In my last column, I wrote about how I needed to see more movies. I have to confess that my New Year's resolution is not going well—I have only seen two movies since I wrote it (TIN TIN and BURKE AND HARE). To be fair, I should note that I wrote and gave a conference paper and then started teaching the day after the return from the conference in the intervening time, so I've been a bit busy.
I did, however, manage to see Lewis Black perform live this last Saturday with my son and some friends. My friend Kevin finding this performance, by the way, is the only successful example of a Facebook ad I know of.
I have long loved Lewis Black. He's cynical; I'm cynical. His anger is cathartic for me somehow. I also feel a kinship to him. Why? When I did one of my very first stand-up performances, I made a joke about a dinosaur theme park in Florida that teaches children that dinosaurs and humans were alive at the same time (when the Earth was created 6000 years ago). The joke was about not knowing before that THE FLINTSTONES was a documentary. About a month later, a new Lewis Black special came out. My son saw it the day before I did and felt he had to break the news to me that Lewis did a similar joke.
Even though the jokes were written independently, I knew I wouldn't really be able to do my version anymore; people would surely assume that I stole it from Lewis. I wasn't overly upset, though. Great minds think alike, and I don't mind thinking like Lewis Black.
Opening for him on Saturday was John Bowman. I liked John's set, which was solid, but since I was there to see Lewis, I have to admit that my favorite bits were when John did his spot-on impression of Lewis. Bowman also talked about how one of the items for sale during the tour was his idea. They had been creating bobble heads, but John felt
that Lewis should also have a bobble finger. (If you've seen Black perform, you know why.)
When it was finally time for Black to go on (after the intermission somehow), I was hoping that he would be upset about things and would tell us why.
Luckily, Lewis was indeed upset about several things: the awful features of the newest technologies and their purveyors, having to keep up with the newest technologies and social websites, Kim Kardashian, politicians, and those who vote for Democrats or Republicans. Yes, he's mad at the voters who support the awful politicians now, not just the politicians.
I think my favorite jokes were about his Android phone and Herman Cain, but it's hard to even pick favorites in such a great show. We were in the very back, making Black seem small, so we couldn't see his eye twitch, but he jumped up and down out of anger twice, so we didn't feel cheated.
The strangest thing, though, was that the theatre allowed beer bottles etc into the theatre space itself. I've seen musicals and operas in that space and they've never let me take drinks in. Unfortunately, I think the beer wasn't doing anything great for the audience. Two women in the row in front of me seemed to like their wine a bit too much. At first, they were just loud-drunk (even yelling to Lewis about his shoes), but then they got sleepy, which made them miss a lot of good stuff. Another man sitting toward the front thought that a rhetorical question wasn't rhetorical. Seriously, don't we know that when a comedian says something like "Why are people interested in Kim Kardashian?", the comedian isn't actually asking us to answer? When one audience member didn't get it, Lewis offered to turn up the house lights and have a town meeting, but luckily it didn't come to that.
We wanted Black, and that's what we got!
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Dr. Karma discusses all things comic, from the classics to what may become classics. Laugh with, but not at, her, please.
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