Phan pokes phun

Dat Phan’s mother does not care what kind of girl he brings home to meet the parents — as long as she is Asian.

“She doesn’t know what I’m doing with all these white girls,” he riffed Saturday night. “She’s like, ‘Why don’t you date an Asian girl? Small and compact!’ What is she trying to sell me, a Hyundai?”

Approximately 1,000 students attended Saturday night’s Fall Show, which was headlined by Dat Phan (right) and Cory Kahaney (center left).
Snigdha Sur
Approximately 1,000 students attended Saturday night’s Fall Show, which was headlined by Dat Phan (right) and Cory Kahaney (center left).

Phan, a Vietnamese-American comedian and the winner of season one of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” headlined Saturday night’s Fall Show before an audience of roughly 1,000 in Woolsey Hall. Phan cracked jokes about his mother, Asian stereotypes and making it as a Vietnamese-American in Hollywood. Phan’s performance, preceded by two student performers and “Last Comic Standing” season one runner-up Cory Kahaney, was received well by students, though many said his emphasis on Asians was repetitive.

To open his act, Phan commented on the “half-church, half-Harry Potter” grandeur of Woolsey Hall. But he quickly moved to more familiar ground, surveying his upcoming movies, the propensity of Vietnamese-Americans to own nail salons and his mother’s preference that he date Vietnamese women. During the performance, Phan repeatedly wondered whether he was offending his audience.

“Usually people are clapping or laughing here,” Phan said after one joke, involving impersonations of his family. Measured applause followed.

Still, six of eight students interviewed were satisfied with the performances by the end of the night.

“I thought he was really funny,” said Kimberly Ton ’10, chair of the Vietnamese Student Association.

Ton added that although his jokes were often centered on Asians, “they were broad enough and about things that everyone can relate to — like parents.”

Four of eight students interviewed said that they preferred Kahaney to Phan, saying they could relate more easily to Kahaney’s humor, centered on parents and teenagers, than to Phan’s.

Kahaney opened for Phan, drawing laughs — and sometimes cringes — with her impersonations of her teenage daughter and her daughter’s friend, “Elizabeth the Slut.” Kahaney’s set ran smoothly save for interruptions from a malfunctioning microphone.

YSAC Chair Colin Leatherbury ’09 estimated that turnout was slightly less than last year, though he did not have exact figures Sunday night.

He said that YSAC accomplished their goal of saving money on the Fall Show to put toward a winter show, which, in a YSAC survey earlier this fall, a majority of responding students said they wanted.


  • Anonymous

    Dat Phan was horrible. The silence wasn't due to offensiveness, as bad a boy he may fancy himself, he just wasn't funny.

    Please note how he uses/used the SAME jokes from day one of (and throughout) Last Comic Standing Kung Fu peeing, plus the entire cycle about the non-asian girlfriends and his mom, the spicy food, the Brady bunch, etc, all from YEARS AGO, season 1 of LCS.

    He is only funny if you're seeing scarce minutes from him, but as he demonstrated, any extended time with him reveals his extremely limited range and appeal. He even started bombing in season 3 when people realized he had a full one year to get some new jokes but never got around to it.

    Dat Phan is a niche comedian unsuitable to open for even the night's featured undergraduate comedians (although the second guy was great--awkward hug syndrome).

    Who ever saw Dat Phan and said, "Let's use our bag of money to hire him!" Should be fired. Donate that cash to charity at least.

    And references to Snakes on a Plane?

  • Phantastic? NO!!!!

    O Demetri Martin, where art thou?

    I'm sorry, despite his name, Dat Phan was not phunny on Saturday. The guy has hardly a new joke: almost every single one of his jokes is already on youtube. His jokes are rather juvenile in the first place.

    I've seen a lot of comedians in the past few weeks, and Phan was the worst of the lot. And on top of his verbal diarrhea, he blamed the Yale crowd for not eating that ---- up.