Maui Arts & Entertainment

Interview: Maui Comedy Festival Featuring Ari Shaffir

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Ari Shaffir. Courtesy photo.

Ari Shaffir. Courtesy photo.

By Cassandra Hastu

Maui’s largest comedy festival is coming to Lahaina on Halloween weekend.

The three day event will take place at six different locations all within walking distance of each other on Front Street, in the heart of Lahaina.

The festival will include thirty plus comedians who have appeared on Comedy Central, NBC, ABC, HBO, all the big networks.

On one special night the Old Lahaina Prison will transform into a theater for Hawaiian born comedians to showcase their talent and create laughter for all to enjoy.


We were lucky enough to catch up with Ari Shaffir who will be performing at the event.


Known for his inappropriateness and host of Comedy Central’s, This Is Not Happening, we asked him a few questions about Maui and about comedy in general.  Here’s what he had to say:

Q:  Are you looking forward to coming to Maui and have you been to Hawaiʻi before?

A: Yes, once on a honeymoon sort of, a trip with a girl. It was Oʻahu I have not been to Maui I am looking forward to it.


Q: What adjustments do you have to do to your standup routine when travelling to different parts of the world?

A: Yeah, in Europe, and I did China in June; but yes certain references that don’t apply so I don’t do them. Like in England I had a Whole Foods joke that I didn’t do for a whole week, but at the end of the week I did it and they loved it.

Q: What do you most look forward to when travelling to Hawaiʻi?

A: The beach and the water.  I want to relax.

Q: From your first comedy show to now, how have you changed?

A: In the beginning I was trying to do an impression of a comedian. Overtime it changes–you start telling jokes you like. Then personal jokes, like prison jokes. I have never been to prison so I stop doing prison jokes. Start doing stuff you care about, like I would never make political jokes. I hate politics.

Q: You will have one night off between shows here in Lahaina, and that night is Halloween. Any plans? Who are you dressing up as for Halloween?

A: Oh man, I didn’t even think about doing a costume, I guess I should get one. At least a mask. I got a twelve year old spider man costume; maybe I’ll do something like that.

Q: Where do you come up with most of your material?

A: Just from my Life, stuff on my mind. If I’m watching a TV show, walking around driving, doing mindless stuff. Talking to friends, if something riles me up I realize I should write about it.

Q: If you haven’t already, when do you think you will know you have accomplished all you’ve set out to do?

A: Um, I don’t know, I feel pretty successful right now. I feel like I’m writing and I’m performing at a pace I want too. Doing what I like doing which is what I am doing now.  I’m pretty happy, every time my manager is like “you need to get successful,” I’m like “I am successful; I’m a comic a working comic.”

Q: What makes a very funny person like you laugh?

A: I like fart jokes, pain, any jackass movies, south park, and uncomfortable situations like when people hate each other and are sitting next to each other at a wedding. I laughed so much at Jackass I almost wanted to barf.

Q: What is your fondest memory since you have started your career?

A: I hate words like fondest. How about I give you a fond memory? I remember opening for Joe Rogan that first week and seeing huge crowds and killing at a level I didn’t know was possible.

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?

A: I know I have a Story Teller’s show so that will be cool with Reggie Watts and Jonah Ray who is from Hawaiʻi. And then I’m doing regular standup. And then you can expect me to be me, a little bit of filth, a little bit of drug talk and a little bit of evolution talk and then that’s it, I want to go home happy.

***Ari Shaffir can be seen at the following Maui Comedy Festival events:

  • Thursday 10/30/14, 8:30 to 10 p.m. at Hard Rock Cafe, The Outlets of Maui: Ron Funches & Kyle Kinane with Ari Shaffir, Kate Berlant, James Adomian and Mark Normand.
  • Saturday 11/1/14, 9:30 p.m.: Kurt Braunohler & Ron Funches with Ari Shaffir, Mark Normand and James Adomian
  • Saturday 11/1/14, 11:55 p.m to 1:30 a.m. 11/2/14, at Pi Artisan Pizzeria, The Outlets of Maui.: This Is Not Happening LIVE hosted by Ari Shaffir.
  • Sunday, 11/2/14, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Cafe, The Outlets of Maui:  Ari Shaffir & Mark Normand with Ron Funches, Kevin Shea, Chris Porter and Andy Woodhull

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