There are weird standups, and then there is Paul Foot. If you’ve never experienced one of his shows before, then you’re in for quite the surprise. If you have (and you liked it), then rejoice, because his brand new hour of comedy, Image Conscious, is as gloriously anarchic as ever.
Foot’s comedy isn’t so much about sharp wit and slickly structured routines, although his stuff is definitely more polished than it seems. It’s all about his style. It’s about his slurring, borderline indecipherable delivery. It’s about the way he aimlessly flails his arms and wriggles his whole body as he talks. It’s about how he fully embraces his audience, clambering onto those sitting in the front row and shouting in their faces.
Image Conscious is centred on a suburban orgy Foot is organising. There’s a lot to think about. What are you going to serve for snacks? What is the theme going to be? What are you going to do if your auntie shows up? And, crucially, who are you going to invite?
Foot takes each of these questions and doggedly pursues them into avenues of obscurity. The show’s finest moment is when he decides to invite great snooker players of the 1980s to his sex party, then takes ten minutes recounting the 1985 Benson & Hedges World Championship Final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor with exacting detail and genuine passion. It’s an eccentric and exuberant routine from an eccentric and exuberant comic on good form.