Ari Shaffir: Jew (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Ari Shaffir: Jew

An educational and brash hour about leaving Jewish orthodoxy behind

While in another part of town, Ashley Blaker is amiably chatting about his curious life as an Orthodox Jew, Ari Shaffir delivers a coruscating treatise about his own religion, whose key tenets he mainly dumped from his world a while back. This hour will prove to be an eye-opening one for many as he recalls his two years in a yeshiva being taught the lessons of the Talmud while he considers Adam's pre-Eve sexual activity, and frets about exactly what was going on in Gomorrah if its twin town of Sodom was so decadently brazen.

There are a few occasions when he threatens to leave his crowd behind when the material gets a mite too dense or self-indulgent, but he easily brings it all back with an inspired section on the true meaning of rainbows, offers wry reflections on what a good Jew should do if a tiny bit of ham ends up in their pea soup, and considers the links between the Scots and Jews. There's an unapologetic brashness to Ari Shaffir that makes him difficult to fully embrace, but his technique and the way he occupies his stage are highly admirable. He may no longer be a good Jew, but his stand-up credentials are well kosher.

Heroes @ The Hive, until 26 Aug, 6pm, £7 in advance or donations at the venue.

Ari Shaffir: The Wandering Jew

Stand-up comedian and podcaster Ari Shaffir explores his Jewish heritage.