By Gary Allison
There’s a man from Novi who walks through life observing, taking notes and remembering.
He’s in the shadows and he’s in the light. He seems to be everywhere, and he’s watching. He wants nothing more than to bust your gut, put you in hysterics, take your breath — kill you.
That’s what all comedians want — to kill.
This man is Bob Phillips and he’s just released his second comedy album “POP-TARTS® and AIR,” which does just that. It kills.
Phillips started doing stand-up late in life. He was 40, divorced, and looking for a change. After years of toiling as an opening act, emceeing, and featuring, Phillips made the jump to headliner and hasn’t looked back — except to quip about the experience.
“POP-TARTS® and AIR” is Phillips’ second album. His first, “Live from Fargo” disappointed Phillips, so he aimed to knock it out of the park this time.
“It was a quality issue, really,” said Phillips. “The material was great, I just wasn’t happy with the production value.”
However, if you read the inside cover of his new album, you’ll learn that he hated “Live from Fargo.” Then again, Phillips hates everything he says. He says it’s a comedian’s nightmare to have to go through the editing process, listening to your own recorded voice, stumbling through jokes and fixating on every nuance to the point of making it a Super Secret Bonus Track on your new CD.
His new album is an even-handed laugh track with few, if any, dull moments. Phillips masterly works the crowd in the beginning then jumps right in with an Anne Frank reference to test his audience. They’re intelligent and ready to laugh. From then on, it is a climactic climb of belly-busting laughter that will guarantee a spit take or two if you’re not careful.
Phillips is a club favorite in the Midwest and locally. He performs to sell-out crowds and is a regular on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
No subject is sacred with Phillips. The jokes cover his Catholic upbringing, cancer, growing old and living life as a
single dad on the prowl through Match.com. Phillips keeps his audience engaged, and jars memories loose in some brains.
Children of the ’70s will appreciate the stories from his childhood and the younger crowd will finally get why the old man at home is the way he is, while giving them something to look forward to.
The CD has five bonus tracks including a well-crafted regional joke about a family of TV lawyers, a confrontation with a drunken audience member, a story about the worst rescue dog ever, a joke that didn’t work and a super-secret bonus track.
Phillips made the CD about more than jokes; it is about the experience of the show. It’s easy for a listener to imagine sitting in the dark room of Joey’s Comedy Club in Livonia, where it was recorded, watching Phillips perform. Phillips, with the help of Sound Investment Studios in Livonia, edited and mixed the album well for that very reason.
“POP-TARTS® and AIR” has a parental advisory for explicit content. This material is not for children. But if you’re not easily offended, learn more about the CD, hear sample tracks or to purchase a copy at www.bobphillipscomedy.com. You won’t regret it.