Edinburgh Fringe review: Lewis Schaffer, Bigger and Blacker
Andrew Mickel26 August 2009
Lewis Schaffer is possibly the most unpredictable comic at the Fringe.
This year he has already attacked a group of guys that smashed his phone and been threatened with libel action for falsely claiming to be the new sponsor of the now defunct if.comedy awards. In short, he is unique.
With a new show, Bigger and Blacker, Schaffer has set himself the task of telling his audience why he is trying to punch above his weight and how he doesn’t always live up to his own expectations.
Watching Schaffer is at times like watching the dying throes of a tortured soul. You can tell that he has the seeds of a good comedian in him but he suffers from crippling confidence problems onstage; at one point he apologises to his audience and openly invites them to leave halfway through his set.
“I’m a fuck up, I really am," he says. "But there may be a woman who didn’t get enough attention as a child who may warm to me."
His gigs can quickly spiral downwards quickly, but Schaffer is also capable of moments of true comic genius. When Schaffer is irked little will escape his wrath as he blisters through a minute of biting satirical comedy.
The audience are repugnant, the English are a pitiful audience, the Jewish a despicable race; the rants build in intensity and Schaffer forgets where he is, his insecurity is momentarily abandoned and his real comedy voice comes to the fore.
If Schaffer can develop this and make his comedy more consistent he is well worth watching. At present you could call him a renegade comedian - you can never be quite sure what to expect.
Your rating: None
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