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10 Comics to Watch: Jack Whitehall

Comic has Brit press calling him the next Brand

Hannibal Buress | Deon Cole | Lucas Cruikshank | Garfunkel & Oates
Brett Gelman | Chris Gethard | The Imponderables | Kyle Kinane
Chelsea Peretti | Jack Whitehall

With a wild standup act that mines a lot of raw, personal material, maybe it’s no surprise that Jack Whitehall has been hailed as the next Russell Brand, although he doesn’t quite see it that way. “We’re both energetic, we have similar hair and both like tight jeans,” allows Whitehall. “But we’re so different in our comedy style and most other things.”

For starters, Whitehall, who attended the “quite posh” public school Marlborough, still lives at home. “I love it, and I draw on my parents, family life and relationships quite strongly,” he says. “I was a bit of a showoff at school, and I was always trying to get into the school plays, but never got cast, so I was forced to do my own stuff.”

Whitehall got his big break four years ago at Edinburgh. “That was my first time on a professional stage — I’d never even done any club gigs, and I was very naive,” he admits. “I was very deadpan and very low energy at first, but now I’m far more theatrical and high energy.”

A quick wit and a quick study, Whitehall honed his act, going on to earn a best newcomer nom at last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards and book a new Channel 4 show, “Standup for the Week.” He’s also written a sitcom script and is pursuing acting and TV opportunities (he has hosted several shows, including “Celebrity Big Brother’s Big Mouth” for Channel 4). “But standup will always be my first love,” he says. “You can’t beat that immediate thrill you get.”

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