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Paul Merton —
born on July 09, 1957,
Paul James Martin, known professionally as Paul Merton is an English writer, actor, comedian, radio and television presenter... (wikipedia)
My school days were the happiest days of my life; which should give you some indication of the misery I've endured over the past twenty-five years.
When I turned about 12 or 13, I realised that being funny wasn't about remembering jokes. It was about creating them.
It was a bizarre existence I led in my early twenties - that cliche of the comedian who goes out and entertains a roomful of people and then goes home to a lonely bedsit was unbelievably poignant for me because that was exactly what I was doing. I had periods of real loneliness.
The thing about improvisation is that it's not about what you say. It's listening to what other people say. It's about what you hear.
I read every book about Buster Keaton and Chaplin to see how they worked - it's all about dedication, tunnel vision, pursuit of perfection, getting the gag right.