Prickly political comedian Lewis Black is a big boy and certainly doesn't need my help in handling obnoxious hecklers.(from the Express-News)
But his thought-provoking jowl-shaking performance at Majestic Theatre on Friday was marred by drunken audience outbursts of the Tea Party variety that, for any comedy lover, were cringe-worthy and a black eye to this city.
Especially since Black opened his show with a hilarious, self-deprecating five-minute warning about his brand of caustic, unforgiving comedy which has made him a Comedy Central star and best-selling author.
Friday's show, with talented opener John Bowman, took a darker turn when Black — who skewers the left, right and middle — touched on provocative issues of gun control, abortion and taxes.
“When people ask next year why Lewis Black left comedy, you've seen the pivotal moment,” said Black, 62, utterly exasperated with a woman near the front who rudely and repeatedly interrupted a riff about taxing the rich and Black proposing — sarcastically — a “Rich People's Day” to honor them.
To a man who screamed ideological nonsense from the back, Black responded, “You're in love with your guns and you're a (expletive) happy person. And you make a scary sound like the (expletives) wolves at night.”
The ruckus broke out when Black said, “The one thing we don't argue about is gun control. It's off the table.”
When mindless whoops went up, Black looked genuinely stunned. “What does that (expletive) mean?” he asked.
The same man yelled out, “I love guns!” Black simply stared and implored, “But stop making that scary (expletive) noise.”
Years ago, the late George Carlin had two heckling jerks removed from the Majestic for lesser offenses. To his credit, Black kept his cool and stayed in control — though the vast majority likely wished he'd taken that page from Carlin's playbook.
I don't know, sounds like the majority likely didn't agree with the comic's politics and found his jokes less than funny. I don't know if it was a "vast" majority, but it takes quite a crowd to throw a professional like Black off his game. Maybe Black really did have thick enough skin to take it. Maybe it was the Express-News guy that couldn't handle the heckling.