Comedy blog

Ari Shaffir: Edinburgh Fringe 2016 interview

Ari Shaffir


Ari Shaffir is creator and host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening who counts Bill Burr and Dave Attell among his fans. He promises an hour of raw and dirty stand-up.

Hello. How are you today?

Man, I’m great. You never get that question in a written interview. Thanks. Im at the airport right now after camping for two nights in the Alberta mountains.

Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

Hell yes! I’m really excited about it. I should probably be more nervous about getting audience to come see. But I’m really just thinking about fun morning tea with my flatmates and all the hanging out through the whole month. This is a real sleep away camp for comedians.

At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?

Completely. I’m not doing a show like that. I’m doing an American hour. It’s full of bits. That’s pretty much what the blurb says, I assume. Americans don’t do theme shows like that for our stand up hours. When people in the US do that we call it a one person show. Those are fine but they get so weepy sometimes. Jesus. I want to see stand up to laugh. If I wanted to learn something I’d read a fucking book.

What are your tips for getting people to see your show?

Jesus, I don’t really know. I have no idea how you stand out in a city with 3,500 shows going on every day. It almost seems like it couldn’t be done. I’m just announcing it on podcasts so listeners who mostly live in America can hear about what they won’t be at. And posters.

Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?

Same guys as I did last year. Ahir Shaw, the Alexes Kealy and Smith, and newcomer Joe Derosa. We get along great. Alex Smith is highborn so he makes sure the kitchen never gets beyond the filth level of safe use. Ahir cooks and is executive in charge of tea. Derosa will make us feel better about ourselves when we see his body. Kealy entertains us with stories of his terrible dating techniques. And I open the back window to blow my weed out so it doesn’t make the flat smell like the gardener’s shed at Cambridge.

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

Steve Bugeja, Bill Burr, ICW, and all the big UK comics that none of the American comics have heard of.

Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?

The fun times. Some of that Caol Islay, hangouts, hikes up the Seat, getting barred from pubs because we smoked pot in the street 20 yards away like gentlemen but the fucking bouncer made a morality call and felt that drugs are wrong even though me smoking means I’m going to be your most ideal and well behaved customer, and the late night shawarma runs.

Salt and sauce on your chips?

Dude, what is “sauce.” I’ll eat whatever you guys eat but I haven’t even heard of some of this stuff. Is it ketchup or vinegar or mayonnaise or something else. Usually, though, I’d babe them with salt, ketchup and hot sauce. Chips are fries, right?

Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.

If you’re uptight, can you please just not come to my show? I mean if you think “I’m not that uptight unless someone crosses a major line or something.” You. Don’t come. Nobody cool has lines for stand up shows. So I’d really rather the shows be half full of laid back people than sold out with half the crowd harrumphing in their heads. If you are one of the cool ones, please, grab some of your equally minded friends and come have some laughs and then go talk about what you saw over drinks and/or drugs.

Ari Shaffir: Ari S-P-E-C-T
Heroes @ The Hive
4-28 August, 6.30pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

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