This August, Paul F Taylor has delighted audiences to critical acclaim with his hyper-energetic, punchy and stylish brand of stand up comedy. Winner of the New Act of the Year Award 2013, his act combines gag heavy material with whimsical imaginings. We spoke to Paul about his Edinburgh show, The Incredible Paul F Taylor, laughing at dogs in the street, and his appearance in Dave’s list of the Funniest Jokes of the Fringe…
How would you describe your show to someone who hasn’t seen it yet?
It’s an hour of my high energy, madcap flights of fancy and surreal one liners. With a filmic storyline where I liken myself to an unstoppable force like The Incredible Hulk.
How would you describe your style as a comic?
I’m goofy, unpolished, energetic and sweaty. It’s abstract observational comedy at its core. I try to make a genuinely funny observation, but then play with that on stage make it bigger and turn it into a flight of fancy.
How did you get into comedy?
Years ago I quit a job I hated and went traveling. I decided to book myself in for a gig in Australia. As I saw it, no one knew who I was so I could die on stage with no fear of embarrassment. After that gig I was hooked! I did a load of gigs around Auz and NZ, then committed to it fully when I returned home.
Who are your comedy influences?
So many! The biggest ones are probably Eddie Izzard, Steve Martin, Mitch Hedberg, Steven Wright and Tony Law. I love the insightful fools who make you think in a way you’d never thought previously.
What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I laugh all the time, probably too much. I laughed at two tiny dogs walking along the street today. They were both looking at each other with such happy faces! I see a lot of myself in the faces of dogs, they’re soft, fluffy and loveable!
Show recommendation at the Fringe? (apart from your own)?
You were listed as one of Dave’s Funniest Jokes of the Fringe. How do you feel about your jokes being taken out of context? Do you see yourself as someone who writes “jokes” in the setup/punchline sense of the word?
To be honest I’m really not a big fan of publishing jokes. When people are reading them, they’re hearing them using their own voice in their head, rather than my voice. Also, once the joke is out in the public domain it can mean that no one will laugh when they hear you tell it. However, it’s kind of a part of the process of building your reputation.
Writing publishable jokes suits how I work, because my writing style is very much set-up/punchline. Superficially my act looks far more loose and rambling than that, but everything I do is all based on an initial joke premise. It has to have a payoff!
Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2014 can be found here.
You can still catch The Incredible Paul F Taylor until 23rd August, 8.50pm, Cabaret Voltaire.
Paul is also in a sketch show called Short & Curly: Who Dunnit? until 23rd August, 3.20pm at Ciao Roma.