Of the 11th season Comedy Now! shows Phil Hanley's is going to be my favorite. This stand-up comic gives a solid and original performance by doing everything a comic is not supposed to do to get laughs. This, in part, is what makes him so good. Hanley is also smart enough not to make his Comedy Now! performance too Toronto centric so this is a show that travels very well.
This stand-up comedian is fairly deadpan both in delivery and expression. He waits two beats longer than what the rules say before delivering his next line or the punch line. Most impressive, Phil Hanley is not afraid of silence. All these things together are what makes his brand of comedy work.
Hanley opens strong with a long routine on being a stay at home son. A lot of young comics are in that situation and use it as material but this guy brings something new to the topic.
The comedian also has a flair for the innocuously dark. Pretty much every young comic does something about the middle-eastern 7/11 clerk. Hanley gives it a really funny and original twist and slips in a killer callback that will blow you away.
The one almost weak routine is a bit on drugs and alcohol. It is a little too generic for a comic like Hanley. I did appreciate the acid part of this routine and the long distance making friends callback is really good.
This is a smart comic who knows how to play with the audience's expectations. The segment where Hanley gets an assistant to help him punch the first four jokes he ever came up not only makes for great TV but the comic's twist is really funny.
Phil Hanley is a stand-up comic who knows how to mess with the audience's expectations: he sets them up for something and throws the most of out of the blue curve balls ever. That he all makes this seem absolutely effortless is just really cool.
The August 2nd CTV and August 3rd The Comedy Network episode of Comedy Now! is more than "time well wasted" or " must see TV" at 10 P.M.