12:24 Thursday 5 April 2012 Nunhead
Last night at the Source Below was the best show I’ve ever done.
Not in terms of audience enjoyment – a third of the audience walked out halfway – and the other two-thirds – I don’t think I could count on them to confirm it was enjoyable.
Or in terms of laughter – I didn’t hear that much of that – except coming from me.
Or money – the bucket was good but not great.
Someday I will have the nerve to tell you how much money I actually make for my free show. I’m debating whether I should tell you how many punters came – I’d seem like a loser if there weren’t many – but who am I fooling?
Why shouldn’t I just be open? Like when I was 29 and I told the world my mother was in a mental hospital when I was a child. That was the big secret of my childhood: My mother didn’t really love me – she fled from me to the Institute of Living in Hartford Connecticut.
If you are happy my childhood was troubled and I am troubled now – well – I am still stronger than you. 24 punters last night and 8 walked out halfway. There, I said it. One of those was a Saudi guy who has been to my show four times, each time bringing a different girl.
There was one point – where I was explaining how funny and/or disgusting sexual relations are – of all kinds – not just the cringy older-man-sex like the kind I was ostensibly offering the seemingly-innocent 24-year-old Josie Long acolyte – Josie Long – the oh-so-correct comic whom the woman oddly hadn’t heard of – all the while I was stroking the hair of the middle-aged man and touching the knee of 30ish non-gay Government employee bloke – it was so uncomfortable that I started laughing so hard I had to kneel down – gasping for air and life.
You had to be there – of course – that is live theatre – THEATRE DARLING! – and even if you were there it’s possible you didn’t find it funny. It was uncomfortable.
The uncomfortable-ness of closeness and touching. I never saw my father hug my mother. Once – by the kitchen eating-nook – but it was an ironic hug not a loving one – that’s why I remember it. Maybe that is why I am messed up about sex?
I asked the masses in the room – all 16: Where on the flyer does it say one thing about comedy, or humor or laughing or that my show is going to be funny? Where? I demanded.
“Right here”, the audience showed me. And “here” and “here” and “here”.
My personal blogger John Fleming was there last night with the “un-named” woman who makes his presence bearable – actually he is a welcome sight for anyone who wishes to be loved and accepted as an artist – ARTIST MATE! He can review it – you all ask him.
John said tonight he was watching me and wondering “what would I think of this if I hadn’t seen Lewis Schaffer before?” The word I remember he used was “interesting”. And he has seen me a dozen times – if not two dozen – and he knows his comedy. And frankly I rather be interesting than funny.
That is a simplification – obviously – as funny is very interesting. His un-named associate – who has seen me five times – was decidedly unhappy that I didn’t tell “The Jokes” – like Woody Allen being asked to make “funny” films – which of course – she was right.
Peter Goddard – the man who’s hair I was stroking – he’s a nice guy – told me afterward that I had the audience laughing many times but stopped them as if I didn’t like them enjoying themselves.
I was busy flirting with his young potential girlfriend-to-be-who-worked-in-a-bank – he said something like “uncomfortable” but not that word – or maybe that word – and he stated that being in my audience was “like being inside ‘The Office’ as opposed to be being at home, watching ‘The Office’”.
“Imagine coming to a comedy club and not being sure if the “comedian” was David Brent or Ricky Gervais.” Analyzed Peter.
Don Ward – owner of the Comedy Store in London – a perfectly named place – store instead of shop – as the idea being stolen from America – and “store” where comedy is sold - Don Ward once asked me at an Edinburgh party “which Lewis Schaffer do we have tonight: The funny Lewis Schaffer or the not funny Lewis Schaffer?” My point: Most people know what they see but don’t understand it.
I collected £51 from the 16 – including nothing from five punters who individually told me they didn’t have any money on them – which actually is a good thing as the punters who hate me stealthily put pennies in the jug to avoid the embarrassment of telling me I’m shit yet passively thinking they are punishing me.
If you were there last night and left the show early – a building will fall on you and you will die – not the Saudi guy – he is welcome back anytime. And if you stayed through you can count yourself lucky. I was lucky.
Non-Related Political Point:
Anytime you read that a retail business is “creating jobs” by opening up new shops – like Tesco or Prêt a Manger – don’t believe it. Retail merely transfers jobs from other shops or takes money spent on other enterprises – such building factories and writing software for export – which does create jobs.
Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio
See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow