4pm Monday 6 August 2012 Edinburgh Suite, Glasgow Jimmy’s Place

Today, the blazing Kate Copstick in the Scotsman wrote that “An hour with Lewis Schaffer is an hilarious, cathartic, exhilaratingly appalling experience. Four Stars.”


Why not Five Stars? Where did that other star go?  

I am not saying I deserve five stars, or even deserve four or three. I wouldn’t pay to see myself – then again, who would pay money to hear yourself talk for fifty minutes?

Even when someone loves me I still think they believe I’m just a bit rubbish. And it’s true. Why not five stars? I don’t need five stars, nor want five stars, nor think I deserve five stars. Five stars is for “art”. Art is something that truly moves you. I am a long way off from that. Four is for very funny. And I don’t think of myself as that, nor would most of the people that have seen me.

I once got in the 97th percentile in a New York State vocabulary test given to 14 or 15 year olds. I knew what ‘percentile’ meant was without being a bookworm.

My mother explained that the three or so percent who were better than me were the people who mattered and that I was at the bottom of the top. In no way should I be proud of that.

I was taught love by a mother who loved me intensely and then beat me or completely ignored me for long stretches. That’s what made me me. Blame my mother. I don’t trust love – and I consider a good review “love”. I trust a smack in the head. That is honest.  

Thank you Kate Copstick for your good words and to the Scotsman for printing them.

>>> Please comics stop ending your shows with the plea ‘Keep supporting live comedy’. Comedy shows aren’t charities. It sounds pathetic. (Though I do beg for money daily at my “free show.”)

>>> Tonight, two young Londoners nervously sat in the only open seats other than the first row: the second row. They scowled at me the whole show.

I should have tossed those grumpy Capital City losers out on their asses after ten minutes. Instead, I tried to turn them around and wound up seeming like a racist bully. 

Sadly, free shows can attract people with only the weakest of interest in comedy. That’s why many shows are rubbish: It’s the audiences, white and black.

Because of the review, people will now be coming to my show expecting to hear something appalling. It’s NOT what I say that’s appalling, it’s me that’s appalling. 

My audience is going to see a comic who blames them for his failure. How can I strive for art when my audience isn’t as committed to it as I am? AND they’re going to see a comic who takes responsibility for his show’s failures. I know I shouldn’t have spoken to those guys as much as I did.

The truth is: My mother is to blame.

>>> Ran into the thin Mitch Benn climbing the stairs at the Underbelly. He was looking hungry. 

He told me losing weight was the easy part. That’s cock to me (Wow, that was English – ‘cock to me’!)

I can’t NOT eat for 12 hours to clear my system for a simple blood test. I can’t imagine ever losing weight on my own.  Major props to the thin man. 

See me at 4:45 at the Alternative Fringe at the Hive on Niddry Street and at 8:15pm in Maggie’s Chamber at the Three Sisters on the Cowgate. 

If you’re in Edinburgh you’ll know where these places are. 

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