HE’S a tall man, Stuart Francis. And the Basement Bar has a low ceiling. So that’s the pogo dance routine ruled out, he says, as he comes on stage.

This Canadian comedian is very amusing if puns are to your liking. They are certainly to Stuart’s liking; he throws out razor-sharp bits of silliness like a knife chucker at a circus.

The punchline is everything here and Stuart has an endless store. He will set up anyone and anything, including himself, to get a laugh.

He is old-fashioned in his dedication to the finely spun quip, and his jokes, however enjoyably daft they sometimes are, are always perfectly turned.

You could hold them up to the sky and watch the sunlight bounce off them. Or you could if you weren’t in a low-ceilinged bar more or less at river level on a wet night in November.

Stuart reels off one of this reviewer’s favourites – “Is my wife dissatisfied with my body? A tiny part of me says yes” – and then points that he is the victim in that one. He also gets away with straying close to what might seem tastelessness by setting something up, and then confounding our expectations – after all, what is a joke but a neat plot twist? – by slipping in a punchline from an unexpected angle.

The short but chatty support slot was from Barry Dodds, who deserves more praise than there is room for here.