Text & Photos by Kimberly Cecchini
With his characteristic spectrum of facial expressions and gestures, Lewis Black could have entertained folks on-screen before the advent of the talkies. And it’s all the more mesmerizing when he is emphatically pointing his finger a few feet away from you at a live show. Much to the crowd’s delight, Mr. Black spared no energy in animating his material Saturday night at Montclair’s Wellmont Theater.
Ranting on in his usual fashion, Mr. Black covered familiar themes like the weather, health and politics with fresh advice for a range of publics on more current events. A few pieces of advice from Lewis Black:
1. Having recently returned from beautiful Tahiti, he offered this to Putin: “You don’t invade Crimea, you fucking take over Tahiti.”
2. Send our stymied Congress to Tahiti, “They won’t remember their fucking positions and they won’t give a shit.”
3. To Detroit because, as he implies, most people will pay more attention to a natural disaster than an economic collapse: “(They) should have hired a Hollywood production company to stage a catastrophe…”
4. Take the 13% of Americans who thought that Congress was still doing a good job during the government shutdown, have them govern their own state and broadcast it as a 24-hour reality show.
5. 93% of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening…uhhh…listen to them.
6. Get a colonoscopy. Anesthesia is “sleep heaven”.
7. Of course, the night before the colonoscopy, prepare your bathroom before you start to drink the liquid.
Even though his act is riddled with cynicism, he said that he has hope for the country that he has been told is the greatest on Earth, “I wake up every morning brimming with optimism. I wake up with a smile on my face that would make a Born-Again Christian wonder what is that Jew up to?…I grab my cup of coffee and my newspaper and sit down (looking at the headlines)…fuck me, maybe tomorrow.” Maybe the headlines would change a little tomorrow if we extracted a bit of the logic behind the rantings of Lewis Black.
After about an hour, Mr. black glanced at his watch and said, “Oh fuck, we’re done.” He took a couple of minutes to answer some of the audience questions that were submitted via a web forum before the show; he thought George Bush’s paintings were “shitty” and poked fun that only a crowd in New Jersey would laugh about someone throwing up in their seat. When asked what inspired him to do stand up, he succinctly panned, “Nights like these.”.