The cruise with loads of laughs

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The bearded funnyman of the night – Garrett Millerick. Hiezle Bual

Fun, comic and hilarious – these should be how weekends are defined. After a stressful week at work, we need reasons to laugh and be entertained. Agnes Alpuerto went onboard The Brew Cruise to see Phnom Penh’s most exciting and unique live entertainment.

The weather was fine that late afternoon of December 1. But nothing could be finer – and funnier – than the fact that we were onboard The Brew Cruise to experience what a good, hearty laugh really is through Garrett Millerick. Yep, that bearded man from the UK who’s in phenomenal demand in Europe, Australia and Asia.

Millerick, who was already sweaty in his white long-sleeved top, toured around the boat as we sailed off; a glass of beer in his hand. He had an hour before he’d take over the microphone and the spotlight.

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Don’t ever challenge Vu Minh Tu to a humour game; you’ll lose.

Presented by the Riel Brewing and Comedy in Cambodia, The Brew Cruise featured an hour of sunset river cruise, an hour of stand-up comedy and an hour of live music. That was a total of three hours of this-is-what-real-weekend-is vibe.

Before the night’s highlight stepped in front of dozens of guests, Shanghai-based American comic Ben Frank and Vietnam’s Vu Minh Tu opened the show with their most hilarious humours.

Frank turned his 5-feet-8-inches height as his jokey approach. And well, it was hysterically funny. Sorry, Ben.

“A girl came up to me in a bar the other day and she said, ‘hey, I like that you’re not too tall’. I was like, ‘well, I don’t like it’. Why can’t they just say ‘hey, you’re really handsome’? But she instead said, ‘you’re physically flawed, but I’m into it’. But as a 5’8” guy, you’re kind of caught in the middle because you’re not physically impressive but you’re also not small enough to be a novelty item.”

Ben Frank hates his height, but he finally found a way to make use of it.

To be fair, Frank has this beard – which he said he has grown to find love – that would surely make him standout in a crowd.

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Vu Minh Tu, meanwhile, may look petite; but her side shave demands full attention. And she did have all our ears and eyes the entire time she was holding the microphone. Her take on society’s double standards were genuine and truthful, which made them all so ridiculously witty.

“The other day I was hanging out in a club and a guy came over, ‘hi, my name is Alex’. But the music was so loud I couldn’t hear anything, so I asked ‘pardon?’. And Alex repeated his name aloud. I was like ‘okay, Alex.’ But then Alex went on spelling his name letter by letter. I was thinking to myself, ‘Alex, has it ever occurred to you that if I know the word pardon, I know how to spell your name, too? Alex, I don’t know how special your mom thinks you are, but the name she gave you is so basic, alright?”

“I replied him because I am polite. ‘Hi, Alex. Nice to meet you. My name is Tu and it’s spelled as T—.’ And you know what Alex cut me right off before I could even finish. I was like, ‘Alex, wtf. How could we become anything from here if the need to spell our names correctly is not mutually met? I think you’re the kind of guy who wouldn’t return a favour.” Those who were on the boat knew what the next phrases were about.

A clear view of the Phnom Penh sunset is a perfect prelude to a stand-up comedy show. Photo: Hiezle Bual

And when the “full of sound and fury” 35-year-old UK man, Garrett Millerick, took his position in the middle of multi-national crowd sitting on red monobloc chairs, loud cheers and laughs seemed endless. Millerick’s known to use his rants, disgusts, frustrations and injustices as his props for his theatrical routine. It was, to say the least, wild and effective.

“I’ve been to 12 airports in the last two years for work. It’s really stressing me out that when I was a kid, I knew airports are place for airplanes; now it’s become a shopping center which happens to have planes involved. When the f*** did that happen? I get held hostage for four hours, so why not put up cinemas or bowling alleys. Every single airport has this certain thing but I have no idea who it’s really for – the luggage shop. Who is it for? Nobody goes to the airport and says, ‘oh, I forgot everything’.”

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His jokes just went on and on, and our laughs just went on and on. Even when all the lights suddenly went off for three minutes that the audience had to use their phones to light up Millerick in front.

All three comics – funny and hilarious in their own different ways and styles – no doubt deserve to be fixtures in their respective country’s comedy clubs, and in Phnom Penh’s. Hats off to, too, the MC of the night, Sam Thomas, who proved yet again why he is one of Phnom Penh’s best.

To cap the night off, Initial Dynamo, composed of Initial G and Mike Dynamo, added a classic hip hop feel to an already ecstatic atmosphere as the boat sailed back to the hithe.


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