I finally had a chance to watch Henry Phillips’ film “Punching The Clown” yesterday and I highly recommend it. In the film Henry plays himself moving to Los Angeles after years of battling it out on the road for small collections of drunks at various off-the-beaten path venues. LA then smacks him across the back of the head with every ounce of it’s douchiness.
That’s the short version because I don’t want to give away too many details. But the chance encounters and misunderstandings that show up really are what the entertainment business runs on.
I’ll admit, I may be a little biased here. Henry is, after all, a musical comedian. One of my brethren. And many parts of this movie looked like my own life projected on the screen. From the crummy open mics, to two-faced venue owners, sleazy record label guys, the well-intentioned but not well enough connected manager (fantastically played by Ellen Ratner), crashing on the brother’s couch, radio interviews that nobody listens to… Been there, done that.
If you’re not in the business, you might miss some of the stuff. You might even think that a lot of it is pure make believe. You’d be surprised.
The casting is fantastic and the film moves at a perfect Henry Phillips pace. A little bit slower than everything else around it and with a shadow of bewilderment over the proceedings. I’ve seen Henry live a few times and he’s woven many of hist songs and bits into the narrative of the film, which I think is a really neat way to present them.
So please, give yourself the gift of watching this movie. Besides loads of great laughs, you’ll get a glimpse into what we entertainers go through off stage to bring you the funny.
You can find it on Netflix streaming and Amazon and any other place where you can see movies.
If you’re not familiar with Henry’s work here’s a couple videos. One song and one of his new very funny cooking videos: