Jerry Sadowitz hits back after show cancelled: ‘My act is being cheapened’

<span>Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

The comedian Jerry Sadowitz has hit back at Edinburgh fringe promoters who cancelled one of his shows, accusing them of “cheapening and simplifying” his act.

The Pleasance theatre cancelled Sadowitz’s second show of two on Saturday because it said the content was “extreme in its racism, sexism, homophobia and misogyny.”

It said the number of complaints about the show was “unprecedented” and a large number of people had walked out feeling “unsafe to remain in the venue”.

Sadowitz, 60, has long been known as one of the most extreme and offensive comedians in the UK. His current show is titled Jerry Sadowitz: Not for Anyone.

He said on social media that he felt his 75-minute show on Friday “went pretty well … with no hint of anything going wrong”.

He continued: “My act is now being cheapened and simplified as unsafe, homophobic, misogynistic and racist. I am not J** D******* [Sadowitz’s asterisks] folks … a lot of thought goes into my shows and while I don’t always get it right, especially at the speed of which I speak … and I don’t always agree with my own conclusions (!) … I am offended by those who, having never seen me before, HEAR words being shouted in the first five minutes before storming out without LISTENING to the material which I am stupid enough to believe is funny, sometimes important and worth saying.”

Sadowitz said he exposed himself in the show “for the purpose of the funny line which follows it”. He said he was not asking for anyone to agree with anything he said or did on stage. “God forbid they should end up like me … and I have never ONCE courted a mainstream audience to come to my shows because guess what??? In real life, I really DON’T want to upset anyone. The show is what it is, for those who enjoy it. The rest of you … please stick to Carry On films.”

The cancellation brought expressions of concern from fellow comics including Al Murray, Katherine Ryan, Fred MacAulay, Simon Evans and Richard Herring.

Herring, writing on his blog, said Sadowitz’s act was “a lot cleverer and deeper than he is being given credit for.” He wrote: “To complain about him [Sadowitz] being offensive is like asking the actor who plays Macbeth to be arrested for murder. His audience should know what they’re getting into, as should any theatre that books him.”