Comedy, Festivals, Stage

The 5 Best and 5 Worst: Paul Foot

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English comedian Paul Foot is the latest guest in our series. He’s been described by critics as a “rare exotic bird” and a “comedic genius” and is returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this month with his show Words. He recently performed a “secret show” with Russell Brand, in which Foot played Brand and Brand played Angela Lansbury. As with the others, we asked him to reveal the five best and worst things about his profession, but wonder if that message got slightly lost in translation…

The 5 Best

SSHU. Or to use the groups’s full name, The Silver Shoe Hoarder Unapologists. I’m lucky that in my job wearing silver shoes is deemed acceptable. Some of our members have a much harder time with it. Hilary works on a scrap heap and Wilky is a professional diver. The reason we’re hoarders is so that nobody else can join the group. As soon as a silver pair of shoes comes on the market we snap them up. Eventually when the last member of SSHU dies we have agreed to donate the collection to NASA who will in turn use them for Saturn’s hospitality staff circa 2099.
Time travel. Travelling is of course part of my job, and every time I travel to Australia I move backwards in time, gaining one whole day. This means that by 2038’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival I will have gained an entire fortnight that doesn’t exist. I have already planned to spend this secret holiday making a giant mural out of smashed China and different coloured sands called “What Could Have Been”
Semi-Precious Hens. Not many jobs lead to life-long protection from the semi-precious hens. Following my dedication to both hawk sanctuary business models and a series of investigations into rookeries the, Daphne Pitt (half emerald, half hen) got in touch. I no longer qualify for a discount on eggs though since I lost my Crystal Clucker Deluxe loyalty card. I’ve applied for a new one but all’s gone quiet in the hen house.
The Skeleton Johnston Work Experience Program. I created Skeleton Johntson in 2004. At first he just drew charts of fictional oceans, but then after a brief stint at an undertakers and a seasonal job rowing the dead into hell, it occurred to me that he can do any job he likes – because he is purely fictional. I therefore created the Skeleton Johnston Work Experience Program which I am hugely proud of. Anybody struggling to find work can apply and Skeleton Johnston will give them a fictional job. Just this morning he made Sharleen Shuttlecock the marketing manager of the Urine Olympics.
The Digital Princess Murders. One of the nice parts about being famous is the police consider you beyond the realm of mass murder, leaving you quite a lot of slack when it comes to lunch break atrocities. My weapon of juice is a well buttered scone. Each victim is memorialised in the form of a digital princess that you can download from the official website, if you can find it.

The 5 Worst

Lady Mirabel Splat. Most comedians have one, a fan who goes that step too far. Well when I heard Lady Mirabel Splat was undergoing surgery so that her face would look just like mine I started getting scared. The surgery went wrong though and so she looks like me if you were to see me through the rain of a car wind screen, and she just sits there in Row G crying while nibbling on a prawn mayonnaise sandwich that’s been painstakingly cut into the silhouette of me.
The Wasabi Elect. They’ve been on my case since 2009. At first it was tolerable. They would come into my hotel room at night and just hold the palm of their hand about an inch away from my face while humming the Wasabi Elect Anthem, which sounds a bit like a chorus of alto bees. But it’s getting too much now. They’re leaving trails of peas all the way from my hotel room door to the elevator. Sometimes they walk past me in the street and just whisper “Wasabi Key” in my ear.
Celetarien Pen Friends. While I am generally a very open-minded person, and so I don’t mind old people, lesbians, vegetarians or even all three in one person, I do draw the line at celetariens. Eating nothing but celery is anti-social, fatally bland and just abhorrent. I don’t know what it is about my comedy that has attracted so much fan mail from celetariens. I’ve never even addressed the issue in my humour. What’s more, penfriends are a total relic from the past. Move with the times baybayyyy! Get a celetarien chat room or something.
Rice Dreams. The rice dreams started off okay and mainly took place on the nursery slopes of an unknown mountain. It was quite nice, there was a convenience store, a gift shop and a girl called Nina who was pleasant enough. Since last summer though the rice dreams have intensified.
The afterlife. They say that when you die you get to re-live every moment of your life in which you’ve made someone laugh. But all you see is them laughing. Imagine how absolutely terrified then I am of death. I’ve calculated thus far that I’ve got 7,482 hours of the general public laughing to watch. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to hell where there isn’t even popcorn.
[box]Paul Foot: Words is at the Hi-Fi from 27 March to 20 April. Tickets are available at comedyfestival.com.au[/box]

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