Review: Emo Phillips with Jay Brown, Bryan O’Gorman and The Hicks at Yuk Yuk’s, March 23

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Amanda says: 

 

 

 

Brian says:

 

 

 

Amanda says:

Ah, the Friday late show, where no matter how great the comedians are, the crowd is always rowdy. This show was no different – I was almost tempted to bounce a few people myself. I don’t mind a little friendly interaction or random yelling, but “little” is the key word there. I’d really like to see Yuk Yuk’s replace a couple of their adorable waitresses with imposingly large, yet friendly, dudes to help keep the drunks in check in the future.

That said, the comics all worked well with the interruptions and the crowd didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the show nearly as much as I thought it would.

Brian says:

I like pretty much everything about the new Yuk Yuk’s room. The stage and lighting look very professional, there is a good amount of seating (although there is the unfortunate issue that some tables have chairs facing away from the stage), the service is excellent, and the comedy, so far, has been great. The aforementioned drunks were annoying, yes, but thankfully there were only a couple of them. I’m just hoping the room doesn’t turn into their home in the future.

Amanda says:

Our emcee for the evening was Jay Brown, comedy veteran and former Vancouverite. He hardly did any material off the top, which was a little disappointing – he’s an edgy kind of guy, and I was definitely in the mood for that. And he was a little too patient with the drunks in the crowd, for my taste. It felt like he was going to lose everyone more than once. But, to his credit, he didn’t. In fact, the longer the show went on, the more he won the crowd over.

Brian says:

I really wish Brown did more of his material because the great job he was doing as MC had me wanting him to be on stage more often. The crowd loved him, and I think it was because he was tuned into the collective mindset. He’s a great host, but I’m sure an even better headliner.

Amanda says:

I only have so much patience with stoner comedy, and I was afraid Bryan O’Gorman was going to test it sorely. But I found his comedy every bit as intelligent and subtle as I’d (repeatedly) heard it would be. O’Gorman’s style worked as well on the very inebriated, pro-druggie element of the audience as it did on those of us with our wits about us. He had the whole audience eating out of his hand by the end of the set. It would have been an easy transition to Emo Phillips at that point, but there was one more act in store.

Brian says:

O’Gorman didn’t really do it for me. He’s very clever and his jokes are a lot smarter than you would think they would be (a perfect example of the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover), but his delivery was boring. In fact, he almost seemed a little bored himself. He wasn’t the worst thing about the evening, as you will quickly come to learn, but he also didn’t start the night off with much of a bang.

Amanda says:

A caveat: I want to be a fan of musical comedy, but I rarely enjoy it. I tried valiantly to enjoy The Hicks’ three-song set, but it just wasn’t working for me. Or, it seemed, the rest of the audience. Slowly but surely, the comedy-receptive crowd O’Gorman had left reverted to the drunk and distracted bunch that had walked through the door. That said, their set was very polished and they were excellent showmen. And who can’t appreciate the awesomeness of titties and beer?

Brian says:

I have no idea what The Hicks were doing on this show. Their set was a complete disaster from beginning to end. Comedic music rarely works, in my opinion, and this trio failed to deliver. They lost the crowd the second they started singing and even though people started clapping along with the country tunes, I can assure you it was only because they were so uncomfortable they had to do something. Chalk it up to the polite Canadian stereotype. Brown tried his hardest to keep the mood in the room from going sour once The Hicks left the stage. He succeeded, thanks to his subtle way of saying they sucked. I hope to never see them booked again because sitting through their three song set list, comprised entirely of dick and beer jokes, was one of the most awkward experiences I’ve had at a comedy club this year.

Amanda says:

My entire conception of Emo Phillips as a comic comes from foggy memories of watching him on Just For Laughs with my dad as a kid. I was eager to see if he would measure up to my dad’s estimation of him, and I am happy to announce that he exceeded it. His trademark delivery was sharp as ever, as was his material. Phillips is at his best when he’s most morbid (which, thankfully, is often.) And his fondness for high-speed topic changes kept the audience paying attention. The odd time someone did heckle, Phillips would pause until the silence was uncomfortable and then keep going as though nothing had happened. Clever, effective and hilarious – which about sums him up.

Brian says:

Phillips was the saviour of the evening. Like Amanda, I had only ever seen Phillips on TV, and based on that alone, I never liked him much. But I always had hope that he would be better live than the edited footage on television made him out to be. And I was so right. Phillips’ dark sense of humour was a breath of fresh air. He held the crowd’s attention the entire time he was on stage and never let go if it. Thanks to him, my night was redeemed and I finally felt that the $20 ticket price was justified. His brilliance should be enough to get those who came out to Yuk Yuks’ opening weekend talking and keeping the comedy fans coming back for more.

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One Response to Review: Emo Phillips with Jay Brown, Bryan O’Gorman and The Hicks at Yuk Yuk’s, March 23

  1. Asia Saunders says:

    That was the best time I’ve had since visiting Vancouver. Being a tourist in Vancouver has been a wonderful experience but experiencing an evening of comedy at Yuk Yuk’s was with out a doubt the high light of the vacation. I also thought the host Jay Brown was very witty and Brian OGorman was also very funny, but the Hicks I thought were very entertaining and their songs well written. I agree musical comedy is probably the hardest to do and not very many comedians attempt it. The people I was with were all laughing and also quite enjoyed it. Anyway Yuk Yuks is a great place to spend an evening while in Vancouver.