Mar 172015

Lewis_BlackThis past weekend was my birthday. I love Lewis Black, and have never seen him in person, so I was excited to find that he was performing his current show, “The Rant is Due, Part Deux,” at the Straz Center here in Tampa Saturday evening, March 14.

So, Lay took me to a nice dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse, and then we went to see the show.

Now let me start by saying that I love Lewis Black and his comedy. I’ve watched a couple of his shows that are available on the streaming services, and often found myself laughing out loud. I have laughed out loud several times when he’s been on the Daily Show.

I was really disappointed when this show just seemed to go nowhere. His opening act, John Bowman, was better, but went on a tad too long. The show started late, and there was announced 15 minute intermission, which, as is always the case, was actually a little over 20 minutes, and then Lewis finally came out. Once in a while he got onto one of his rants, and seemed to remember what works for him, but mostly, it just wasn’t that funny. I mean, come on, this is Floriduh. I think he had one wise-crack about Rick Scott, and all the other material was just left on the table. Bowman did a better job of segueing into some good local and Florida material.

They do a segment at the end where you can send him questions and comments to which he will respond. He got to about two of those, after spending what seemed like 5 minutes figuring out a reflection from the iPad he had, which didn’t matter anyways.

I’ve seen him have great material, but this was just a huge let down. On top of that, the guy next to Lay kept his phone out for most of the second half of the show checking Facebook and showing it to his boyfriend. I was about to say something like, “Maybe we can ask the to hold up the show while you finish up with that important Facebook conversation.” There were a few laughs, but it was not worth the $100 for the two of us.

Sep 012008

I am a huge fan of Lewis Black. His stand-up routines and commentaries on the Daily Show almost always evoke a laugh-out-loud reaction from me. One night last week I watched, for a second time, a Comedy Central showing of Black on stage in Washington, D.C. In response to Bush’s comments about Evolution that, “the jury is still out,” Black does a routine about the Old Testament. As is always the case with the best comedy, it made me think about me think about things from a different perspective…about how we Christians use the Old Testament to discriminate against gay people.

Black talks about the first books of the Bible being the book of his people, the Jewish people. He proceeds to make fun of Christians deciding the Old Testament wasn’t good enough, and having to come up with our own book…calling ours “New,” and his “Old.” It really gets funny when he talks about how, despite having to have our own book, Black says, “Yet every Sunday I turn on the TV set, and there’s a priest or pastor reading from my book, and interpreting it. And their interpretations, I have to tell you, are usually wrong. It’s not their fault, ’cause it’s not their book. You never see a Rabbi on TV interpreting the New Testament…do you?”

He notes that if there’s something about the Old Testament we don’t understand, there are Jews who walk among us we can ask. Now Black is making a point about the Creation story, but I find his logic applicable to other areas, such as the religious conservative view of homosexuality. Remember that most of the scripture cited by the krazy kristian kooks to justify their bigotry against gay people comes from the Old Testament. Of course, for the most part, the books of the Christian Old Testament constitute the Jewish Torah.

Black is correct that this is “his book,” and, while I understand there are very conservative orthodox Jews who also believe homosexuality is wrong, all the Jewish people I know have no problem at all with homosexuality. Funny, isn’t it, that most of the passages used to endorse homophobia come from the Old Testament, but the Jewish people…the people of “the Old Testament”…are the ones that seem to have the least aversion to homosexuals. Maybe we Christians should take Black’s advice to seek out the Jews among us, and have them interpret the Old Testament for us.

Man of the Year

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Man of the Year
Oct 222006

Man of The YearOn a lark, the host of a late-night political talk show (Williams) decides to run for president. The thing is, he never expected to win.

Directed by
Barry Levinson

Drama, Romance, Thriller

Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Lewis Black, Jeff Goldblum, David Alpay, Faith Daniels, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Doug Murray

Saw this movie yesterday afternoon at the mall here in San Antonio. The theater was small, and there might have been 20 people there.

Although there are quite a few funny lines, it is more of a drama/suspense with humor sprinkled on top. Robin Williams gives a decent performance as does Laura Linney. Being a Daily Show fan, Lewis Black is pretty good in this. Christopher Walken gives a good performance also.

The movie starts out slow and remains that way for about the first thirty minutes, then the suspense part kicks in and starts keeping you a little on edge for a bit. Then there is a big lull in the middle of the movie that makes it really drag.?Suspense in a supposed comedy movie? I know that I, as well as everybody else in the place, was struggling a bit with this. A character would crack a joke during suspense sequence and you would hear just one or two laughs in the theater.

I think the movie was about two hours long, but it could have been shortened by about 20 minutes. You have to like Robin Williams and his humor in this. There is a societal message here, but try as he might, the director can’t it through strongly enough because of the comedy aspect of the movie.

I gave this movie a five out of ten, because I believe the comedy aspect doesn’t work very well in a suspense/drama movie and the actors performances, while not bad, were just decent.

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