.

0:28:100:28:13

In my opinion, the third best thing you can walk around town with,

0:28:130:28:17

after £100 in cash and a water bottle you filled up at home.

0:28:170:28:20

Not a perfectly universal feeling, that,

0:28:220:28:24

but there's a few legends in the room who know what it's like.

0:28:240:28:29

That thrill, sashaying about the place with a bottle of pre-filled faux-Evian on the go,

0:28:290:28:34

sometimes pre-refrigerated on the days when you're really nailing life.

0:28:340:28:39

Looking at strangers on the Tube thinking,

0:28:390:28:41

"You're probably thinking I bought this bottle of Vittel from a shop. Bloody did, in 2012."

0:28:410:28:46

And having a girlfriend is nearly as exciting as that.

0:28:510:28:55

I like it.

0:28:550:28:56

I remember the first time I went back to my girlfriend's flat.

0:28:560:28:59

We met, we kissed at a party - finally I'd kissed a girl at a party,

0:28:590:29:02

and what a kiss it was.

0:29:020:29:03

If I had to rate the kissing, probably rate it as 12A,

0:29:030:29:06

12A-rated kissing action,

0:29:060:29:08

in that my parents weren't there,

0:29:080:29:10

but their presence would have been reassuring at times.

0:29:100:29:13

We then decided to share a taxi from the party.

0:29:160:29:19

It was a taxi of purely geographical logic, I can't stress that enough.

0:29:190:29:22

Her flat was halfway between the party and my flat,

0:29:220:29:25

it made sense to share.

0:29:250:29:26

The route was eccentric, but not implausible.

0:29:260:29:29

It would stand up in court.

0:29:290:29:31

Taxi pulls up outside her flat, she turns to me, she says,

0:29:310:29:34

"Oh, you can just come and stay the night here, if you want?"

0:29:340:29:36

That's not the exciting bit of the story.

0:29:360:29:38

The exciting bit of the story, getting to turn to the taxi driver

0:29:380:29:41

in the front and say, "Actually, mate...

0:29:410:29:44

"We'll both be getting off here, if that's all right?"

0:29:440:29:47

Mixed response at the Apollo tonight.

0:29:490:29:50

That's the greatest moment of my life so far, take it or leave it.

0:29:500:29:53

You'd understand if you'd been there, if you'd seen the taxi driver's face.

0:29:560:29:59

The most amazing mixture of emotions on his face.

0:29:590:30:02

He was angry, of course he was angry.

0:30:020:30:04

Just been referred to as "mate" by a posh child.

0:30:040:30:07

But he was proud, as well, a real sort of paternal pride on his face.

0:30:080:30:11

More pride than my actual father showed when I told him the following morning.

0:30:110:30:16

He did not believe me.

0:30:160:30:18

But that didn't matter because I had my proof.

0:30:180:30:20

"If it didn't happen, Dad, then who am I writing this thank you letter to?"

0:30:200:30:24

Tradition is tradition.

0:30:260:30:27

Ladies and gents, this has been an absolute privilege.

0:30:300:30:33

Thank you so much for having me.

0:30:330:30:34

I've been Ivo Graham. Goodbye!

0:30:340:30:36

Ivo Graham!

0:30:400:30:42

Amazing.

0:30:440:30:46

Right, it's time for your next act.

0:30:460:30:49

I love this act so much, you're going to have such a brilliant time,

0:30:500:30:54

so please give all your love and warmth for the amazing,

0:30:540:30:56

the wonderful Phil Wang!

0:30:560:30:59

Hey, guys, hey, how's it going?

0:31:120:31:14

Good to hear, all right, yeah.

0:31:140:31:15

It's me, Phil Wang!

0:31:170:31:19

Phil Wang, that's right, real name, Phil Wang.

0:31:210:31:24

"Phil" and then "Wang".

0:31:240:31:26

Phil Wang.

0:31:260:31:28

First you hear "Phil", then you think, "Oh, everything's normal."

0:31:280:31:30

Then, bang, "Wang"!

0:31:300:31:32

Out of nowhere, like a bat out of hell.

0:31:340:31:36

Phil Wang.

0:31:360:31:37

I love introducing myself, I love introducing myself,

0:31:370:31:40

favourite thing to do.

0:31:400:31:41

Every time I meet a new person, every time I meet a new person -

0:31:410:31:45

a new person as in a stranger,

0:31:450:31:46

not a baby...

0:31:460:31:48

I don't tell babies my name.

0:31:520:31:54

Babies don't care.

0:31:540:31:56

Babies are rude.

0:31:570:31:59

But every time I meet a stranger

0:32:000:32:02

I like to say, "Hi, I'm Phil, Phil Wang."

0:32:020:32:04

"Phil by name, Wang...

0:32:050:32:10

"by second name, Phil Wang."

0:32:100:32:12

That's how names work. That's how names work, for me, Phil Wang.

0:32:140:32:19

Lovely to be here. Got to come clean with you, folks,

0:32:210:32:23

I'm not very good at starting performances.

0:32:230:32:26

I tend to just say my name a bunch of times.

0:32:280:32:32

And hope for the best.

0:32:320:32:33

Starting's the hardest part.

0:32:340:32:36

Starting's the hardest part of comedy. Most difficult part of the job.

0:32:360:32:39

Comedians employ a whole host of tricks to start.

0:32:390:32:41

What a lot of comedians like to do is like to start by pointing out a

0:32:410:32:44

celebrity they look like, you know,

0:32:440:32:46

like a weird thing they bear a resemblance to.

0:32:460:32:49

And it's funny, apparently if you look at me, right, and, like,

0:32:490:32:52

squint really hard,

0:32:520:32:54

that's racist, so...

0:32:560:32:58

Don't do that.

0:33:070:33:09

You'll get kicked out of the Apollo.

0:33:090:33:11

Thanks so much for coming out tonight, by the way.

0:33:130:33:15

I love live comedy, I think it's my favourite form of entertainment,

0:33:150:33:19

live comedy.

0:33:190:33:20

Some people have very strange ideas about what entertainment is,

0:33:200:33:22

some people find very strange things entertaining.

0:33:220:33:25

There are people out there, some people love scary movies.

0:33:250:33:28

I hate scary movies.

0:33:300:33:32

They're too scary.

0:33:320:33:34

They scare the shit out of me.

0:33:340:33:36

Every time see a scary movie, I'm scared for days.

0:33:360:33:39

I hate them, but people love them.

0:33:390:33:41

People actively seek them out,

0:33:410:33:42

actually enjoy the sensation of being scared by a movie.

0:33:420:33:46

I've never understood that attitude at all.

0:33:460:33:48

I've never been frightened in real life and gone,

0:33:480:33:52

"Oh, Jesus..."

0:33:520:33:53

HE GASPS FOR AIR

0:33:530:33:55

"Yeah, I'll pay for that. Yeah, all right".

0:33:550:33:59

I feel horrible, £13, sure, yeah.

0:33:590:34:01

Let's go now. Ridiculous.

0:34:010:34:03

My friend's like this, my friend Jason, loves scary movies.

0:34:030:34:06

Jason can't get enough of scary movies, absolutely loves scary movies, Jason.

0:34:060:34:10

Now Jason is black,

0:34:100:34:13

which I only mention because you imagined him white and he isn't.

0:34:130:34:17

That's it.

0:34:240:34:25

His race is not relevant to the joke,

0:34:250:34:28

I just don't see why you should have the wrong picture.

0:34:280:34:31

But Jason loves scary movies

0:34:350:34:36

and he's always trying to get me to go see them with him,

0:34:360:34:38

go to the cinema and see scary movies with him.

0:34:380:34:40

I'm like Jason, "I don't want to pay money to feel worse".

0:34:400:34:44

That's an illogical exchange, that's a bad transaction, Jase.

0:34:440:34:47

I don't want to do that. I was thinking about it.

0:34:470:34:49

It's such a first world privilege, don't you think?

0:34:490:34:52

To enjoy scary movies.

0:34:520:34:54

What a first world, Western privilege.

0:34:540:34:57

I mean, how comfortable is your life that you have to go out

0:34:570:35:02

and buy a ticket, just to know what it's like to feel under threat?

0:35:020:35:09

You know, no-one in the Democratic Republic of Congo saw The Grudge, you know?

0:35:090:35:13

They don't need that shit, they've got real life stuff to deal with.

0:35:150:35:18

I guess it's a masochism, right, to enjoy scary movies?

0:35:180:35:21

A masochism, to derive pleasure from a pain.

0:35:210:35:23

And I understand masochism, I have to say I do,

0:35:230:35:26

because I like spicy food.

0:35:260:35:28

Love spicy food. It hurts me in my little Asian gob, but I love it.

0:35:280:35:32

And if you think about it,

0:35:330:35:34

spicy food is actually a lot like scary movies.

0:35:340:35:36

If it's good, you feel alive.

0:35:360:35:39

If it's really good, you shit yourself.

0:35:390:35:42

What else about me? I'm 26, I'm 20-goddam-6.

0:35:450:35:50

People often think I'm older,

0:35:500:35:51

because although I am 26, I look terrible.

0:35:510:35:54

I look gross and old, I guess.

0:35:570:35:59

Mothers, lock up your...selves.

0:35:590:36:02

Old Wang's on the prowl.

0:36:050:36:06

He gonna getcha.

0:36:080:36:10

I'm a bit fat, I suppose, I don't look great, I'm a bit fat.

0:36:110:36:14

I don't struggle with my weight.

0:36:140:36:16

People my shape and size often say they struggle with their weight,

0:36:160:36:19

they're always very sad, "Oh, I struggle with my weight".

0:36:190:36:23

I don't struggle with my weight.

0:36:230:36:25

"Struggle" implies that I fought back at some point.

0:36:250:36:29

I didn't... I helped.

0:36:310:36:34

I was very much an accomplice to my weight.

0:36:360:36:39

I was no barrier of entry to my weight.

0:36:390:36:41

My weight knocked at the door and said, "Can I come in?"

0:36:410:36:43

And I said, "Can I keep playing video games and touching myself?"

0:36:430:36:46

And my weight said, "Yeah"... "Come in!"

0:36:460:36:48

"Take off your shoes, though. Chinese house."

0:36:500:36:52

I have been trying to work on my look, though.

0:36:560:36:58

I've been trying to look better, I'm trying to work on my look.

0:36:580:37:01

I think it's important for all of us to have a distinct look that we like

0:37:010:37:04

and to accomplish it as best we can

0:37:040:37:05

and so, I have settled on the look of Cambodian dictator.

0:37:050:37:09

It's a pretty strong look.

0:37:140:37:16

It's been getting me a lot of respect recently,

0:37:170:37:20

mainly from Cambodian people.

0:37:200:37:22

But then I got fun shoes at the end.

0:37:240:37:27

Racist people think that I'm barefoot, but there you go.

0:37:270:37:33

That's a joke about colour, a joke about colour now.

0:37:330:37:36

Look, I've been trying to smile more, as well.

0:37:360:37:39

I've been trying to...

0:37:390:37:41

Smile more, you're supposed to look better when you smile,

0:37:410:37:43

so I've been making an effort to smile more.

0:37:430:37:45

I've always been told to smile my entire life, I've been told smile.

0:37:450:37:48

My entire life I've been told to smile by strangers.

0:37:480:37:50

Since I was a kid, strangers would just come up to me,

0:37:500:37:53

kick me in the head, "Smile!".

0:37:530:37:55

It still happens now, strangers tell me to smile.

0:37:550:37:57

Apparently I have a thing called resting bitch face.

0:37:570:38:03

Yeah? Fellow sufferer, I can see.

0:38:030:38:06

Resting bitch face.

0:38:060:38:07

I guess when I'm active I look OK, but when I rest I look like a bitch.

0:38:070:38:11

And it bothers people.

0:38:130:38:14

I have to fix it for them for some reason.

0:38:140:38:16

I get harassed all the time. I'm a grown-ass man.

0:38:160:38:19

I still get harassed in the street by strangers telling me to smile.

0:38:190:38:22

Female builders shout at me.

0:38:220:38:24

They do. Female builders on female construction sites shout across the street.

0:38:260:38:30

"Give us a smile, love", they shout at me.

0:38:300:38:33

"Oh, come on, Gok, give us a smile".

0:38:330:38:36

And they squeeze their breasts.

0:38:400:38:41

It's very threatening, I don't like it.

0:38:410:38:44

So I've been trying to smile more, I've been making an effort,

0:38:450:38:48

keep the builders at bay.

0:38:480:38:50

Try and stay safe on the streets and trying to smile.

0:38:500:38:52

It does mean, though,

0:38:520:38:54

I've had to give up on the look I've always wanted,

0:38:540:38:56

which is the strong silent type.

0:38:560:38:58

That's what I've always wanted to be, strong, silent type.

0:38:580:39:00

A lot of fellas go for that look, most reward for least effort,

0:39:000:39:04

strong silent type.

0:39:040:39:05

But what I've come to realise is that, in order to pull

0:39:050:39:07

that look off, you need a jawline.

0:39:070:39:10

And old Wang don't have no jawline.

0:39:110:39:13

That's not my face. I basically have one cheek and then two eyes,

0:39:140:39:18

and that's it.

0:39:180:39:20

It doesn't work for me, I can't do that.

0:39:210:39:24

It's not fair. A guy with a good jaw, he can do that,

0:39:240:39:26

a guy with a strong jaw, he can be the strong silent type.

0:39:260:39:28

He can stand there, furrow his brow in silence.

0:39:280:39:32

People look at that guy, they give him the benefit of the doubt, every time.

0:39:320:39:35

"Oh, wow, what a stoic, fascinating man.

0:39:350:39:40

"One can only imagine what thoughts are occurring in that chiselled skull".

0:39:400:39:44

I can't do that. If I stand in a corner and just...

0:39:450:39:48

People look at me and go, "Why is that giant Korean baby so grumpy?"

0:39:520:39:56

"Get that huge Mongolian toddler out of here."

0:39:590:40:02

"He is bothering us!"

0:40:030:40:05

People always ask me where I'm from.

0:40:070:40:09

People always say, "Hey Phil, Phil Wang."

0:40:090:40:12

"Where are you from?"

0:40:140:40:15

Then I say, "Oh, London".

0:40:150:40:18

And then they say, "No!"

0:40:180:40:20

"Nice try, Phil Wang."

0:40:250:40:26

"Where are you originally from?"

0:40:290:40:32

"Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, somewhere like that?"

0:40:330:40:36

It happens all the time.

0:40:360:40:37

It upsets me, you know, I don't like it, because I'm British.

0:40:370:40:40

I love being British.

0:40:400:40:41

I have a British passport and I'm very proud to be British.

0:40:410:40:44

But I think what annoys me the most about the whole thing is that

0:40:440:40:47

I am actually originally from Malaysia, yeah.

0:40:470:40:49

So...

0:40:490:40:51

So I don't say that!

0:40:520:40:53

And then they are right to have asked,

0:40:540:40:57

I mean that's the most difficult part of the whole thing.

0:40:570:41:00

Because they shouldn't have asked, but it turns out,

0:41:000:41:04

they were right to have asked.

0:41:040:41:07

Because they were spot on, to be fair to them,

0:41:070:41:09

but it was a racist suspicion...

0:41:090:41:11

..for them to have...

0:41:120:41:14

But the suspicion was correct in the end, so...

0:41:150:41:17

I'm always conflicted. Am I offended by their narrow-mindedness

0:41:190:41:22

or impressed with their detective skills?

0:41:220:41:25

Good work, Colombo.

0:41:250:41:27

I suppose racism isn't always black and white.

0:41:290:41:31

There are shades of yellow, too.

0:41:320:41:35

Thank you, thank you very much.

0:41:350:41:38

I'm enjoy my life in the UK, though, I like it a lot here.

0:41:380:41:41

I got myself a girlfriend.

0:41:410:41:42

Thank you.

0:41:420:41:43

Got myself an English girlfriend, living the immigrant dream.

0:41:440:41:47

Smacking it.

0:41:490:41:50

It will be your jobs next.

0:41:520:41:53

Nah, the women will do.

0:42:010:42:02

Women are miracles, jobs are boring.

0:42:030:42:05

She's great my gal, she's brilliant.

0:42:070:42:09

She's a vicar's daughter.

0:42:090:42:10

A vicar's daughter...

0:42:140:42:16

The atheist's ultimate victory.

0:42:160:42:18

Take that, God,

0:42:200:42:23

old Wang snagged one of your lambs.

0:42:230:42:25

I snuck in your pen and I nabbed your lambs.

0:42:330:42:35

Hopefully going to have kids with my lady,

0:42:380:42:40

I want to have kids with my gal.

0:42:400:42:42

My girlfriend, she's a white lady, no problem with that, big fan.

0:42:420:42:45

Big fan of the white ladies. So much so actually that I've decided that

0:42:460:42:49

I'm only ever going to children with a white lady, right?

0:42:490:42:53

Not only that, my sons will only ever have children

0:42:530:42:55

with white ladies.

0:42:550:42:56

Their sons will only have children with white ladies.

0:42:560:42:59

And this will go on and on, on and on,

0:42:590:43:01

generation after generation after generation,

0:43:010:43:03

until every trace of Chinese gene has gone, every memory of me erased,

0:43:030:43:06

they won't even know I ever existed, right?

0:43:060:43:09

Because I have a dream that, in 1,000 years, the UK will be full

0:43:090:43:13

of white people who are all called Wang and don't know why.

0:43:130:43:18

Thanks very much, guys. I'm Phil Wang. Wonderful!

0:43:180:43:21

Phil Wang!

0:43:250:43:27

Amazing.

0:43:290:43:31

Ivo Graham and Phil Wang.

0:43:310:43:34

I've been Joe Lycett. See you again!

0:43:340:43:35

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.


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