Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Adored comic Lewis Black attacks issues of today


     Irreverent comic Lewis Black brought his unique brand of impassioned political satire to the King Center for the Performing Arts on March 2.
    
     Black is currently roaming the nation with long time friend and fellow comedian John Bowman as part of the “Running on Empty” tour. He kicked off the Florida portion of his tour at the 2012 South Beach Comedy Festival in Miami, which premiered Will Ferrell’s newest comedy, “Casa de mi Padre,” which opens nationwide on March 16.
    
     “South Beach was fun,” said Black. “What’s great is I got to see some comics I really enjoy and don’t get to spend a lot of time with.”
    
     Black’s comedic style is no holds barred, and he is known for his wild rants about the general stupidity of people he observes in daily life, including but not limited to public figures involved with the political process on both sides of the aisle.
    
     “President Black 2012,” one fan shouted out, as Black started off his quick introduction and warning to his fans. The warning was if you don’t agree with his message, you are free to leave, because no one is making you sit through his show. He then shot down any idea of running for political office because, as he described it, both political parties in Washington are full of awful people he wants no part of.
    
     The current and former Republican candidates were given no chance to escape the wrath of Lewis Black. He named them out, one by one, and picked them apart for having extreme views, questionable pasts or just far out ideas.

     Mitt Romney is a “soulless elitist,” Newt Gingrich is a “disgusting womanizer,” and Rick Santorum is …. Rick Santorum.
    
     “He has a niche for showing what is wrong with America, and what he gets upset about isn’t worth anyone getting angry over,” said audience member Gareth Reynolds.
    
     The 63-year-old Black spent a lot of time pointing out the tremendous under-accomplishments of his generation, including a legacy of massive debt, endless wars, a polluted environment, and a broken system of government that no one believes in anymore, not to mention so called celebrities whose only claim to fame is being able to hang out and make stuff up that doesn’t make any sense.
    
     “I think Lewis Black is so incredibly funny, and I just love his political humor,” said audience member Kimberly Landrau.
    
     According to Black, one of the biggest issues his generation has failed on is the fact that marijuana is still illegal in America. He points out that it’s the largest selling cash crop in the nation, and if it was taxed and regulated we could, “..fix the national debt problem the old fashioned way, with a bake sale.”
    
     The overuse of modern technology in our daily lives was another hot button issue that Black ranted about. He generally raged on how complicated everything is with email, Facebook, Twitter and everything else in the fast-paced social media era. Black said he tries to embrace this new technology, but fails to understand the outright obsession with digital farms and social-less networking where eye contact is considered avant-garde.
    
     “Technology is one of those things you really have to live with,” said Black. “It makes you feel old if you get left behind, because it’s such a major part of this world.”
    
     After the show audience members were treated to an autograph and meet-and-greet session with Black. Fans posed for pictures and received Black’s signature on any number of collectible items that were sold at the venue.

     Lewis Black’s newest special “In God we Rust” is going to premiere at www.epixhd.com on March 17. He is also a frequent guest on the widely popular Daily Show on Comedy Central with his “Back in Black” segments.

By James Tutten
info@jamestutten.com

(Published: March 14, 2012 issue of "Valencia Voice" on page 13.)

(All photos courtesy of Paul Hennessy)

Black meeting with fans after his performance in Melbourne.

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