Cancellation of Jerry Sadowitz’s Edinburgh Fringe show sparks comedy debate

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Comedian Jerry Sadowitz has had his show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival canceled following complaints from members of the public and staff at the venue where the Scottish-American stand-up and magician was performing.

The 60-year-old whose shows are well known for their hugely controversial content was performing at The Pleasance with his show ‘Jerry Sadowitz: Not for Everyone’. The show carried a warning to viewers before reading: “foul language and themes that some may find distressing”.

It is claimed that Sadowitz used racist language during filming and at one point exposed his penis to the public. After announcing that the show had been canceled for the rest of the festival, Sadowitz tweeted: “I did a show last night, 75 mins, thought it went well. Didn’t see any Today I was told my show was canceled I’m so sorry to anyone who traveled to see the show tonight.

In a statement, Pleasance director Anthony Alderson said: “The Pleasance is a venue that upholds freedom of expression and we do not censor comedians’ material.

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“While we recognize 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 perform its second and final show.”

As Sadowtitz shows are notorious for always including edgy content and jokes, a fierce debate has been sparked on social media with people wondering why anyone went to controversy knowing they might be offended and that nudity is not uncommon on Fringe shows.

Others disagreed.

Sadowitz was attacked on stage and knocked out at a comedy festival in Montreal after making comments about French Canadians. He has already made jokes and Nelson Mandela, Christopher Reeve and Linda McCartney. His 1987 Edinburgh Fringe show was recorded and released as a disc, but was withdrawn from sale after he claimed Jimmy Savile was a paedophile.

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