Phil Wang: Philly Philly Wang Wang
- Brian Donaldson
- 4 August 2019
A brightly shining stand-up star in the ascendant
'The power of Taskmaster', as one admiring fellow comic put it, helped Phil Wang to sell out his entire Pleasance Courtyard run even before setting foot in Edinburgh, with extra dates trying to sate the astonishing demand. Stepping out onto his Cabaret Bar stage, Wang looks like the most relaxed headlight-staring rabbit you've ever encountered. Constantly and amusingly referring to himself in the third person, his self-assuredness is perhaps understandable given that he identifies as 'white Chinese', a racial identity twin-set Wang views as the most powerful pairing of them all.
Edging ever closer to the end of his 20s, he feels in a good place despite his own body bringing him unexpected aches and odours, the world going to hell and his recent relationship having reached its conclusion. As the comic notes in hindsight, maybe they shouldn't have gone to see The Muppets at the O2: a delight for him, a mystery to his partner, with Wang's attempts to describe exactly what's happening on the enormous stage only making matters worse.
The daft and stupendously titled Philly Philly Wang Wang has treats and pleasures at every turn and within each sentence. The only moment of deliberately unfunny contemplation arrives when he discusses whether comedy should be considered as a high artform. TV may be propelling Phil Wang onto big things, but his brilliant stand-up career is shining brightly all on its own.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug (not 12), 8pm; 10, 17, 24 Aug, 11pm; 16 Aug, 11.15pm, £12–£13 (£11–£12).