Anticipating the 2009 Fringe: “Phil the Void – The Great Brain Robbery”

Phil Van Hest of Phil the Void - The Great Brain Robbery

Today I am sneaking in to my day job for an hour or two and then heading out to the Indiana State Fair to judge the Liars Contest in the Pioneer Village area.   Registration for tellers begins at 4:00; the contest itself begins at 5:00.  C’mon out and tell me a whopper!

In the meantime I’d like to tell you some truths about “Phil the Void,” aka Phil van Hest, who is one of my all-time favorite Indy Fringe performers.  He is a stand-up comic based in Los Angeles, California.  He also has a day job being a roadie for rock stars (or something like that) but he has been coming here to Indianapolis for the Indy Fringe show from the beginning.

(Note to self: Ask Phil what brought him to Indianapolis that first year.  Were we a “safe place” in which to try out new material?  I don’t think he is on “the Fringe circuit” like some performers are.  I.e., I think this is the only Fringe Festival he travels to.  Does he have family here?  Hmm.  Time to step into a phone booth or whatever superheroes use these days and change into my Inquisative Girl costume.)

My first time to see Phil’s work was in 2007.  Here is what I wrote then for

I caught the “Phil the Void” stand-up comedy show again last night at the Indy Fringe Festival. The second time was even better than the first.

This man, Phil, is off-the-charts smart, but somehow he lets his audience feel “gifted,” too.

This man, Phil, is funny. Sometimes I thought I would pass out I was laughing so hard.

This man, Phil, is sexy. Women were lined up on stage after the show, supposedly waiting to buy bumper stickers from him, but actually, I suspect, hoping to take him out for a beer and whatever. I was tempted to suggest it, myself.

At the top of the show, Phil asked, “How many of you are here because you heard how great this show is?” He looked at all the raised hands and said, “Well, lower the bar of your expectations, would you?”

As a matter of fact, not every word that comes out of Phil’s mouth is hilarious. Some of his material is complex information that is actually pretty depressing. However, this makes the overall effect of Phil’s show that much more powerful.

At the end he shares a piece of graffiti that he saw on a sewer pipe: “In spite of what I’ve learned, I can still have fun.”

He adds, “I hope that is true.”

Because of Phil, I know it is.

I saw his 2008 Indy Fringe show twice, too.  I reviewed it on Indy Theatre Habit here.

But in the email he sent me last week Phil says, “Don’t spend all day reminiscing about the last four shows you’ve seen Phil in, go see the new one!”

So now I’m counting the days until I can do just that.


Below is the rest of the info Phil sent me about his 2009 Indy Fringe show, called “Phil the Void: the Great Brain Robbery.”

Phil van Hest returns for his fifth IndyFringe!  Don’t spend all day reminiscing about the last four shows you’ve seen Phil in, go see the new one!

One hundred percent not old!

“I gave birth to Phil!” -Phil’s Mom

“The best show I’ve seen all night” -Some Guy

“If you don’t see it, you might not remember it!” -Fact O’many

Wow!  What great and love-filled quotes.  I’d sure find out what I was talking about if I was me.  Good thing huh!  Seriously folks, this show will be exactly what we make of it, and it could never be anything else- gnome saying.

Warnings: Adult themes, adult languages

Comedy Sportz Arena

Saturday, August 22, 7:30pm

Sunday, August 23, 6:00

Monday, August 24, 9:00pm

Friday, August 28, l0:30pm

Saturday, August 29, 9:00pm

Sunday, August 30, l:30pm


‘See you at the Fringe!

Hope Baugh – and @IndyTheatre

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