The Kafka of Comedy

Nothing’s better than kvetching with Richard Lewis.

Mopey, miserable, admittedly anal-retentive, and undeniably hilarious, Richard Lewis has made a comedy career out of his neuroses. Addiction, recovery, sobriety, therapy — everything is grist for his mill, and for more than 30 years, he has made audiences cackle at it all. He’s just re-released his 14-year-old memoir, The Other Great Depression, and a behind-the-scenes documentary about his book tour, Richard Lewis Naked. The new and improved Richard Lewis is older, wiser, sober, and funnier than ever.

“I have so much clarity now I actually despise myself even more.... People used to say, ‘Oh, you’ve made so many improvements in your life, you’re gonna lose your funny bone.’ It’s just the opposite — when I got sober, I sharpened up. One of the things about being sober is you have to turn the mirror on yourself. I realized that I was the date from hell, I was the son from hell,” he explains. And finally, thanks to his role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lewis has gotten credit for “the [blank] from hell,” the phrase he initially popularized in his ... let’s call it his “manic energy” phase. “It’s finally in the Yale Book of Quotations, because I really did popularize it. Larry did me a real solid with that episode. Larry knew; he knew,” says Lewis. And speaking of CYE, fans have been jonesing for more following the stellar finale of last season. Lewis knows just as much as you or I might about the possibility of an upcoming season. “I asked Larry what to tell people, ’cause they’re asking. He says, ‘Probably.’” Whew. The comedy legend will let it all hang out Thursday through Sunday at the Miami Improv. Tickets cost $21.40, and there’s a two-drink minimum.
May 8-11, 2008
 
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