I told the UK Democrats Abroad I voted for George Bush

29 Aug

3 PM Thursday 29 August 2013 Nunhead Heights

BLOOMSBURY FUNDRAISER Starring Stewart Lee and Me

Stewart Lee, the King of Alternative Comedy in Britain, has slotted me on the Resonance FM fundraiser at the Bloomsbury Theatre September 11th. That is really nice of him.

I hope it goes well.  I am not an alternative comic. I am a failed mainstream comic.

My last two fundraiser appearances went badly.

I was asked to entertain the Democrats Abroad at the Soho Theatre in the early Noughties. I hate Democrats. I hate anyone who says they care about the poor, because they probably don’t. And even if they do care about the poor, one has to ask their motives. Unless they are poor, themselves, and then I hate them for being poor. And I don’t respect any American who prefers living here in England. Only Democrats and the insane would flee America. See me in the second category. Wow, that was a lot of hate!

I told the audience I voted for George W Bush – and you can guess the response. Yes, it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t true, either. I hadn’t voted since 1984, let alone for George W Bush.  Why did I tell them that?  I don’t like Republicans, either.

In 2002, did a big gala for JK Rowling’s “One Parent Families” charity at the Les Mis Theatre. 1400 seats. Her organisation promotes ripping children away from their fathers. I didn’t know this at the time or I might not have done it. And I didn’t know that later in the year I would have my children ripped away. Semi-instant karma.

I did well comedically, on the night.  I just told jokes. I can do that kind of thing if I want to. I just don’t want to.

Resonance FM is absolutely the best radio station in the world. It has give me a spot for my incompetent anarchy for over four years. Unprecedented. It HAS to be respected for that.

I can guarantee that your hard-earned money will not be wasted on this charity event.

Please come!

Benefit for Resonance FM at The Bloomsbury Theatre.
Organised by and starring Stewart Lee
and featuring me, Lewis Schaffer
Wednesday 11th September 2013
http://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/1839 

LEWIS SCHAFFER: NOW ON DRIVE TIME RADIO

Nunhead American Radio, the radio show of me, Lewis Schaffer, and to a lesser degree, Nunhead, returns Monday 9th of September at a new, better, time: 6:30PM.
DRIVE TIME. How incredible is that?
With the amazing Dulwich Ukulele Club providing the music. Over 120 shows since 2009.

Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer
Resonance FM 104.4FM
http://www.lewisschaffer.co.uk/radio/
Mondays, 6:30PM,
Next live show September 9th, 2013

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In the land of the one-eyed man, Lewis Schaffer is king.

9 Feb

3AM Saturday 9th February 2013 Nunhead Heights

You know me: If something bad happens to me, I mean really bad, I will blog about it.

Last night at Vivienne and Martin Soan’s lovely Pull the Other One gig in Herne Hill, south east London, something really bad happened. I killed. 

I made the audience laugh so much that there was no doubt I had done well, really well. Usually I have my doubts.

A comic knows when he has done really well.

Everyone wants to talk to you. Everyone wants to touch you. One experienced comic tells you, unsolicited, “Your time has come”. Another tells you how professional you seemed.

Jeff Ross, the now-famous New York comic turned Roastmaster General of the United States, once told me that ‘you know how to bomb; you need to know how to kill’ – using the vernacular of comedy. That was maybe 13 years ago. I assume you all know what ‘bomb’ and ‘kill’ mean.

Well, I killed and it felt weird.

In the front row of last night’s show sat a big black man with one eye and a huge scar on the side of his head. He was wearing a stethoscope, a sling-shot and bells that tinkled as he walked.

He had been shot in the head, I found out later. This was on the edge of Brixton and the area was once rough. It all fell into place like a movie.

‘Hey, look at me’ he was saying. He was casting a pall on the entire show.

During the break, before my set, I went up to him at the bar, to judge if he was going to try and destroy my show, and to somehow mitigate any damage.

Pre-frontal lobotomy. Does anyone young know of them? Where part of a distressed mentally ill person’s brain was scraped out removing the site of excess emotion.

I knew one man who’d had a lobotomy. At least, I guessed he’d had one because he had the tell-tale horseshoe-shaped scar on his temple.

I had a summer job in a lawyers’ publication in Lower Manhattan when I was 17 or 18 and worked with him in the mailroom – back in the 70s. He would smile weakly all the time.

The man at the show had the same look as the mailroom guy. He wasn’t a brute, anymore. If he had ever been one. The bullet had made him genial.

I sensed the one-eyed man just wanted a good time, to ring his bells and have everyone pay a bit of attention to him.

Maybe that is why I’m funny now – consistently funny – or funny most of the time. I can look a man in his eye and know that he isn’t evil. I can know that he isn’t going to try to mess up my show.

All I had to do was ring his bells for him.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Lewis Schaffer’s American Guide to England
Leicester Square Theatre – £10
Sundays, March 3rd to April 21st 6 PM (except 7th April at 5PM)

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: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

Lewis Schaffer to charge £10 on Sundays.

6 Feb

12 Noon Wednesday 6 February 2013 Nunhead Heights

I will be doing a season of shows at Martin Witts’ Leicester Square Theatre on Sundays starting 3rd March 2013 ending 21 April 2013. All shows will start at 6PM except 7th April which starts at 5PM and are scheduled to last for 90 minutes. The lovely theatre will be charging £10.

See him at the Leicester Square Theatre

See him at the Leicester Square Theatre

I anticipate continuing with my free shows at the Source Below every Tuesday and Wednesday.

FLASH: Surely you must have seen Jonathan Schwab’s short film about comedy, man, and me? Click here as soon as you finish reading this. Limited time. www.vimeo.com/56954666

You are thinking: How can Lewis Schaffer charge you ten quid on Sunday when you can see him for free on a Tuesday (or a Wednesday)?

In the coming days I will answer that question in this blog. Or perhaps you can provide an answer yourself in the comment box below? Best answer wins free admission to one of my Free until Famous shows.

Lewis Schaffer’s American Guide to England

The New York comic teaches the English about England*.
Lewis Schaffer isn’t a tourist. He isn’t here on business. He’s a hostage.
*England, includes Scotland, Wales and possibly Ireland.

‘His total indifference to all things British is brilliant.’ (The Scotsman)
‘An hour of nationalistic all-American rhetoric… hilarious.’ (Chortle)
‘He can insult you and love you in the same sentence.’ (Time Out, New York)
‘Controversial…unpredictable…recommended.'(Time Out, London)
‘The new King of Soho’. (londonisfunny.com)

Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place
London WC2H 7BX
Booking: 08448 733433
Buy here: www.leicestersquaretheatre.com

Other Stuff…

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

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: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

My film – Written, Directed, Filmed, and Edited by Jonathan Schwab, without any editorial input or control by Lewis Schaffer.

2 Feb

2 February 2013 Saturday Nunhead Heights

Two days ago I was in a panic over Jonathan Schwab’s film. I didn’t want anyone to see it.

The film makes me look fat, sweaty, failed, still failing, and small time. In other words, it is realistic.

See the film here until 7th February when it will be withdrawn for film festival entry. Lewis Schaffer / Free until Famous by Jonathan Schwab.

At one point, the filmmaker, a German, filmed me bending over to pick up coins that had fallen on the floor of my Soho venue. Coins that were given to me at the end of my ‘free’ show. I predict that someday the scene will be used in anti-Semitic propaganda films. If I didn’t know the filmmaker Jonathan Schwab, I would have thought he was being evil.

I am filmed saying my life is ‘tragic’. My life isn’t any more tragic than any one who has squandered a million opportunities and accomplished little. But there I was, saying ‘I’m tragic’.

Most people who have seen the film think it’s amazing. The FILM is amazing.

Amazing in the same way a David Attenborough footage of a whale chasing a seal is amazing. I wouldn’t want to be seen as either the harassing whale or the harassed seal. The whale is never invited to pick up the Bafta (Emmy, in the USA) with Attenborough. The seal, sadly, is dead, and couldn’t attend even if he wanted to.

But this isn’t the film I would have made.

One good friend, though, comic John Monty Smith of Newcastle, felt that viewers who didn’t know me would think I was desperate and pity me.

Lewis, he told me, ‘your story about moving to the UK and fucking up but now you’re on your way back, about Stewart Lee saying he was a little bit envious of you. Tell a couple of jokes and show how you’ve done 300 gigs in the same venue and you’re getting good reviews and are consistent. Maybe talk about your living conditions, etc.’

The narrative John proposed would be good if a filmmaker came up with it himself. One filmmaker, who I won’t name, did.

He had filmed one of the most successful comedians in the world, around the world, and set out to make such a film about my comeback. Up from death to finish the race. He filmed me a few times, seeing me die horribly under the pressure, and never called me again.

He probably ran because the story line isn’t true, no matter how many times I’ve postulated it. I wanted everyone to believe I was ‘coming back’ and I wanted to believe it, too.

I wasn’t a somebody when I was in New York to come back to. I haven’t changed all that much as comic, in the past 20 years. I am not any more consistent.

The only difference is that the comedy industry or the comedy community – which isn’t industrious or a community – have gotten used to my inconsistency and now seem to enjoy it. Their appreciation has given me the confidence to be even more inconsistent.

If I did have total control over a film about me it would be a bland as those BBC FOUR documentaries which are produced by the artist’s own company – the Bon Jovi film comes to mind – ‘When We Were Beautiful’.

Self-authored films can only be mildly interesting because they never get down and dirty.

‘Why, Mr Bongiovi’, I wanted the film to ask, ‘do you insist on pretending that Bon Jovi is a band of brothers when you own the entire lot and the others just work for you?’

There are alot of those kind of moments in my film. I mean, Jonathan Schwab’s film. 

Now I am in a panic that not everyone who matters is going to see me in MY film.

Lewis Schaffer / Free until Famous by Jonathan Schwab.

*Stewart Lee, for my American readers, is one of the two or three most respected comics in the Britain, and a leader of the new comedy generation, if there can be a leader of that. He name checked me in his latest DVD and did not trash me, which was really nice. Then again, I wasn’t asked to be on his TV show for ‘alternative’ comedians.]

New Shows at the Leicester Square Theatre
Lewis Schaffer’s American Guide to England
Every Sunday from March 3rd. 6PM. £10 ($16)
www.leicestersquaretheatre.com

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

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: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

I’m turned noir: The film I didn’t want you to see.

30 Jan

3PM Wednesday 30th January 2013 Nunhead Heights.

Comedy guru John Fleming reported the other day that I blocked Jonathan Schwab’s film about me.

I did not.

I only preferred that the film wasn’t seen. [John’s Blog ‘The Film of comedian Lewis Schaffer you cannot currently see online.’]

The German filmmaker himself restricted access to the film because he felt it was still a work in progress and to clear entry into American and European film festivals.

The film reminded me of FW Murnau, Fritz Lang, Werner Hertzog and even Orson Welles. If you’re into comedy and tragedy you’ll probably enjoy watching it. It’s brilliant.

I only wish it isn’t about me. You’ll see why when you view it. Or maybe I am wrong.

Because of the John’s blog I’ve asked Jonathan to allow the film to be seen. Or maybe because I am a poor judge of these things? Anyway, Jonathan Schwab has generously allowed access – but only for one week.

‘Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous’ by Jonathan Schwab.

On 7th of February access will be denied.

Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous at the Source Below
The Longest Running Solo Comedy Show in London
11 Lower John Street, W1F 9TY
8 PM – Every Tuesday and Wednesdays.
www.sourcebelow.com

Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer – Since 2009
Mondays 10:30 PM on Resonance Radio 104.4 in London and www.resonancefm.com/listen.

The latest Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer re-broadcast is on iTunes bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio
Real radio.

twitter @lewisschaffer

Have your taxes prepared by BritishAmericanTax.com – available for British taxpayers as well as the American Taxpaying Community.

“Where there is disarray, Lewis Schaffer creates chaos.” (Chortle) “An hour with Lewis Schaffer is an hilarious, cathartic, exhilaratingly appalling experience.” (The Scotsman)

What The Hobbit says about British society.

6 Jan

2AM Sunday 6 January 2013 Nunhead Heights.

I went with my oldest son, the 11-year-old Mini-Lew, to see The Hobbit at the Peckham Cineplex. I had never read any of Tolkien’s works, nor had I seen any movies based on his work.

When I was Mini-Lew’s age. some of the cooler kids in my hometown of Great Neck were reading Tolkien. I guess it was exotic to them, coming from England. This was many decades ago. I was still into collecting baseball cards and postage stamps and wasn’t part of that cool world. I didn’t know how to be part of that world.

My son, who is English, has read the book and loved the film. He is into that world. 

The essence of The Hobbit is this:

If you get into deep trouble you best have a wizard  following you around to come to your rescue. Otherwise, you’re screwed.

Why have the Dwarves fight or smart their way out of jams when the Wizard will blow up the mountain and crush their enemies? Unfortunately, having your own personal wizard is pretty much up to luck. And my kid, as far as I know, doesn’t have his own wizard.

In  The Wizard of Oz, the Oz Wizard provides no miracles and no salvation. He doesn’t kill Dorothy’s enemies or even gets her home. He only imparts self-belief. One can accomplish what one truly wants, he tells the four of them. Dorothy made her way to the Emerald City on her own and found her way back home on her own.

What is the Dwarves quest?

To recapture their historical home, the Lonely Mountain. It is a place of happiness and culture?  Is it a land of love of one’s fellow man? 

No. It is the bank where their ancestors had greedily hoarded gold and jewels. ‘Now that’s a motive that we can get behind!’ I write sarcastically. ‘Not fighting an Evil Empire, just a lust for gold.’

But Dorothy of Kansas’s home is filled with her lovely family and friends. Decent people. In The Hobbit, the Dwarves are just greedy bastards who invade the Hobbit’s home and wreck it. Rotten people, these Dwarves, on a rotten quest. 

Why is Thorin the leader of the Dwarves? He inherited it. But is he worthy of being followed, as the Wizard says he is?

Thorin is no genius. He is too stupid to know that his kingdom’s neighbors were not his enemies. And then he had expected his neighbors to come to his aid even though it meant they would be destroyed by the rampaging Dragon. And without the Wizard, the Dwarves would have been eaten alive under the command of Thorin. 

Thorin, the King of the Dwarves, is derisively put down by one of his enemies for losing his kingdom. One of the worst thing you can do in Britain is lose your inheritance. To the Manor Born and the Manor must be given to your oldest child.  And there is nothing more laughable than an ex-King. Think of the pompous Kings of Yugoslavia, the foppish Duke of Windsor, or the now irrelevant Mitt Romney.

The motto of the Queen of England is ‘We have held onto more stuff longer than any other British family.’ The Queen of England is President Assad or Mohammar Gaddafi or Assad plus four hundred years.

I grew up believing that ‘A man who dies rich is disgraced’ as Andrew Carnegie said. Carnegie is the man my second child is named after. He gave his money away to build schools and theatres. The Queen hoards her money to give to her children. I am not going to die rich so I have no fear of being disgraced that way. 

The Hobbit is propaganda by the British ruling classes to keep British children accepting the rule of their ‘betters’ and to know their place. 

I hope most Brits don’t believe that rancid ideology. It is so un-American – or the America I believe in – that I almost screamed in the theatre. Not that it would have mattered. We were in Peckham and screaming in the theatre  there isn’t  unusual.  

When the lights came on in the theatre I breathed a sigh of relief. I hadn’t wasted my childhood on that Tolkien garbage.

Sadly, my Mini-Lew has grown up immersed in that pro-monarchy, pro-ruling-class ideology. The ‘know your-place-as-you-don’t-have-a-wizard’ rubbish.  

He loves the Queen. Ah well, I still love him.  

What do you think about this? Tell me. Leave a comment. 

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

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 

Live shows begin 8 January 2013

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

Nunhead is more American and more News of Nunhead for 17 Dec 2012!

17 Dec

9 PM Monday 17 December 2012 Nunhead Heights

Listen to Nunhead on the radio – Mondays at 10:30PM LDN or 5:30PM NYC on www.resonancefm.com/listen and at 104.4fm London

News of Nunhead

Nunhead is delicious! This week, Keri Moss, 41, a freelance caterer from Nunhead, was voted the co-winner of the top prize in MasterChef: The Professionals on the BBC. Congratulations Keri!!

Nunhead is closer! It is now possible to get to the Northern line from Peckham Rye train station in less than ten minutes on the London Overground. The new service adds another route into Central London, along with taking the First Capital Connect to Elephant and Castle and the Overland to London Bridge and walking down two levels to the Northern Line. It will still take an hour to get to and from London.

Stay in Nunhead! Need a place to stay in Nunhead and I’m out of town? There are no hotels in Nunhead but there are 28 listings on airbnb.com for Bed and Breakfasts in Nunhead including a room rental on Hichisson Road for only £38 per night. Hichisson Road is considered the quietest and loveliest road in the increasingly in demand area of Nunhead Heights, part of the increasingly in demand area of Nunhead.

Nunhead is more American than ever! Two more Americans are believed to have found shelter in Nunhead Heights – according to Nunhead American mother Carolyn Kohl. We are waiting for her to contact them on our behalf! That makes 10 or 11, depending on how you count them.

Nunhead Americans to unite all Nunheaders! Reserve 7th July 2013 for Nunhead Beats the Bounds Day.

The Nunhead American Association, the community group of Nunhead Americans, is organizing a daylong event this summer. We will reinstate the age-old the British tradition of perambulating the perimeter of our village and beating the trees and building with sticks, letting all know THIS IS OUR NUNHEAD. The route is estimated to be 4.3 miles culminating in a party on Nunhead Green starring our very own Dulwich Ukulele Club.

It has been confirmed that the procession will be led by Asst. Vicar Dele Ogunyemi and Major Alan Norton of the Salvation Army and Lay Jewish Leader Randy Klein. We are looking for Muslim leaders atheists, and someone from the Not-Caring-Either-Way Community to unite our ville.

The idea of the event was planted by Councilor Renata Hamvas who alerted us to potential Southwark Council community funding. The creative spark was provided by Anna Crockatt and Richard Guard of the Dulwich Ukulele Club. Brilliant!

Go to the facebook event page: Nunhead Beats the Bounds

Tonight’s guest include beautiful New Yorker Edori Ferti – singer, artist and enchantress. Also on board is Ed Hammond, a Nunhead local who knows a lot about what’s going on here. With lovely Lisa Moyle and Chris Dixon. Enjoy!

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

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 

Live shows begin 8 January 2013

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

 

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic