Phill Jupitus: The Stop-Start Comedian

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  • Thursday, 04 April 2019 15:37
Phill Jupitus tours his new show 'Sassy Knack' around Australia during April. Phill Jupitus tours his new show 'Sassy Knack' around Australia during April.

For English comedy legend Phill Jupitus, his love for stand-up has all the hallmarks of a co-dependant relationship.


“The thing about this is that I keep leaving stand-up, I keep walking away from it, and then coming back to it after a break,” Phill says. “I've now done that about three times.”

Since starting in the '80s Phill has become a much-loved personality, particularly in Britain where he served a team captain on iconic quiz show 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' across its 1996-2015 run. He's also a regular guest on 'QI' and BBC Radio 4's programme 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue'.

Putting aside comedy twice before to pursue his acting aspirations, Phill came back to his true love for the third time two years ago so he could come tour Australia.

“I'm going to be 57 this year,” Phill states, “and the fact that at that age you can be discovering new things abut the art form you've chosen to work in... That's what I love about [stand-up], is the fluidity of what you're doing.”

When Phill hits Australia for a run of shows that includes performances at Melbourne International Comedy Festival he'll be bringing his new shows 'Sassy Knack', which largely focuses on the fact Phill has moved from England to wee Scotland.

“The relocation is the big thing I'm talking about,” he says of 'Sassy Knack'.


“The UK is a tiny, little country, we're only 500 miles long, but for me to go from England up to Scotland, my mates think I'm mad. So it's about that decision to make a big move and to change things in my life.

“I'm hoping to go to university in the fall of this year to study art, so I'm going to be stopping stand-up again,” he laughs, “so I'm staying true to my pattern: I do it for a few years then quit.”

A comedian well-versed in the ways of humour, Phill says that as a young performer with something to prove he was constantly pursuing 'the joke', whereas now he's happy to let the humour flow from a more honest place.

“As you get older you realise what is funny is the truth and the way you relate that truth to an audience,” he says.

“So, weirdly, as I've got older I've started to enjoy the job more; I was a bit needy when I was younger, I think. There's so much pleasure to be had in it now, it's such a privilege. For the love of God, man, I'm coming to Australia to chat about my life.”

The fact he now travels the world, swept along by the whims that ignite his curiosity, is not something Phill takes for granted.

“F...ing hell, I got no exams when I left school, I got seven O-levels, which is the average thing, then I got an office job for five years and then I accidentally found this life and mate, if I didn't do this for a living I'd be dead.”

Phill Jupitus Tour Dates

17-19 April – Max Watt's (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
Wed 24 April – Comedy Store (Sydney Comedy Festival)
Thu 25 April – The Factory Theatre (Sydney Comedy Festival)
Sat 27 April – Regal Theatre (Perth)

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