Society has given Lewis Black plenty of new material of late

Society has given Lewis Black plenty of new material of late

Comic Lewis Black, known as the King of Rant, returns to Albuquerque on Sept. 29 at the Albuquerque Journal Theatre at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. (Courtesy of Joey L.)

Society has given Lewis Black plenty of new material as of late.

The “King of Rant” has gained popularity over the decades with his trademark rants and animated mannerisms, which target current affairs and everyday situations that make the news.

Regarding what he finds funny, Black said, “Initially for me, what made me laugh was headlines. This isn’t a headline, it’s a punchline.”

Yet, this era of affairs is a different sort of crazy, and Black referenced the ’60s as a comparison, but it’s still not the same.

“What’s occurring now is beyond my comprehension, it really is,” he said. “Every time I think we’ve reached appalling, we find another place to go with it.”

Black returns to New Mexico on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will perform at the Albuquerque Journal Theatre at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. It’s a change of pace from his usual stops at casinos, but before he played on the outskirts of town, he remembered his days performing in Downtown Albuquerque.

“I used to play at a comedy club there, and I loved that, and I thought it was just a nifty … city. It’s got a great mix,” he said.

Black took over a year off due to the pandemic, but has consistently been on the road since midway through 2021. He admitted that being confined during the pandemic was tough on him and his creative process.

“I lost my mind,” he said. “It really wasn’t until I went back on the road that my brain started to get back to some sort of normalcy.”

He is currently on his “Off The Rails” tour, and will be discussing politics, inflation, the climate, guns and any other absurdity that irks the established comic. However, it’s been a process finding the best and most relevant timing for issues during his act as society keeps giving him new topics to discuss.

Due to his strong opinions and delivery, there is some audience pushback on specific issues, and Black has noticed that it has been going on for a while.

“Nothing I’ve ever said has changed anyone’s mind,” he said. “It’s about trying to get a laugh; I’m not interested in flaws. … Comedy’s subjective, if you don’t like it, don’t worry, the world’s not gonna end.”

What he’s doing is working. Earlier this year, Black taped his latest special, which will be his 15th. He has made appearances on countless late-night talk shows and guest spots on news stations, and has had a segment on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” since 1996. In addition, he has also earned a Sports Emmy for his time on “Inside the NFL,” and a 2007 Grammy for his comedy album “The Carnegie Hall Performance.”

Black, who is also involved in numerous charities, has had a lucrative career thus far and his talents expand beyond the camera and through the pen. He has written over 40 plays and authored multiple books, something he hopes to focus on more in the future, he says.

He said he will continue touring “as long as I still feel like I’m learning something.”

Though his style appears overexerting, Black says being on stage is what relaxes him – it’s an outlet.

“We all need an outlet. … We’re all frustrated by what’s going on, on one level or another,” he said, noting the tone, and stressing that everything will be a lot funnier in-person.

While in Albuquerque, Black said he will be doing his “Rant is Due” part of his show. People are encouraged to submit their own rants and he will select some to read and comment on after his set.

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