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.

Sadly, Phil didn't go into accounting as his mother would have liked. He didn't become a promising manager / corporate knob. He instead takes payments from companies like Proctor and Gamble and certain law firms to stay away from them and not darn their best workers to heck for 15 minutes or so.

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