Stand-up comedy from the Hammersmith Apollo. Comedian Joe Lycett 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,
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hammersmith Apollo, again, everyone!
Give me an "Ooh!"
Give me an "A-ha-ha-ha".
Very nice. Let me hear you say, "Hell, yeah!"
And then, as camp as you can, give me an, "Oh, no".
You shook your head. "I'm not going to do a camp thing".
Give yourselves a round of applause!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
That's good. Hello.
So, right, I broke my elbow.
I got into a fight.
You should see the other guy.
She's fine. She's back at school.
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(!)
I made a sling out of silver!
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?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, do you know, I want to talk about Birmingham.
I am from Birmingham. Anyone from Birmingham in?
Oh, loads of you. Hello, welcome. I know I don't have the accent.
I know. I just never had it.
I, er, was watching Fox News the other week.
The reputable news source that is Fox News(!)
And they described Birmingham as "100% Muslim".
Alaikum-Salaam is what you say back, but don't worry,
we will work it out. I was interested in that,
because "100% Muslim", they said. It is a sort of truth.
There is a lot of Muslims in Birmingham.
There is a lot of all cultures there.
We are known for being multicultural.
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. 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 is 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 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, um, 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 a teacher, as well.
You're not going to tell Malala off for anything.
"What are you doing with that phone?"
"Texting Barack Obama, actually, so..."
"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 were 100% Muslim, cos when they say
things like that, there is a subtext to that.
What they are saying is that we should be worried about that,
that there is something terrifying, frightening about Muslims.
I think we have got a problem. I think we are using the word "Muslim"
far too quickly to describe people doing atrocities,
when they do not represent Muslims any more than I do.
I think we should be using a more accurate word for those people,
which I am going to argue is "knobhead".
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
It's a political rally now.
There would be levels of knobhead. You would have a moderate knobhead,
all the way up to fundamental knobhead.
And if we all did it, the news would have to catch up.
They would have to go, "Today, two knobheads bombed a car."
They would have to do it. And it wouldn't necessarily be to do with
terrorist activity. Not just that. Any knobheady activity would get
the knobhead word. I have thought of some.
People that wear a festival wristband after a festival.
Ugh! 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 are both knobheads, sorry!
Hate that! Hate it!
Sanctimonious mothers. I 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. 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?! Just ever so slightly."
Amanda Holden - fundamental knobhead. I just don't like her.
I don't like her.
Don't encourage me, because I am sure she is lovely.
But I 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 is happening around
the country, actually. We have a lot of artisan coffee shops.
You know the sort of places I am on about.
Shoreditch is full of them. Kind of, like, distressed wood.
That kind of thing.
And they serve flat whites and they will say things like,
"We support local artists."
And you know that, cos the art on the wall
Dozens. Dozens in Birmingham. They are all shit.
No, there is one I quite like.
I cannot say the name, for legal reasons.
They do an avocado and feta smash.
It's a 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 is a lovely way to start the day.
I went in recently and I said to the girl,
"I'd like the avocado and feta smash, please,
"with the poached egg." And she went, "Oh.
"We don't do the egg any more."
I said, "Why's that?" And 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 a career, childcare, heartbreak.
I don't think of someone cooking a fucking egg.
I am boycotting them now. I am boycotting them.
We have 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 have only been in once. It was about 4am.
I got back late from a show. I thought I would treat myself,
have a hot chocolate. The guy behind the counter obviously
could not cope with daylight. "Can I take a name?"
"Yeah, it's Joe. Can I ask why?"
He's like, "Just in case the order gets confused."
I looked around an empty Starbucks!
He 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?
"He loves a hot chocolate, our John."
Now, I am going to tell you a final thing and then I am going to
bring on your first act. Are you up for this?
Right. What I want to tell you about is a thing I have been doing
in my office. I have got this office in Birmingham. It's a little space
that I write stuff in and whatever. I have got this, like, snap frame
on the door, which is where, like... The other businesses have their
business name, but I am not a business, so I just leave it blank,
most of the time. But sometimes, I get drunk in the office
and put silly things in the snap frame.
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
which is clearly a fox.
And then 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 laugh.
Didn't think of it again. Until, a couple of days later,
I got an e-mail from Carol. Carol wrote, "Mr Lycett,
"it has come to our attention that you have a sign for a lost cat
"on 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."
I checked the contract. Nothing in there about animals,
so she's got nothing on me. Second, it's a picture of a fox, Carol.
I replied. "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,
"The cat turned, 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 am 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.
"Also, can I ask what the Peter Peterson e-mail address
"is on the sign? Are you sharing the office space?"
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 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 have had more complaints
"that you have replaced the sign with a very similar sign.
"Also, you cannot 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."
I didn't want to speak to her over the phone, so I replied,
"Carol, I am afraid that will not be possible.
"I have been advised by Peter Peterson that I should not 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. I am fairly confident
"your investigator is not living in the office.
"As long as you do not have pets in the office, I am happy to forget
"the whole thing. Regards, Carol." Very diplomatic. Very considerate,
on Carol's part. I replied...
"Carol, Carol, Carol...
"Of course your security man did not spot Peter Peterson.
"He is a private investigator
"and shape-shifter. He lives in the cracks.
"He is watching you when you least expect it.
"He lives in the shadows of your darkest fears and,
"in your weakest moments, when you're naked and vulnerable,
"he is there - watching, waiting. He lives through all of us.
"He is their breath on the back of the neck, the breeze in your hair.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
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".
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, yeah, I am going to introduce the first act now.
I love this guy. I have worked with him for years,
since we both started stand-up. I just think he's wonderful.
So, please, give all your love and warmth
for the amazing Ivo Graham!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Good evening, Live at the Apollo.
My name is Ivo. I am going to tell you a few things about myself.
Let's start off with the big news. I have 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 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, really,
but I forgot to cancel the trial in time.
Now, I am 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. My flatmate, who 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, I had a bit
of a change of heart. Thought to myself,
"You know what? No! My Prime privileges are not something to be
"bandied around willy-nilly.
"I have paid my money. I didn't mean to, but I have.
"I have joined an exclusive club
"and it is not for me to bail out the Muggles."
That book arrived the following morning
and I kept it in my possession for another 2-4 working days.
I am an extremely petty man.
What else can I tell you about myself?
I have 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 am 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 would be the guy in the group who would not have sex until after
they left school. To most people, that is an insult.
To me, very much challenge accepted. I surpassed expectations,
by the length of an additional educational establishment.
I'm not ashamed of that. Tried to turn it into something
I am sort of proud of, like a modesty Top Trump.
Obviously, I am well aware that "age of virginity lost"
is not an official category in most Top Trump sets.
I like to imagine that it is, cos if you had this guy,
your opponent would need to be packing
some pretty strong Christians or he'd be going home.
The most exciting times for me as a teenager - going to parties
on 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.
A very popular mum on the East Wiltshire social scene.
And some of that popularity trickled down. I would go to these parties
And I would be a hit, not with the girls my own age,
but with their mums. Cos their mums trusted me.
They knew what they were getting from the other boys,
at their daughters' parties - 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 am not ashamed to say
that I write a fucking good thank-you letter.
All the trimmings. Ink fountain pen, vellum 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. The 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, cos 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 next door, 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". Those females and their addiction
to the hypothetical tense.
When will they have the courage to turn these theories into reality?
I am sure a few of us here have been told we would make great boyfriends
or great girlfriends. One of these compliments which loses its appeal
quite quickly. Like being told by your computer you have
"excellent password strength".
Eventually, the compliment wears off.
I know I have 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.
It 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 am an absolute slave to the rhythm.
But back in the day, very nervous.
And never more nervous than the first time it was proposed
that we travel to London especially for a club night.
I remember consulting the itinerary that afternoon, saying,
"Guys, I have 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?" I received a truly chilling response.
"You have 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 is going to exceed
the remit of our same-day return. There is 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, listening 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(!)
But there were no other Keane fans in the O2 Academy, Brixton
that night. Or at least none others
wearing the 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 have 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 are 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 was not partaking in any illegal activities that night.
However, despite this, I was mistaken on the dancefloor,
not just for a drug taker, but for a drug dealer.
The man caught me rubbing my gums, misunderstood the situation.
Approached me, attempted to make a purchase.
There is no lower moment in this life than having to explain
to a potential client that what you applied was not MDMA, but Bonjela.
Ladies and gents, this has been an absolute privilege.
Thank you for having me. I've been Ivo Graham. Goodbye!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Amazing! Right, it's time for your next act.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Right! I love this act so much. You are going to have
such a brilliant time. So, please, give all your love and warmth
for the amazing, the wonderful Phil Wang!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hey! Hey, guys. Hey, how's it going?
Good to be here. 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 is normal".
Then, bang! Wang!
Out of nowhere, like a bat out of hell.
Phil Wang. I love introducing myself.
I love introducing myself. My 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 by name...
"..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,
the most difficult part of the job.
Comedians employ a whole host of tricks to start.
What a lot of comedians like to do is they like to start by
pointing out a celebrity they look like.
You know, like a weird thing they bear resemblance to.
And it's funny. Apparently if you look at me, right?
And, like, squint really hard,
Don't do that.
You'll get kicked out of the Apollo.
What else about me? I'm 26. I'm twenty-goddamn-six.
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 gon' get ya.
I'm a... 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... I don't struggle with my weight.
Struggle implies that I fought back at some point.
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." "Oh, 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've got fun shoes at the end.
Racist people think that I'm barefoot, but there you go.
It's a joke about colour.
Just a joke about colour, madam.
People always ask me where I'm from.
You know, people always say, "Hey, Phil, Phil Wang...
"..where are you from?"
Then I say, "Oh, London."
And then they say, "Heh, NO...
"..Nice try, Phil Wang...
"..Where are you originally from?
"Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, somewhere like that?"
Happens all the time and it upsets me, you know?
I don't like it, cos 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, erm...
So I don't say that.
And then they were right to have asked.
That's the most difficult part of the whole thing.
You know, cos they shouldn't have asked.
But it turns out
they were right to have asked.
It was spot-on, to be fair to them, but...
I mean, 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, Columbo.
I suppose race isn't always black and white.
There are shades of yellow, too. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
I'm enjoying my life in the UK, though. I like it a lot here.
Got myself a girlfriend. Thank you!
Got myself an English girlfriend, living the immigrant dream!
It'll be your jobs next!
Nah, the women'll 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.
I reckon I'm going to have kids, though, with my lady.
I'm going 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 have children with a white lady, right?
Not only that, my sons will only ever have children
with white ladies, their sons will only ever have children
with white ladies, and this'll go on and on, on and on,
generation after generation after generation,
until every trace of Chinese gene is 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 a lot, guys. I'm Phil Wang.
You're wonderful. Thanks, bye.
Ivo Graham and Phil Wang! I've been Joe Lycett. See you again.