Anger is not always a bad thing. It can be cathartic as long as it’s not hurting someone else.
Lewis Black has taken his black moods and funneled them into a successful stand-up comedy career. And it doesn’t matter what the topic is, the 63 year old will find a reason to be peeved. Even Mother Nature doesn’t get a pass.
“I try to tour in the South in the winter but that’s become meaningless,” he griped in a recent phone interview. I was in Dallas last February and they had an ice storm! Memphis was like, 15 degrees. Comes the [bleep] off it! Seriously!”
And lucky him. Predicted high temperature for the day he’s performing on Nov. 19 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre: a fetching 53 degrees, about 10 degrees below normal. By 8 p.m.? 48 degrees.
Global warming means more extreme temperatures, Black noted, up and down. “So it’s either that or we’ve sinned before the eyes of God!”
Onto other topics: how about Occupy Wall Street?
“I’m glad to see them out there. The problem is we’re like stroke victims. This should have been done two years ago. Why are they doing this now? At least they’re doing it. It’s making people pay attention. And it bothers people that they have to pay attention. Some stuff people my age are saying is disgusting, that they are a bunch of dirty kids. This is the generation that came out of a time period of protest!”
As for the Republican nomination, Black said he never gets it right. “Looks like [Mitt] Romney the way it rolls out. He’s been the one who’s gone through it all. They didn’t come up with anybody to run against Romney really. Ron Paul hasn’t got a big enough base to win. Three or four of the others are out of the Tea Party. Most of the country doesn’t agree with the Tea Party. Yet the Republicans have to decide to let them have an inordinate amount of power.”
“It’s interesting after 10 years of binging, we now have to purge. That’s not a good way to approach nutrition.”
As for doing 150 comedy dates a year, Black said venting on stage keeps his blood pressure down and enables his friends to not have to hear him scream as much. If he didn’t do this, “I wouldn’t need so many naps. I need a nap to prepare for this kind of nonsense. I really like it. As long as I’m still earning something and feel like I have something to say that’s funny, I’ll keep doing it.”
He said in this day and age, he has no choice but to Tweet and Facebook to get his name out there. “I’m standing across the street of a theater with my name on the marquee and people will ask, ‘What are you doing here?’ ”
What actually makes Lewis Black happy? “People laughing. Seeing my friends and spending time with them. And my friends’ kids. And my folks. Spending time with the people I love.”
Hard to believe but if he said that in public, he could actually get an audible “Awwww….”
8 p.m. Nov. 19
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk