Phil was born into the Dilbert comic strip, by Scott Adams. He was created
originally as a toned-down devil character. Adams' editor thought a real devil
would get the strip canceled from many newspapers (particularly in the Bible Belt), so the "Prince of Insufficient
Light" was created in lieu of the "original".
Instead of a pitchfork, Phil carries a large spoon. Where Satan would damn offenders to
eternal torment Hell, Phil simply banishes people to fifteen minutes of Heck --
usually in the form of ridicule by other cubicle dwellers.
In later years, it was revealed that Phil is the long-lost brother of Dilbert's
Pointy Haired Boss.
Adams has stated on several occasions that he was glad Phil was created. In the long
term, a Prince of Insufficient Light is a lot funnier than a Prince of Darkness.