Yesterday was my last day as Comedy Editor of The Huffington Post UK. I think the easiest way to explain things is to copy and paste the leaving email I just sent…
I came for the satire but stayed for the cat videos – My last day as HuffPost UK Comedy Editor
Today is a very sad day. I am having to hand back a laptop that has Photoshop installed on it.
Yes, today is my last day as Comedy Editor of The Huffington Post UK. I’m leaving to launch my own cat video show on Al Jazeera in Washington. Not really. I’m leaving to go freelance and to concentrate on my own (chiefly screen)writing ambitions. So while it’s very exciting to Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway*, I’m very sad to be leaving HuffPost.
The team here are amazing**. I joined AOL in 2009 as a freelancer on the homepage; and thanks to them*** I was able to start writing topical jokes; and so when AOL bought HuffPost, I, a natural Americaphile and budding comedy writer, was fortunately in a great place to run its Comedy section.
Thank you to all my managers, past and present, here and absent: Dan Bolger, Tristan Anthony, Carla Busazi and Stephen Hull. Thank you, Arianna, for being such a great role model for smart women not just in this company, but everywhere.
Thank you to everyone at the AOL and Huffington Post London office, who have made it such a fun, supportive and lovely environment to work in.****
It has been a total privilege and pleasure to do a job that makes me laugh every day (sometimes loudly, in an open plan office); a job that shines a light on talented, funny people; a job that is essentially about sharing joy*****. In a world that feels increasingly scary and in which terrible things happen – and this year’s news cycle has felt especially so – it has been an incredible tonic, and a reminder that even in the bleakest times, there is still so much happiness and joy to be found in the world. I’m so very grateful – especially during personally hard times, too – to have had this job and to enjoy all that it brings.
(Of course, I say all this, but actually I’m just leaving because I’ve spent the past 18 months trying to top Woman Gives Birth To Baby and failing.******)
If anyone wants to join me for a farewell jar, I’ll be in The Pub Formerly Known As That One Across The Road******* from 5.30 ish tonight. And/or you can stay in touch with me at email@example.com. I’ll also be doing some freelancing bits and bobs for HuffPost, so won’t be too far away. Mentally, at least. Physically, I’ll probably be in my pyjamas or in a cafe or, if I can really get it together, both.
Here’s to the freelance life – sitting around all day watching cat videos! Oh. Wait…
Love to you all**
* Highly recommended book, btw.
** Full disclosure: I’ve just come back from a Christmas lunch and may have had too much red wine.
*** Unwittingly – I did it mainly in morning meetings when we were discussing the lead stories of the day. I was usually scribbling down joke ideas.
**** I say that I came for the satire but left for the cat videos, but in fact I came for the free Diet Coke and stayed for the Wellness Room.
***** Usually through the medium of cat videos.
****** Although ‘Dog Steals Chicken Nuggets’ did well, it didn’t give me quite the same creative satisfaction.
******* The Fitzrovia Belle