With appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Russell Howard's Good News Extra and 8 out of 10 cats Paul has gained a large following through "Connoisseurs of The Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs" a secret society where Paul shares his unique brand ofbizarre humour.
Interview by Nicky Cook October 2013
Paul, many thanks for taking time out to speak with us, please could you give our readers an insight into your new tour ‘Words’?
I never divulge what the name means. Last year the show was called ‘Kenny Larch is Dead’ and no one knows why, nor did we learn anything about him in the show. I do not reveal the reason even if I know why the show is called what it is. There is part of the show where I use two words which are quite similar (there is only one letter difference) but they describe different things. You can analyse it to an extent that is simply not necessary! For instance, last year’s show I announced the show as a completely pointless evening or your money back and this year I am moving towards a complete new level of irrelevance! However, having said that, there is one part of the show which is very important; at the end, I reveal the meaning of life. I think I have it worked out it is all about the fundamentals of being a human being. You have a secret society
‘The Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs,’ is it like the Masons or will you accept anyone?
Well, I will accept anyone, however joining ‘The Guild of Connoisseurs’ is more socially acceptable than joining the Conservative Party and less angry than joining UKIP.
Do you struggle to purchase your unique style of clothes?
No it’s easy because I always wear the same clothes everyday it is the the Paul Foot Uniform, someone once said it is like dressing a cartoon caricature, I always purchase my shoes from the same shop, I do not even have to ask when I go in as they know what I want. I purchase my socks from the same place but I wear different colour socks but I do always purchase them as a pairs of nice colours. My shirts and trousers are bought from the same shop in fact the only thing I have difficulty purchasing are my jackets which take some genuine shopping. My briefcase I purchase from Melbourne when I am there to perform.
Do you still worry about the decline of Shire horses?
I would not say worry so much as plot.
I gradually reduce the reduction of Shire horse numbers through mental thought. It is like Shire horse witchcraft, a bit like voodoo but more gentle, no pins involved, I have Shire horse voodoo dolls and shoe-horse or horse-shoe which can be put into the Shire horse and obviously a shoe-horse is like a clothes-tree or a clothes- horse only you hang shoes on it. I have just invented the shoe-horse and the clothes-tree you will have to take these on Dragons Den! I do like the idea of going on Dragons Den and taking a load of cack and weeping uncontrollably just to see if they would invest in me.
Yourself and Russell Brand performed a sketch whereby you were on a coach trip, where would you go on a coach trip in real life?
It would have to be a luxury coach because then you would know it was not luxury, as real luxury travel does not say it is luxury! For instance, the Orient Express does not have to say it is luxury because it is. So let’s say we take a luxury coach from Victoria Station, drive
round for a couple of hours getting stuck in London traffic, pulling random people off the street and fairly aggressively persuade them to come with me (obviously I would leave the true aggression until the coach doors were shut), we would then have a bit of tea out of thermos flasks before heading back to Victoria Station. .
Is it true Russell Brand modelled himself on you?
He did not model himself on me, we worked together for a while and a little bit of me rubbed off on him which I believe he has said in interviews, so I may have influenced him a little, although he is a very talented actor and comedian whether or not he received any influence from me that would still be the case.
Who inspires you?
No one - people always ask me that but when I went into comedy, I did not even know what comedians did. I did not know about creating jokes and that sort of thing so I made it all up! I do my own thing without any references to anyone and I am not influenced by other styles. I am self taught conveying my own message, that’s why I have ended up with a style of comedy that is a bit different to anything else out there. I admire other comedians and respect them enormously as I know what they go through, although not many of them have been through what I have been through, which was years of everyone ignoring me and thinking what I did was absolutely ridiculous until eventually everyone liked what I did! After doing the same thing for 17 years, it was deeply unfashionable for a time and I just carried on until eventually people got me and got to know about it and word got out and people wanted to see it and I got fashionable and, after 17 years, an overnight success. I think that Youtube has had a big influence. Since we have been able to post videos to Youtube, I am able to reach more people and people who like my style turn up for the shows whereas 5 years ago people were unsure of my style and some would walk out half way through a show. [Now] I get a room full of people who share the same ridiculous sense of humour all having the best time ever. I think I have the safest job in the world because people always want someone to stand up and make them laugh. So, if we have a nuclear war, after all the dust has settled, I could then go out and say funny things to people in exchange for a chicken, though it would probably be radioactive! I have always wanted to do lots of radio work, so I suppose I could do radioactive work. If that were the case you would have a radio comedian, TV comedian and I would be the radioactive comedian!
How is the preservation of the Blobfish going?
It won the mascot status of the ugly animal preservation society so I have done my bit. If not comedy, what would you do to earn a living? I think I would run a hawk sanctuary as you never hear anyone say oh I think I will have a hawk, so I think they need a home, also rare slugs (they would be the endangered ones) and giant snails, I would then open a theme park for children to ride on the snails. I would let the adults ride around on giant tortoises. Create some tracks It would be like the worlds slowest roller-coaster!
What venue or place would you like to perform at?
I would like to perform in a submarine at the bottom of the sea and if anyone heckled I would slowly let water in until they stopped. I would also like to do a show weightless in orbit or on the moon as no one has done stand up on the moon. I would travel via Easyrocket, although it would be a bit annoying if you forgot your boarding card as they would probably charge you 65 lunar rocks but it would be better than travelling Ryanrockets - they are worse as the minute you are in space, they try and sell you a solar system scratch card! You scratch off all the boxes to reveal two planes the same to win an extra orbit.