David Don’t and Charmian Hughes watch 50th birthday cake burst into flames last night
Comedian Charmian Hughes is married to magician David Don’t.
Today is David’s 50th birthday. Last night, he had a party in Peckham.
I ended up sitting at a table with London-based American comic Lewis Schaffer.
“How are your flaps?” I asked him.
The last time we met, he was telling me he has sleep apnea and has old-man flappy-flop flaps inside him.
“Flaps are inherently funny,” I said. “They’re like bananas. Flaps and bananas are inherently funny.”
“I’ve been using a mouthpiece,” said Lewis Schaffer. “If you want to see something inherently funny, it’s a 57-year-old man wearing a plastic mouthpiece in bed so he can sleep. It keeps my mouth open.”
“You don’t need an artificial aid,” I told him.
By this time, London-based American comedy force of nature Karen O Novak and her husband Darren had turned up.
And, by this time, the music was very loud.
I could not hear across the table.
I handed Lewis Schaffer my iPhone.
“Just talk to each other,” I told Lewis Schaffer. “I won’t hear what you talk about until tomorrow morning, but it will give me a blog. Keep up the American act.”
Lewis Schaffer took the iPhone. This morning, I transcribed what they said.
Lewis Schaffer & Karen O Novak remembered NYC last night
KAREN: I’m one of the few people here who actually knows for a fact that Lewis Schaffer is not a caricature of a New York neurotic Jew. I actually fucking knew you in New York when you were just…
We just called you ‘The Neurotic Jew’ at that point.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Was I mental even for New York, do you think?
LEWIS SCHAFFER: So was I a character even in New York, do you think? Because you, Karen, you were a character in New York too.
KAREN: I think we’re all characters in the great big…
LEWIS SCHAFFER: No, Karen. You were a memorable person even then. You were over the top. And you weren’t even a Jew. You were like a fake Jew.
KAREN: I’m Jew… ish.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: You gotta come up with a better joke than that.
KAREN: I’m Jew by injection. I kept my first husband’s Jewness. I got it in the divorce.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: What town did you grow up in?
KAREN: Roxbury, Connecticut.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Where’s that near?
KAREN: It’s near a lot of Jews. Stephen Sondheim lives there.
David Don’t in Beatles’ suit, behind an unknown woman, outside Ladies toilet
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Were you like me? People think my family had money when I was growing up, but we never had money.
KAREN: We had money.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Did you inherit any of it?
KAREN: They’re not dead yet.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I think your husband Darren loves you even without the money.
KAREN: He would have to.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Yeah, he would have to, cos you’re very annoying. I say that as a misogynist and a woman-hater.
KAREN: You’re very good at both those things.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I like the idea of women.
KAREN: You like the shape of them. The curvy squishiness…
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Even that can get on your nerves.
KAREN: … not so much the brainy part.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: A lot of my friends are women. I actually respect women. You know that about me, Karen.
David Don’t tries to remove Lewis Schaffer’s bra (Don’t asked)
KAREN: I know that.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: That’s what people can’t believe. I actually spend a lot of time with women talking about how much I hate women.
KAREN: You spend a lot of time with women without your penis out. Probably the women insist on that.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: My penis doesn’t come out. It’s an ‘innie’. How long have you lived in Britain?
KAREN: About 15 years.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Same as me: 13 years.
KAREN: I don’t have any English children, though.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: John says I’m not allowed to discuss why I’m here on a Saturday night. I was supposed to have the kids tonight, but the mother is punishing me for not loving her.
KAREN: If it was me, I would punish you FOR loving me. You are SO not worthy.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: That’s why you’ve kept Darren around for so long. That’s the key to keeping a man happy. I say to women: “When you make love to a man – right after he reaches orgasm – you should slap him in the face and say: Get off me, you disgusting pervert.”
KAREN: That IS what I do.
Lewis Schaffer asks Darren a question in Peckham last night
LEWIS SCHAFFER: (TO DARREN) Is that what she does?
DARREN: But I AM a disgusting pervert, so that’s fair enough.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: (TO KAREN) You probably think about going back to New York every day?
KAREN: Never. I like New York. I miss my friends there. But I don’t miss the city. The city itself is a shit hole.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: But you had a lovely apartment. It had a garden.
KAREN: We used to have some great parties in that flat.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Did he make a good living: your first husband?
KAREN: Why on earth would I have a husband who didn’t make a decent living? I’m not an idiot.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Are you calling my ex-wife an idiot? Is anyone who has sex with me an idiot?
KAREN: Pretty much, yeah.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I think so too. I like this. We’re almost having a little relationship here.
KAREN: I think we could do a podcast.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: You were on my radio show.
KAREN: Yeah, but we didn’t get a good rapport going because there were too many other people there. And we weren’t nude.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: That was the early days when the shows weren’t very good. They’ve gotten better now. I’m a more generous host. That’s the key.
KAREN: Are you a generous lover? That’s the key. When you make love to a woman, you have to give and give and give.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I bring her an extra portion of fish. What does it mean to be generous?
KAREN: Exactly. You don’t even know what it means to be generous in bed.
Lewis Schaffer and Karen discussing relative values last night
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I DO know what it means and I AM generous because, the more I give a woman, the less she has to pay attention to me, the less she’ll notice how I don’t care, how I’m unable to get an erection. How, even when I get an erection, it’s not noticeable.
KAREN: You got an ‘innie’?
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I got an ‘innie’.
KAREN: It’s more like a vagina, really, than a penis?
LEWIS SCHAFFER: Yeah. It’s like a penis, only smaller. Is your husband a generous lover?
KAREN: He’s very generous. He gives me his paycheck every month.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: (TO DARREN) How much do…
KAREN: (TO ME) You know what? John Fleming should write his own blog. He just talks to other people and then writes it down.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: That’s what he does. He’s gotten so lazy.
ME: Have you given me a good blog? Have you mentioned Lewis Schaffer’s flaps?
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I’ve got an ‘innie’.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: I’ve got an ‘innie’.