There is a difference between being a good comic and performing a good hour of comedy. Phill Jupitus is undoubtedly a great comic, but his new hour of stand-up doesn’t quite manage to reach the same heights.
Jupitus, a recognisable face from the likes of QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, as well as being a long running staple of the Fringe, certainly knows how to craft a story. His thirty-minute routine about receiving an honorary doctorate is well-paced and full of clever little lines (an early portion where he is asked to receive the honour is particularly strong). There is never a down point in the routine, and is as interesting and occasionally absurd as it funny. However, the issue is what it is sandwiched between.
An opening musical portion where he lays down ground rules for the gig, and sings a repetitive song about a Porsche 4×4 faces the law of diminishing returns. It feels more like MC work at the beginning of a rough Saturday night club show than something performed mid-afternoon at the Fringe. Further, a closing routine about Noel Fielding and the Great British Bake-off is a solid bit, but comes out of nowhere and seems decidedly out of place after dedicating so much time to the doctorate story.
That is the crux of the issue, in that if the central story could have been padded out to full length, this may well have been a legitimately great show. Sadly, however, the structure doesn’t feel quite right, and this is a great comic performing a good show instead. Well worth it if you are a Phill Jupitus fan, but perhaps not otherwise.
(However, his ‘Porky the Poet’ show, under the Free Fringe banner is properly amazing, and more than worth your time and a sizeable bucket donation at the end.)
Sassy Knack runs until the 26th of August – https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/phill-jupitus-sassy-knack