Arts & Theater

Lewis Black ready to go on a rant, and read some of Sacramento’s own at Friday show

Lewis Black is known for going on rants, and Friday’s show at the Crest Theatre will be no different.
Lewis Black is known for going on rants, and Friday’s show at the Crest Theatre will be no different.

Comedic king of the rants Lewis Black returns to Sacramento for his stand-up show “The Joke’s on Us” at the Crest Theatre on Friday night.

It doesn’t take much to get him going.

“It’s the tales of American stupidity, which we seem to be very good at,” said Black, who is well-known for his reoccurring rant segments Back in Black on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”

Black said his show will cover the absurdities he sees daily.

Whether he is getting into the difference between McNuggets and chicken tenders, or pointing out why we pay so much in pharmaceuticals, Black said the humor comes from the ways Americans continue to be unproductive in accomplishing things even though we have all the resources at our disposal.

“Never have a few had so much and have been able to do so little,” said Black.

The self-described socialist said laughter has been his greatest motivator in his 40 years in comedy and that it acts as insulation for the insanity in the world.

“I think people rely on comedy to take a step back from all the madness and go ‘This too shall pass,’ ” said Black. “I think that’s what comedians do for people.”

Black, who voiced the short-tempered emotion “Anger” in the Pixar movie “Inside Out,” said he has been yelling for a while and it was time to start yelling for his audience.

At the end of each show, Black does a live-streamed Q&A session known as “The Rant is Due,” where he reads rants written by the people of the cities and states he performs in and answers questions.

“I’ll just read something that’ll make me go wow,” said Black on the hundreds of rants he’s read. “It doesn’t matter what city I’m in, somebody somewhere will always write something that’ll surprise you.”

Black encourages his audience to submit their rants and to become members of the his union of cynical kindreds (the official name is more fit for a bar-room rant than a family news organization) for exclusive content and access to his rant archives.

“They can go to my website and write me a rant about Sacramento, or about their state – their mother in-law – literally anything,” said Black on the type of rants he chooses to read. “It could be serious or funny, or both. If it’s good, I’ll read it.”

Black said he looks forward to spending time in the city and reading Sacramento’s rants.

“If there’s a group that’s got things to yell about, it’s Californians,” said Black. “As mellow as they act, I know underneath they’re seething.”

If you go

What: Lewis Black

Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K St

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct 25.

Cost: $75 lower level; $55 upper level; $25 for students