Shaffir leaves no stone unturned in this exploration, from providing X-rated takes on the traditional Bible stories (his retelling of the Adam and Eve and Noah stories involve a lot more anal sex than their Biblical versions) to detailing the more bizarre rituals and debates in Judaism, such as putting all of your sins on a chicken and debating whether soup is still kosher if some ham is thrown in by a scheming gentile.
However, Shaffir’s skewering of these aspects of his religion doesn’t come from a place of ignorance, as he refers to his Orthodox upbringing and his studying of the Torah, which provide him with the knowledge required to mock and deconstruct them.
This knowledge also allows him to not only include context for his material, but also to personalise the show by including his own experiences of Judaism, which not only include the anecdotes listed above but comparatively more light-hearted stories about trying to keep his yarmulke on when playing basketball and fighting his sister.
However, this doesn’t stop Shaffir from going into pitch-black territory with a penultimate Holocaust joke that has the initially-reticent audience roaring with laughter. Earlier jokes involving Jewish women and sex also provide politically incorrect and queasy laughs… but then again, what can be expected from the man formerly known as The Amazing Racist?
Ari Shaffir: Jew is an irreverent, profane, un-PC yet informative look at Judaism which isn’t afraid to pull apart the inconsistencies of the religion. Shaffir himself is an engaging onstage presence who never misses a beat, taking up an opportunity to aim a few jabs at Scotland, much to the crowd’s delight.