Jerry Sadowitz: Not for Anyone
150: Pleasance at EICC
Room: Lennox Theatre
Jerry Sadowitz returns with his whacky impressions of Greta Thunberg, Frankie Boyle and deep vein thrombosis. He also promises to do less hate-fuelled swearing and focus more on faux liberal pish in order to appeal to the middle class and their disposable income and personalities. 'Please note that I might just do card tricks and say nothing for a whole hour or I might just do the usual "screaming fascist" schtick. Or both. Patrons may wish to drink alcohol pre-show to avoid boredom, embarrassment and guilt.'
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After scabrous comedian Jerry Sadowitz has had his Edinburgh Fringe shows cancelled by the Pleasance venue for featuring precisely the sort of content he has been performing for at least four decades, the Times wheeled out several big guns to defend the right to offend.
"The fear of upsetting people is the road to self-censorship, not self-improvement; the erection of new taboos a fresh means of hiding the truth," agonised Alex Massie. "It is depressing to appreciate that so many people are incapable of distinguishing between speech they do not like themselves and speech so dangerous it must be suppressed."
James Marriott pointed out: "An honest defence of free speech acknowledges that it inflicts pain on vulnerable people, disperses power unequally and has no scientifically identifiable principles - but that it is precious nonetheless."
And Sarah Ditum got straight to the point: "The galliest thing of all, the gall mother lode, is the Pleasance's claim to 'champion freedom of speech'. Now there's some faux liberal pish for you."
Fine words all - but somewhat pishy coming from a newspaper which, only two months earlier, deleted a news article about Boris Johnson pushing for his then mistress Carrie Symonds to be given a job at the Foreign Office because it offended not the general public or even its readers' sensibilities but those of Carrie herself, whose "people" intervened with representatives of News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks to complain about its appearance in the first edition of 18 June.
Despite a deluge of correspondence, complaints and even subscription cancellations from readers about the truth-hiding and self-censorship, the Times has declined to explain its actions, or to print a single further word about the matter. And unlike Sadowitz's act, the Times story didn't include the filthy bits (but we did - see Eye 1576).Private Eye, 24th August 2022
The cancelling of Scottish comedian (and accomplished magician) Jerry Sadowitz by major Fringe producer Pleasance, was as lamentable as it was avoidable.Mark Brown, The National (Scotland), 23rd August 2022
The decision to cancel Sadowitz was an act of cowardice.Andy Shaw, The Daily Express, 22nd August 2022
The Scotsman comedy critic on the Jerry Sadowitz controversy and why the Fringe shouldn't be aligning itself with corporate values.Kate Copstick, The Scotsman, 19th August 2022
It's an extremely clever sales and publicity trick that Jerry himself would have been proud to conjure up, if only it had been deliberate. It wasn't; but it's proof, if any were needed, that there is still a huge public demand for his outrageous brand of dark comedy and unsettling social satire.Donald MacLeod, The Herald, 19th August 2022
The Last Laugh with Jerry Sadowitz was recorded to be a 55-minute show though it was later transmitted as a 45-minute show (for general scheduling reasons, not because of content).John Fleming, John Fleming's Blog, 18th August 2022
Readers on freedom of expression and hate speech, following the cancellation of the comedian's Edinburgh Fringe show.The Guardian, 17th August 2022
Racial slurs and a man exposing his penis don't hit in quite the same way for them.Ariane Sherine, The New Statesman, 17th August 2022
As the Jerry Sadowitz row at the Edinburgh Fringe is still rumbling on (see my previous three blogs), below is an extract from the late Malcolm Hardee's autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake.John Fleming, John Fleming's Blog, 17th August 2022
There are three things that should debar you from debates about comedy. The first is using the phrase "so-called comedian". The second is deploying your own subjective "it's not funny" as a trump card. The third is the Reductio Ad Jim Davidson - the strange logic by which if you're not a full on cheerleader for the currently dominant wave of progressive comedy, you obviously want to sit around laughing at Chalky and watching Up The Elephant reruns.Robert Peacock, The Wee Review, 17th August 2022
The controversial comedian has been signed to record the scene-setter for a performance by Mark Borkowski, a celebrity publicist whose previous clients have included Noel Edmonds, Graham Norton and Joan Rivers.Adam Robertson, The National (Scotland), 17th August 2022
Questions of free speech offer no simple answers, but it's clear that this is a watershed moment in comedy.Brian Logan, The Guardian, 16th August 2022
Comedians dismiss cancel culture at their peril.Simon Evans, Spiked, 16th August 2022
For context: I have never seen Jerry Sadowitz's penis.Shona Craven, The National (Scotland), 16th August 2022
The banning of an 'offensive' Edinburgh Fringe performer shows that free speech is losing out to liberal consensus.Sarah Ditum, The Times, 16th August 2022
He may be a monster, but at least he's talented.Andrew Doyle, Unherd, 16th August 2022
Threats to free speech are far more damaging and offensive than any joke Jerry Sadowitz could tell.Michael Deacon, The Telegraph, 16th August 2022
The comedian offers one of the purest forms of risqué comedy out there.Linda Marric, The Jewish Chronicle, 15th August 2022
I suppose it was inevitable that cancel culture would eventually catch up with Jerry Sadowitz.Tom Slater, The Spectator, 15th August 2022
The stand-up's show was shut down at the Fringe after complaints. I'd still rather see him than most other, more morally digestible acts, says Dominic Maxwell.Dominic Maxwell, The Times, 15th August 2022
Controversial comedian's show pulled from world's largest arts festival over 'not acceptable' material.The Week, 15th August 2022
As an addendum to the blog I posted earlier today about the Jerry Sadowiz/Pleasance venue contretemps at the Edinburgh Fringe... My eagle-eyed, eternally-un-named friend has spotted a Tweet posted yesterday.John Fleming, John Fleming's Blog, 15th August 2022
This could run and run. And in the process Sadowitz has become entangled in the latest round of culture wars.Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 15th August 2022
The aftershock of The Pleasance venue cancelling the second of Jerry Sadowitz's two comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe rumbles on.John Fleming, John Fleming's Blog, 15th August 2022
Comedians and figures from across the political spectrum have condemned an Edinburgh Fringe promoter for cancelling a show by a notorious stand-up.Mark McLaughlin, The Times, 15th August 2022
Jerry Sadowitz branded 'abhorrent' by Scottish Tories after comedian allegedly called Rishi Sunak 'a p***'
It's claimed Glasgow comic Sadowitz referred to Sunak as a 'p***' in a gag during a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe on Friday.John Dingwall, Daily Record, 15th August 2022
Jerry Sadowitz allegedly exposed himself to the audience and told racist jokes. He's been doing this since the 1980s, so why the faux shock?Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph, 14th August 2022
Actors, comedians, writers, poets, singers and broadcasters have hit out after controversial Scottish stand-up and magician Jerry Sadowitz had his Edinburgh Festival Fringe scrapped in the wake of complaints from audience members and staff.Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 14th August 2022
I was interviewed by Andrew Castle on his LBC radio show this morning.John Fleming, John Fleming's Blog, 14th August 2022
Magician and comedian Jerry Sadowitz has been cancelled by his Edinburgh Fringe venue, Pleasance, after one of just two special performances.British Comedy Guide, 13th August 2022
Here's a small fraction of some of the comedy coming up at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.Jamie Dunn, The Skinny, 24th July 2022
Stuart Lee has recommended a number of comedy shows to see in Edinburgh this August.British Comedy Guide, 21st July 2022
|12th Aug 2022||21:00||Pleasance at EICC (Lennox Theatre)|