Comedian Lewis Schaffer – now there is a book planned on his denuded selfhood

Lewis Schaffer: creating a cult

Lewis Schaffer: success is not an option

In the last couple of years, UK-based American comedian Lewis Schaffer has been the subject of at least two academic studies.

(It might be four).

One of those studies was authored by Liam Lonergan.

Liam got a 1st in his BA (Hons) course in Creative and Media Writing at the University of Portsmouth for a paper in which he declared Lewis Schaffer “has got that same metaphysical motive as Shakespeare’s characters”.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Liam. It said:


Liam Lonergan studies Schafferism

Liam Lonergan studies Schafferism

From September onwards, I have decided to start researching/writing a book about Lewis Schaffer.

The idea has been gestating for a while. It is a small, episodic book structured like a short story or a novella in the same vein as Julie Hecht’s book about Andy Kaufman – Was This Man a Genius? – or the stories of Belgian experimentalist Jean-Philippe Toussaint.

This is a summary of Toussaint’s The Bathroom (as described by Zadie Smith in her review of the movie The Social Network in the New York Review of Books):

“It’s a book about a man who decides to pass most of his time in his bathroom, yet to my students this novel feels perfectly realistic; an accurate portrait of their own denuded selfhood, or, to put it neutrally, a close analogue of the undeniable boredom of urban twenty-first-century existence.”

My idea in a nutshell: Lewis Schaffer and his denuded selfhood.

My reporting strategy is the same as the Participatory Journalists/New Journalists. It will be a humour piece and an extended profile like Tad Friend’s New Yorker profile of Steve Carrell or Kenneth Tynan’s article about Johnny Carson (also in the New Yorker).

I have told Lewis Schaffer but, unfortunately, I can’t make it to the Edinburgh Fringe this year. My girlfriend wanted us to go to Barcelona, so I have had to sacrifice my chance to go to Edinburgh for her happiness.


I feel we will hear more of this.

The Lewis Schaffer book; not the trip to Barcelona.

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Filed under Books, Comedy, Psychology

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