Monday, November 11, 2019

"Lewis Black - In Concert"

The comedy “headliner” has it together. 

His “Opening Act” has it assembled.

An important distinction.

Virtually the first lines from the “Hired Gun” comedian preceding Louis Black to the state, were,

“I am the father of four teenaged children.”

The gist of his following half-hour of disjointed comedy was,

“Kill me.”

Lewis Black is hardly the “Captain Funny Pants” of stand-up comedy, but his act reflects a signature style, tone and vituperative inflection.

Black begins deceptively, mentioning what he insists makes him genuinely happy:

“Two-day ‘Free Delivery’.”

(Rumbling Innuendo:  “If that’s the best we can do…”)

Lewis Black’s act is of one piece.  (As opposed to his “Warm-Up” compadre, whom you could almost hear thinking, “Eleven more jokes, and they pay me.”)
Black draws us in with (a well-crafted illusion of) a chat, rather than a performance. (Indicating a consummate professional.  “Don’t rush.”  And “Act like you are telling a story in a living room.”)

He arrives in L.A. for the concert, considers renting a car, notes the prevailing  traffic, and then decidedly goes,


Black instead hires a driver, and proceeds by his own admission to express “‘Road Rage’, from the back of a car.”

Black’s first trademark “eruption” arrives shortly thereafter.  When it comes to the issue of “Climate Change”, he explains what ninety-six of all scientists collectively believe:  (And here comes the eruption.)


No added specifics. 

“Case-Closed” bullet points, and move on.

(Laced inevitably with anger, because, through “trial and error”, Black learned that’s where his “Maximum Funny” resides.)

Referencing our current president whom he dispassionately calls “Our leader” – though not exclusively “Our Leader” if you actually think about it – Black says there is this new idea going around that,

“If you think something… it’s true.”

Indicating that, beneath the one-liners, there is a serious philosophy.  (Championing sanity.)

Which I enjoy.

And, though you are aware where he stands politically, there is a humanizing compassion.   

Which I also enjoy.

Case in Point:

During an e-mailed “Q & A” following of the concert, Black’s reading of an upset conservative audience member’s question is drowned out by an knee-jerk angry liberal backlash. 

Black gently admonishes the crowd, explaining that “knee-jerk angry liberal backlash” is exactly what makes conservative audience members upset.

Lewis Black will never be onstage “Mr. Sunshine.”  That’s not what he does.  But what he does, he does skillfully.

And, for me, who aspired to that pulpit, if only secretly in my mind,

It is a joy watching a professional at work.
Pick up a poppy. 

Remember "Remembrance Day."

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