PAUL Foot could be described as ‘a comedy riddle, wrapped up in an enigma, tied with a bow of bewilderment’.

I think this would be a tag line which he would enjoy. You can catch Paul Foot in his latest show ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Piglet at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton on October 19.

Ahead of the show, Entertainment reporter, Lawrence John, sent Paul a series of email questions and this is what he had to say:

Q: What was the spark which ignited your desire to do stand-up comedy?

A: I accidentally did a comedy gig and I loved it, and then I knew I would be a comedian for the rest of my career. Well, I say ‘accidentally’; I was at university and someone was putting on a comedy night, and my friends said I should do it because I was funny. Well, I had never seen stand-up comedy before, so I didn’t really know what it was. For example, I did not know that the comedians prepared jokes and things to say. Anyway, I just went on to the stage and made up a load of stuff about fruit, asking the audience what their favourite fruit was et cetera. And in that moment I just knew I was destined to be a comedian.

Q: What does it (comedy) give you that another form of entertainment could not?

A: Good question. I’m not sure really. Maybe it’s about a combination of things. As a stand-up comedian you are always completely in the moment, you are living and breathing (literally) every syllable, every movement, and also every response from the audience. The audience and you are in a pact, you’re both on a journey together and you’re the leader. I’m not sure if that’s the same with other elements of live performance. If you’re a musician, for example, the audience are just sitting there, watching and listening. You, as a performer, don’t rely on them in the same way. I mean, if my audience decide not to laugh, the show’s a disaster, whereas if a musician’s audience decide not to like it no one notices.

Q: What most amuses you about your comedy?

A: Another good question, and a hard one to answer, because I’d have to analyse my own sense of humour. I write comedy about things that amuse me, you see. I’ve always been fascinated with comical disasters; wedding cakes falling over, jiltings at the altar, that sort of thing. In fact, I think we can see a pattern emerging. Weddings going wrong is my answer. That’s what amuses me most.

Somerset County Gazette:

Q: You describe your fans as connoisseur’s – In your opinion what defines a connoisseur and what does Paul Foot admire about them?

A: The reason I have Connoisseurs, and not fans, is because my Connoisseurs are interested in my comedy, not in me. They are Connoisseurs of my comedy, not fans of a celebrity. If I were to be run over by a bus tomorrow, they wouldn’t care at all, apart from, of course, it mean the end of the comedy, which would be devastating to them, but you get my drift.

Q: How would you describe the moment inspiration strikes and a flight of fancy which can be used in your comedy is born?

A: It can happen it all sorts of ways. I spend a lot of time in a mindset I like to call ‘brainstorm mode’, where every idea is a good idea and no one ever says ‘no’. Often a brilliant idea can evolve from an idea that isn’t quite right, and if you shut an idea down too early, you close off all the possible paths that idea could take you down. Of course, sometimes a brilliant idea just appears in the mind. That’s much easier.

Q: How much do you think you have learnt about yourself by being a comedian?

A: I have learned that I would have been a terrible employee in every other job on the face of the Earth.

Somerset County Gazette:

Q: What does comedy mean to you?

A: I love comedy. It is my job, and also my hobby, so whenever I’m at work I’m doing my hobby, and whenever I have spare time for hobbies, I’m doing my job. It’s an excellent set-up.

Q: If you could meet your younger self what advice would you give him and would he listen?

A: I would tell him to keep going. That’s the advice I always give to young comedians starting out. Keep going. With nearly every young comedian there will be times when you doubt whether you will ever succeed, but every time I had those doubts I always just did one more gig. I did that for approximately 14 years, after which time I became an overnight success. And yes, younger Paul would listen. It was his advice all along really. I can’t really take credit for it.

Q: When was the first occasion you realised comedy was important to you?

A: It was the first gig that I did, which I described in question 1. With the fruit. I had never seen stand-up before, remember?

Q: Did you ever doubt yourself as a comedian?

A: No, I wouldn’t say I doubted myself fundamentally as a comedian. One always has little doubts about what they are doing. Those doubts are what make you reach higher levels of quality. Oh wait, there was that one time last week in Asda when I couldn’t find the way out and I thought I’d never make it out alive and I forgot who I was in the cheese section.

Somerset County Gazette:

Q: Do you amaze yourself how you can make comedy connections to such disparate things?

A: No. I suppose I wouldn’t necessarily call them disparate. Everything is connected after all. The Einstein and even Buddha knew that.

Q: How do you view being a comedian? Is it hard work? A job? Just an act? Or a way of defining who you are as a person?

A: Well it is undeniably a job, but it’s also an art, isn’t it? It is hard work, but it’s hard work that I like, and that rewards my audience. Either that or it’s just an act. I shall never tell ye baybayyyy!

Tickets for Paul Foot ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Piglet cost £14.

They can be bought online at or call the box office on 01823 283244