From Croydon, via Wigan and Venezuela (genuinely), meet an impressive up-and-coming stand-up, Francis Foster
Hi Francis. Please introduce yourself to the London is Funny readers.
Hello I’m Francis, I’m a 32-year-old man who teaches children during the day and shouts at people in a vaguely comedic style in the evening.
Where are you as we speak? Paint us a picture.
I’m sitting on the sofa in my lounge, in my house and the telly is on in the background. I own none of these things. I own clothes, a phone and two phone chargers and that’s about it.
What’s your style/vibe/thang?
I think anyone who has ever met me would say that I have no style whatsoever.
Who do you find funny?
I love the confessional style of American stand-up, in particular Chris Rock, Louis CK, Bill Burr and Dave Chapelle. However the act who makes me laugh the most is Dave Attell, his Road Work special is one of the funniest pieces of stand-up I’ve ever heard.
What have been your best and worst gigs?
My best gig would be the final at the NATYs final [in which Francis took 3rd place – Ed]. It was a surreal experience hearing my name called out in front of all those people. Worst gig was being booed off stage by 250 stags and hens in a horrendous nightclub in Bournemouth.
Preferred method of taking down a heckler?
I imagine that they’re my boss and then I just vent. It’s incredibly cathartic, I’m not yet sure if it’s funny.
Which clubs do you perform at?
Up the Creek, Angel Comedy Club, Covent Garden Comedy Club, Camden Comedy Club, Backyard Comedy Club, Komedia and Piccadilly Comedy Club.
Which clubs do you not perform at, and do you have a message for them?
I’d love to perform at The Comedy Store and the 99 Club. My message to them would be “could I have a gig please?”
What one thing about comedy do you wish people had told you before you started it?
How bastardly difficult and heartbreakingly awful it can be.
What do you ultimately want to do with your comedy?
I want to create funny and truthful comedy based on my life that other people can relate to.
What’s the dream?
To become as good as Bill Burr. Every time I see him he just gets better.
Which is harder – teaching or stand-up?
Teaching is harder. To be a great teacher you need to be kind, caring, intelligent, patient, wise and selfless. I have none of these qualities.
Do your kids find you funny?
No, they think I’m a miserable twat who exists to ruin their fun.
Who’s the funniest kid in your class?
One kid in my class built a bong when they had a supply teacher covering a lesson. They were meant to be learning about fractions, he was in the back of the class pretending to get high off a biro and some plastic cups.
Can you dance?
Sadly not, the hardest I’ve ever seen my girlfriend laugh is when she saw Darren Walsh and I dancing to hip-hop.
What’s your secret talent?
I can speak fluent Spanish.
And finally, if you were to appear on a chat show as a guest, what would be your walk-on music?
It’d probably be a mash up of Ricky Martin and George Formby as I’m half-Venezuelan, half-Wigan.
• Thanks Francis – and you can catch him at the Museum of Comedy on Feb 23, Up the Creek (Greenwich) on the same night, and Angel comedy every Thursday plus March 6. He’s on Twitter at @failinghuman