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Apr 13, 2015

Lewis Black finds much to rant about in political world

April 13, 2015

Donna Isbell Walker, [email protected] 1:23 p.m. EDT April 13, 2015

Comic Lewis Black is known for his rants, and it doesn't take much to get him worked up. But with the presidential election season getting started, it seems like his routines just about write themselves.

In Black's view, the focus on an election that's nearly two years away is "kind of stupid" when the country has so many other issues that need attention.

"We're discussing what's going to happen in two years while we don't do anything," Black said in a recent phone interview from New York. "I mean it's beyond belief. It's like there's no sense of leadership anywhere."

He was especially intrigued by the recent entry of Sen. Ted Cruz into the presidential race. Cruz's candidacy means "another six months of work," Black said. "That means I don't even have to do anything. All I have to do is quote (him)."

Black, who performs at the Peace Center April 18, has titled his latest tour "The Rant is Due, Part Deux," and righteous indignation is seemingly one of his default settings.

While he's known for his hair-trigger stage persona, Black acknowledges that he does let his emotions simmer down when he's not working.

"You can't be the person I am on stage, all the time. You'd be dead," Black said.

Even so, that persona can come in handy sometimes. Take Black's next film, for example, the Pixar film "Inside Out," set for a summer release.

The film tells the story of a young girl who moves from Minneapolis to San Francisco, whose emotions take on a life of their own in the wake of the move.

Each emotion is voiced by a different actor. Mindy Kaling plays Disgust, Amy Poehler is the voice of Joy, and not surprisingly, Black plays the role of Anger.

"Yeah, it was a tough stretch," Black said with a laugh.

He's looking forward to playing Greenville, which Black describes as "the world's cutest town."

One of the recent additions to his act is that fans can submit their own rant subjects, and Black will address some of them in question-and-answer sessions at his live shows.

At the Greenville show, the first hour will be Black's stand-up performance, then he'll address fans' comments, questions and rant suggestions.

As far as the rest of the performance, Black jokes that fans "can expect the same happy-go-lucky comedy. My mime work is renowned. I think I'll do a little magic, and we always end with a number of songs."

In reality, the material will depend on what's on his mind, and on the daily newscast, the day of the show.

"You never know," he said. "I woke up Monday, and Ted Cruz gave me 10 new minutes."