Austen Tayshus talks about his favourite audience – The Jews

July 13, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Austen Tayshus: Skin in the Game, a documentary about Sandy Gutman and his alter ego Austen Tayshus premieres on Sunday on Foxtel.

To him, the audiences and the tough venues are his DNA. He has SKIN IN THE GAME. Real skin in the game.

This is Austen Tayshus on the road, doing his thing. Big, Jewish, odd, alone, in danger and dangerous. A brilliant stand-up comedian pushing hard to make a living all over Australia. As he says, ‘It’s my job’!

He tells J-Wire about his favourite audience,

“Over four decades as a Stand Up Comedian, I have performed over 15,000 times all over the world, and wherever I may be, my preferred audience will always be the Jews.

It is like going back home to the parents, after living away from home for several years. It’s warm and full of sweet memories. Having been brought up in an Orthodox home, Shomer Shabbat, and having spent more time in Shul than in therapy, it’s very familiar and welcoming.

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I remember doing a show for the now-defunct Generation Magazine in Melbourne in the early 80s, just after the huge success of my first single, ’Australiana’.

The room was packed and the audience was super enthusiastic. I had been entertaining the Gentiles for months with goy jokes, so I had to change a great part of the show on the spot, relating the differences between sensibilities, and it all was received with huge laughs. All the subtleties were understood and immediately hilarious. A totally uplifting experience for everyone. The energy was palpable. And I think I got a shtup.

Subsequently, I have done countless Jew shows and they are always so much fun.

With everything becoming so PC now I have had to tone things down slightly, but I can be self-referential and totally improvisational and I get through. I have always believed if you want to be offended, stay the fuck at home. Victims will always be victims. The Jewish tradition appears to be to not dwell on Tzooris too much but to pick yourself up and move on. Buy more property and hang on to it.

My Jewish shows tend to be deeper and personal. From our collective inter-generational experiences of the Holocaust, dealing with the ongoing ridiculousness of antisemitism, revenge being a particular favourite topic of mine, like taking a group of Jews to Germany to poison the water supply in several German cities, etc. I personally will never forget or forgive the Germans for their complicity with Hitler, and taking the piss out of German backpackers gives me the greatest of pleasure. It’s amazing how they come to my shows just to get whacked.

Sunday, July 17 at 8:30pm AEST

Available to watch On Demand on FOXTEL and on FOX DOCOS

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