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The ‘Rant’ is Due: Lewis Black to perform at Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre

“The audience is my primary relationship.”

Fed up with your job? Frustrated with life? Annoyed at gas price increase? Would a rant help expel some of that pent up stress?

Then comedian Lewis Black is the man for you. 

The so-called “angry” comedian offers the everyday individual the opportunity to submit rants that could be chosen to be performed live at the end of his shows. Called “The Rant is Due,” Black’s popular audience interaction just returned in January after being on hiatus during the pandemic. 

Since 2014, he has done over 400 of these live-streaming rants. Adding his own unique style, Black delivers audience-written Rants which have been submitted from the fans at his show and throughout the world.  These rants are now available on Black’s podcast, Rant Cast.

And if submitting the rant isn’t enough, Lewis is bringing his “Off the Rails” tour to The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester this month, the first time he is appearing at the iconic venue. 

For some comedians, taking a forced break during the pandemic in some ways, despite the circumstances, was a welcome mental respite. Brian Regan said it was somewhat of a relief to turn his “comedy brain” off for a while. Kevin Nealon focused on painting. Lisa Lampanelli began to cohost a mental health podcast.

But this wasn’t the case for Black. 

“It was horrible,” he said. He had zero interest in doing virtual comedy, on a medium like Zoom. 

“Methadone is a better substitute for heroin than Zoom is for live comedy,” he said. 

“I have a strong relationship with my audience and for what they are feeling — without their laughter it was really obvious for me,” Black said.

“I really chose my career over having a primary relationship. The audience is my primary relationship. The audience who comes to see me gives me such a wide berth on a creative level — it allows me to be real,” he said. 

Known as the King of Rant, Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and finger pointing to expose the absurdities of life. A Grammy award-winning stand-up, Black performs his critically acclaimed shows more than 200 nights annually, to sold-out audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.  

Black is nominated for a Grammy this year for his special, Thanks for Risking Your Life —  the last live performance he did before the shutdown.

He is one of a few performers to sell out multiple renowned theaters, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City Center, the Main Stage at the Mirage in Las Vegas and a sold-out Broadway run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City

Black is the longest-running contributor to The Daily Show on Comedy Central. He has had comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime and Epix. In 2001, he won Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards.  

In 2015, Black notably voiced the character “Anger” in the Academy Award-winning film from Pixar, Inside Out. A published playwright, he’s written over 40 plays and has found his work performed throughout the country, including at the A.C.T. Theatre, the Magic Theatre, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The Public Theatre. In addition to his professional pursuits, Lewis is dedicated to a number of charitable organizations including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Rogosin Institute, and the 52nd Street Project. He’s also deeply committed to supporting our troops. A seasoned USO tour veteran, he’s performed for the troops on three Christmas tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.Black, who is based in New York, said he is looking forward to performing at The Capitol Theatre. He talked about the various venues he’s played. 

“There are certain places that I like to play that were very formative to me as a comic, The Funny Bone in Omaha, Zanies in Chicago — there are others I’m leaving out,” he said.

But the accomplished playwright said he prefers playing a theater. 

Despite his reputation as “angry,” he said in order to be entertaining, you “have to play angry, you can’t really be angry.” 

And Black says he truly senses that his audience is just as joyful to be back in the live venues as he is. 

“The audience is happy to be back. Even if you don’t get playing full houses, you can feel the energy they bring. They are ready. They want a show. They want to laugh,” he said. 

Lewis Black plays The Capitol Theatre on Sunday March 27, at 8 p.m. For more information or to get tickets, visit The Capitol Theatre here.