British comedian Phill Jupitus is having an identity crisis.

"I'm not entirely sure how much I like the performing side of myself.

"He'll say anything to an audience. He will be colossally indiscreet. He will overshare. It's like letting the hounds loose."

Playing at the Comedy Festival for his first-ever New Zealand show on May 1, Jupitus' show Juplicity promises to "smash laughs out of the chaos" of his life. Specifically, according to Jupitus, the chaotic realisation that he's getting older.

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"In your 40s you start thinking about the fact that you're halfway through your life. In your 50s it becomes a very rooted reality and you start to get a lot more grumpy and resentful about it.

"The chaos at the minute is dealing with the fact that you're in your last 20-30 years, and how you're going to handle them. You start trying to maximise things."

Jupitus is not afraid to use anecdotes from his family life in his comedy - one of his most viewed routines online sees him grapple with the realisation that his teenage daughter is starting to have sex.

He says stories from his personal life always provide the best material, and his daughters don't mind being talked about on stage - "If anything the exact converse happens."

"[After the routine] my daughter came into the room and I saw her, and she ran up to me, she threw her arms around me and went, 'Daddy, Daddy, you talked about me on telly.' She was absolutely delighted.

"In fact my other daughter, she didn't complain exactly but she's like, 'Yeah I see that you're talking about Emily on stage, but you don't talk about me, do you.' She was kind of ragging on me for not talking about her. I remedied that in this show."

Jupitus is known for his regular appearances on UK comedy quiz show QI, as well as the long-running BBC show Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Alan Davies' As Yet Untitled. Though renowned for comedy, he's also been an actor, cartoonist and performance poet.

Despite his background in poetry, preparation and writing for Jupitus' stand-up routines is kept to a minimum; much of what is seen on stage is improvised.

"I can't actually write," he says.

"I write themes and things to talk about. I have a route map, and then I'm not frightened of detouring and going away with it.

"You can't not have that muscle in your brain and use it when you're on stage doing comedy."

LOWDOWN:
Who: Phill Jupitus
What: Juplicity
When: Monday, May 1
Where: SkyCity Theatre