Jerry Sadowitz Edinburgh fringe standup show axed due to complaints

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

The Scottish comedian Jerry Sadowitz has had his Edinburgh fringe show cancelled by the venue after complaints from staff and audience members.

Sadowitz played just one night, on Friday, before the Pleasance banned him from performing again. His show was entitled Jerry Sadowitz: Not for Anyone and carried a warning that it contained “strong language and themes some may find distressing”.

Yesterday Sadowitz tweeted: “Did a show last night, 75 mins, thought it went well. Didn’t see any walkouts. Today I’m told my show’s been cancelled. Great stuff. I’m truly sorry for everyone who travelled to see the show tonight.”

It was claimed that he had used a racist term and exposed his penis to an audience member.

Sadowitz, 60, came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s with a mixture of magic and edgy – often deliberately offensive – standup comedy.

The Pleasance’s director, Anthony Alderson, said: “The Pleasance is a venue that champions freedom of speech and we do not censor comedians’ material.

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“While we acknowledge that Jerry Sadowitz has often been controversial, the material presented at his first show is not acceptable and does not align with our values.

“This type of material has no place on the festival and the Pleasance will not be presenting his second and final show.”

Sadowitz has had a chequered career. He was famously knocked unconscious on stage by an outraged audience member in Montreal in 1991 after insulting French Canadians.

The comedian and writer Viv Groskop tweeted in response: “If the cancelling of Jerry Sadowitz’s Edinburgh show is about nudity, then loads of other shows should get cancelled too … If it’s about content … then let grown adults Google acts before they buy tickets. It’s not difficult.”