In September 2004, I went to the Lewis Black show at the Improv in San Jose. I was expecting an evening of Lewis detonating at the audience and I wasn’t disappointed. It occurred to me that I’d never seen a Comedy Central presentation of him that was longer than a half hour. I figure this is because cutting the “fuck fuck fuckity fuck fucks” out of his hour and half show makes it about right. It was fun to watch the improv anger section, where he simply takes the local paper and mines it for humor and things to be angry at on stage. He starts vibrating with rage but by the end of the show, he was calm and happy, having let off all that steam.
Before the show, I was at the bar getting a Manhattan. Lewis walked up to the bar to get a bottled water while he was cruising the audience to see what kind of crowd he had for the evening. I’d wore my Antarctica winterover shirt to work that day because, at the time, damn near everything I own had “Antarctica” on it somewhere. More to the point, I’d worn it to the show since I was too lazy to change.
LB: [looks me up and down] Where the fuck do you get a shirt like that?
Me: Well, first you go to the South Pole for a year.
LB: No shit?
LB: Fuck. [points at the Manhattan the bartender just placed in front of me] You need another one of those.
And then he went on his merry way.
During the show, as he wound his way through a beautiful rant about Janet Jackson’s exposed breast at the Super Bowl, Gov. Schwarzenegger, the Old Testament, and Georgia, he calmed down slightly for a moment. He took a drink of water and then said, “You know, you people…you’ve been dealing with this shit non-stop, 24 fucking 7, as it happened. You’re numb. But out there in the audience is some poor fuck that just spent a year at the South fucking Pole. Imagine what the fuck this like for him!”
It was like when I was at the Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine show all over again, but the except this time the CD I bought didn’t get autographed to “Pole Boy”, just Phil.