Jack Whitehall: A Jack Of No Trades

The Jack Of Hearts really liked Jack Whitehall when he first cropped up on TV a year ago or so, and was an avid supporter of his increasingly ubiquitous face. This blog even overlooked the sudden and unnecessary acquisition of facial hair.

On Tonightly, last summer, Whitehall was a welcome addition. Quirky, cheeky, well-spoken and young… there was certainly room for him on television. But now, one huge PR campaign later, he’s acting like some god of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as if he’s a prestigious comedian. When actually, he's just a bit irritating and a bit crap.
His main problem is that he tries too hard, and this excruciating effort is all too visible to his audience. It's like watching your friend in a talent contest, wanting them to win, but you know in your heart that they're not quite good enough. I realise how Russell Brand really is an industry professional when I watch Whitehall shout a contrived and overly scripted joke about Kerry Katona's drugs problem with excess emphasis and a boring reliance on shoving ‘Fucking’ before each punch line to secure a cheap laugh. He talks far too quickly too, making himself come across as both nervous, self-aware of his inadequacy and most of all - partially inaudible.

I just watched a bit of his stand-up show on Comedy Ctrl +1 (some random Sky channel, like 127 or something) but his voice was so irritating, so incessant, and his mannerisms (bending down with a painstaking facial expression, like being fucked by Simon Cowell) were also unbearable.

Yes, he’s pretty. Yes, I’m willing to overlook the heavy pointers towards nepotism (I love Stella McCartney). But no, he’s just not funny. The future of comedy should be guys like Glenn Wool or Paul Foot or Steve Hughes. And if you like your jokes scripted and routine-like then Shappi Khorsandi or Simon Amstell are still much much better than Jack Whitehall.

Sorry Jack. You just need to remember your station, and rehearse a bit. You make a fine TV presenter. Not Alexa or Vernon, but satisfactory nevertheless. A stand-up comedian though? You're no funnier than most peoples friends. Your jokes don't so much illuminate topics as they do re-plough, and your stage presence is just a tad 5 minutes ago.

It pains me to put him down. I really do think Whitehall has potential. But his mass exposure has come too quickly and he’s just not ready to be on television. Even without the horrid beard, he's doesn't cut the mustard. At least he has youth on his side. Right?


Below: Jack on Tonightly. A welcome addition, before audiences had to watch him on everything that Channel 4 makes.

2 comments:

  1. Is this piece really bitchy? I wrote it in a bad mood and am considering taking it down...

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  2. A squashed turd on the sole of your shoe is funnier than Jack Whitehall. It just goes to show what a privileged background and a powerful theatrical agent father and having a well known actress mother can do for your career. That type of combination can make s**t into a star — and has!!

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