Editor’s Note: This article contains adult language.
The King of the Rant wants to know what you really think of Shippensburg, and life in general.
As part of his “The Joke’s On US” tour, Lewis Black will grace the stage of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in all his glory, spewing his rage-induced material, glaring through his menacing scowl and gesticulating wildly.
If you’ve never seen Black live or watched one of his specials (maybe you live under a rock), you’re in for a night full of obscenities, side-splitting humor and most importantly, truths about the absurdities of life, and everything that annoys the s**t out of him, as he so blatantly puts it. In fact, you might wonder if he’s required to wear a blood pressure cuff during his shows. (He isn’t, I asked. “My blood pressure is actually pretty close to perfect,” he said in a recent telephone interview).
Black has no filter, and that’s one of the many reasons so many people love (and loathe) him. But, he doesn’t care what you think. He wants you to care about how we are taken advantage of by those who are supposed to be establishing our laws. He wants you to care about our rights as taxpayers and Americans. He wants you to pay attention.
Next Thursday, Black also wants to know what ticks you off about Shippensburg, or life in general.
Black's tour includes a segment called “The Rant is Due,” during which he reads and responds to rants submitted online by audience members and locals. He stressed he'll only consider material that's well written or possesses a certain comedic flair. The segment will be recorded and available free online.
He said one of the best ones he’s received was from a guy who bought creamy peanut butter, and when he opened the jar, he found that it was chunky.
“It ended up being a 5-minute rant, and it was really kind of spectacular,” he said.
Other rants he’s received include a love or hate of inanimate objects, or complaints about road conditions.
He also gets rants from people who are complaining about him.
“I get people that say, ‘How come we have to write this?’ You don’t have to write anything! It’s only if you want to! I also get people who say the show isn’t long enough! I’m doing a show that’s 65-70 minutes long, then doing live rants. It’s like doing two shows in one night. It’s tiring! It irritates the s**t out of me when people do that!” he said, excitedly. “I’m doing a form of improv off the cuff that’s really a mental exercise.”
His show will include material related to Congress, everyday annoyances, caring for aging parents, the economy and how the middle class is being screwed.
“We’ve gone beyond partisanships to dual realities, which is insane,” he said. “It’s utterly ridiculous, and doesn’t make for easy joke making. One side is living one reality, and the other is living another, but they are looking at the same reality. It’s like seeing a dead cat in the street, and one group is saying the cat was run over, and the other is saying the cat committed suicide. What’s disgusting is they aren’t being adults. I’m tired of it!”
Though Black gets heated over these topics, he is mostly a laid back, fun guy, and is looking forward to coming back to Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania audiences are great,” he said. “They get the irritation, sarcasm and nonsense faster. They are pretty bitter.”
Black said he has enjoyed performing in historic theaters across the commonwealth - in locales like Harrisburg, Bethlehem, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre - but cursed me for making him remember cities in Pennsylvania! How he’ll feel about our area remains to be seen. He hasn’t been here before, but Black said he always enjoys learning from locals about the places where he performs. “I’m excited to see what’s out in Shippensburg,” he said.
Black also encourages Shippensburg University students to take advantage of the student discount, noting he likes impacting the youth of America. “I have no fear of their PC-ness!” he stated.
All jokes aside, you won’t want to miss Black at the Luhrs Center.
“Your lives will change within six weeks, all of your wishes will be fulfilled, you’ll lose weight and see better, not-to-mention, your circulation will improve … and that’s just from buying the ticket!” he promised (these statements have not been approved by the FDA).
So, get online, buy your tickets and submit your rants … or else you’ll screw up the show!
Rants can be submitted here: https://www.lewisblack.com/live.