“I just want to be able to make ordinary jokes again”
British comedian Jack Whitehall (34) is briefly under the Los Angeles sun during the interview, where he is invited that evening to The Late Late Show with James Cordon. Whitehall is good friends with the talk show presenter, with whom he spent years on the British game show A league apart. Whitehall: “I always love going to James’s show. He has an arsenal of embarrassing stories about me that end up sharing a lot more than I anticipated.
Anyone who’s ever seen a Whitehall stand-up comedy show on Netflix knows that Whitehall is pretty outspoken by nature and doesn’t shy away from cracking dirty jokes. His joke about Queen Elizabeth during her Diamond Jubilee, for example, earned British TV channel Channel 4 more than 160 complaints: “The Queen stayed up all the time during the festivities. It was the day after his wedding and Prince Philip had woken up that morning with a urinary tract infection. I’m just saying what everybody thinks, folks.
Nevertheless, Whitehall managed to win over British television audiences with his British upper-class background (he went to an extremely expensive boarding school). Initially as one of the presenters of the reality show Big brotherlater as a guest on the BBC quiz program, among others IQ, the satirical newscast do i have any news for you And The Graham Norton Show.
About the Author
Ela Çolak is a freelance cultural journalist and writer by Volkskrant on film and theater
During this time, the born-and-bred Londoner also made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian: for his first solo performance at Edinburgh’s famed Fringe Festival, he was nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2009 Whitehall credits the festival as the place where it all started for him.
Whitehall: “During school drama, I loved being in front of an audience and making people laugh. When I first saw stand-up in Edinburgh when I was 16, I thought: this is it. A year later, my friends and I had done a show of short sketches and we went to the festival to play in a very small room. We got a star and sometimes there were more people on stage than in the audience, but it was a great experience. I fell in love with the comedy world in Edinburgh.
Due to his increasing presence on British television, the audience for which he was allowed to display his acting skills also increased. Small venues were swapped for stadiums such as Wembley in London, and instead of even longer Big brother Whitehall was allowed to present the Baftas, the prestigious British film awards, from 2015 to 2017.
More doors have opened internationally after the release of the Netflix documentary series Travel with my dad (2017-2021), a show in which Whitehall and her somewhat stiff father Michael go on a journey to spend more time together. The two travel to Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and the United States, among other places, and their many awkward situations (such as a naked yoga session that Whitehall surprises her father with) regularly cause bursts of laughter. In an episode shot in Los Angeles, Whitehall auditions for a movie. This scene may have helped him: he has since appeared in Disney’s adventure film, among others Jungle Cruise (2021) starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
“I think it’s fantastic to make movies like that, but because it’s Disney, you’re limited in your improvisation. And that while my comedic instincts are pretty dirty. That’s why I wanted to go back on stage immediately after the recordings to use my own voice, to be able to tell banal jokes and to swear again.
In her new stand-up show Settle Whitehall reflects on getting older, settling into your thirties, and the struggles that come with it. For the first time in four years, he is going on tour in his own country. The only European city he also visits is Amsterdam, where he can be seen on Afas Live on Saturday, April 29.
He has a warm heart for Amsterdam and not just because he had unforgettable times with friends, which he talks about in his Netflix special AtLarge (2017). “That’s why you can’t smoke a joint in public in Amsterdam anymore: when I put it to my lips, a Google Maps car drove by with a 360-degree camera,” Whitehall says, showing the photographic evidence to her screaming woman. .
“I also wanted to include Amsterdam in the new tour so I could spend time with my brother, who moved there last year. But it is also one of my ambitions to perform better in the rest of the world. Despite all the other cool things I can do, stand-up is still my biggest love.
Jack Whitehall, 29/4 at Afas Live in Amsterdam.
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