Stewart Francis hits the Stand

Stewart Francis hits the Stand

Stewart Francis used to open his set with, ‘Don’t worry, I haven’t heard of you either.’ Between hosting schlocky gameshow You Bet Your Ass in his native Canada, then moving to Spain, his memorable one-liners were an itinerant treat on the UK circuit to be enjoyed whenever possible. Since settling in London, though, profile-raising appearances on Mock the Week and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow have compelled him to dispense with the introduction, and in a gruelling echo of its namesake, he’s been performing his inaugural Tour de Francis while supporting Ricky Gervais. ‘Lovely fella,’ he reports. ‘It’s a strange dynamic doing my show the night before with 400 people hanging off my every word, then being the support act for a superstar. But I just do the best I can to set the room up right for the man.’

As with Steven Wright, Emo Philips and Milton Jones, there’s appreciable art in his daft wit and every reason to suspect Francis’ gags will be quoted long after he’s left live comedy. Especially as that could be sooner rather than later. Like his great inspiration, Steve Martin, Francis would quit stand-up ‘in a heartbeat’ to pursue acting, and has penned a screenplay about a naive American arriving in London and a sitcom-sketch show in which he plays a sitcom producer, ‘a show within a show’. He still enjoys crafting a fine joke, though: ‘It puts a bounce in my step and I can’t wait to get on stage and share it with the world.’ (

The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 11 Jan; The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 12 Jan

Stewart Francis: Tour de Francis

A regular on the tele-box on such comedic vehicles as 'Mock the Week' and '8 Out of 10 Cats', Francis is widely acknowledged as a master of the cracking one-liner. A surreal, free-thinking evening awaits.

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