*Disclaimer* If “PC comedy” is for you, then please don’t go see Ari Shaffir this Thursday through Saturday, Sept 26-28, at the Brea Improv. Because Ari isn’t coming to the OC for you. Sorry, not sorry. Ari isn’t there for the “politically correct” nonsense so if you don’t need a side of bubble wrap for your emotions and know that words don’t in fact hurt, he’ll be on that stage for you. Furthermore, if “PC writing” is for you, please stop reading this right now. (We know you won’t though, so enjoy!)
Ali Lerman: I will forever be shook that you have a flip phone. What’s the worst and best thing about having one?
Ari Shaffir: I do! Texting is the worst really because the rest of the stuff I don’t even do. All the other parts that you think would be bad? You don’t even think about it after you just get used to it. Once in awhile I’ll see a video that someone sends me and it’s ridiculous. It moves frame by frame and takes like, 20 seconds to load each frame. The best though is the freedom you get. I see everyone else in the middle of dinner just staring at their phones and it’s like, guys, we’re right here, all out together! I’ve gotten sick of saying it mostly so now, I just wait for them to get off.
What’s the best and worst thing about having your anus on the internet?
[Laughs.] Oh, I guess it’d be my parents seeing it. That’s the worst thing. Otherwise, I don’t mind. Occasionally I get flagged as a “problematic figure” with people like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos but it’s like, no! I’m different! My asshole was just out!
My parents would legit die. How would you explain the internet to the elderly?
I would probably just try to get them to quit it! I’d be like, it’s a horrible place where people are threatening each other, drug addicts, homosexual content … so stay away! You’d just want to protect them from that. There is no way your grandma or grandfather would ever get it.
What a smart twist! OK, so on a scale from amazing to dull, what’s the dullest trip you’ve ever had on mushrooms?
The dullest? Oh wow, that’s so tough because it’s so fun every time. The only problem would be when you get scared. Or you don’t take enough. But then it’s like, you have a little more. Every time I take mushrooms people are like, I’m scared. But it’s like, yeah, me too! I’ve done it like 50 times but I still get scared. The last time I took them was at Glastonbury Festival, and I had 2.5 the amount I normally take and it was a blast. It’s always an adventure. Even if you have a bad trip, it’s still a good time. And even on those “bad trips,” you’re only concentrating on those bad 10 minutes and not the great four hours!
Well this is certainly not a PSA for drugs. Speaking of the greatest though, how great is it to be a Jew?
It’s pretty great! I mean, forget about how other people view you because we’re smarter, we sit together as a family, we support each other. … It’s fucking great! Also, some chicks are into Semitic looking guys, so I might not be that good looking but to some chicks, I’m super good looking.
Imagine if you grew the curls. The bitches would be lining up.
I tried to grow them out last year for four months but they didn’t grow out long enough. People were just looking at me like, “Do you have those Jews curls? Why?”
I admire your dedication. What’s the shadiest situation you’ve been in where you thought, “I’m definitely dying?”
I had told my half-brother I was going to East Timor and he was like, “Do not go there; it’s not a safe country.” He’s adventurous too, so he got it but he was like, “You can go to the capital but do not go any east of that because there are roving bandits.” So anyway, I didn’t listen to his advice and I got this moped on a dirt road and I came across these two roughnecks that were like, “Where are you going?” Then they zoomed off on their motorcycles a bit ahead of me and they were waiting while smoking cigarettes. I was like, fuck! There was nowhere to go back to so I just kept moving forward. There was this turn off place I went to and they were there, just stopped waiting in the path so I couldn’t get by. They were like, “Come with us over here.” I told them no but they were like, “No you really should come with us.” I didn’t know how to get out of it so I went thinking, if something happens, I’ll just zoom off on my moped. We get there and there are some people waiting and they gave them hugs and stuff and then, even more people came out. So I guess it was some family reunion? No one was young though; everyone was like 20 to 50 years old. Then one guy, who was wearing these coveralls, unzipped it and there was a giant cross on his neck. East Timor is a super Christian place and the guy was like, “We thought you were a traveler and like Abraham, we’d love to take the traveler in.” [Laughs.] So we all went hiking, they shared their food with me, we stayed in this hut that was heated by a fire, and someone even had a bottle of Jack. It was great. We all watched the sun rise the next morning, too. It was so shady though! [Laughs.] I was like, “What am I doing?” But it all worked out perfectly fine.
OMG. That’s not just your shadiest story but also your most awesome story.
Exactly. I think it’s an example of just say yes to things and almost always you’re going to be fine.
What if he unzipped his coveralls and he had a clown costume on and wanted you to blow him?
You know, that would have been a negative! [Laughs.] Everyone says something like that, too. What if this would have happened or that would have happened? It’s like, yep! You’re not wrong! But that didn’t happen. Thankfully.
Good. God. Alright, if you won Powerball, would you still be doing the Brea Improv?
For sure! I’d still honor my dates. I might not go to Kansas City though. I have a tough time when fans buy tickets and then people cancel. I feel awful. So like, the opposite of Tom Segura. See, he has two different tours of Australia and he doesn’t respect them at all. He just cancels when people already bought tickets and got babysitters all for some dumb movie that no one saw. Another time he canceled for something else; I think he had gout. Even though there wasn’t surgery scheduled, he still canceled because he couldn’t walk on his gout-riddled feet. So now, the people of Australia understand that Tom Segura is not a comic that they trust whereas me, they can trust me and know I will always give them the best show. I’ll at least show up!
For tickets to see Ari Shaffir at the Brea Improv, 180 South Brea Blvd., Brea, on Thursday-Saturday, Sept 26-28, go to Improv.com. Follow him on Twitter @AriShaffir, check out his website AriShaffir.com and listen to his podcast Skeptic Tank.
Ali Lerman knows much about comedy, basketball, and celebrating Wu-Tang Wednesday. She’s been writing for sixteen years and still calls her mom with grammatical questions.