Lewis Black performs at Van Wezel in Sarasota

The professional curmudgeon says stand-up is still his first love

February 13, 2014 

PUBLICITY PHOTO

Lewis Black holds down a lot of jobs. He's an author, a playwright, a movie and TV actor and "Daily Show" commentator. But he sees himself primarily as a stand-up comedian. About 120 to 150 days a year he's on a stage somewhere, grumbling about things that annoy him.

He'll be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Saturday with his stand-up show, "The Rant Is Due."

The show is sold out.

Black came late to the stand-up comedy. He actually started as a playwright, and has dozens of plays on his resume. He was the playwright-in-residence at a small New York City cabaret-style theater, and he'd often introduce the plays. His introductions became more popular than the plays he was introducing, and he eventually moved into stand-up.

"I've written about 40 plays," Black says. "I was a playwright, until I figured out that I could make more money being a migrant farmworker."

He was nearly 50 before he realized that his passion was stand-up comedy.

Black was in Tampa last spring doing "The Rant Is Due," but people who caught that show won't be in for a re-run this time. The show's always in flux, Black says, changes depending on whatever happens to be bothering him at any particular time.

Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 15, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: Sold out. Information: 941-953-3368, www.vanwezel.org.

-- Marty Clear

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