Early last year, Ari Shaffir took a few months to himself and wandered around Southeast Asia. After releasing a pair of stand-up specials in 2017, Double Negative on Netflix, Shaffir decided to wander a bit more, and embarked on a new tour, bringing with him a brand new hour of material. The Wandering Jew tour finds Shaffir wandering to The Wilbur stage on Saturday night (January 27) with a whole arsenal of Judaism-centered bits.
“I’m trying to get that material funny enough where it’s funny for everyone, like people who are outside of New York and who aren’t Jews,” Shaffir tells Vanyaland in a recent interview. “I did a few shows in North Carolina where there was only about four Jews in the crowd, so that was a good test.”
For Shaffir, political correctness holds no meaning — in his own words, being PC is “just fucking stupid” — and his current suspension from Twitter, in addition to his trademark cringe humor and his arguably commendable disregard for offending people, shows that he is a man of his words. “Real comics don’t think in terms of lines,” he adds. “Real comics will think in terms of what they think is funny, and sometimes people get upset over that, but who gives a shit, really? I just do what I think is funny.”
While he’s made a few enemies during his time on the stage due to his no-holds-barred approach to comedy, one of his closest friends in the scene is Boston native Joe Rogan. Having joined the podcaster and UFC analyst in the Hub a number of times over the years, Shaffir is excited to return to the city with his own set, even if some of his memories of Boston aren’t exactly heartwarming.
“I remember sitting around in the city one night, and I saw this guy walking by. Bloody face, blood all over his shirt, and a smile on his face. He just looked at his friend that he had with him and was like ‘let’s go get pizza’. The guy was a fucking animal! All I kept thinking to myself was ‘Is that just a regular Saturday night for you?’”
Shaffir works with a very organic process when he’s working through piles of bits he sculpts into a comedic mountain over time, and he’s looking forward to trying it out on a Boston crowd, as he holds the city in high regards when it comes to stand-up.
“Boston has always been one of the better comedy cities to be in,” he says, “and it’s one of the more important shows for me on this tour. I’m excited to be coming back!”
ARI SHAFFIR PRESENTS THE WANDERING JEW TOUR :: Saturday, January 27 at The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St. in Boston, MA :: 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., $25 to $29 :: Advance tickets: 7 p.m. show / 9 :45 p.m. show :: Wilbur event page :: Featured image via the artist.