JFL – A chat with Ari Shaffir and other stuff

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JFL – A chat with Ari Shaffir – Comedian Ari Shaffir is no stranger to the Nasty Show, for he has appeared on the show a few times to share his unique brand of edgy humour. This year, he makes his return to the Nasty Show, only this time as host. He is following in the footsteps of Bobby Slayton, who has been the Nasty Show’s host the most number of times since 1994 (and was punctuated by some hosting duties from Nick DiPaolo and Jeffrey Ross), and is the sole comic who has always been associated with the show.

Nasty Show host Ari Shaffir

It’s quite an honour for me to be chosen as host of the Nasty Show this year. This came off after my recent Netfix special. And in my heart, it’s almost as big,said Shaffir during a brief interview shortly before the July 20 performance of the Nasty Show at Metropolis, where it continues its run until July 29. And I wasn’t nervous about following Bobby Slayton. Actually, it got me thinking about how do I host this show?€

Born in New York City in 1974, Shaffir was raised as an Orthodox Jew, and actually studied in a seminary in Israel before deciding to make stand-up comedy his calling, and got his start doing practically every job imaginable at the legendary Comedy Store in L.A. He then built up a following thanks to the club circuit, a viral video series and appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

A regular at Just For Laughs, Shaffir is puzzled by why people like to be treated to healthy doses of edgy, controversial and profanity-laden comedy, which explains why the Nasty Show is one of Just For Laughs’ series of shows that always plays to sold out crowds for every year nearly 30 years.

I don’t know why some people do like blue humour. For me, I like to hear the line and hear a joke that’s like the day after. Other people need two years and then they can hear it. I want my comedy right on the edgehe said.

Besides the Nasty Show, Shaffir will be doing two other appearances at Just For Laughs. First there’s Ari Shaffir’s Renamed Storytelling Showat the MainLine Theatre on July 25 as part of the Off-JFL series; and on July 29, he will do a live taping of his podcast Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tankat the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The podcast, which has been on the air since 2011, is succinctly described by Shaffir as a show in which you take a subject and really flush it out.The subjects that are discussed on his podcast sometimes have a serious side to it, but are mostly what he labels as jokey€.

About 90% of the time I have comedians appear on the podcast. One time, Greg Fitzsimmons was on the show, and told me he used to be a golf caddy; so to me that’s an expert, so we talked about caddying. And Joe Rogan is a hunter now, so we talked about hunting. We also talk about other personal subjects such as losing your virginity and masturbation; and whenever we have a woman comic on the show, we talk about their periods,he said.

Shaffir enjoys every opportunity he gets to come to Montreal to perform at Just For Laughs, and he is especially amazed at the fact that people come to Montreal from all over North America to watch comedy shows. Just For Laughs not only gives you the chance to see friends that you never get to see on a regular basis,he said. But also, you get this vibe

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