#52 – On the Road Again
An episode of Lewis Black’s Rantcast
After a nearly 500-day hiatus, due to the biblically cataclysmic global plague, Lewis made his “post”-pandemic performance debut. Was it outdoors? Yes. Was it in front of physically present live humans? Indeed! And while he may have had the comedy equivalent of the “twisties”, the audience at the Chautauqua Institute could not have been more gracious or appreciative. All in all, a great way to get back on the road. Originally founded as a Methodist adult camp, the Chautauqua Institute is located in western New York state, and features a wealth of programming where adults speak intelligently to each other. Amazingly, this kind of place still exists in America. Followers of Lewis Black will know that in nearby Jamestown is the National Comedy Center which features a treasure-trove of material about the history and development of comedy in America, including exhibits on Ernie Kovacs, the Smothers Brothers, George Carlin, and Muppet Fozzie Bear. It also hosts the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which is happening this week (August 3-7)! So, if you’re in the greater Chautauqua County area it’s an experience you won’t want to miss. The NCC is also home to the Lucy-Desi Museum, which honors the contributions to comedy that Lucille Ball made (she grew up in nearby Celoron), and the entire NCC serves a monument to Lucy’s legacy and her vision of the place of comedy in American culture.
Lewis’s performance went well, though preparing for it was one of the hardest things he’s ever done, up there with getting ready for his Bar Mitzvah. Preparing for a show and writing his set without an audience is not his normal approach. He had to work in isolation and without his usual facilities and faculties, similar to the pandemic-restricted training regimens of the Olympic athletes now in Tokyo. But like them, once he’s on the big stage, the muscle memory comes back and the joy of performing comes through. His set went well and now he’s looking forward to hitting the road starting in September. So, assuming the vaccine situation gets a little better, Lewis’s fall tour will begin next month with club dates in Huntsville, AL, Cleveland, OH, and Omaha, NE. If that isn’t incentive enough to get vaccinated, what more do you need?
The rants this week touch on the state of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, with a decided lack of empathy for the latter. We also have submissions about the difficulties of buying a pillow, the sacrilege that is fruit on pizza, and one about how Canada is not so much better than America. And more.
The live rants come from Lewis’ performance on Feb. 6, 2020 at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts.
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Lewis’ latest special, Thanks For Risking Your Life is available now!
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