He's known for his feisty political rants, but funnyman Lewis Black says Vancouverites can expect a variety of "notes" at his upcoming show.
The American comedian will perform at the Vogue Theatre on Sept. 22 in Vancouver, promising a night of his trademark yelling and spicy political commentary peppered with lighter quips.
While he says he has developed a new cadence onstage, Black says there was a time when he "yelled" for an entire set from start to finish. Off-stage, however, his fever-pitch enthusiasm slows to excitable banter, marked with calm tones, too.
In fact, Lewis tells V.I.A. that anger isn't actually where he discovered his funny bone. He was always the "sarcastic kid" and still feels most at home using satire.
But the former Daily Show regular enjoys a good on-stage rant -- and audiences eat it up.
"I discovered very early that I'm funniest when I'm angry," he admits. "It's that simple. If I was funniest when I was doing bird calls, I'd be doing [expletive] bird calls."
Black says he'll start his show by apologizing to Canadians for having to watch his home country have a "meltdown," emphasizing how exhausting he feels American politics are for people around the world.
Topics Lewis will cover range from gun control to the rise of AI and everything in between, but the Rantcast podcast host won't follow a script. He typically writes a general outline of what he wants to talk about and then sort of goes freestyle in between. It is a rant, after all.
"You can expect a happy-go-lucky comic," he laughs.
Playwright strikes stand-up gold
Black initially wanted to be a playwright and was actively pursuing that goal until he was 40. He was only doing comedy as a side hustle because he could get material out right away rather than waiting for a publisher's response on a play. Plus, it was fun.
After hosting his Comedy Central series Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, his play One Slight Hitch toured the United States. A few of his other plays are also available to read online.
When asked what an average day looks like in his life, Black admits it doesn't exactly start off with a bang.
"I don't really hop out of bed and sing a song and start yelling, 'Oh, what a beautiful morning,' he jokes.
"I get up and drag my [expletive] around and turn the TV on [and] that revs me up and I go, 'That's what we are doing today? Are you kidding me? You're not even going to try to tell me anything other than this?'
"Then I watch sports for a while to take the edge off."
After he gets amped up from the daily news, Black pens out his reinvigorated frustration in the form of material for his specials and his podcast.
"It's not so much anger as it is this sort of frustration that I think everybody feels...with everything," he notes. "People always worry about my blood pressure and it's perfect. And I think part of the reason is because I get to yell onstage.
"If I was always like that I would be dead in three days."
Lewis Black won't swim in Vancouver
Of course, Black's days are filled with more than just angry outbursts at headlines. He's looking forward to visiting Vancouver because he finds it so naturally beautiful.
"I'll be out there a couple of days [before my show] just to wander around," he says. "It's a stunning-looking city, gorgeous bay, great food -- what's not to like?"
But the funnyman won't be dipping his toes in the Pacific...or at least not jumping in. He admits he's never really learned to swim but for a rather surprising reason.
"When I was a kid -- for reasons that escape me -- for swimming lessons they made all the boys swim naked."
"It wasn't a sexual thing, it was a stupid thing."
The American Public Health Association actually required boys to swim naked in public schools for supposed sanitary reasons from 1926 and 1962, according to Medium.
Black played the role of Anger in the 2015 Disney Pixar film Inside Out and made numerous appearances on The Daily Show since its inception with host Craig Kilborn in his segment "Back in Black." His podcast, Lewis Black's Rantcast, is available on most major streaming services. Tickets to Black's Sept. 22 Vancouver show are available online.