I spent 38 minutes on the phone with comedian Paul Foot.
Of that 38 minutes, the amount of sense spoken probably straddled the four-minute mark. The other 34 minutes I spent laughing, looking at my notes wondering how I was even going to begin writing about his new show “Words”.
What I can tell you is that it is coming to Preston 53 Degrees on Saturday, October 5th and it’s the same show that had the critics salivating at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He kindly did exclusively reveal to me though that show will include words.
“Yes, words are involved in the show. There is a bit where I look at two words that are very similar. They are only different by one letter but are very different in how they are used. I discuss and analyse to the point where it’s massively pointless.”
There will also be a prop.
“Every show I always dream of a show with no props but there always is a prop. For this show, I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a bespoke puppet. It’s appearance is really utterly pointless and it’s a massive inconvenience as well.
“I’ve already done the show in Edinburgh and I’ve been this performing now for 17 years so I should be OK. I used to get nervous but not anymore. I did a show in America about five years ago to an audience of 15 million people and since then I never get nervous.
“I do love it up North. People in London don’t really notice anything. I’ve been on the Tube with my puppet before and people are too proud to even pretend to notice. If I went on wearing a dress, they wouldn’t notice or say anything. I think they would up North.”
Paul Foot is a funny man. You may not realise why, you may not even understand why you are laughing, but you will laugh.
Quirky and fascinating, his shows seemingly stumble through the nonsensical but his finely-tuned rants and intelligent observations always come back round to hit the mark.
Our conversion jumps from one ludicrous topic to the next – Japanese people taking pictures of his hair; his difficulty in perfecting the northern accent; problems travelling with an over-sized puppet.
“My comedy is abstract, peculiar and surreal. If it was to come from my everyday life it would be most concerning. They are just warped thoughts that enter my head from nowhere, which is probably just as concerning. My last show I wrote in 15 minutes while sat waiting in an airport eating a packet of crisps.
“I love performing and I want to do it ‘til the day I die.”
Foot commands a cult following under the banner “The Guild of Connoisseurs” and admitted it doesn’t matter where in the world he’s performing because his audiences always know what to expect.
“I think there’s a difference for some comedians but my comedy is so preposterous it doesn’t matter where in the world I am. A certain type of people come to my show who are all on a certain wavelength. I don’t notice one country from the next.
“There are bits where I interact with the audience. Often in a preposterous way. I do like to climb on people as well. You have to make sure they are strong though. Strong legs, they must have strong legs.”
You have been warned.