Lewis Black rants his way to Wichita

09/19/2013 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:34 AM

Lewis Black is an equal opportunity ranter.

He’ll rant about politicians and celebrities. He’ll rant about global warming, pot legalization and healthcare.

He’ll rant about Democrats, and he’ll rant about Republicans – with equal amounts of spittle-flying, finger-shaking, blood-pressure-spiking hilarity.

“I’m very much an equal opportunity guy,” Black said, calling from the San Francisco International Airport on his way home to New York City for a short break. “I like to say that the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats are dumb and the Republicans are stupid.”

Black, a standup comedian best known for his sit-down comedy segments “Back in Black” on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” will bring his “The Rant is Due” tour to the Cotillion on Sept. 26.

His show will contain the type of shout-filled political tirades he’s known for on “The Daily Show,” and they’re amazingly easy to write, he said.

In fact, politicians practically hand him the scripts, he said. He cites, for example, the Indiana legislator who last year called the Girl Scouts a radical organization that promoted homosexuality and abortion.

“A lot of the stuff is what these guys write for me,” Black said. “They’ve done it more and more and more during the course of my life. They’ve moved from being kind of thoughtless in their speech to being almost fictional characters.”

Black, 65, started his career as a playwright, and he earned a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama in the late 1970s.

He began exploring stand-up comedy in the 1980s and earned several roles on television and film, including a spot in the 1986 Woody Allen film “Hannah and Her Sisters” and on the sitcom “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”

But his career took off in the 1990s when he got the spot as a guest commentator on “The Daily Show.” Over the years, he’s filmed several stand-up specials, released comedy albums, authored books and won two Grammy awards. These days, he’s on perpetual tour with a schedule that keeps him on the road for three or four days followed by a three- or four-day break.

And he’s excited, he said, about a role he has in a new Disney Pixar film called “Inside Out,” an animated feature set for a June, 2015, release about the emotional goings-on inside a little girl’s mind.

Black, naturally, plays Anger.

But he insists he’s not really that angry in real life. He gets it all out on stage, he said, and reporters are often surprised by his answer to their most-asked question.

His blood pressure is just fine.

“It’s phenomenal,” he said. “It’s really weird. I think everything else is a problem, but the blood pressure is good.”

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