Phil Wang wins Comedy Central Live's funniest student award
Andrew Mickel23 March 2011
Cambridge Footlight Phil Wang scooped the top prize at Comedy Central Live’s funniest student awards on Monday night.
Held at the famous Comedy Store in central London Wang beat fellow competitors Ed Patrick, Neil Hickey, Tony Basnett and Emerald Paston to the top prize from the panel of judges which included Jack Whitehall, Comedy Central’s Leanne Diggins and Rick Hughes from Off The Kerb.
Whitehall was called to the stage himself early on after host Patrick Monaghan was delayed en-route to the venue. Taking the change of compere in his stride Whitehall eased the crowd into their places before introducing the first finalist Ed Patrick, who delivered five minutes of confident deadpan storytelling comedy.
In true X-Factor style, each judge was invited to give a critique of the finalists, with fellow finalist Neil Hickey said to have ‘made love to my ears’ by Whitehall, who also admitted to getting joke envy from some of the acts after their sets.
Comedy Central sifted through almost 60,000 applications to pick their top five acts, which were invited to London to perform at the Comedy Store in the final alongside secret headliner.
Wang clinched his place at the top of the podium after delivering a set which played on his resemblance to Michael McIntyre, the problems of being discovered by his dad plucking a mono-brow, and a clever use of the text slang for a series of jokes about ‘lols’. For his efforts the comedian will now be taken under Off The Kerb’s wing for a number of gigs and mentoring from Comedy Central.
All that was left was for the secret headliner Kevin Bridges to round off the evening with a short set. Though only 24 himself Bridges has a mature approach to his stand-up and is easily able to mould his audience to accept whatever he may want to convey.
This mastery was evident in a set which included delving into topical material with a risqué joke about the Japanese tsunami. Despite the potential to offend so close to a dramatic event nobody barely batted an eyelid, they were already riding a comedy wave of their own.
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