Black and audience able to share rants | News, Sports, Jobs – Warren Tribune Chronicle

Black and audience able to share rants | News, Sports, Jobs – Warren Tribune Chronicle

Sep 15, 2022
“Delightful. Every day is just more joyous than the one before it. We have never been so on track than we are right now. And we’re all together wandering toward that rainbow knowing at the end will be that pot of gold.”
That’s how Lewis Black responded to a “How are you?” at the start of a phone interview Monday.
No, the comedian known for his sputtering, gesticulating rants hasn’t found his zen. The guy who played the voice of Anger in Pixar’s “Inside Out” — a move greeted by a unanimous chorus of, “What perfect casting!” — isn’t mellowing at a time when everyone else seems to be amping up their rage.
His pot-of-gold opener immediately was followed by, “I had my booster shot yesterday, and just by saying that I had my booster shot yesterday, we live in a county where people will read that and decide not to see a show because I had a booster shot. That’s how (expletive deleted) nuts we are.”
No, Black has no shortage of things that infuriate him to fill his podcast, appropriately called “Rantcast,” or his live shows, which include a performance Sept. 22 at Packard Music Hall in Warren. And he’ll give voice to the rants of those at the Warren performance and allow them to be heard around the world .
At the end of his main set, Black will answer questions from the audience and read the rants that they submit. That portion of the show is livestreamed on Black’s website, www.lewisblack.com.
“I wanted to do something at the end of the show,” Black said. “I’m really good at Q&A. I’ve always been good at that from high school on. I could be funny doing that.”
To avoid the logistical challenges of having a microphone in the audience, Black said, his tour manager and tech guy came up with a way for audience members to submit their questions using their cellphones.
“People could tap in their questions. Then I started asking what I should know about the town, and they’d send in stuff about that. Then people on their own started doing, ‘I’m sitting in this row and two rows in front of me I’m watching this guy and I know he’s a jackass,’ and they started mocking each other.
“It’s evolved on its own. It’s my own TV show. We have two cameras and basically livestream it so when I’m on stage in Warren, you can send in a rant or a question, and it will go throughout the world. It evolved on its own into rants.”
Black is a playwright and author, a two-time Grammy winner and an Emmy nominee for his standup comedy performances, and he’s been doing “Back in Black” segments for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” since 1996. He’s also had several acting roles and confirmed he’ll be a part of the voice cast for the just announced “Inside Out” sequel.
His latest comedy special was shot in the spring, and he hopes it will be available before the end of the year.
“We have to find someone who wants to put it on the air. It won’t be Netflix. Well, maybe it will be, but I doubt it. They already spent their money,” he joked about the streaming service and its recent financial losses.
Lewis recorded his final performance right before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns for his last special, “Thanks for Risking Your Life.”
“(The new) one in part is my personal response to the pandemic,” he said. “It’s the bookend to (the last one), how I responded to the pandemic. I didn’t do well.”
With a new special finished, Black now is starting to write new material, but he admitted he hasn’t been very productive over the summer. Then again, Black always has honed his ideas in front of an audience.
“I write it on stage. I don’t know how to do it otherwise.”
For his show in Warren next week, expect some things from the upcoming special, some pieces about health care and guns that didn’t fit into his previous specials that are more timely today and whatever new ideas he wants to try out.
Black gives a voice to the audience at the end of his performance. That doesn’t mean he wants to hear from them in the middle of his act.
It’s something he started talking about on stage because of the occasional outburst to material about a former president who will be in the Mahoning Valley a few days before Black’s concert.
“It was the first time in a long time the audience couldn’t handle the joke,” he said. “I’ve done jokes about everybody. Now it’s like, ‘I can’t believe what you’re doing now.’ Well, I was doing it before about other people.
“What really shocked me, the people who seemed to be really upset were initially attracted to me or my work because I have a problem with authority. What made you think I wasn’t going to have trouble with this authority figure? You didn’t like authority before. Now you’ve found someone you like and lost your sense of humor about it?”
Black said audiences should know at this point in his career what to expect from his act.
“The way you respond to something you don’t think is funny is you don’t laugh. You don’t get to comment on it. That’s unacceptable behavior in the room I perform in because people paid to see me. They overpaid to see me as far as I’m concerned … We’ll ask you to leave. I don’t care.”
If you
go …
WHO: Lewis Black
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept. 22
WHERE: Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren
HOW MUCH: Tickets range from $38 to $88 and are available at the Packard box office and through Ticketmaster.
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