Black is Back

Lewis Black is acerbic, tosses frequent F-bombs and cuts through the ridiculousness of life. It’s a combination that his fans love

Friday - November 17, 2006
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After his Honolulu show, Black plans some golf on Maui. Why? ‘Because I’m (bleeping) stupid!’ Golfers can relate
After his Honolulu show, Black plans some golf on Maui.
Why? ‘Because I’m (bleeping) stupid!’ Golfers can relate

There’s one thing you should know about stand-up comedian Lewis Black’s routine. He curses - loudly. Get over it. He’s smart, irreverent, opinionated, sarcastic, isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, and will go after anybody, shaking his fingers and jowels for emphasis.

But fans of Black’s rants, whether live on stage, on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or in TV comedy specials, already know all that, and are looking forward to his show Tuesday evening at the Blaisdell. When we caught up with Black last week, he was on a tour bus in rural Pennsylvania, where the phone reception was sketchy at best.

“We’re in these mountains,” he explains, “so it’s a pain in the ass. I’m in a tour bus in the middle of Pennsylvania - Williamsport, Penn., home of the Little League World Series.”

Why is he headed there? For a show? “No,” he zings, “I’m going to play in the Little League World Series.”

When asked if he may be getting tired of touring, he shoots back, “You spend 20 years getting to the point so you can do this , and you’re going to stop? That would be kind of stupid. Now it’s fun. The hardest thing is really the promo stuff of it. It’s not hard, it’s just a lot. And you put that together with all the other stuff, doing a special, and doing this, and doing a film, and it becomes a lot of stuff.

“But this is the bread and butter of the whole thing. It’s silly to walk away from it.”

After his Honolulu show, Black plans some golf on Maui. Why? ‘Because I’m (bleeping) stupid!’ Golfers can relate

Surely all that touring is hard on a relationship with a significant other, if there is one.

“Nah, I’m never anywhere long enough for there to be significance. It’s just tough. If you found somebody who wanted to tour all the time ... but you don’t want someone living through you. That’s exhausting.”

Speaking of exhausting, Black, who makes his home in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, is looking forward to a little R&R here in paradise next week.

“I was there last Thanksgiving, so I just thought it was a good opportunity to go there again,” he says. “I had never been there before, and I liked it, so I said I’ll go back.

“I do it as a vacation. I come there, then Maui at the end of the week for another show, so I’ll spend seven days. I’ll work two days and get five days, so you can’t beat that.”

So he’ll hang on the beach a little, as well as “a little wandering around, a little sightseeing. And a little golf - because I’m (bleeping) stupid!”

As for what to expect in Tuesday night’s show, most likely the recent election will get some attention.

“Oh, boy,” he says. “Just Rumsfeld leaving is a change. That’s huge. It’s just sad that that’s what it takes ... He’s (President Bush) got a whole group of people who are smarter than he is screaming at him to make a change, and he doesn’t until after the election.”

Does he think things will change? “Yes, it’ll go back the other way That’s all I’ve ever noticed in my life. It’s a big pendulum. It goes one way until it gets intolerable, then the other side gets into power, and it goes the other way. The pendulum will start swinging back. That’s change enough. We’re lucky to have that at this point.”

Question authority is Black’s mantra, and he’s lived it for most of his life as a baby boomer, a child of the ‘50s and ‘60s, protesting the Vietnam war, experimenting with drugs, becoming skeptical of religion and the government, and forming his unique perspective on life, as he recalls in his book, Nothing’s Sacred.

“Now for those of you out there who are thinking of writing a book ... don’t,” he writes in “the introduction to the introduction” of the paperback edition of the book released this year.

“At any rate, in your endless search for distraction, somehow you have stumbled across the paperback edition of Nothing’s Sacred with ‘bonus materials added.’ (Ta-dah!) So here’s the scam. The folks at Simon & Schuster have asked me to write a few dozen more pages to include in the paperback - not just for those of you who held out for it, but also to sucker folks who bought the hardcover into buying the paperback. Is it worth it? I don’t know. But I have thrown in a copy of a play I wrote, so if you just want to skip ahead

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