Following weeks of speculation it has been announced that Phill Jupitus is to resign as a comedian. In a statement read out earlier today by his agent it was confirmed that Mr Jupitus is to wind-up all his comedic responsibilities by the end of the week.
While for years Mr Jupitus’s continued employment as a comedian has caused many people to shake their heads and shrug disconsolately at the bizarre workings of the universe, pressure had increased since the turn of the year and his truly woeful performance on the combined Christmas Collings and Herrin / Perfect 12 podcast. This intensified in recent weeks when the official statistics for the podcast were released which indicated that despite contributing a whopping 50% of all the professional comedic talent to the podcast, and while managing to hog the conversation for 38% of the time, he in fact provided a meagre 3% of all the funny lines, if you’re being generous, and this was by common consensus considered a miserable return all round.
In an emotional statement Mr Jupitus’s agent said that “The primary function of any comedian is to be funny, to make people laugh; and while a comedian need not be amusing all the time, the ability to at least raise a smile must be there somewhere within a comedian’s toolbox. This forms part of the unwritten contract between the comic and the audience, and was something that Phill felt he was increasingly failing to fulfil.”
To gauge reaction to this shock announcement we conducted a vox pop in a street somewhere. Of the people who didn’t just rudely brush past us, many quibbled at the use of the adverb “increasingly” in the agent’s final sentence, while others expressed surprise when discovering that Mr Jupitus had only just resigned, being under the impression he had “dispensed with comedy some time ago”. There was a general feeling of goodwill towards Mr Jupitus, a sense that here was an all too rare example of someone “doing the honourable thing in this day and age”, of taking “some responsibility and falling on his sword”. Others said they thought he had “jumped before he was pushed”, a reference to the government’s long awaited Davro Report which is expected to propose the making redundant of any comedian unable to prompt a chuckle. Only one interviewee professed to be saddened at the news, but on further questioning admitted that watching Mr Jupitus would average “little more than a smirk every half an hour, if I’m honest, which isn’t good enough really, is it? I mean, a professional comedian, it’s not enough just to be funny, you’ve got to be funnier than the average person at least, don’t you think? Phill’s alright, but I wouldn’t say he makes me laugh any more than, say, my dad does, you know? And he’s a milkman, my dad.”
It has been reported that Mr Jupitus had hoped that his recent appearances on QI would rehabilitate his non-existent reputation, but in fact they only compounded the matter, leaving him with little choice but to hand in his notice. His performance on the “France” episode was especially pitiful, described by some as an “utter waste of space” and “so poor I couldn’t bring myself to watch the extended ‘XL’ edition of the show on BBC 2”. And while his shouting “burn the witch” at a distorted photograph of Margaret Thatcher during a subsequent episode was appreciated by some because it managed to wind up Norman Tebbit and some other knobs over at the Daily Telegraph, in and of itself the comment was generally considered pretty lame.
Friends of Phill Jupitus are said to be rallying round, and speaking anonymously a source close to the former comedian told us that “at heart Phill is a lovely, very genuine and honest bloke, even if he isn’t all that funny. He just grew tired of looking back at old episodes of Never Mind The Buzzcocks where he would be introduced as a ‘comedian’, and he would feel that he really wasn’t doing anything to justify that title. It had become an embarrassment to him, and he felt he couldn’t continue with the charade any longer. So, he has requested that from now on he is referred to simply as a ‘broadcaster’, and then he can continue to rake it in, hand over fist, regardless.”