Boulder is buzzing with excitement after Sunday night’s Lewis Black performance at CU.
Before Black took the stage at Macky Auditorium, the sold-out crowd was already eagerly awaiting a few good laughs with the celebrated comedian. Javier Santiago, who had never seen Black perform before, was giddy with excitement.
“I hope he spits a lot so it can get on my shirt,” Santiago said. “I’ll never wash it again.”
Others were more relaxed. A number of students, including sophomore open-option major Charles Adler, were only vaguely familiar with the comedian’s long line of work. That work has included a part in the 2006 college comedy “Accepted” and a long standing role as a correspondent on “The Daily Show.”
“I don’t know much about him,” Adler said. “But I’ve heard he’s funny, and I’m excited to see what he has to say.”
As it turns out, Black had quite a bit to say. After a lackluster performance by opening comedian John Bowman, in whom genuine laughs were only found when he strayed away from his set to interact with the audience, Black took to the stage with a warning.
“I’m going to be using the word [expletive] a lot this evening. If that makes you uncomfortable, now may be the time to go,” Black said.
But once Black got started, leaving his set would be the last thing on anyone’s mind.
Starting off calm and collected, hands tucked neatly into his pockets, Black described the year he spent in Colorado when he was younger.
“There was Denver, there was Boulder,” Black said to loud applause. “Then there was [expletive] Colorado Springs.”
This sent Black off into one of his usual tirades, left hand flailing as he ranted about his dislike for Colorado Springs, including the right wing Christians who inhabit it and the John Denver song “Rocky Mountain High” that played constantly.
While much of Black’s humor comes from his harsh critiques of American politics, it was refreshing to see he had other things to discuss, including his dysfunctional parents, the stupidity of Twitter, his hatred of Dr. Phil and his love for musician Vince Gill.
The Boulder crowd may not have applauded louder, however, than when Black discussed the need to legalize marijuana.
“If the economy keeps up, you kids are going to need something to smoke,” Black said. “Pot is not a gateway drug…only a gateway drug to the kitchen.”
When Black did talk politics, specifically his dislike of the current Congress, his anger often sputtered out into sometimes unintelligible babble, acknowledging his frustrations by wildly throwing his arms into the air, as if he was giving up.
“I loved his performance,” said Ryan Hylbak, a sophomore economics major. “He might be a little pessimistic for most people, but at least he can find the humor in things.”
Pessimistic might be an understatement. As Black closed out the night, he made sure to remind the audience of one last thing.
“Nothing that I have ever wanted has happened,” Black said.
Still, Black isn’t one to set a somber mood without getting some laughs out of it.
“But I know that as soon as I [expletive] die, all the shit I’ve ever wanted will come true,” Black said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sebastian Murdock at Sebastian.firstname.lastname@example.org.