I take little notice of folk who yap on about meeting celebrities for a few minutes and then feel entitled to judge them on the strength of this.

Just over ten years ago at the Glasgow premiere of We Need To Talk About Kevin at the GFT, I was walking past Ezra Miller who happened to ask me if I could suggest an area outside where he could have a ciggy. Miller gave a great performance in the film and was very charismatic during the Q&A that followed and polite and likeable when speaking to me about the film. As I say, snapshot meetings like this don’t really offer any real insight into a person’s personality.

Google Ezra Miller today and you’re as likely to come across accusations of burglary, kidnapping and even grooming as you are his film roles. Then there’s the dangerous fixation with guns. We Need To Talk About Kevin is going to be an even more chilling watch the next time I see it.

Decades ago, I also spoke briefly once to another young man born in New Jersey, one Jerry Sadowitz. Did he strike me as a likeable guy? No, he was a bit wired – aftershow adrenaline, I would guess, but he didn’t scream vitriol in my face once and hardly resembled the splenetic monster of what was clearly an onstage persona.

I first saw Sadowitz early in his career. He would occasionally take part in some street entertainment in Glasgow city centre, performing magic tricks with the passing public, including myself, tossing some coins into his hat in return. Later, he opened for some bands in East Kilbride at a long gone bar called Peaches, and I saw him at The Star Club by the side of the River Clyde too.

Over the years, I’ve tended to prefer edgier and highly sarcastic comedy. Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks (who I saw many years ago at the Fringe), Russell Howard. I immediately found many of Sadowitz’s routines amazingly funny at times.

From memory, he was trading under the name Jerry Antom back then and was already a helluva sight more outrageous than any of the so-called alternative comedians of the time. As Ben Elton, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and others created a cosy new comedy establishment for themselves, Jerry developed into something of a cult act. An outsider who wasn’t interested in playing the game. He was the first comedian I ever heard name Jimmy Savile as a pedophile. Come to think of it, he was the first person I ever heard name Jimmy Savile as a pedophile.

Craig Ferguson certainly took a few notes in his ‘Bing Hitler’ days but ditched some of the offensiveness and went on to fame and fortune, including hosting one of America’s top chat shows. Sadowitz and TV never really worked together. He had to find work in a magic shop to help make a living.

Sadowitz’s sets are tour de forces of utter toxicity. They would read horrifically if written down without any context and if I didn’t know who he was and he was talking like he does in a bar, I would have a big problem with him but I’ll mention it again, when he takes to the stage, it’s a persona you’re watching. Not everything he says is what he believes. Why do some folk find this idea so hard to understand?

As you most probably know, Jerry’s proposed second show at the recent Edinburgh Fringe Festival was cancelled. During the first, he brought out his willy and waggled it and worst still, he made a joke, repeat, made a joke about woman and blacks ruining the British economy. I’m sure he that he feels foolish now about that one after the marvelous start that Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have made in Getting Britain Moving Again.

‘The Pleasance is a venue that champions freedom of speech and we do not censor comedians’ material,’ Anthony Alderson, the director of the Pleasance Theatre announced afterwards, continuing: ‘While we acknowledge that Jerry Sadowitz has often been controversial, the material presented at his first show is not acceptable and does not align with our values.’

I’m not making this up. He did say that. And thought it made sense.

The whole incident made me almost nostalgic for the days when humourless Conservative local councillor Moira Knox could be depended on to be outraged by at least one ‘depraved’ act visiting the Fringe each year: the likes of the Jim Rose Circus, Tokyo Shock Boys and Puppetry of the Penis. Of course, everyone involved loved it when she attacked them and some of her condemnations would even end up on the publicity materials for their shows. Did she ever manage to get anyone banned? Not that I can remember.

Today’s humourless moral guardians have discovered a more effective, though still flawed, method of censorship. Blag a temporary job in a big venue and claim an act you don’t like is making you feel ‘unsafe’. Yep, there were apparently a few students staffing at Jerry’s show who felt ‘unsafe’ during it, although their definition of the word presumably differs from mine.

If they reckon a man in his sixties on a stage telling jokes is frightening, what are they going to think if they ever run into an angry Begbie type on the street after a show.

Don’t pretend that you feel unsafe. Or if you really do feel that unsafe, don’t take a job on where a notoriously controversial comedian will be performing. To really be on the ‘safe’ side, it might be an idea to never leave the house in case you’re ever exposed to anyone who could offend you in some way.

What was especially infuriating about this, is that i happened in the immediate aftermath of the news that Salman Rushdie had been stabbed multiple times while giving a public lecture in New York.

If you believe Sadowitz shouldn’t be allowed to play, that’s fine. Complain. Stand outside with placards denouncing his material like some right wing Protestant zealots used to do wherever Billy Connolly played in Scotland. ‘If the Forth was lava,’ protest leader Pastor Jack Glass once declared, ‘I would throw him in.’ Which strikes me as very unchristian but the types that try and enforce their standards on everybody else do tend to be a hypocritical bunch.

I did think about seeing Sadowitz in Edinburgh but I hadn’t been totally won over by his set in Glasgow earlier this Spring (first time I’d seen him in years). Ironically, he made a joke about how he was holding back some of his best jokes for his Edinburgh shows.

Tonight sees the start of a series of Scottish dates, starting off in the Town House in Hamilton, followed by a string of shows in England and Wales.

Only one venue, Margate’s Crack Me Up Club has followed in the Pleasance’s footsteps. ‘The owner of the venue read what happened in Edinburgh, and has decided to cancel due to me being ‘Unsafe, Racist, homophobic and misogynist,’ Sadowitz explained on his website. ‘People… I am so much more than that.’

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

So far, ticket sales have been good, with the Hamilton show one of many that have already sold out. A date has even been added at London’s Hammersmith Apollo – yep, the three and a half thousand plus capacity Hammersmith Apollo, where The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Kate Bush have all taken to the stage, and where David Bowie performed his final concert as Ziggy Stardust.

Would this date have happened without the Pleasance ban?

I don’t think it would.

For more on Jerrry Sadowitz: http://www.jerrysadowitz.com/