Ari there yet?

Ari Shaffir’s rebellion against his parents’ orthodoxy gave him the opportunity to spin his dissatisfaction and repression into comic gold.

by Spencer Doar

What: Ari Shaffir

When: 8 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 7:30 p.m., Sunday

Where: Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, Mall of America

Cost: $13-19

Ages: 18+


Ari Shaffir’s past visit to Minneapolis left him in a bit of trouble with Mall of America security.

The caustic comedian and host of “The Skeptic Tank” podcast held an iteration of what he calls the “Hunt for the Edible”: a scavenger hunt for marijuana treats that Shaffir hides in random locations.

“I hid [the weed candies] in some department store — put them in the underwear aisle,” Shaffir said. “This store then had all of these people come in tearing up their underwear department, and they [didn’t] know why.”

They found out why, and Shaffir was dangerously close to a Mall of America ban, if it were not for the timely thinking of House of Comedy owner Rick Bronson. Bronson pretended to harangue and chastise Shaffir in front of the authorities — one of them being a blue-eyed security vixen who Shaffir still has emblazoned in his memory — until eventually Shaffir was off the hook and allowed to perform.

The creator of the viral video series “The Amazing Racist” returns to Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy for the first time since last year’s pot debacle.

This Twitter-based drug game and its subsequent hijinks illustrate Shaffir’s irreverence and distaste for authority.

“I think I seem like an asshole, but I’m not an asshole,” Shaffir said. “I just do pranks, and sometimes I don’t care.”

He better not care, since most of his material is self-deprecating — whether it be the issues with his flailing, quarters-in-a-sock ball sac or crapping his pants in Australia or his feelings on pregnant homeless women.

“I was so repressed when I was little; I get some sort of glee in saying these horrible, filthy things,” Shaffir said.

Raised an Orthodox Jew, Shaffir studied the Torah in Israel before realizing that he did not believe what he was learning.

“So I went cold turkey,” Shaffir said. “My dad was pissed. He said, ‘Even a dog believes in God.’ I’m like, what are you talking about? How do you know that?”

It’s this acerbic sensibility that Shaffir brings to the stage when hawking up loogies of jokes that he spits on the crowd.

He’s unapologetic about his material, and the self-proclaimed introvert off stage can become quite cocky about his abilities as a standup.

“Some club called me telling me they had some clean show and to try not to curse too much,” Shaffir said. “I said no. I’m going to do what I do. I’ll be funny. People will like it. Don’t give me some rules like I’m at an open mic, dropped the n-bomb five times and lost the room.”