It's taken me over a week to pull my thoughts about the Sadowitz show together. Sure, I've been busy at work, but its mostly because I've been to scared to put my response into the public domain, lest it warrants a typically Sadowitizian verbal punishment beating in response. I've been having nightmares about getting a pre-Christmas midnight visit from a curly-haired Glaswegian with a top hat and a manic stare, but I'm feeling particularly brave today.
There's been loads written about the shock value of Jerry Sadowitz, the offence he apparently causes, and how its apparently hampered his career over the last decade or so. Anyone getting hung up about the words he uses, the fact he systematically pours bile over almost all the UK's ethnic groups and sacred cows, or the amount of time he spends talking about wanking is missing the point. Tonight's show was a refreshing, life-affirming antidode to the mediocrity of the majority contemporary entertainment.
If you get offended by his show (I saw a splattering of people walk out in tonight's 90 minute show), you really shouldn't have been there in the first place. Sadowitz is the equivalent of the kid that points out that the Emperor is walking around bollock-naked, he's the Iraqui bloke who chucked his shoes at George W Bush, he's the comedy equivalent of a suicide bomber. Offence isn't what his comedy is about – offence is (without wanting to descend into theoretical bullshit) a major part of his comedy technique – he uses it to tear back the conventions and the taboos of our post-Mumbai, post-Baby P, post-Iraq society so we can all see things a little bit more clearly.
Thats not to say Sadowitz is some great philosophical figure – a Sade for the 2008 – although he clearly is a very clever man – his show is much more about knob jokes and belly laughs than it is about learning to live with existential malaise. Tonight's show was also about magic – Sadowitz is a world-class close-up magician and we get a succession of his tricks tonight, but the show was really all about his stand-up. I'm not going to tell you any of his jokes – go see him yourself.
Yes we get the rants, but we also get an insight into Sadowitz himself – its a pretty personal show, he's obviously someone who cares very deeply, although he'd probably say face-to-face that he didn't really give a fuck.
Sadowitz at Christmas – along with the Pogues at Brixton – is fast becoming a fixture of 'Christmas in London' (typing that made me feel a little unwell) and long may it continue. He offers the polar opposite of good will to all men. He's more about cutting through the bullshit of fake seasonal good will, speaking freely and, ultimately a bit more honestly.