NextUp Review: Paul F Taylor – Pick Of The Litter

paul f index
Rather shockingly Paul F Taylor murdered six people in cold blood and left three so badly injured that they can no longer speak. So he’s just like most comedians, then. Okay, fine, actually this is the set up to his stand up special Pick Of The Litter which starts with a short video of him being interrogated by a policeman and asked to explain just what happened to cause such carnage, and over the course of the show we get the full story which just happens to include this hour of stand up.

Though it might seem like a themed show the framing device doesn’t actually tie in with everything else until the very end, though we cut back to the interrogation every so often to witness the police man on the edge of insanity as he doesn’t enjoy Taylor’s jokes, or explanations as to why they work, at all. The rest of the hour is a collection of extremely daft and very funny gags with Taylor occasionally giving asides to the camera Harry Hill / Stewart Lee style.

Not that he’s a huge influence but you can see a hint of Hill in Taylor’s performance as he tells jokes on a variety of subjects, physically their’s a slight similarity too but Taylor is definitely his own beast and performs confidently throughout, which helps land the occasional weaker moment. He leaps from one subject to the next with aplomb, starting off with a great impersonation of Noah, discussion of Russia which comes complete with mockery of various other countries and their names, and one liners like “The other day I bought some oven gloves but it turns out my oven doesn’t have hands” and “I don’t like light bulbs because they look like the ghosts of dead pears”.

The best segments are on bus replacement services and passwords, which may not sound like comedy gold but Taylor creates some beautifully odd daftness out of both, and then at the end is a section where all of the various characters he’s introduced during the set interact with each other which also includes a great number of call backs, all of which made me laugh, and laugh hard at that, and the final moments tie in with the police interrogation rather gorgeously. And to get your money’s worth there’s even a fun short film at the end but mentioning it’s content would spoil the show for you, so just this once I’ll be nice and not do so.

He makes observations that I haven’t heard before, like how outdated the term “Cloak room” is amongst many other topics, and an improvised song tackling someone talking in the audience is superb. He’s a gagsmith and an impressive one at that, and while not every bit works – “the hand luggage guy” bit goes on for too long before hitting a funny punchline for instance, the majority hit home to the point that it might cause your house to fall down. He’s so good that he’s a comedian who you’ll probably fall a bit in love with, if he isn’t responsible for your death at least.

Alex Finch.

Related Links:
Paul F. Taylor’s Official Site.

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