Lewis Black is trying something a little different on his new tour, The Rant Is Due, where he will invite live audience members, as well as those watching online, to suggest topics and questions, which he will then unleash his well-know, and much loved, anger upon.
The tour starts with two nights at the City Winery in Napa, California on July 11 and 12. To encourage fans to join his fan club, Frustrated Union of Cynical Kindreds Universal, or “F.U.C.K.U.”, members are permitted to view the video as the club costs $20 per year. If you’re not a member, and don’t want to join, Lewis Black kindly says, “FUCKU,” although he does offer a weekend pass to view the shows for only $10.
Launched about a year ago, Black’s fan club now consists of around 1,500 members. “One reason to go out with ‘The Rant’ online is to say ‘thank you’ to people who have jumped on board (as members),” explained Benjamin Brewer, exec producer at Stark Raving Black Productions, the comic’s production company. Brewers also explained that Black is looking to move forward into a new model that is more current. Black is looking to be more engaging and interacting by allows fans to control the direction of the show.
Similar to Troy Conrad/Paul Provenza’s show Set List where comics are pressed to come up with material based on a “set list” they have never seen before, Lewis Black looks to try and capture the spontaneity and humor that improv and the unknown can provide. During his hour long sets, the audience, both live and online, will be able to send suggestions directly to Black’s tablet on stage via MobileRider’s FanConnect platform and Twitter. Questions will be moderated by his friend and fellow comedian Kathleen Madigan. The ultimate irony of this is how much Black has embraced social media following his tear down of Twitter in his 2009 special, Stark Raving Black. Looks like it is useful after all.