“It always makes sense to come to a new territory during a complete economic catastrophe,” quips Lewis Black about traipsing Canada during one of the greatest financial strains since the Great Depression.
Best known for his Back In Black short features on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, which take a critical viewpoint of society, 60 year-old observational comedian Lewis Black brings his one-man stand-up act, The Dual Citizenship Tour, across Canada this month.
As is typical of Black, there’s always a shroud of mystery surrounding his intent. He hides behind drollery while discussing the tour’s title, stating that despite his adoration for the U.S., the political clarity which drives his humour forces him to make alternate living arrangements. The moniker is an imploration for Canucks to welcome him into our family.
“I called it The Dual Citizenship Tour because I’m making an appeal to you to please stay independent,” he continues. “I may be coming up here and someone’s gonna have to keep me in their house. Canada is my escape route and this tour is my final appeal. I’m trying to cement the relationship. At any moment, the U.S. could go up in smoke so my hope is that you’ll take me just in case.”
In all reality though, the 12-date tour is the result of increased popularity due to his Daily Show stint. Black wasn’t about to shrug off his first real chance to see The Great White North in its entirety.
“The attraction is really wanting to do that drive across Canada,” he relents. “I’ve always wanted to do (it) and now I have the opportunity. I can actually spend time here and see the inner-workings; the real elements.”
To that extent, Black admits that he is striving to stay as far away from the typical Canucks-versus-Americans train of humour, feeling it worn out; overused. But he’s not eliminating it entirely, expecting that his limited understanding of Canada will most likely become comedic fuel during the show’s run.
“Hopefully I’ll come out with 20 minutes of material about Canada. I can b—h about Stephen Harper to you guys when I’m hosting Just For Laughs this year. At this point, the tour doesn’t really cater to (Canadians) other than (my) apologizing for being American. I don’t think there’s a need. You guys have being Canadian shoved in your face. You don’t need me doing it. You’re always sucking that exhaust.
“Instead, I’m talking about alternative energy, the economy … Harper once I can get my head around him. My hope is to start seeing how you guys deal with stuff as opposed to how (Americans) deal with stuff, as long as I don’t drink too much. We’ll see what happens. I’ve got time before the tour starts so I’m sure more s—t will hit the fan on the way.”
Back in Black
• Lewis Black’s Dual Citizenship Tour stops in Toronto for shows at the Winter Garden Theatre April 24, 25 & 26. Details at www.lewisblack.com.