10 Things We Like About Andrew Phung

Rebounding with verve from a cancelled hit TV show, comedian and UCalgary alumnus Andrew Phung has another gold-star sitcom on his hands, CBC’s Run the Burbs. Here’s how he thinks, unwinds and stays in the now.
Photography by Tim Nguyen

If you could do anything for a living, what would it be?

While chasing a career in comedy, I was the program director of a non-profit in Calgary called Youth Central. I loved my work in this field and could see myself doing something new and exciting in this sector. I really value the work that community organizations do, and how they make communities stronger and more vibrant.

When and where were you happiest in your life?

Right now! Is that an answer I can use? Improv comedy taught me to live in the moment and I’m constantly finding happiness in my work and life. Each day is special, and I love where I’m at in life with my family and career. So, I choose now — or a Friday night in Grade 11. My friends and I got snacks from Mac’s, video and game rentals from Rainbow Video, and pizza delivery. Those were some happy days!

Who or what has had the greatest impact on the person you’ve become?

Loose Moose Theatre Company. That place taught me to fail; it taught me to be the best version of myself; and it allowed me to find my comedic voice. These are life lessons I’ll carry with me forever. Dennis Cahill (artistic director) and Deborah Iozzi (general manager) gave me a sandbox to play in, and I’m forever thankful for that.

What do you like most about yourself?

I’ve learned to really embrace my energy and spirit. I think my ability to “find the positives” in anything is what I like most about myself.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 

New York City. The glitz and energy of that city is something I cherish; I love exploring it. I’ve been there a dozen or so times and it still excites me.

Describe the most beautiful place you’ve ever been.

Vietnam really stands out because of my personal connection to the country. There’s something beautifully chaotic about Saigon — and then it’s ultra-calming when you visit the beaches and rural areas.

When you’re restless or unhappy, what do you do to improve your mood?

I either look at pictures and videos of my kids or I watch an old martial arts movie.

Current guilty pleasure?

I try not to experience guilt in things that make me happy. But, if I had to choose, it’d be wrestling action figures and chasing down old Star Trek and Ghostbusters toys. Or watching sneaker-unboxing videos!

Who or what in life brings you the most joy?

My family brings me the most joy in life. I get giddy with excitement at the little things like watching movies and playing board games together.

If a song played whenever you entered a room, what would it be? 

It would be a wrestling theme song, something like the theme songs for Bret Hart or Stone Cold Steve Austin. When I walk into a room, I’m ready to get things done!

Andrew Phung, BA’06, is an award-winning actor, improv comedian, emcee and writer. His infectious and relatable personality has made him one of Canada’s top comedic performers. His work on Kim’s Convenience earned him four Canadian Screen Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Phung currently stars in the CBC television series Run the Burbs, which he wrote, co-created and on which he serves as executive producer.
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