OK, so he's coming to far-flung Joliet at the Rialto Square Theatre. Still, if you get a chance and can make the drive, comic Lewis Black is worth a visit. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 18 at 9 a.m.
Before gaining a massive following for his appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the famous ranter and raver (a prolific playwright and Yale School of Drama grad) gigged all over the country and made frequent stops in Chicago, where he met and became something of a mentor to locally based comedienne Patti Vasquez.
When Black and I spoke in 2008, I predicted that his first book, Me of Little Faith, would become a big bestseller. And guess what? (It's actually very entertaining.) His follow-up, Nothing's Sacred, did pretty well too.
If you're not familiar with Black, his background or his humor, here's a good profile from 2005 that appeared in the New York Times magazine. ''I think that my character carries the audience through stuff that they may not want to listen to,'' he told writer Alex Witchel of an intense delivery that's been tweaked over the years. ''And sometimes if they don't get what the joke is, they think it's funny how crazy I get. Because everybody's always saying, 'We thought you might have a heart attack or an aneurysm.' If they'd seen me 12 or 15 years ago, I could understand it, before I had any sense of proportion. From the start I'd be screaming, but there was no way people could really get it. I would be six minutes into it, and there'd be nothing.''
To get a better sense of Black's style, if you don't have one already, check out the following clips. But be warned: material may not be suitable for all viewers.