On Stage

Black's Back

The joke’s on us


What: Lewis Black "The Joke's on US" Tour

When: 8 pm Fri., Jan. 11

Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

Cost: $46-$65

Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

When asked if he thinks Donald Trump is the worst or best thing to ever happen to comedians, standup star Lewis Black didn’t pause before saying he thinks the sitting president is “good for comedy in the way that strokes are good for a nap.”

Lewis notes he’s had the same answer since the former reality television star began his polarizing run as the leader of the free world two years ago, adding he doesn’t much like making jokes about any president because he doesn’t find them to be that interesting.

“I’ve always had problems with authority,” Black says. “Always.”

That admission won’t be a surprise to anyone who’s seen the righteous rants the 70-year-old comedian, author, actor and playwright is capable of when he’s getting his points across to audiences that flock to his shows to find out what he’s got to say about everything from history to religion, cultural trends and, of course, politics.

Black’s entertaining and engaging form of anger management will be on the docket when he returns to Bellingham Fri., Jan. 11 for a gig at the Mount Baker Theatre as part of his “The Joke’s on US” tour. But although the teaser for the performances features him standing in front of a Fake Newsstand and holding a copy of the Daily News with a headline proclaiming “President Makes Comedians Obsolete,” Black says he’ll try his best not to mention Trump until at least 40 minutes into his act.

“There are a lot of other things that are more important,” he says, pointing to timely topics such as climate change, education, road infrastructure, the rising cost of attending university, and the vagaries of being on Twitter—which may well bring him back around to Trump.

“Once he started using it as an outlet, I didn’t want to enhance it in any fashion,” Black says. “I didn’t want to legitimize him. It’s not the way a president should be communicating. I still believe the president should come in front of people and talk directly. When some schmuck like him sends out something stupid to 25 million people on Twitter, a bunch of people respond. It empowers the one schmuck, I think.”

But don’t expect the oft-described “pissed-off optimist” to spend all of his time on politics. He’s got plenty of other line items on his mind, including things that bring him a glimmer of hope—such as a recent visit to Portugal.

“I found that people who have much less than we do in many ways are way happier than we are,” he says. “Eventually Americans will realize that buying a lot of shit doesn’t fill the hole in your heart. It’s like if you’re not on opioids, then you’re on Amazon buying 10 more dresses a month.”

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