Stewart Francis ends his stand-up career to become a cartoonist

Stewart Francis the Canadian comedian has decided to press pause on his career and play the cartoonist career.

Comic says live comedy has always been a second career choice behind drawing and hopes that his first book “Pun Direction” will give him enough impetus to quit the stage.

He is also trying to get a 'cartoony' sitcom made. If either are successful, he admits, “that would be the last you'd see of Stewart Francis in the capacity of live stand-up comedy”. “Plan A was always to be a syndicated cartoonist but after getting rejection letters I shifted to Plan B. But stand-up – I've been there and done it now. I'm grateful for everything it's given me, including the chance to be what I always wanted to be – a cartoonist. It'll be a step back financially but personality-wise and creatively, a step forward as far as I'm concerned.

Francis is currently touring the UK and Ireland with Glenn Wool and Craig Campbell . He won a public vote for the funniest joke of the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe with the gag: “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.” Pun Direction, billed as a collection of '500 jokes, 30 cartoons and one recipe', will be published in the autumn by Headline, whose back catalogue includes autobiographies by Jo Brand and Richard Wilson, as well as novels by Jenny Eclair and Father Ted actor Pauline McLynn.

He is currently pitching a sitcom pilot script to television commissioners with a production company.

It would star himself as a UK-based Canadian and the show will embrace a cartoon-like disregard for cause and effect.

“There are no rules in Family Guy or The Simpsons beyond a basic structure but it can go off in surreal directions; it doesn't have to make strict sense. I will have a family off and on. Just like my jokes – sometimes I have a wife and kids, sometimes I'm single and looking to mingle. I could be wonderfully gay in one episode. Like cartoons, when you get hit over the head, there's a big lump, stars and birds, then in the next scene Fred Flintstone's head is perfectly fine” he explains.

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