Paul Foot & Noel Fielding
The comedian answers questions asked by his director.
This article is from 2010.
The List asked the surreal and brilliant Paul Foot to complete our First Word interview. Of course, he couldn’t do it normally, and invited Noel Fielding (who directed his Fringe show) to set the questions. Here are the mind-bending results
How long have you been a showbusiness worker?
I have been doing comedy for 14 year. I should really say 14 years, as that’s correct English. But I prefer to reply in the manner of a pirate.
If you weren’t a self-employed minstrel, what would you be?
I would quite like to be a hawk sanctuary owner. Out all day, hanging round a barn, tending to various birds of prey. There is no money in this, unfortunately, so it would only be a matter of time before I went bankrupt, my wife left me, and I turned to whisky, collapsing in a drunken stupor on the heather and getting pecked to death by one of my own kestrels. A sad end to a dream.
How do ye come up with your humours, baby?
Every time I waken from an 18th century-style reverie, or come to after a bang on the head from a frying pan, a joke occurs to me.
When ye are off-duty, in the privacy of your own barn, what makes you laugh?
Comedy ripping sounds, when a businessman’s trouser gets caught on a thorn; a busty waitress getting the sack, following anonymous allegations from a man in a phone box; the rise, fall and eventual disbanding of Prussia.
If I were to give you a sack full of fruit harps, which would you play and which would you eat?
I would eat the mango harp first. The cherry harp is less flavoursome than expected, yet has a lovely tone and is ideal for a recital. Keep away from the strawberry harp – it is a bombe in disguise.
Name your five favourite items of countryside slapstick
Cowpat, old piece of wood with a nail in it down by the canal, thorn protruding from a bush close to the footpath, concealed rabbit hole filled with stinging nettles within trip radius, remote-controlled exploding scarecrow.
Name your four favourite serious seaside accidents
1. Ungainly woman slips on poorly-maintained slope on crazy golf course, shattering her pelvis. 2. Father of three loses his balance getting off spinning teacup ride on pier and slams into coconut shy. 3. Racist granddad standing at water’s edge wearing a blazer, cravat and matching handkerchief in his top pocket, is surprised by a large wave as the tide comes in. He gets soaked and later is seen sitting by the bandstand, visibly shaken, with a St John’s Ambulance blanket over him, muttering about asylum seekers.
What is the first thing you’d do if you ran the country?
Resign. I don’t want all that responsibility.
What are the first three words your friends would use to describe you?
Paul Foot is
If it takes three and a half otters 107 moonlit nights to discover the truth about Farmer Goggles’ missing turnips, how handsome must a barley sugar rat statue be to cause one and a quarter sea snakes to swoon?
You cannot fox my mind with your conundrum, Noel. The simple equation Rat-a-Tat Rat = 1/5 Snooker Snake x G ÷ Turnip Turncoat, where G is the cost in sadnesses of a twinkle-tide, gives me the answer: more than thrice as beautiful as a goose’s glint, but not necessarily as alluring as an ox clock.
Paul Foot – Ash in the Attic, Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 29 Aug, 7.40pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£6.50–£9.50).