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A Magazine for Sheffield
Live / stage review

"I hate everything": Jerry Sadowitz at the Leadmill

The greatest trick the veteran comedian and magician pulls is convincing the world that his vehemently vexatious views are real, writes Wayne Hoyle.

20 November 2022 at
Jerry Sadowitz

“You can’t pin bigotry on me. I hate everything.”

This statement reverberates and, indeed, remarkably resonates around a packed Leadmill approximately two-thirds of the way through Jerry Sadowitz’ 90-minute set. It’s rare respite from an unrelenting barrage of exhausting, expletive-driven vitriol that draws gasps and guilty giggles.

This appropriately-titled Not For Anyone tour arrives in Sheffield as the one of the country’s most controversial comedians celebrates being “cancelled in Edinburgh, punched in Montreal and barred in Melbourne.”

It’s not difficult to rationalise such an unrestrained response. From the outset, local cultural icons feature amidst his trademark dark material before, perhaps more palatably, politics and politicians, particularly those of a blue hue, take the brunt of the original Ebeneezer Goode’s frenzied invective.

The language and delivery are deliberately and profoundly provocative, and this presents a significant challenge to the audience. It’s highly unlikely that Netflix will commission Sadowitz for a special anytime soon – although, ironically, those who have enjoyed this patronage include almost identical elements in their multimillion pound, populist polemics.

The last 20 minutes culminate in a salvo of sleight-of-hand sorcery, a reminder that this pantomime misanthrope has been finessing an act for nearly 30 years. A conclusion of illusions, if you will. The greatest trick he pulls is convincing the world that his vehemently vexatious views are real. Nevertheless, it’s a very uncomfortable ride.

“You’ll have to figure out this shit for yourself.”

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