Janey Godley: My comedy hero - Jerry Sadowitz

Janey Godley picks Jerry Sadowitz as her comedy hero

The chatty comedian booked the hate-fuelled magician in the early 80s and has never looked back

My comedy hero is Jerry Sadowitz and always has been, ever since the day my slightly mad (now deceased) brother Jim brought him into my bar in the early 80s and begged me to ‘put him on’. Which we reluctantly did. I have yet to see anyone as vulgar/sharp/interesting/authentic/offensive and funny as Sadowitz. He was ahead of his time; people back then were still doing comedy about their fat mother-in-law, while he was doing jokes about the survivors of the Brighton Bomb and the Hungerford shootings. Nobody did that out loud back then and my customers in that East End bar in Glasgow were both shocked and hysterical with laughter.

I still meet people who ‘were there the day they saw Sadowitz’. Jerry is unapologetic about his comedy and he doesn’t discriminate; he equally hates everyone including himself and can take audiences to the sheer edge of reason. I love that effect. He does this with such conviction that sometimes it can be uncomfortable and I like my comedy awkward. There have been many imitators to his crown since, but none beats the dark self-loathing Sadowitz himself.

Highlight, Edinburgh, Fri 13 & Sat 14 Jan.

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