Interview: Stewart Francis – Pun Gent

This article is from 2015

Interview: Stewart Francis – Pun Gent

‘The yacht was called "Anchor Management". BOOM: that's what I'm talking aboat'

We caught up with Canada-born, Scotland-based pun legend Stewart Francis, who chatted to us about his style of comedy and his rather punny method.

When did you realise that the punning style of comedy was the route you would take? Did storytelling not appeal?
I realised punning was my style of comedy one day while at the dentist: I think it was 2:40. I did, however, once try to be a storytelling comedian but for some strange reason it didn't work out. I'll never forget it: a Thursday night in Toronto; no, it was a Tuesday night in Montreal; no wait, it was a Sunday night in Moose Jaw; what am I talking aboot, it was a Friday night in Calgary …

Can you tell us your all-time favourite pun?
Recently, whilst my wife was out on a day pass, we saw a great pun on the back of a yacht. The yacht was called 'Anchor Management'. BOOM: that's what I'm talking aboat.

Do you have a specific method of working? Ie, do you sit down at the start of the day and announce: ‘I’m going to write four puns today’? Or do you trust that they’ll pop into your head when you’re shopping / jogging / showering et al?
No, but I often announce 'I'm going to buy four candles today'. Punny you should mention, I come up with most of my puns while jogging in the shower at Al's.

If you go two days without coming up with a workable pun, do you start to get the shakes?

Do you think that punning is a bloke’s game? There seems to be a distinct shortage of female comics doing a full hour of punning stand-up at the Fringe. Is punning really such a wildly macho pursuit?
Women don't have the balls to tell a pun. That and the fact that they are already unfairly and more harshly judged than male comics possibly deters them from performing a less mainstream style of comedy.

Do you make the kind of comedy that you like to see? Or would a night at a gig full of puns be some weird form of torture?
No, being stuck in a lift with Mark Watson is a weird form of torture. Truth told, I absolutely love my style of comedy, and I also love the way I finish a sen

Stewart Francis: Pun Gent, Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, 7–30 Aug (not 17), 8.10pm, £15 (£13). Preview 5 Aug, £14 (£12)

Stewart Francis: Into the Punset

Surreal and deadpan one-liners from the Canadian stand-up and TV regular, as seen on Mock The Week and Live At The Apollo.