Tag Archives: Lewis Schaffer

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See the film here until 7th February when it will be withdrawn for film festival entry.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)

@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.

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)

Peregrine Falcon spotted on Nunhead Heights. News of Nunhead for 10 Dec 2012.

10 Dec

Listen TONIGHT at 10:30 GMT or 5:30PM UK time to Nunhead American Radio. www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. 

9 PM Monday 10th December 2012 Nunhead Heights.

Nunhead, Southeast London, is also what Germans call the white bit of the finger nail – Das Nun’s Head. Did you know this? No? I made this up. Nonne Kopf!

The News of Nunhead

Friend Doug Brooks of Friends of One Tree Hill spotted a Peregrine Falcon atop Nunhead’s highest point over the weekend.

The Peregrine Falcon’s name means ‘wandering falcon’ and is the Official Bird of Nunhead American Radio. I just decided this today.

The southern link of  London Overground trains opened on 9th December linking east London with southwest London.

1.3 miles of track were re-laid to connect Surrey Quays (pronounced ‘keys’) with Nunhead and points west. This allowed the 150 year-old South London Line rail trains to be removed from service. Now it’ll take 15 minutes to get to Clapham but 40 minutes to get to Victoria from Peckham Rye Station.

We will ask our guest, Councillor and friend Renata Hamvas, what can be done about this!

According to the Southwark News, East Dulwich artist Heather Burrell is to recreate from old shoes the stolen Barbara Hepworth statue. The Dulwich Park art was believed taken for its scrap metal value. Why old shoes? Who’d steal old shoes.

Peckham Open 2012 & Charity Art Auction Event, which Nunhead Arts is involved in is happening at Peckham Space. The exhibition is running from 30 November – 20 December. Check out Nunhead Arts website. I don’t know what this is but it is something!

The Nunhead Community Choir, led by friend Richard Swan, is having a festive pub carol crawl on Sunday 16 December. Meet at the Rye Hotel at 2pm at the bottom of Peckham Rye. I have often crawled pubs Carolling. Also Debbying, and Sarahing, and Elizabething…

They’ll be at the following pubs at the approximate times singing:

2pm – The Rye Hotel, Peckham Rye,
3pm – The Old White Horse, Nigel Road, Peckham
4pm – The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead Green
5pm – The Waverley Arms, Ivydale Road – ‘followed by the usual carousing and raucous behaviour leading to embarrassing videos on Facebook in the morning.’

THIS JUST IN: Save the Ivy House has just received an offer of funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The plan is to buy the Ivy House and run it as a cooperative pub and community hub. Keep informed on twitter and @Save_Ivy_House and at the Save the Ivy House website.

Tonight’s guests are the brilliant Brian Damage and Krysstal, famous musicians I’ve known for years. Nunheader Ed Hammond was scheduled but he’s coming in next week. Instead we have Renata Hamvas, Nunhead Heights Southwark Council councilor talking about the trains! And maybe the cemeteries and parking and bicycles…

With the Dulwich Ukulele Club, our house band, and a new song for Christmas! Lisa Moyle is our lovely co-host, and Chris Dixon, our Man. Possibly Claudio on the desk. Who knows?


@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 

Go to our facebook page! Nunhead American Radio.

Shows restart 8 January 2012: 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 Nudist Loses Turner Prize. This, and other News Of Nunhead 3 Dec 2012

3 Dec

9 PM Monday 3 December 2012 Increasingly in Demand Nunhead Heights.

Nunhead, Nunhead. At least the place isn’t called Bellenden, as in bell end. Or Dulwich, as in dull. or Peckham as is – yuck, Peckham. And no one likes Brockley, as in broccoli (except me). PS Those are neighboring areas.

Listen tonight to Nunhead American Radio, Monday evening at 10:30PM. On www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London.

The most viewed map of London has had an empty space where Nunhead is. Peckham Rye is being added to the tube map, which is an slight improvement.

New trains starting next week now provide direct service to Clapham Junction in the West and Canary Wharf in the East for people in Lower Nunhead but make it harder to reach Victoria and London Bridge.

The sister community of Bellenden is promoting a campaign to restore the South London Line after London Bridge is rebuilt. See weblink above.

Black dog with white patches, slightly bigger and similar looking to a Jack Russell terrier, has free run of Nunhead Heights, the increasingly in-demand area of London. Tell the Southeast Central Forum what you know about the dog or the owner. 

Goats’ Cheese Fondue, Marinated Artichoke & Beetroot Focaccia at Frog on The Green, Nunhead – has been rated the best sandwich in Nunhead according to the London Review of Sandwiches.

Congratulations to our friend John Gionleka, a guest of Nunhead American Radio and go his restaurant! It is delicious.

Our scheduled guests this week are comic musician Christian Steele who shares a similar situation, child and wife-wise, as I do. Speaking out for the Ivy House is Hugo Simms and @Save_Ivy_House campaign (on twitter) and lovely French photographer Elisabeth Blanchet talking about her photographs of World War Two-era prefabricated housing in Nunhead.

This Just In: Nunhead nudist artist Spartacus Chetwynd has not won the Turner Prize. Nunhead is safe from the star-chasers who would have come to Nunhead to gawk at our Turner Prize-winning Nunhead nudist-artists. 

Lisa Moyle is back. Enjoy! And Chris Dixon!

@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 



Obama Gains Advantage in Earliest Vote – Nunhead UK

6 Nov

Nunhead, United Kingdom



Nunhead, November 5th, 2012 — Nunhead, a haven for Americans in Britain has conducted the first poll for the United States Presidential Election. The winner is…

Nunhead is the first place to declare the results of its Presidential Election vote – even earlier than New Hampshire’s Dixville Notch.

In a poll of all known Americans living in Nunhead – ten in total – Barack Hussein Obama, the President of the United States, gained seven votes to only one for Governor Mitt Romney. One resident refused to make a preference and another did not vote.

Nunhead is an inner-city suburb of London five miles from Big Ben and has a sizable American population. It is estimated that one out of every thousand residents is an American.

The results were counted on New York comedian Lewis Schaffer’s weekly radio program on Resonance FM: Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer.

‘Nunhead Americans aren’t like regular Americans’ offered host Lewis Schaffer. ‘100% of Nunhead Americans have passports against only 18% of all Americans.’

Mr. Schaffer, who cast the only vote for Mitt Romney noted ‘These people [Nunhead Americans] are very liberal and probably deep down America-haters. Why else would you leave the Greatest Country in the World?’

Dixville Notch, which has a funny name as does Nunhead, announces their result just after Midnight on Tuesday morning. Nunhead’s announcement was made at 5:55PM Eastern Standard Time or 10:55PM GMT on Monday.

For more information,
Contact: James Gold at 07886504221

@lewisschaffer – twitter

Listen to Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com/listen and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts on itunes at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio


Nunhead News: A job seeker defecates on a Job Centre worker’s desk and more: 16 July 2012

16 Jul

8 PM Monday 16th July 2012 Nunhead Heights.

The News of Nunhead for Resonance FM 104.4FM – Nunhead American Radio 10:30PM

Nunhead. So nice they didn’t need to name it twice. The haven for Americans living in Britain.

Today, a baby was left at the Nunhead’s Job Centre by a female customer, believed to be the child’s mother. She shouted “You pay for it!’ and ran out the door without the baby.

The policy at the Job Centre is to report abandoned babies to social services immediately. In actual practice, the staff wait until closing at 5PM to see if the mother will reclaim the child. If the child is reclaimed, the parent is obviously unfit to be a parent.

In a similar situation occurring on 12 April 2012, a Job Centre customer made a bowel movement on a staff member’s desk. The stated policy at the Job Centre is to report immediately bowel movements made on staff member’s desks. In actual practice, the staff wait until closing to see if the customer will reclaim the bowel movement.

In Britain, the jobless and other benefit seekers are called “customers”. This is the same as it was in the State of New York – at least at the time when I was a frequent customer of unemployment insurance benefits.

“Customer” is an interesting choice of a word. It is as if one has a choice of what state or country one becomes unemployed. The fear that the unemployed will take their “business” to another state or country drives local welfare offices to be customer service oriented.

If you have a dog that follows you are around, forces you to feed it, and sleeps in your house or flat, then you are probably are its owner. Police will make you aware that you are a dog owner.

The Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team is having a Dog Ownership Awareness Day in Peckham Rye Park – opposite our lovely newish café – this Sunday, the 22nd of July. www.met.police.uk/saferneighborhoods

Calling all young film-makers aged 11 to 25! Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival 2012 announces a Call for Entries on the theme “My SE15”. All films must be ten minutes long or shorter and must be received by August 12, 2012. Go to the website: My youngest son started yesterday by filming his private part on his father’s iPhone. Sadly, he won’t be able to enter it into the competition as he is only nine-years-old. The video was deleted immediately. www.freefilmfestivals.org.

Today, in a seeming act of racism, a middle aged Nunhead woman of Scottish origin swore at her Nunhead American ex-husband and the titular father of her children “Why don’t you eff off back home.” “Home” meaning America. He had merely pointed out that an eleven-year old should know how to spell “know” and the three spellings of ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’, and that maybe the public education system in this country isn’t as good as she thinks it is.

On our show tonight, 16 July 2012, Nunhead American Radio, will be animator, filmmaker, and tv producer, Nunheader Ed Hobson. I met Ed at my show in Soho and he has kindly offered to come on the show.

Also on board is Norman Welch, playwright and Kansan, now living in the Greater Borough of Nunhead. He will be on hand to talk about his new opera. We are also to be graced by Robin Schacht, her father worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC. A true and naturally blonde American, Robin’s father is a banker but I cannot imagine him being even slightly dodgy.

Join Lewis Schaffer, American Lisa Moyle and Englishman Chris Dixon tonight, Monday. And enjoy

Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer
Every Monday 10:30pm
www.resonancefm.com 104.4fm London
On iTunes www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

Twitter me at www.twitter.com/lewisschaffer

Live in Soho “Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous”
Every Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Free Admission
Reserve at www.sourcebelow.com

Live Lewis Schaffer at the Edinburgh Fringe: No YOU Shut Up!

Why Jimmy Carr is rich and I sleep in my living room.

20 Jun

2pm Wednesday – 20th June 2012 – Nunhead Heights

“I used to get laid in High School.
That is one of the benefits of being a substitute teacher.”

Jimmy Carr heard me tell that joke in 2001 or 2002 in Birmingham and suggested I start my set with that joke.

I read yesterday that Jimmy had stashed £3.3 million of comedy income offshore away from the tax man in just one year.

I felt oodles of bad feelings.

I didn’t feel bad because of all the money he has made from stand-up comedy. He deserves the dough. Even if I didn’t find Jimmy funny [and I do find him funny], many others do, and he has earned the money.

Yes, he’s squirreling the money offshore. It’s legal and something very “Jimmy Carr” of him. “Jimmy Carr The Act” is the kind of guy who would squirrel money away.

“Jimmy Carr The Person” drives a Bentley or a Rolls – he isn’t pretending not to care about money and pretending to love the people [generally]. If he were a lefty, such as Robin Ince or Josie Long, I would’ve had a laugh. But he isn’t.

No, I felt sick because he actually filed his taxes.

I’ve been sitting on my taxes for the tax years of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Jimmy Carr came up to me in the early noughties at the Glee Club in Birmingham, Midland. We were doing a gig there. I was at a point when I could have been a star in the UK. Or at least made a decent living. Or at least not been such a loser that I was chucked from my home and family.

He wasn’t famous at the time but he was well dressed. That made me think more of him than the average under-suited new British comic of the time.

He offered me some unsolicited advice. I appreciate any kind of advice – solicited or not. Feedback is rare in comedy – other than having an audience stare at you or walk out. He was focusing on me and I love attention.

He heard me tell a joke that night in my set.

“I used to get laid in High School.
That is one of the benefits of being a substitute teacher.”

Jimmy suggested that I start my set with that joke.

I had a quite a few one-liners like that, which ironically are always two lines.

“The kind of girl I like is hard to find.
I like a girl with big boobs and a big cock.”

“They say beautiful women are shallow.
I only need two or three inches.”

That is very New York comedy style 2000AD. I call it: First person, extreme. Short jokes with the comic in the center and as evil as possible. It is the opposite of English-style, which, at the time, was “third person, mild” or “someone else, over there”. Imagine Gary Glitter in Wales and maybe add a fairy.

My agent slash wife screamed pretty much the same thing. “Just do twenty-minutes of the jokes you always tell. That is what Ed Bryne do does!” My buddy and Letterman comic Dan Naturman suggested I just “tell the jokes, as written, in the right order.”

I wanted to tell jokes, as written, in the right order.

I want to tell the jokes, as written, in the right order.

Only it involved a level of commitment to the material that I couldn’t make. That I can’t make. How could I be sure the joke I had chosen to start my set was the best joke to start?

Frankly, how could I be sure that anything I was doing was the right thing – from choosing a joke, to living in England, to being married?

How could I be sure the numbers I was to send to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs were the right numbers? Who knew if I am claiming every possible deduction and even claiming every possible piece of income?

If I had done what he suggested that evening in 2001 or 2002 I could have been the Bill Hicks of British-based New York one-liner comics. There wasn’t much competition – if any. There would have been a place for me on every comedy show in the UK.

Jimmy went on to tell the jokes, as written, in the correct order. He has told a lot of jokes, as written, in the correct order. That is why Jimmy Carr has £3.3 million to put in an offshore tax avoidance scheme. Jimmy Carr is sure about stuff.

Jimmy Carr actually was nice enough to care about me, Lewis Schaffer, an interloper in the British comedy scene, and one who may not have stayed around for the long haul. He’s a good dude.

Yesterday, because of reading about Jimmy’s taxes, I sent my accountant five tax years of numbers and was done with it.

Maybe someday I’ll tell a joke, as written, in the right order.

Additional Reading: God gave Bill Hicks Cancer. [I trash the dead and talk about different comedy styles.]

www.twitter.com/lewisschaffer [Twitter]
www.facebook.com/letloveflow [Facebook]

Every Tuesday and Wednesday in Soho

Mondays 10:30 PM on Resonance Radio 104.4 in London
www.resonancefm.com – iTunes at www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

“Rapid-fire delivery… everything is fair game” (The Guardian)
“His total indifference to all things British is brilliant.” (The Scotsman)
“A unique style – he can insult you and love you in the same sentence” (Time Out, New York)
“Controversial. Warning: Unpredictable. Recommended.” (Time Out, London)

A Malcolm Hardee Award Winner 2009

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