Monday, February 04, 2013

The Rant is Due

For Christmas, my wife and I gave ourself tickets to go see the comedian Lewis Black; which we did on Saturday. Black does angry-old-man, his routine is a rant that puts him on the edge of a breakdown whereupon he sometimes starts to look like Donald Duck in a rage. Guy is smart, does great word-play and current events, and hits a lot of nerves.

He had what sounded like a cold, and his energy was a little low, but he was funny. Goes places that are controversial, and tells it like he sees it. Had a guy open for him who did similar material, but whose act didn't do much for me.

Dennis Miller used to be a great ranter, he was sharp, and nailed a lot of what is wrong in American society, but after 9/11, he moved into right-wing territory where I couldn't follow. Sometimes comedians do this, there's a before-and-after with them. George Carlin, one of the funniest stand-up guys ever, made a shift, and went from–I thought–really funny to really bitter. There was a period where we got brilliant word play about the airlines–coming to a "complete stop," for instance–to screaming about fucking golf courses. Really funny stuff is always right on the edge, and hair too far, it stops being funny. Go figure.

Anyway, Black skewered a host of targets, ranging from medicine to the Bible to politics to guns, and it was an entertaining hour and a half. 

He had some zingers, and one of my favorites was on gun control. Paraphrasing here: Our do-nothing Congress hasn't done shit in twelve years! And you really think they are going to be able to take away anybody's guns ... ?

Much more fun than this year's Super Bowl, which we always watch. We aren't big football fans, we got into the event because we knew a field goal kicker for our college team, and then stayed for the commercials. We usually pick a team to root for based on the color of their uniforms, or some bit of business on the pre-game show. This year, we were for San Francisco. We have family there, plus it was west coast versus east. It looked like a rout, but the 49ers came back and made it close; plus there was the power outage, which has already given rise to a plethora of jokes.

There were a few cute commercials–the car salesman trying to up the drama of buying a car who gave a wolf puppy to a couple to hold, was fun. As was the Oreo commercial in the library, and the tear-jerkers about farmers and the Budweiser Clydesdale, but by and large, they were disappointing. I mean, if you are gonna spend almost four million bucks on a thirty-second spot, it needs to be one that people will remember, and this year's crop was mostly "Meh."

For my money, nobody has come close to the 1984 intro to the Macintosh computer yet, save maybe Mean Joe Green for Coke. (And I must have missed the pay-off for this year's Coke spot wherein camel jockeys, cowboys, and showgirls in a bus are chasing a mirage in the desert. Did I just go pee at the wrong time, or was it lost in the power outage?) 

Ah, well. We ate chips, drank beer, had pie, and a quiet afternoon at home. What's not to like?


Kris said...

I think that Black just seems more tired, in general. His early stuff was...energetic; not so much the later. I guess that everything becomes rote, over time- and none of us are getting younger.

Cliff said...

The Coke payoff came WAY late, after regulation play ended, but before the end of the telecast. And it wasn't that good, anyway. One of the showgirls got a coke, and there were like 7 bottles left that no one reached for.

Jim said...

" Our do-nothing Congress hasn't done shit in twelve years! And you really think they are going to be able to take away anybody's guns ... ?"

Yes, I do. It's not their job, therefore there's a better than even chance they'll do it.

Now... if you want to make it their job... They'll never get close to doing it.

Steve Perry said...

Maybe more b.g checks. Maybe some loophole sales.

High-cap magazines? Assault rifles?

Not on a federal level. I don't see the votes.

Some states will fiddle with stuff, but they already do that.

Tom Dupree said...

I missed Lewis Black here in NY, to my regret. Remember that he's an actor first and foremost; he's a longtime theater denizen. This angry-grampa thing is just a role.

Super Bowl ads? They're previewed so much these days that commercial pods in the actual game are almost afterthoughts. [The big ad agencies have discovered social media!] But I'm always for whichever team adopts its name because of an author. Always.