STEWART FRANCIS

10 February 2010

[Picture of Stewart Francis]I first came across Stewart Francis on “Mock The week” on TV. It seemed to me to be so refreshing to hear a comedian tell jokes again.  Just wee jokes — one-liners.  He is one of the few panellists who could stand their own against Frankie Boyle.

Stewart Francis is a superb dead-pan stand-up joke-teller.  I think audiences like to be able to remember the odd joke and tell it a dinner party or at the bar or at work.  A joke is a joke and it belongs to everyone.  Maybe one-liners have a better chance of being remembered for being so short.

I once saw Bernard Manning live in Manchester years ago, and he was “out of favour”, and jokes were out of fashion with the new “alternative” comedy scene.  But, and I hated myself for having to admit it, he was extremely funny; jokes just wear you down in the end.  They are so silly, and delivered so quickly.

Stewart Francis does one-liners, and most of them are clean and fairly PC as well — but he can still make connections and links that lifts the act from disjointed individual gags, to an actual proper routine. In that respect he bridges the gap between Bob Monkhouse/ Jimmy Carr/ Steven Wright / Chic Murray and Mitch Hedbergisms gags and paraprosdokians and the likes of Eddie Izzard and Billy Connolly.

[embedded clip from youtube.com]

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