Reactions to Phil Klein’s comments that comedians have no honesty or integrity

Phil Klein in Leicester Square in May 2012

Phil Klein in Leicester Square in May 2012

In my blog yesterday, I quoted comedian Phil Klein saying, among other things, that “the world of comedy is fucking boring… you pretend you’re mates with other comedians, when the truth is you are trying to get one over each other all the time and you want them to fuck up and die on their arse so that you can feel better about yourselves… most of the people in comedy have no honesty or integrity at all… and that is why I want nothing to do with it, after I finish the three remaining gigs I have left.”

There was some reaction to this…

Someone called ‘Mike’ commented on my blog: “This reads like a guy reacting to a beautiful woman spurning his advances. I didn’t want that ugly bitch anyway!

Phil Klein also referred to a May 2005 review of his act by the Chortle comedy website.

In a Facebook posting, Darren Richman advised Phil: “8 years after the review? Jeez, time to move on.”

In another Facebook comment, influential writer Dave Cohen, wrote: “What I don’t understand about this guy is that he displays self-delusion, insecurity, paranoia and bitterness – the classic skills required to be a successful stand-up. Give it another go mate, you’re 80% of the way there.”

Comedian Jeff Mirza Facebooked: “This guy’s is a schmuck. The pain I’ve suffered to be in this business, the racism of the early days, the poisonous reviewers, the self hating members of the ‘community’ who said no, the timewasters, the ‘promoters’ who gave me rubber cheques… It’s only the public, the audiences with their laughter and smiles that have kept me going. Don’t go in the business if you don’t love yourself (a bit) or what you do.”

Anonymous ‘John in Cheshire’ commented: “I tend to be in agreement with Mr Klein’s sentiments, only to add that the BBC is guilty of promoting third-rate comedians as though they are doing something useful for the rest of us. The key to being a comedian in the UK at the moment appears to be: make a friend with perhaps Arthur Smith, demonstrate your socialism in your routines, be snide and vindictive towards normal non-socialists and suck up to Muslims and immigrants in general. The fact that they have no originality or inherent truth in their routines is neither here nor there, that can be fixed with canned laughter.”

James Cook suggested to Phil: “You’ll find all these problems go away the funnier you get.”

Albion Gray, son of late ‘Alberts’ performer Tony Gray wrote of Phil’s original comments: “I agree with him!”

And someone whom I know but who prefers to remain anonymous e-mailed me: “I experienced a bit of this when I overheard some of the comedians at (he named a well-known London venue) standing in the little cove next to the stage. (A named comedian) slow-clapped a first-timer. He was a big lump with long, greasy hair and a shoulder bag. I can’t remember what his act was – a bit of Michael Redmond weirdness mixed with Spudgun from the program Bottom. But (the named comedian) – the ‘banner name’ for the evening – slow-clapped him off when the audience’s response went from 3 to 0. (The named comedian) was next and he leased the crowd; he took ownership as all the best comedians do. It seemed like bad sportmanship to do that to the sad sack who was before him though.”

5 Comments

Filed under Comedy

5 responses to “Reactions to Phil Klein’s comments that comedians have no honesty or integrity

  1. I get it, guys,and I couldn’t give a fuck what you people think. Why? Cos most of you do not give a fuck what I think.

  2. I get that some of you hate my guts, but I don’t care. And all I’m saying is that I am leaving comedy behind me, because I’ve had enough of all the nonsense to do with comedy, and seeing as some of you are so desperate for me to leave comedy – which is what I am doing – why do you all have such a problem with it? Do you want me to stay or leave? Cos, I don’t give a fuck either way. Cos I am going.

    • What I get is how obsessed some of you are about me. Which is a massive, massive compliment to me. Because if I was a nobody – as some of you have been trying to suggest – why the fuck would you bother wasting your time writing shit about me?

      That is the point: you care massively what I think about you. It is literally 24-7 with some of you, people. Your whole life is a dedication and alter to Phil Klein.

      Look, yes, maybe, I am deluded and, maybe, I will not get anywhere in comedy. But why the fuck do you even care? Simply put, haven’t you got better things to do with your time than write some bilious nonsense about me?

      Clearly, the answer to that is, no. That is the reason why you have reacted to what I’ve said here is because the only thing that is interesting in your lives is me, Phil Klein. That’s it. Because, as you well know, if I was really of no interest to you, you wouldn’t have been interested enough in me, to post the crap about me that you are posting.

      And that’s it, really. You don’t want me, Phil Klein, to be part of your lives anymore. Fine. Cos I don’t want to be part of yours either. And the sooner you fuck off out of my space, the better. For all of us.

  3. Ian

    I feel I should mention Lewis Schaffer as he hasn’t been mentioned in this blog entry – yet……now corrected.

  4. Just found this gem… If Phil has no interest in comedians as people and despises the society of all comedians it raises the question “why has be been down at Pear Shaped as a punter”? although he did seem to have some problem staying awake some times …almost as if he was medicated. Perhaps that’s the best way to experience the show. Frankly Phil’s problem was in my view that he never wrote any jokes (always a handicap) and when he did have jokes they never seemed to come or go anywhere… his act was completely unstructured … but he could be funny sometimes …it was just very scattergun like Jimbo. Is that a compliment? Perhaps holding a placard saying he has nothing to say is actually his career pinnacle. He is however right that a lot of comedians act as if it is just another office job … I suppose to many it is. His board says “I have no message”. This was always the problem. I think all comedians need an inner anger in order to write and keep going. They say that depression is anger turned inward …that may be the problem with Phil Klein… he can’t turn it outwards … mind you don’t think we’ve seen him this year. Anyway it’s good he’s not selling anything as the council does no longer permits the display of mobile or placard advertisements of the type Phil used to use to promote clubs …never let it be said that Phil achieved nothing in comedy. He achieved the banning of placard advertisements by the Leicester Square Fart of London BID.

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