Article written for the 31/10/11 issue, and was also published on KettleMag this year: http://www.kettlemag.com/article/greatest-comedian-i-ever-saw-jack-whitehall
As Jack Whitehall strolled onto the stage to ‘Back in Black’, wearing skinny jeans and attempting to down a pint, shouting ‘It’s Saturday night, let’s all get wasted in Oceana!’ you can kind of see where he is coming from when he admits he is a bit immature. Understandably though, he is still only 23 and one of the youngest successful comics around.
Posh boy Whitehall has come to fame relatively quickly. After school he took a gap year where he decided to pursue a career in stand-up. He then studied Art History at Manchester, but later dropped out to concentrate on comedy. By the age of 19 he was offered his first weekend at the Comedy Store and since 2008 he has appeared on every panel-show imaginable. His recent acting debut in the comedy drama, Fresh Meat, where he plays an extreme version of himself, has been well received and now he’s off on his nationwide tour, ‘Let’s Not Speak of This Again’.
We should hate him really; he’s talented, young, attractive, and well on his way to becoming very wealthy and famous. But his immaturity works in his favour as he gains the popularity of the younger and student audience by talking about trash TV, student life, holidays with your mates, and sex. Pulling up his t-shirt to reveal a sunburnt penis on his chest just about sums this up.
Stereotypically middle-class Whitehall says that his immaturity has been the downfall in his relationships. He once forgot about a six month anniversary dinner, going to a fancy dress party instead. His girlfriend dumped him as soon as he came home wearing an alcohol sodden chicken outfit, totally pissed.
As he flounces about the stage, his jokes are immediately funny. His posh voice and slightly camp persona seems to have Michael McIntyre effect on the audience. He mentions how, growing up, his campness was not appreciated by his father. His dad wanted him to be more macho, while Jack just wanted to wear tights and dress up as Robin Hood.
Jack is trying to be more grown up. The confessed mummy’s boy is now living away from home in rented accommodation and says he’s doing things he’s never done before. If a light bulb would go out, nowadays he would say, ‘Oh shit, I’m going to have to change that’, while at uni his response would have been ‘Oh fuck, we’re only going to be able to use this room in the day time!’ Now he finds himself spending his Saturday nights with a friend round, drinking herbal tea (not forgetting a coaster) and watching egg heads.
He ended the show with his favourite past time: mocking Robert Pattinson. Whitehall went to the same school as the Twilight star and is distraught that the fellow posh boy gets all the attention. Jack says he was interested in acting at school, but complains he was overshadowed by Pattinson, who always got the good roles. His encore entailed whipping on his chicken outfit and letting out his fury by reading from Pattinson’s autobiography, slating it all the way.
Jack Whitehall may still have some growing up to do, but we love him how he is, and he’s not going anywhere. Watch out for Jacks new show in January ‘Hit the Road, Jack’, where he’ll be visiting a different part of the UK every week, filming stand-up and messing around with the locals.