Richard Lewis Leaves 'Em Laughing

Richard Lewis was a comedic cyclone at the Miami Improv last night – not just in terms of his considerable velocity, but in the way he circles around furiously, nesting topics within topics, opening a subject, switching back and forth, and returning, or maybe not.

Even the act of taking the stage was funny. “Where am I, in Macbeth?” he said, bewildered at the faux Roman columns. Approaching an equally faux gas lamp pole on stage left, he said, “Is Judy Garland going to come out and sing a song?”

I can’t begin to recount a single joke, not with that manic onslaught, but this much I can recall: As his set progressed I laughed harder and harder. Early on he introduced the subject of his possibly being molested by his internist, and how he fired his therapist when she was disinterested in discussing it.

Religion, politics, sex, psychotherapy, aging, airlines, hotel “suites,” the dangers of women like his wife having children in their 40s (and something about not wanting to be on a Larry King panel with his “rooster boy”) … nothing unusual, but in Lewis’s neurotic, apoplectic delivery it was all hilarious.

With a precision that belied his fury, Lewis came back around to everything. Well, everything except one topic: I never did find out what happened with that internist. Let me know if you do: Lewis continues his run at the Improv through Sunday. --Frank Houston

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