By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
Lewis Black has been angry for a long time. A former Daily Show regular, Black has been touring for years with his unique brand of observational comedy delivered with a perfect WTF perspective. He brings his “The Joke’s on Us” tour to Heinz Hall at 8 p.m., April 13.
There’s a lot going on in American Politics today. Is there enough material to make even the angriest angry comedian a little jovial?
It’s just noise, really, especially now, because everything is so screwed up. I’d love to wake up one morning and hear about how we’re going to do well today. But, we really are good about fighting over nothing.
Obviously, you talk politics in your act, there’s so much going on, how do you know what to focus on?
Actually, I only do a couple of jokes about the president. When I talk about politics, I try to rise above the politics of the system. I don’t know how much of that actually affects real people. A lot of people only talk about how good Trump is. It’s intolerable. I have so many people come to me and say, “I can’t believe what you said about the president .” But I’ve always criticized the president, no matter who it was. This one is just a little more nutty. But really, I don’t talk much about the president because the crazy behavior has become a constant.
But Trump is not a new topic for you, right?
When I lived in New York, he was my neighbor; he lived like a mile away. I started doing jokes about him then. The guy is comedy gold.
What kinds of things do you talk about on stage these days?
My parents are 100 and 101, I talk about them a lot. I talk about what it means as our parents grow older. They’re living longer, what kind of care can they afford? I’ve never heard anyone in the middle class say, “Boy, isn’t this economy great?” I also talk about potholes and infrastructure. That stuff is ignored because roads have no party affiliation. You know what, “Go fuck yourself and fix the street!”
It seems like a simple thing, yet people seem to have a hard time with common-sense decision making.
I really go into the things I’ve seen. There are usually two keystone categories for the things I talk about on stage: authority and the level of stupidity of some people. Do you know there’s a high number of American children that have no idea that an egg comes from a chicken? That’s why I have about 20 minutes at the end of my show dedicated to audience rants. It’s called, “The Rant is Due.” People can go on my website or social media and they can send me a rant about something that bothers them in their community. It could be about anything, but it’s a rant by Americans for Americans in the city where they live. I am so sick of people speaking for the American public. This gives them their voice back.