Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Lewis Schaffer: Page 2 of 2

What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?


My parents thought it should have been them doing comedy. My mother would say, “I’m the funny one Lewis, not you, not your father, not your sister. Me.” And my children - Carnegie 12 and Columbus 14 - are impressed that I know Russell Howard and embarrassed that I keep posing nude for press shots. I am sure it will get worse for them.


What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?


The worst thing about being a comedian is the work. Comedians never have a day off. You can be the funniest person in the world but if you don’t put the work in you’ll never make it. That is my excuse. (I was told that Stewart Lee once said “Lewis Schaffer is the funniest comedian I know, offstage”. The bastard.)


I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?


Thank you, Bruce. I think I’m a comic genius. There, I said it. Though not when I am performing, or writing answers to these questions, or doing other things comedy related, but other times, I am the funniest comic in Britain.


How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?


My, that is so un-British of you to ask! It is so British of me not answer. I’ve lived here for so long I’ve become British. A nightmare.


I want to have so much money that people start asking me for money.


How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?


I don’t believe in luck at all. I believe in hard work, usefulness and being nice to people. That is why I’m such a failure.


Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category?


I am a “tortured golfer”. I never relax and I never do enough work. No matter where I am, or what I am doing, I always wish I was somewhere else, doing something else. Help me.


Who is your favourite person ever and why - not including family or friends or other comedians?


Keith Hernandez, first baseman for the New York Mets. Winning the World Series in 1986 - that was the last good year I had. Now my favourite person is the next person who buys a ticket to my show at the Museum of Comedy. Or even someone who smiles at me in the street. My standards have dropped since I moved to this country.


Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not?


My clothes are folded, if that is what you want to know. I’m clean-ish. That’s a terrible question Bruce. It’s like you are trying to peer into my soul through my underwear drawer. My socks are in balls. What does that mean? What does anything mean?




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