Lewis Schaffer (the "superstar of free comics") doesn't appear to love Lewis Schaffer, but I do.
This unremittingly angst-ridden New Yorker seems incapable of seeing a disaster area and not walking into it. It is one of comedy's enduring miracles that mild-mannered Jim Jefferies gets punched in the face while a large part of Schaffer's hour on stage (there are actually two hours but one of them is trickier to find because he put the wrong time in the brochure and ... well ... Schaffer will explain when you see him) is spent alienating almost every ethnic and socio-economic group in the room and you can still feel the love. Sort of.
You probably won't see the show I saw, but Schaffer's hate affair with the world is always good for a memorable, head-shaking, can't-believe-I'm-laughing-but-I-am hour. You get (Lewis Schaffer points out) two shows for the price of none with his 5:30pm slot as there is some sort of musical cabaret out in the courtyard, but that does not distract him from his attack on Nigerians, bloggers, Avatar, English women, Ivor Dembina and Peckham. He bemoans his own inability to achieve anything - from full-on racism to an erection.
He roundly abuses a bloke in the second row who is English, from Kenyan Indian ancestry. He becomes Lewis Schaffer's all purpose "black" audience. It is appalling. But funny. As always, with Schaffer, there is some fiendishly clever material, here, about the whites coming to America, the Middle East situation and the occupation of Tibet.
Anyone who says Americans don't do irony needs to see Lewis Schaffer. His irony packs real iron. And his throwaway lines are all real keepers. The comedy world needs Lewis Schaffer. It just doesn't know it yet.