Tag Archives: John Fleming

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.

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)


My mother didn’t love me which is why last night’s show was the best I ever did

5 Apr

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

Amazingly fun News of Nunhead for 26 March 2012 before tonight’s radio show

26 Mar


9:15 PM 26 March 2012 Monday –  Nunhead

Nunhead is “twinned” with Brockley, Catford, and Peckham, according to me. This has never gotten a laugh but I insist on repeating it.


Listen to Lewis Schaffer with the Radio Nunhead American Radio. Streaming Monday evening on www.resonancefm.com and on 104.4fm London.

The News of Nunhead

The Battersea Dogs Home is running a campaign to improve the image of Staffordshire Bull Terriers – the fighting dog of choice for inner-city suburbanites such as Nunheaders.

“Staffies, they’re softer than you think” is the line on the Battersea posters on the Peckham Rye East side of the park. “With the right owners” the Battersea states “Staffies can be beautifully behaved dogs.”

On Saturday, a small dog was killed on Peckham Rye by a Staffie called Blue. Blue’s jaw crushed the tiny 3-kilo Morph’s ribs and punctured its lungs – within sight of the Dog Home’s poster.

Three things you often hear about ugly dogs: One, “Oh, don’t worry, he’s friendly.”; Two, “Oh, never done that before.”; and Three, “Your dog (child, you) shouldn’t come up to him that way.”

Carnegie Schaffer, the lovely second child of Nunhead American radio personality Lewis Schaffer, had a stressful afternoon Monday as he fell, or was pushed, into stinging nettles in Brenchley Gardens. Stinging nettles pump pure histamine into human skin and are quite painful but don’t leave lasting visible marks. Much like women.

The London Borough of Southwark, where Nunhead rests – and the operative word in Nunhead is “rest” – well Southwark is twinned with Cambridge, Massachusetts. Massachusetts is actually spelled that way because Red Indians could call it whatever they wanted because they never wrote anything down.

John Harvard of Harvard University came from Southwark. He didn’t found Harvard University but was its first significant donor. The Colonists also renamed the town in Massachusetts “Cambridge” in honor of the university where John Harvard was educated. This is why Southwark is twinned with Cambridge, Massachusetts. Did you know that William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also came from Southwark?

The pregnant Carolyn Kohl and the potential child’s titular father Jeremy Operer, both Nunhead Americans, have begun attending antenatal – or pre-birth – classes from the NCT – the National Childbirth Trust. The classes are held in the Old Nun’s Head Pub to help the unborn feel at home in the place he will spend much of his adult life.

British Military Fitness has been using Nunhead’s Peckham Rye Park to help Nunhead moms to lose weight. The workouts are on same turf where Italian soldiers were kept as prisoners of war and forced to grow their own food. http://www.britmilfit.com/where-we-train/london/peckham-rye-park/

London Borough of Southwark “Nunhead Safer Neighbourhoods Team” has a drop-in surgery on Sunday, the 8th of April from 4 pm to 8 pm at Juniper House on Pomeroy Street. It is believed that Sergeant Neil Harris and PC Jonathan Cook will attend.

Unlike “surgeries” in America, English surgeries have no surgeons, nor will be any operations, cutting, or blood. It is rather an indoor one-to-one consultation session. I think they call it a “surgery” to scare people away.

Guests this week include Nunheader Martin Soan, entertainer, variety show promoter, and volunteer for the Southwark Circle. The Southwark Circle is an organization that helps the elderly and the infirm do things that their families should be doing, but don’t do because these needy people have alienated their families with their selfishness.

Also on the show will be John Fleming, blogger, comedy know-it-all and friend of Malcolm Hardee, the “Andy Kaufman of England”. John doesn’t know that he is appearing on the show. I have not told him as to save him from becoming a nervous wreck. He doesn’t know it all!

Y’all listen in!


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 www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at http://bit.ly/londonfreeshow

I solve the biggest problem at the Edinburgh fringe festival but make a young woman almost cry

22 Mar

Thursday 22 March 2012 6 AM Nunhead

John Fleming showed up at my show at the Source Below last night, with Nunhead comedy performer Martin Soan of Pull the Other One in tow.  John was looking for something to blog about. I wonder how many people in my audience are there for the same reason? Business at my shows is way up at the same time this blogging thing has taken off.


Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I sent in my registration for my Edinburgh fringe show at the Three Sisters on Cowgate. Anyone who doesn’t understand how the Edinburgh festival fringe works has probably not lost money there.

The Counting House pub – the venue which let me put on my show Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous for free in their upstairs Ballroom for the past three years – well, the pub and I have parted company and we won’t be working together for 2012.

The Counting House has been a lovely place to work and it is with sadness that I have decided to move my show elsewhere. My decision was based largely on their insistence I find another venue.  I won’t perform in any venue that doesn’t want me.

The Laughing Horse Free Fringe organizer Alex Petty reported that the pub manager, Angus, had moved on and the bar staff had told the new manager they didn’t want me back for another August.

Was it my calling an Irish barman “English” after the show? It was a joke – I know how the Lesser Britons hate being called English. Isn’t that a bit racist of them? Then again, I shouldn’t be doing my act off stage.

Should I have drank more with the bar staff? Actually, I didn’t drink with them at all. Or did they think I was a creepy older man? I creep myself out.

Let me tell you what I think it was:

I got into a fight with the 22-year-old assistant manager over the “air cooling” unit.

For three years I got hot about the blistering heat of the Counting House rooms. The situation is no worse at the Counting House than in the rest of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh showrooms are in buildings  made of thick stone and brick designed to retain heat. Most rooms aren’t used for shows except during the festival so the windows have to be boarded up to keep out the light. Then jam in sweating, breathing humans at 98.6F [37c] from noon til two and you’re gonna have a Black Hole of Calcutta in the Athens of the North. Too soon to mention the Black Hole of Calcutta? Too late to call Edinburgh the Athens of the North?

I had a simple solution. I proposed it to manager Angus. Angus is a genuinely lovely guy. He listened to it, then rejected it. I wasn’t sure he understood so I proposed it again. And again. And again.

I am no HVAC engineer but Edinburgh is surrounded by millions or billions of square cubic meters of cold Scottish air. Free. Cold. Right outside. Why not put in a portable extractor fan in the window of the kitchen of the Ballroom? That is what we used in New York before cheap air conditioning.

Suck out the hot air. Pull in the cold air. Scotland is rich in air that they call “fresh”. “Fresh” means “cool”. Scotland does cool air.

But they don’t sell portable extractor fans in Scotland. I looked online. I went to the B&Q. They only sell the kind that go in walls or are cut into windows and need to be wired up. Scotland doesn’t do cooling.

Still, how much would it cost to wire an extractor fan temporarily?

Lovely Angus thought he was helping and rented a cooling unit for £300 for the month instead. He plonked it right next to my stage where it messed with my head. The unit ran on ice cubes. Ice cubes. And it roared and groaned and didn’t work. I’d turn it off. The next act, a painfully popular musical act from Australia. my nemesis, would blame me for the heat in the room.

The sweet 22-year-old assistant manager came to me to tell me not to turn off the unit. I hate ignorant youth. Frankly, I hate the ignorant middle aged more than ignorant youth. At least youth has an excuse. I was steaming at how ignorant I thought the whole town was being. Extractor fans!

I don’t think she cried at my outburst but she probably came close. I was hot and tired and exhausted from asking for a simple fan in the window. I apologized to her later but the damage was done. I apologize again in this post. I am sorry I took out my anger on you, lovely assistant manager.

But back to my point: Extractor fans. And see you at the Three Sisters at 8 PM during the Festival.

Please don’t cry.



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 www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at http://bit.ly/londonfreeshow

Seem me at the Edinburgh Festival with Laughing Horse.

Potty training a three month old baby is the least sexy thing a man can do

21 Mar

3 AM Wednesday, 22 March 2012 Nunhead

So a woman who worked on my weekly radio show was telling me about the man of her dreams. We were in a Chinese restaurant near my club after the show – Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous at the Source Below in Soho. She felt safe with me, having seen me flirt with an entire audience that night including her two male workmates. I was also more 25 years her senior so she didn’t think I would harbor evil thoughts. I was harboring, let me tell you. I always harbor. I think men never stop harboring thoughts.

Her dream man, she opened up, would be over 6’4” – not me. He would speak two languages – not me unless you count English English as a second language. He would be willing to be a stay a home dad – been there and could do it again if the comedy thing doesn’t work out and that looks likely. And he would help her do what she had heard they did in some Asian countries: train babies not to need nappies – or diapers, as they are called in America.

I would say I instantly fell in love but I was already in love. She had seen my show and I love anyone who has seen my show, whether they liked me or not. Man or woman.

Anyone who knows me knows I have two obsessions.

The second is infant potty training.

When I was infant potty training my second son in 2003, I became famous in East Dulwich as “that crazy dad”. At first I was “that American guy”. Then I became “that New York guy”. Finally, I was just “that crazy guy”. I saw that as acceptance.

Back then there were less than ten websites on “infant potty training”, or “elimination communication” as it is clunkily called. Now there are hundreds of thousands of websites and youtube videos. But still it hasn’t caught on. If I believed in conspiracies I would think that the global polluters Huggies and Pampers were suppressing the knowledge that babies of three months or younger don’t need nappies.

I don’t want to bore the non-parent with details as to how it is done. Actually I do. Basically, you let the baby associate the fresh air on their privates with elimination. The baby learns not to pee when he’s clothed. Send a self-addressed stamped envelop with £5 or $8 to Lewis Schaffer, “That Crazy Dad”, Nunhead and I will email you how it’s done.

If you haven’t heard about infant potty training, you probably think I’m a nut. The mother of my children, who entrusted me with their care so she could feed and house them, thought I was a nut, too. Soon after we moved from East Dulwich to neighboring Nunhead she asked me to stop torturing her children and vacate the premises.

The woman tonight could see my passion for infant potty training. After a few minutes on the subject I saw in her eyes the same look I saw in my ex-wife’s and I promptly changed the subject. It was too late.

My advice to men out there: Don’t think about infant potty training.


Regarding Tuesday’s Missing Blog:

Yesterday I missed a day blogging. Late last night, I texted the Huffington Post blogger and my friend John Fleming and asked if it was better that I miss a day or be boring.

His quick reply was “Be boring. It will end up interesting.”

That is typical John Fleming and why I asked. His philosophy is “garbage set free is better than genius hoarded”. I just made that up but I think it sums up his view. He has said dozens of times “It’s fine. Send it out.”

I usually listen to him. I usually agree. I usually don’t send it out.
I’m scared. I can say anything to anyone to their face, and frequently do. But writing is so permanent and so potentially hurtful.


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 www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at http://bit.ly/londonfreeshow

London, the most generous city in the world

16 Mar

4 AM Friday 16th March 2012.

Last night I was given a free ticket to see Jackie Mason at the Wyndham Theatre on Charring Cross.  My friend, Gerard Telford, landlord at the Source Below, asked me if I had seen Jackie (I can call him Jackie because we are in the same business). I thought Gerard wanted to go with me. He is a good dude and also appears to have money. I like people with money because I don’t have any. Sadly, he bought only one ticket for me, which, I assume, was so he wouldn’t have to go with me. People with money don’t like hanging out with people who like hanging out with people with money.  Still, it was very generous of him (£25).

My alone-ness at the show reminded me of the time I showed up at my good friend Dan Naturman’s flat in New York expecting to stay the night. He sounded a reluctant host over the phone but even so I was surprised when his doorman handed me an envelope with 10 $20 bills ($200 or £140) and a note suggesting I spend the night at a hotel. We are still friends as I cannot afford to be picky.

Anyway, Jackie Mason is funny. He was even funnier in the second half after I had a cider (£3.50 or about $5). I saw him in New York in 1986 (?) and didn’t have a drink during the interval. And I didn’t have a drink after the show. I was an American then.

Jackie Mason is funny. He was so relaxed up there I thought he might die on stage. It isn’t unusual in England for comics to actually die on stage. My favourite dead English comic – if you don’t count Bob Hope – is Tommy Cooper and he died performing.  This is an indication of how horrible English audiences are.

Jackie thought the Olympics were a colossal waste of money. If the idea was to draw attention to London then that was ridiculous because “Who doesn’t know London?”  I felt a bit proud to be a Londoner, not that I have had anything to do with the notoriety of the place. I had nothing to do with the notoriety of New York, either, but I was proud of that place, too. Frankly, I am not as proud of New York as I once was as nobody from there has made the slightest effort to get me back home to New York and save me from anonymity in London. Screw them.

Had I been Jackie – and some people have described me as the broke man’s Jackie Mason because of my show “Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous” at the above-mentioned Souce Below – had I been him, I might have put at least one local reference in the act. Instead of Pittsburgh, put Sheffield. Instead of Coney Island, put Blackpool. Then let the audience know, Jackie Mason-style, that “I’m a hit. I don’t need to change the jokes for you.” But I’m quibbling.

There were a few bits of Jackie’s routine that didn’t quite translate. The English aren’t obsessed with the weather. The English talk about it a lot because they are shy and use that topic to connect with other people. There isn’t much weather in England. It is pretty much the same every day. Some cloud, some rain, some sun and a temperature range of 8c to 22c (46F to 73F). I learned this from Bill Bryson.

Americans study the weather because they – or “we”, I guess I am still an American – have real weather: Hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, blizzards, thunder, lightning, torrential rain and heat waves. These weather events come across the continent and are easily filmed. Overturned buses and trucks make good television.

English weather comes across the Atlantic and affects no one en-route. Weather is seen only as isobars on a weather map. It is not very real or interesting. And even if there were islands out there in the Atlantic, it is hard to film dampness. Not good television.

The second comedy premise that doesn’t quite work here in England is calling a straight guy “gay”. That gets a laugh in the USA because Americans believe in God, and homosexuality goes against God. That is why gay sex is so much fun in the USA and calling someone gay gets laughs. It is like saying you think a Muslim dude is a Jew. Big laughs in Tehran.

England is the gayest country in the entire world, or at least it is in my flat. In England, if you point your finger and call a dude “gay” he is likely to say “yes” or at the very least “make me an offer.” After all, they teach homosexuality in the better private schools of England, just in case one gets elected to Parliament.

After the show, I walked over to connect with Martin Witts at his Leicester Square Theatre. Leicester is pronounced “Lester” and it is a hack joke among the English how the American visitors pronounce it “Lie- cester”. It never occurs to the English that maybe, just maybe, their spelling is rubbish.

Martin gave me two glasses of wine, which I drank lustily, having decided to become an English drinker. As a reward, I guess, he arranged for me to see Joan Collins at the theatre this weekend (£45 a ticket) and forgave the debt I owed him as my producer for my Edinburgh Fringe 2008 show “America, the Greatest Country in the World”. In return I am to make a monthly contribution to the Notre Dame de France Refugee Centre, based in the church above the theatre. This was very generous of him even if he is doing very well touring the brilliant comic Doug Stanhope around England and Scotland.

In addition, comedy guru John Fleming’s funny post which was, in part, about me, was picked up by the Huffington Post. How cool is that?

All in all, a day of generosity bestowed on me.

PS I stayed with my friend Doug that night and gave Dan back his $200.


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.

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission
Reserve at http://bit.ly/londonfreeshow

Don’t tell me I have to write every day, even if said I was going to

14 Mar

Wednesday 2 PM  I have never done one thing I’m supposed to do every day for a week straight. Until now. I have written this blog for 8 days in a row.  And now I am supposed to write a post for today? Eff off.

I hate to be told what to do. I know: who does? The Germans. Okay, besides them and that cliché. But I hate it more than most.  I know what to do and just don’t – and I just won’t – do it. “Tell the jokes as written and in the proper order,” I tell myself after every disaster of a gig.  “Eff off Lewis Schaffer!”

My doctor asked for my blood to taken to measure the affects of the high blood pressure medication I’ve taken since I was 28. I was diagnosed at 22 so I know it isn’t that I’m getting old. Okay, not getting old. It isn’t because I am old. But the doctor says I can’t eat for 12 hours before the test. I can’t do it. Sorry. “Eff off. Gonna die.”

I used to wear contact lenses back in the day – and that was when there was only one day back in the day. Does anyone in the present day say “back in the day” except people who lived way back in the day? The lenses then weren’t breathable so you couldn’t sleep, not even for 15 minutes, or your eyes would dry up and shrivel, like what happened to my great-aunt who’s eye fell out of her socket from cancer. I had the good luck to be there when it happened. That was a sight of sore eye. I’m morphing into Tim Vine with the puns! Once I put the contact lenses in I’d pass out. It was like watching Downton Abbey. “Eff off, contact lenses!”

Speaking of sleeping, I’m an amazing sleeper.  I slept through most of the 80s and half of the 90s. It is 12 noon now and I could put my head down and sleep til 11pm. That is when I should go to bed. As soon 11 pm comes, my mind comes alive with rebellion. “Don’t tell me to sleep! Eff off”

Last evening, for the first time, this blog was telling me to write it. “Eff off, I told it.”

A friend who knows my capacity for work avoidance warned me that a blog isn’t work. Calling for gigs is work. Doing gigs is work. Work, she reminded me, is anything that gets you money, and that my growing alcohol habit of maybe three or four drinks a week was getting expensive. She pointed out that successful uber-cool English comic Richard Herring takes only 15 minutes to write his blog. I thought: “Eff off! Don’t tell me to stop!”

I blame John Fleming. John is the comedy blogger and, well, I don’t know exactly what he does for work. I have learned in Britain not to ask personal questions. It makes people uncomfortable because everyone here is a bit dodgy or wants you believe they are a bit dodgy. I know this isn’t what you see in the movies. “What do you do?” merits an evasive “I work for the government.” Does that mean you clean the loos or are Prime Minister?  To get a rise out of the English – oh, I just remembered the post I was going to write today – damn, I didn’t need to be writing this fluff. Okay, I will continue and do the other thing tomorrow – anyway, to get a rise out of the British – and starting tomorrow I am only going to call these people English and not British, I’ll explain more tomorrow – ugh, you see what I did? Now I set tomorrow’s post for me to write and now I don’t want to do it. Who are you to tell me what I am going to post about, just because I mentioned it today? Eff off!

Well, to get a rise out of the English I ask them “Does your family have money?” cause it bugs them. But I don’t do that very often anymore because I’ve lived here for 12 years and have had the life sucked out of me.  But I can  because I am still an American.

So my friend John Fleming came to my show in Soho last night. He had a look of panic. Something was up. He was on his own – more disheveled than ever – and the man is disheveled. His beard is always two days away from a shave. I am sheveled. My ‘act’ may not be disheveled but I am always sheveled. In New York I would never have left the house without a shave. In England that is the Alan Sugar look. Alan Sugar is the English poor man’s Donald Trump. And Donald Trump is the American poor man’s idea of a rich man. Eff off Donald Trump.

Since John started his blog two years ago (?) I only see him when he is completely devoid of ideas for his blog. The rest of the time he spends writing it. His blog has taken over his life.

And I feel I let him down. My show was unusual in that nothing extreme happened. Extreme things were said but that is comedy. I am the best comic in Britain today because extreme things usually happen at my shows. More on this later. No. Eff off!

The 18 year old girls in the front row – not my target audience, at least not in comedy – were typically – how do I put this? – put it this way: Lewis Schaffer is no Justin Beiber. I am not even dad-like to them unless their father hated their mothers and beat them, and who wants to see that guy.  But 18 year old boys like me because even at that age they have experienced  pain from women. 18 year old girls have only experienced pain from other women. They don’t know pain from men.

Anyway, John got a blog out of me – see this link. And I got so carried away with saying “eff off” that I enjoyed writing this and it stopped feeling like work. I was back wasting time when I should have been writing jokes, getting gigs and doing my UK taxes from the year ending 5 April 2006 to 5 April 2010.

Don’t worry. Her Majesties Revenue and Customs has me on their radar. Now I have to do my taxes. You know what I tell them? “Sorry, I will do it!”


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

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission but you will be guilted into giving me money to get out. Reserve at http://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