Living under the rock does not mean that there is not the pinnacle of perfection that can be achieved, the ultimate of the art form. In fact, some people or artists may argue that only under the rock, out of popular culture’s not so discerning eye and away from the corporate machines that peddle and push what is “cool” or “hot” can one achieve such a state. I am not here to argue whether or not “pop comedy” is a good or bad thing, but only to try and shed some light on artists that bring me joy and even take me to a level of bliss that is so intoxicating I forget I am even there, in a club, totally unaware of my own reactions. My body is flailing and my laugh is without the restrictions that as a child I would have considered embarrassing.
I can gush all I want here because I know the people I am writing about this week most likely will not read this and even if they did, it is something I would or already have told them to their faces. They cause that inner turmoil any performer feels when they see something done so damned well that they are inspired to become greater themselves and also to question their own merit, “What am I even doing this for? I cannot do it any better than they already are!” And so we have the next two creatures that not only live under the rock, they just might be its inhabitants’ leaders.
Robert Hawkins – Robert is everything and more that most comedians strive to be…incredibly funny, all the time. One of my best friends in comedy and former “Under the Rock” comedians said it best about him, “Is he ever not funny? He is the one guy that is consistently funny all the time, no matter what is going on.” And he was never more right. If you do not navigate within the circles of comedy you may not know who Robert Hawkins is and that is not only a shame, it is huge comedy crime. If you are a young comedian and you are reading this and do not know who he is…stop reading and click this link now! Think of it like this, if you like pizza, beer, candy and ice cream, Hawkins will make you a comedy pizza made of beer, candy and ice cream. And you will be hungry for me after it is over. Seeing him live is the only way to truly appreciate the frenzy of his words and you will not pick up on all the funny until you see him over and over and over again. I have never asked for your trust before, but you can trust me on this one. Oh, and his latest cd is free for download on his website.
Henry Phillips – If you like music and do not even try to tell me you do not or you are a robot. You will have to see Henry live and in action. There are comedians out there who say that, “guitar comics are hacky!” or “guitar comics aren’t comics!” blah blah blah blah. These are guys or gals who have no idea of which they are speaking first of all and secondly, have never seen Henry Phillips live. Just as in any art form there a good examples and bad examples of how it is done. Henry is the ultimate example of how to do it great. There is nothing but originality that spews from his guitar and his mouth for that matter. Imagine you were watching VH1’s Storytellers and it was hilarious. That is the best way I can think of to sum up his show. He much like Robert Hawkins lives under the rock with such a sterling reputation and held in high admiration by any and all who occupy this dimension of comedy. You find me someone who does not like Henry Phillips’ comedy and/or him as a person and I will show you someone I would never hang out with or be around without a loaded pistol held to my head. He is king and ruler of original guitar style stand up comedy. I’m not saying he invented it, but I am saying he is the best in the business today and that is saying something considering there are other great ones out there.