Thursday, 2:29 PM. Nunhead.

Two men are sitting side-by-side at my comedy show Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous. They both support the same football team, speak with the same English accent, were born in the same town, drink the same pints of cold, but not super-cold, beer, both loving Lewis Schaffer, the New York comic currently based in London to be near his children. One will call himself “English” and the other will call himself “British”.

You are saying: Everyone in Britain, which England is a part of, is “British”!

True. All English people are “British”. But some British people in England call themselves only British and do not see themselves as “English”.

I have noticed this is true for mainly African, African-ancestry and Asian-ancestry people – “people of color” is the approved term in the USA but is considered offensive here in the UK even if you spell it without the “u”. In England, some people, both black and white, think that being English is a racial characteristic; one needs to be white to be English.

But amazing things are happening. A black person may believe he is only “British” until he goes back to his ancestor’s homeland in Nigeria, Jamaica, or Mumbai. Once there, he can’t stand the heat, longs for his pub, his team and his mates, and realizes that is he is really “English”.

And this same “British” person is suddenly considered English by white English people when he has shared with them the complete experience of the full-on American that is Lewis Schaffer at his show in Soho.

Nothing makes people in England feel more English than an hour spent with me. I am glad to do my part to bring people together.


Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio.
Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on and 104.4fm London.

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission
Reserve at

2 thoughts on “The mystery of the native-born Englishmen who claim not to be English. Or how Lewis Schaffer helps unite a divided country.

Leave a Reply