Lewis Black came to Chico, CA last Friday.
I thought I'd simply give a little report. He had a warm-up guy named John who was quite good, as you'd expect. The show started 10 mins. late. John joked for about 30 mins. and then there was a 15 minute break which lasted 25 minutes.
John spent most of the time joking about Chico, as well he should. They were staying at the Embassy Suites which is just a motel near the mall. Across the street from that motel is "every restaurant you don't want to eat at," said John. He's right. The Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Applebees are all lined up next to each other.
John then joked about our "mall." He said he'd never seen a mall anchored by Forever 21 before. He's absolutely right. He said, "there is nothing to buy in that entire mall." He is absolutely right. The Chico Mall is totally pathetic. I personally haven't been in it in years because there is nothing to buy there. He said they thought that was all there was to Chico (the crappy restaurants and the mall) until they ventured downtown. Ah, now that was much better.
At about 8:35 PM, out comes Lewis Black. He started out letting us know he has both a 4-year degree in Theater and also a Master's degree in Theater. He said he's heterosexual but clearly knows he has the "gayest degrees there are." He let us know that even though he knew there were lots of gay guys getting the same degrees, he never knew whom. It will make sense why he told us this in just a little bit. One thing I didn't know about him is he's written 40 plays. He's quite accomplished in that area and continues to write plays to this day.
He also works his ass off doing stand-up comedy shows all year long. He goes all over the place, even small places like Chico, CA (population of 87,000+ when you include the "Greater Chico Urban Area"). Lewis Black is one of these people who never stops working.
After telling us about his theater training, he went on about how he'd just done a show in Arizona right at the time Jan Brewer was stewing about whether to sign that discrimination bill into law. It would have allowed any business owner to discriminate against gay folks couched as a Religious Freedom issue. Lewis Black told us you don't know when you're looking at or talking to a gay person. Good point! So he pondered how would a business owner know if he or she was dealing with a gay person unless that person was wearing plumage or something. The real fallout, had that law been passed, is it would allow business owners to discriminate against anyone and we all knew it. We also know any business owner inclined to discriminate would do so based upon what a person looked like.
Then he told us Arizona had a deal where if you brought a gun in at a gun buy back thing, you'd get money or a coupon to get a Nintendo or something. Those guns where then destroyed. This got the gun folks so angry that Arizona actually passed a law making it illegal to destroy guns. GREAT! So Arizona has a law protecting guns from people!!! Lewis said he knew exactly what kind of law would pass in Arizona. It would make it legal for Hispanics who are not US citizens legal as long as they brought an AR-15 with them. Brilliant!
Lewis said if you vote PLEASE don't vote for stupid people. He was alluding to the rash of Tea Party types who've been voted in since 2010. Lewis said, "You simply can't vote for stupid people, you just can't!"
Even though Lewis Black is clearly left leaning, he really ain't too happy with the Democratic Party. He said both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are terrible leaders of Democrats in the House and Senate. He said Nancy talks incoherently half the time making her look like a addled loon and Harry...well...as Lizz Winstead said, "Harry Reid couldn't sell ball gags at an S&M convention." You get the point. Harry Reid is a milquetoast and a poor leader according to Black.
Lewis said he's really an optimist, which got big laughs. He said he really is because he wakes up each day thinking this will be the day when it all changes. This will be the day folks voted into office to represent us, you know, hired by us to run the government will actually govern again...as in compromise and move the country forward. Then he opens his morning paper and NOPE! Another day of optimistic hope ruined.
He dislikes the GOP much more than the Dems, however. He really, really, really dislikes the Tea Party because not only do most of them not even know how the government works, half of them are truly ignorant about lots of things anyone should have learned in civics and history classes in elementary school. Remember how Sarah Palin didn't know Africa was a continent? She thought it was a country. Remember Sarah Palin didn't know there were two Korea's? Well I sure do. He was seriously furious the Tea Party Republicans shut down the government!
But Lewis is also sick to death by the rhetoric coming from both sides. He said he's had to come to the center and "that's a horrible thing to happen!" He truly believes government should govern like it used to when Democrats and Republicans cooperated and compromised so the country could move along. Don't we all?
Lewis thinks the way things are going anyone running for office needs to take an IQ test. Oh, he wants it to be an easy test. His example was if you are running for office in California, they give you a map of the USA with all the state's written in except California. Then you get asked to write in the name of the state you are running in within the border of that state. He joked about how that would weed out probably at least 1/3rd of those running for office in California.
But he did mention that California actually works because it is controlled by Democrats.
He spent a lot of time joking about the weather. He told us we have no idea what the East and Midwest have gone through. He said, "How would you when you live in Xanadu?" He let us know when he was in Austin, TX they had freezing rain and it was wonderful to watch a place that never gets winter weather deal with that...hilarious!
I must say I don't know what he was talking about. Why it had been sunny in Chico that day with a high in the low 70's. Sure, I was walking around in my shirt, but I did take a jacket with me to the show. I didn't wear it or need to, but I did bring one...you know, in case it was "cool" or something at 10 PM when the show let out.
One thing he also thought was really bad was the ObamaCare roll out. He said it did more to undermine government than anything because it proved how totally inept government is. He couldn't believe no one tested that site before launch. He said someone should go to jail for it.
As we now know, the company, CGI from Canada, that was hired is inept in doing projects like this and had been shown to be inept before by the city of Montreal. They hadn't even created a back end for the damned site that connected information people entered to the insurance companies. And CGI pocketed a cool $300,000,000 and walked away laughing all the way to the bank. Remember how they said it wasn't their fault the site didn't work? Remember when they said it was the responsibility of the government to make sure the site works? Then what the hell were they hired to do then?
Lewis believes Obama made a huge, huge and terrible mistake by welcoming it being named ObamaCare because it will be much more easy to destroy that way. He said it should be called the Affordable Care Act because that is what it is. It isn't ObamaCare. ObamaCare represents all that is wrong with it, while AFA aspires to what it actually is. I have to agree. He also told us that two of the guys on his bus have seen their rates go up with ObamaCare. That tells me they make a very good wage...so good in fact they don't get help paying for their premiums which is not a bad situation at all for these guys on the bus. They actually have real insurance policies now instead of whatever crap policies they had before.
Lastly Lewis Black really went after the Tea Party. He made good fun of John Boehner and Rand Paul, but let us know the #1 person he has the absolute least respect for is Ted Cruz.
When Lewis made a joke about guns not ever going away and not ever going to be restricted and not ever going to be taken away...a guy in the audience yelled out, "They are going to take our guns." Lewis asked the guy by whom and the guy said, "Blackwater." At this point Lewis walked off the stage to tell his warm-up guy John what the hell just happened. The gun CT dude kept talking for the rest of the show about Blackwater and their black helicopters taking our guns. Lewis couldn't hear that anymore, but folks around him sure could as we found out after the show.
There is simply nothing that gets folks going crazy more than talking about guns. I don't care if you have an audience that's 99% liberal, there are still going to be several wacky gun nuts within that crowd that believe all CT crap they hear. A case in point: I have a patient who is very liberal in politics, yet he's believes the crap the NRA says about guns. He shoots guns every week at the shooting range. He shoots 300 rounds each Wednesday he tells me. He picks up all his shells and reloads them himself so it ends up costing him about 25% of the cost of buying new bullets. To me this is crazy, but I've long ago recognized guns are something people have extremely strong feelings about.
What did you do this past weekend.
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