The comedian Phil Jerrod, known for his richly lyrical observations and tirades, delivered with surreal flights of fancy, has died from cancer aged 42. His agency, Off the Kerb, announced on Monday that Jerrod had died at home “with his devoted wife Beck by his side” and described him as “a dear friend to us, an incredibly kind and talented man”.
Tributes were paid on social media by standups including Dane Baptiste, who called him a “great comic” and “a good man with a kind soul". Jacob Hawley dicho: “I frequently retell so many of the wise, supportive things he told me when I was a new act. Made every car journey/green room a happier place.” Sean McLoughlin said Jerrod was “spectacularly talented, cool and probably the nicest person in the business. We should all aim to be more like him.”
There were tributes from the many comedy clubs and festivals where Jerrod performed around the UK over a 10-year career at the mic. A tweet from Cardiff’s Glee Club described him as “warm, supportive, caring and a terrific standup who always helped fill our venues with laughter”.
Jerrod was a popular figure in Brighton’s comedy scene and co-hosted the Crash Bang Wallop Podcast, about famous and lesser-known disasters in world history, with fellow local comic Phil Lucas. Jerrod toured with another Brightonian, Angela Barnes, who called him “incomparable”. Rachel Parris tweeted: “I first got to know him on the Brighton comedy circuit and he was always lovely and hilarious and will be very much missed.”
He had jobs as a waiter, a cook, a labourer and in “about a million crappy offices” before concentrating on comedy, beginning his standup career in a venue underneath an Angus Steakhouse in 2012. En 2015, he won the award for best debut act at the Leicester comedy festival, which hailed the “innovative stream-of-consciousness style” in his set about his rural upbringing. That year he made his Edinburgh fringe debut with the show Neanderthal, winning him further admirers of his ruminative style and well-wrought gags, not to mention his fulsome beard and arresting stare.
He returned to Edinburgh in following years with shows including Hypocrite, a set inspired by being mugged in a phone box. He supported Romesh Ranganathan and Angela Barnes on their national tours and also wrote for major BBC radio and TV series such as The Now Show, The News Quiz and Mock the Week.
Ranganathan said: “Phil Jerrod was one of my very best friends and I loved him dearly. He was a brilliant comic, but more importantly one of the kindest and loveliest men you could ever meet. You would always feel better for having spent time with him. I will miss him so much.”