Nina D. Flanagan writes…

The crux of this show was the pitfalls of racial stereotyping. Hing discusses career success based purely on positive racism, beginning with a boss who knew he would be hard working because of his ethnicity, despite numerous obvious and irresponsible exploits. Relationship failure due to his girlfriend’s misguided attempt at avoiding social stigma. His own accidental brushes with racism. Doesn’t sound fun, right? And yet the show’s hilarious.

I was waiting for it to descend into a socialist rant, or some moralising on the evils of society, but that never happened. Hing respected the audience enough to not over-explain, and left it up to us to think about what a d-ckhead his boss was to assume his new, drunk employee was first rate, just because he was ‘oriental.’ Or how sad that his girlfriend felt the need to do what she did.

The thing is, Hing just told us his stories. In the same way any other comedian tells stories, just these stories had a little something to think about in the background of them. But you have to think about the moral of the story– if you want to– after the show, because during it you don’t have time to do anything but hang on every word and laugh.

It’s refreshing to see a younger man take to the stage with such confidence and display such engaging comedy. Admittedly, some parts were less intelligent than others, such as the Dyson hand-dryer story, but the show was consistently terrific. A surprising, well-delivered, and tremendously funny examination of the kinds of stuff people don’t usually talk about.

Michael Hing in Occupy White People is on at the Portland Hotel, 7:15pm Tues – Sat, 6:15pm Sun until April 21st.

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