It was an awesome night. A complete sell out show, around 1,450 people crammed into the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. I was the opening support act and I loved every minute of it. Jerry Sadowitz is my comedy hero; we have known each other for over 25 years now.
Jerry did his first comedy gig in my bar in the Calton back in 1983. This bedraggled grumpy bloke came in with my crazy brother Mij. He was all hair and pale skin but Mij adored his wicked sense of humour “He can do magic and comedy, put him on” Mij demanded.
“Well we have never had comedy…so…erm…yes ok lets do that then” husband replied. Jerry skulked around, did some amazing magic tricks and left the building.
The Weavers Inn had truly never had a comedian on, we only ever had shit singers with cheap guitars and that first night of comedy was explosive.
I remember clearly standing onstage with a cheap microphone and announcing to the small startled audience “Ladies and Gentlemen – please welcome Jerry Sadowitz”
Jerry burst onto the stage carrying a fake ‘bomb’ it was a black ball with the words ‘BOMB’ written on it, with a fuse string out of the top which was fizzing with flames. People had never seen anything like this before. But they waited to see what would happen.
The following 30 minutes are ingrained in comedy history, people from that day still say to me “Remember the night Sadowitz did his first gig?” and we smile. We saw something that was the very beginning of ‘alternative comedy’.
We saw the birth of a whole new comedy genre sprout life right there in that wee East End bar.
He was shocking, offensive, frightening, genius and hysterically funny all in one moment.
I stood there transfixed at this man, this shambolic creature, haunted yet clever, scary yet funny and his magic tricks were so insanely wonderful that they made you question your very existence. How did he get that smashed up watch into the apple?
Years went past and we all would chat about how we recalled the man, he was on TV, he was on Theatre’s and became a cult comic, but we saw him first. He was ours.
I became a stand up comic in 1995 and met Jerry on the comedy circuit and was still awestruck at his wild outrageous act. But he is clever and intense and his material was ground breaking, way before anyone else on the UK comedy circuit even thought about being politically incorrect. Jerry broke the rules and there have been many imitators to his crown. But no direct heir can truly claim his throne.
So last night after 25 years we finally shared a stage again. I had a great time, the audience laughed; I lapped up every second of the atmosphere and then left the stage.
Jerry had a great show and the Glasgow audience left happy, some offended, some converted fans, some thinking about what had just happened! That’s what he does to your senses.
It was nice to come full circle with Jerry Sadowitz._