1*2*3 Presents
Hugh Phukovsky

WHY 123?

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HUGH PHUKOVSKY: The punk rock custodian of comedy has been mopping up this shitty excuse for humor since 1996. Compelled on to the stage out his huge disgust in the lost art of stand up, his plans we’re simply to stir up the drones that frequented comedy clubs. Dubbed an Anti-comedy hero he took his show on the road. Not because he had a growing legion of fans, but because he ran out of places to play in town. At the beginning there were very few places that would let him back a second time. . It’s not that he was that offensive; most comedy clubs just don’t know how to take him. He wasn’t really telling “jokes”, he was more playing with the idea of humor. Maybe they felt him making fun of their chosen profession and didn’t think it was funny. When people don’t understand something, when they don’t have words, sometimes they get pretty violent. As when Hugh was “banned from Calgary” or physically pushed off the stage at the Urban Well (Kitsilano’s yuppie central) three years ago never to be allowed back again.

IMAGES (click to enlarge)

“I’ll give you a toonie to push me around in this cart?”
“If comedy is a crime, I’m a criminal!”
Sex sells (but who’s buying?)
Hugh’s jokes are so powerful they can even stop automobiles
“How many hippies does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
Thank god I’m a country boy
Comedy for the kids
“They love me in China town.”
Hugh live @ The Laugh Gallery
Michael J fox is also from B.C.*													*Not actually Michael J Fox but a representation of what Michael J Fox might have looked like if he worked at Safeway in 1983.
Photos by Victoria Ford.

VIDEO *Fast internet connection recommended
Hugh Phukovsky: Demo Reel
Hugh Phukovsky: Bonus Excerpts
Hugh Phukovsky: Bonus! Tutti-Frutti On Rudy!

Hugh has always been way more appreciated playing rock or art shows. When asked ‘why do you even bother begging the owners to play comedy clubs?’ He said “It’s way more fun to knock people out of there comfort zone, and comedy clubs are filled with the most stagnate demographic imaginable. I love the contrast too. For an audience member I would rather see me sandwiched between two Jerry Seinfeld clones than anything else. To me that’s comedy. More than jokes, it’s the whole experience.”

But those were the old days. Recently humor has been making a comeback in Vancouver. Hip cats that would never think of going to a comedy club have started coming out. Mostly because the stigma of “comedy clubs” is changing. Places like “The Laugh Gallery” are welcoming people to experiment with the notion of humor.

In between your average stand up acts, you can see some really interesting and hilarious comedy. And judging by the amount of email & phone calls we’ve been getting for Mr. Phukovsky, there seems to be more and more rooms like that opening up in town. Stand-up just might get the evolutionary kick in the ass it’s been begging for, for the last 20 years.

When asked how he felt about finally being accepted Hugh had mixed feelings. “In one way it’s great cause I get to headline and have more time to play with but on the downside people start expecting a certain thing. They are ready for me to take them for a ride and they don’t bite as easily. That’s when I usually revert to doing straight stand up. They assume I’m gonna pull the rug from under them so I don’t and then I have pulled the rug from under them. I guess it’s all the same thing.”

Check Upcoming Events page for more info on HUGH PHUKOVSKY and other 1*2*3 projects.


The Billboard Series

Hugh has been performing on top of billboards during rush hour. Have you looked at a billboard lately? One-foot metal gate, a spot light shinning down, complete with colorful backdrops. Well Hugh Phukovsky has and decided it was the right place to commence a citywide tour. "I wanted to give the common folk something new to look at on drive home from work."

Banned in Calgary

Well this happened right around the same time Marylin Manson and KD Lang were also banned from performance. They said she was unwelcome to perform because of her anti-beef stance but I'm sure her lesbian status didn't help her either. Hugh was performing in early 98 just after the Alberta premier refused to honor the National Vegetarian week. He was showing a slide show of really cute animals and going "ahhhh". Then it came to the cow "ahhhll beef patties special sauce, lettuce cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun". The slides went in a slow motion sequence through the slaughterhouse. Cow in line for execution, strung up as the throat is slit, all the way to a smiling child eating a burger from a McDonalds ad. Did I mention that Hugh was performing in a "saloon" which was trying it's first ever 'open mic comedy night'?

When he started to repeat the same slide routine in it's entirety the cowboys got antsy. As he started the 3rd time through an ashtray was thrown at him narrowly missing his head. Then someone called him a "faggot". The bouncer came up to get him off the stage so Hugh kissed him right on the lips which brought the crowd to a frenzy, not to mention the bouncer who very roughly bounced him out of the saloon. As Hugh was pushed to the door he saw his slide machine being stomped on by cowboy boots. When Hugh was outside the big burley bouncer yelled " You'll never play in Calgary again!"

And that's how Hugh Phukovsky was unofficially banned from Calgary.

The Bathroom Show

On September 8th, 2001 Hugh was asked to entertain at a warehouse party and instead of playing the designated stage area he chose to perform in the small one-person bathroom. Two monitor stacks were erected and the space was cut in half. The sound was so loud that ear plugs were handed out at the door. Tickets were also handed out in the main room, they were free but some of them were purposely printed up as fakes. People trying to gain entry with these fraudulent tickets were bounced out of the area. Hugh performed on the sink in what he claimed to be "27 jokes in under 2 minutes!" people were hanging from pipes and perched on each others body parts. We managed to raise the illegal capacity to 13 people in the excruciatingly small space. The show was huge success and was held over for a slightly anti-climatic second show. Management was a little disappointed with 10 under capacity.

Jail Break

Through some narrow escapes from the law (with the "Billboard Series"), plans are in the works to record the next album from jail. The only problem is getting the necessary recording gear into the cell. The only ideas we could come up with would result in a lot of bum jokes. Retrieving the gear and putting it back together would probably occupy tracks 1 though 12. The al-Bum is tentatively titled "Live from death row: 'A' holes are better than no holes."


The Media has spoken:

Hot and Innovative…. Vancouver’s best comedian.”
- Robert Dayton, Terminal city

His live show is …ridiculous, but in that are sparks of artistic brilliance.”
  - Shelby Kelly, Owen Sound Sun Times

He just may be Andy Kaufman’s bastard son
  - Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight

Shut up, they’re only jokes!”
  - Hugh Phukovsky, 123 presents
A young fan expresses her accolades
after a RARE set in a DayCare
in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1998









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