Brand New! Unmasked with Ari Shaffir


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“I am completely free. The only thing that doesn’t set you free…is when you have things pulling at you. Patrice would talk about and - where you owe people. I don’t owe anyone. It’s just myself. I can walk away from anything. I have – $13,000 was the most I made one year. I was like, ‘wow, I’m living in it now! I got 13 grand instead of 11.’  I don’t have big tastes, I don’t need to buy nice cars, I don’t have taste for any of that. Joe’s Pizza’s pretty good.  I don’t need steak. It’s okay.”


Covers Fascinating Ground:

As part of our new podcast sharing select archival episodes of ’s epic interview series Unmasked. Last week, we went back to 2008 to share one of our absolute all-time favorite hours from all 9 years with . This week, we’re premiering a brand new hour, never before broadcast, that became an instant top candidate for one of the best episodes of the series- with comedian Ari Shaffir.  Ari puts himself out there on a regular basis and so you might think you know everything about him, but he’s such an interesting guy that there always seems to be another layer.

The timing couldn’t be better for Ari to guest on Bennington’s iconic series. He’s about to release a double-hour special on Netflix. He’s recently returned from what would be a life-changing trip for anyone, with plenty more to come. He also handled a recent rift with Comedy Central over his storytelling series, This is Not Happening, in a way that nobody else in the business would, and his thought process on the situation is something everyone should hear. Shaffir opens up about all of those things, as well as his difficult, but important years with Mitzi Shore at The Comedy Store and his fascinating childhood.

Photo Credit: Shelby Royston

The episode was recorded as part of Skankfest– New York City’s newest and most vibrant comedy festival, headquartered at The Creek and the Cave comedy complex in Long Island City. It was a weekend full of shocks and surprises and more than one of those surprises came courtesy of Ari Shaffir, who had a pretty shocking moment on Saturday night during the festival’s Naked Roast [more on that here]. Shaffir’s Comedy Store stories are amazing, his life philosophy and moral ideology are both genuine and incredibly unique, and he has story after story about growing up Orthodox and leaving the fold to take a shot at comedy. And the hour wraps when Shaffir surprised the audience by getting emotional, choked up and even shared a few tears talking about his show.

This episode is one of the great ones and so is Shaffir.

Recorded on June 26, 2017 at Skankfest in front of a full house at The Creek and the Cave, this is Unmasked with Ari Shaffir.

Don’t use iTunes? Download the episode here.

The Unmasked series which began in 2008 with a brilliant hour with Patrice O’Neal has taped nearly 200 episodes since, documenting the careers of the most interesting comedy writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, satirists, political comedians, comedic musicians and of course, stand up comedians in the business. It is a veritable archive of the greatest comedy of our time. Past Unmasked guests have included , Bob Newhart, , Dan Aykroyd, Simon Pegg, , Jim Jefferies, Gilbert Gottfried, Bobcat Goldthwait, Louis C.K., David Brenner, , and over 150 more comedy greats.

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