Interview ~ Paul Foot

Before beginning the modern comic’s obligatory annual stint in Edinburgh this year, delightfully lysergic comedy brain ace, Paul Foot, stopped off in Swansea to perform a preview show which collected meritedly rhapsodic adulation from eager audiences. Our reporter Nathan Llewellyn leapt upon the chance to grab this sharpshooting, short-lived but fast-paced interview with the lovely man himself, enjoy:

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Nathan Llewellyn: Have you been to Swansea before?

Paul Foot: I have been to Swansea before, I would like to say it’s my first time here and all is new but all is not new, it is not new at all, in fact it doesn’t look like it’s moved on much since the seventies. I’m sure it’s very nice, I’m sure that John Major or maybe James Callaghan would be impressed, yes, very nice, nice place. Thank you, thank you, that’s the end of the first question.

Do you have a favourite city to perform in?

I like all the places I go to. Often people say “Oh but isn’t it such a warm audience in such and such” but I like all the places; they’re all different, it sounds terribly trite but they are all different and they’re all great. The big cities are very cosmopolitan but then you get the little places in Devon and places like that where the reactions are sort of quieter and different and also beautiful so I love all the places but I would say my favourite place is probably Australia. Melbourne is a great place, it’s a bit cold, but it’s a nice place. It is still warmer than Britain. It’s nice weather and it’s a nice flight to Australia so you have many many time for wines, you’ve got 24 hours to drink wines {sic}PFTAPSAPMCU-1024x1022

Do you have any favourite contemporary comedians?

My favourite comedian is Brian Gittins, he is a character actor and he’s my favourite comedian currently alive on the earth.

Why is Laughter important?

Well, laughter is important because it’s a release, everyone likes to have a laugh, everyone knows that, but why are comedians important? Sometimes you might think “well why do we need comedians?” because people laugh in their normal lives and no one laughs more than when someone’s walking out of the office and they slip slightly on something and fall over. Schadenfreude is my favourite. So why do we have comedians? We have comedians because there’s a different type of laughter (with comedy) people are laughing at ideas and thoughts and, I suppose, if comedy is doing what it should do, it will be making people think about the world differently and seeing the world in a funnier light, in a different way. That sounds a bit pretentious and probably is but that is what it’s supposed to be.

We are doing an article on Tony Hancock and I was wondering what you think of him and if you have a favourite episode?

Well this is an interesting question actually because I am someone who is a comedian but is not a comedy fan. Now I am quite rare in that; there are comedians who have every type of DVD of every comedian there’s ever been on their shelves and then they think “Well I ‘ll just copy a bit of each of them.” Then you have comedians who don’t really know much about comedy and aren’t very good at it. You have comedians who have loads of knowledge and DVDs of different comedians and yet somehow manage to come up with something utterly original – very unusual – and then you have my type, which is also unusual, which is people who don’t have many comedy influences, never really watched it much, but just do their own thing. However, I am familiar with Tony Hancock that is something I have seen. A lot of stuff I haven’t seen. People will ask me about a lot of very famous comedians & I don’t really know. I am not familiar with Tony Hancock enough to know much, the only thing I can think of is the Blood Donor that’s the one you always see. “A pint, that’s nearly an armful.” I’m not an aficionado but he’s obviously a great comedian. Although I sort of wonder about that word, I get very suspicious of people calling Tony Hancock and people like that ‘comedians,’ I always think he’s a comedy actor, which I think is a different thing. He’s not a stand-up comedian, he’s a comedy actor, like Rowan Atkinson isn’t a stand-up comedian, he’s a stand-up-comedy actor, a brilliant stand-up-comedy actor. I never quite like that word ‘comedian,’ it’s too general to me; it can mean someone who does acting and it can mean someone who appears on television and sort of says things in an amusing manner. Anyway, I am not trying to denigrate anyone but I always think ‘why not call him a comedy actor?’ That is the end of the answer to the question.

Are you continuing this tour for a while?

Yes I am continuing with the previews of my show and then I am taking it to Edinburgh Festival in the month of August and then I am taking it on the tours around Britain in the autumn after I have made a horror film.

FIN.

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You can catch Paul’s current Ediburgh Fringe show: “‘Tis Pity She’s A Piglet” at The Underbelly throughout August; If you’re in the vicinity we highly recommend you do! For a full list of performance dates and to buy tickets, please take a look at Paul’s Show Diary on his website: http://www.paulfoot.tv/show-diary/ 

N.L.


nathan

Nathan Llewellyn

Find out more about Nathan and read more of his work on our Contributors page by clicking HERE.

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