Paul Foot, the backwards-haircut (short on top, long on the sides) staple of comedy panel shows, brings his slurring style of delivery and love for all things surreal to the Fringe for a show that is certainly amusing, but lacks soul. His whimsical musings on the semantic difference between words which differ by only one letter and his rants about loneliness are very funny, but there is no apparent rhyme nor reason to his surrealism. His show has nothing behind the eyes.
This glazed look to his work appears to come from a distinct lack of leg work. Unlike other famed surreal, nonsense play, dada-ist comedians, Foot's jokes have no depth, no purpose. I'm not saying Foot should be expected to induce some sort of epiphany within the audience, but whereas John Cleese and Graham Chapman famously passed scripts back and forth for days until they were content that their bizarre silliness was as funny as it could be, Foot appears to have picked random thoughts from the air and proceeded to do no further work. His jokes are not sturdy, they have no strength. They are flabby, misjudged and immensely underdeveloped.
Foot's show does have its moments and it’s easy to see which parts he has spent the most time on. His opening tirade on toast is bizarre and hilarious and feels like a good old jab in the side of mainstream, observational humourists such as Michael McIntyre and Rhod Gilbert. An appearance from a special guest promoted a spontaneous round of applause and had me chuckling for sometime after.
However, Foot fails to ever quite find a comfortable hold and flaps regularly, especially towards the middle of his show. Words can be funny, but if only it had some soul.