JERRY SADOWITZ has suffered Now the Scots comic is back witi
|ll'Rl.l.\'(} ABl'Sli AT modern saints is always going to make an itnpact. So when a sewer-mouthed Scottish comic calls .\'elson Mandela ‘a cunt' people pay attention.
It‘s 1985. .lerry Sadowit/ is headlining London‘s (‘omedy Store. and this is his opening line. lle‘s hot property. his hlit/kreig humour sending sub-Ben lilton gagsters screaming for their joke hooks. ears hleeding. lle spit-roasts sacred cows. he gulps tahoos hy' the gallon. In a plodding l’(‘ scene. he‘s a ﬁery comedy comet. He seems set to become a star.
liast t‘orw‘ard thirteen years and. for the man once known as the sickest comedy- magician since 'l‘ommy' (‘ooper died on stage. the notion ol~ lame is. well. ajoke. Apart from occasional l‘orays to the lidinhurgh liestiyal. he harely gigs: he hardly ever goes out. He stays in his (‘amden flat and writes ahout card tricks. At 36 years old he works in a London magic shop. He linds it hard when nobody comes in all day. Suicide has heen considered. His Iil‘e's a mess and he sees no way out. In grand magician style. Jerry’s got nothing tip his sleeve. But. just as he seems to he sinking without trace. someone throws him a lil’eline. A chance to from his own (‘hannel 5 TV show. He grasps it.
The People t'.\ .lt'rry' Stu/unit: is a chat show with a twist: the audience do the talking. Trooping out. one-hy-one. they sit opposite
10 THE lIST '20 Fen 5 '.'ar 7998
Magic and Iss
Sadow'itl. and say' their piece an opinion. a
joke. a piece of adyice. a complaint. a crazed
monologue. 11‘ Jerry gets bored he gets ahusiye. rings a hell and you‘re oil. It you reliuse to go. there’s a houncer on hand to see you off the pretnises.
"l‘alking about the price of cheese is a complete waste of the fucking airway-es. Ding? (iet ol‘l‘.‘ Sadow'itl. warns. 'll' people waste time or just say hello to Aunty Hilda. then luck that. no.’
The Sadowit/ personality in a nutshell: asked to reyeal l'iy'e untisual facts about himself. he replies: ‘('ou|d it he the tucks of Jerry Sadowitz'.’ The 'thing is. [We only ey er
'I don't have the guts to top myself, so that's why it's not happened. But it is genuinely upsetting to see other people reaping rewards from what
you've done.’ Jerry Sadowitz
shagged l'our.‘ For the record. other things about him you might not know are he was horn in New" Jersey and moyed to (ilasgow when he was six.
II' the show succeeds. Sadowit/ will tour it as a roadshow. (iiying ordinary people a chance to haye their say on telly could improve ey'eryone’s life. he reckons. He‘s keen to come to Scotland and wants you to start thinking about a topic now. 'l‘here‘s a lot riding on this. career—wise. hut he refuses to
allow himsell to look at it as a big 'l‘\' CUIHL‘lNlL‘ls.
'l‘hc prohlclti lies in a l‘)‘)3 BB('3 show The l’u/l/H'urt'rs ‘ Rt’l'llt'. :\ hitchin‘ hrew ol near-thc-knuckle stand-up and sketches. it simply didn't get the \iewcrs and was canned hy the Beeh. Sadowit/ helieyes it homhcd due to a lack of support lrom telly hosscs. l-‘ecling that all his et‘t‘orts had come to nothing. he hroke down.
‘l-‘or ahout l'iye or si\ years I didn‘t do a single hloody thingf he say s. sounding close to tears. ‘.\'ot a joke. .\'ot anything. I didn't go out. | hroke my heart o\er that show. i |o\ed writing sketches. l loyed putting it together. I chose eyerything lor it. including the music. I practically directed the thing. I did eyerytliing on it single- handedly. It‘s the equiyalent of a huilder huilding a castle on his own. doing the design. the plumbing. the joining. eyerything. l was proud as luck.‘
Pride comes hel'ore a long spiral of depression. Sadowit/ tlcycloped a growing heliel' that. now he was out ol the puhlic ey c. other comics were stealing his material and hecoming successl‘ul. These comedians include many hig-time household names.
'l'nless a performer tises your lines literally. you can't sue them.. he complains. ‘So I'm sitting here and it‘s like watching my