Stewart Francis: 'It's nice to go out on a high'

Stewart Francis: 'It's nice to go out on a high'

The UK-based Canadian punmaker says goodbye to his fans with one final tour

Stewart Francis isn't one of those comedians who'll fall into that trap of trying to be funny well past their use-by date. For after the best part of a decade in which he's become a staple on Mock the Week, scooped the Dave Joke of the Fringe and played one sell-out tour after another, the Canadian comic is bowing out pretty much near the top.

For a quickfire gagsmith and one-line joke generator, Into the Punset was obviously the title he would go with for his farewell tour. But wipe your eyes, people, for Francis himself is failing to see the miserable side of the story. 'For me, it's a happy conclusion as I've left the best til last,' he insists. 'I'm thrilled to bits with what I have and it's nice to go out on a high, like when the athlete that throws the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl then retires.'

So, if Francis has no longer got the comedy bug, where are his talents heading next? 'I'm going to step away from comedy and focus on acting which is another passion,' says the man who already has credits on shows such as Lee Mack's sitcom Not Going Out and US legal drama Kevin Hill. 'When you're a comedian, casting directors can be a bit lazy and think, "well he's just a comedian". But I'm not. I think I have some significant acting chops and I want to prove that to myself and to the world. But when you're wearing both hats as a comedian and an actor, you can be taken less seriously; so I want there to be a real separation.'

For now though, Francis is focused on making the audiences who helped him make his way in the comedy game laugh at his punning punchlines one more time. 'This tour is a love letter to the UK and Ireland, thanking them for a wonderful chapter in my comedy career. It's not a sad moment for me, it's just all about new challenges and new horizons.'

Stewart Francis: Into the Punset is on tour until Saturday 7 December 2019

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