Comedian Richard Lewis (Curb Your Enthusiasm) at Baltimore Comedy Factory
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The last date listed for Comedian Richard Lewis was Saturday June 16, 2012 / 7:00pm.
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Perhaps Mel Brooks put it best when he said, "Richard Lewis may just be the Franz Kafka of modern day comedy."
Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a commanding, compelling art form. His early career as a stand-up brought him to the top of his ranks. Over time and through a variety of mediums, he broadened his exposure and more and more came on board to appreciate his brilliantly warped world. Comedy Central has recognized Mr. Lewis as one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time and he was charted on GQ Magazine's list of the '20th Century's Most Influential Humorists'.
In December of 1989, Lewis achieved a very personal goal...he performed at Carnegie Hall to a standing room only audience.
Television: Lewis has loved being part of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The series, having finished eight seasons, has also been picked up for syndication via the TV Guide Network. SAG nominated Lewis for his work in the ensemble category for his recurring guest star role, playing true-to-life as one of Larry David's closest friends in "CYE."
The show has garnered many awards to include 34 Emmy nominations and much high praise. Vanity Fair stated, "The supporting cast of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm is a murderer's row of stand-up comedians—Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Richard Lewis, Cheryl Hines, Shelley Berman—cutting loose in character roles with killer instinct."
Stand-Up: Still after all these years, Lewis remains addicted to performing before live audiences and is on a continuous stand up tour. In live performance he is often compared to a jazz musician for his wild riffs that fly out into space but always find a way to float back into rhythm as they splatter recurring themes against a spiraling, lyrical backdrop. Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune recently noted, in a piece comparing comedy and jazz, "In Lenny Bruce's fantasy", celebrated writers would say: "This guy is the greatest jazz sound in the world" he's so hip, his name is Lenny Bruce.' "To this day, Bruce's foremost heir — comedian Richard Lewis — conveys the lightning energy of a solo by bebop icon Charlie Parker." A N.Y. Post article noted; "Richard Lewis built the strongest stand-up comedy career on a blazing trail of neuroses since Woody Allen."
Literary: Lewis is a contributing writer for Playboy Magazine. He's written numerous pieces over the years and has committed to more essays for 2012 to include one in the Jan/Feb double issue.
In 2000, Lewis wrote his memoir, "The Other Great Depression," published by the prestigious Perseus/ Public Affairs. It is as brave, insightful and forthcoming as is his comedy. He disrobes his substance abuse and recovery, skewing it his unique way. The book is a collection of fearless, essay style riffs featuring Lewis' dark stream-of-consciousness personal observations. Also, the reissue of "The Other Great Depression" is now available on audio, read unabridged by the author from Phoenix Audio. "Richard Lewis Naked," a companion documentary, is also available from that book-promotional tour.
And in closing: With scores of other guest acting appearances in TV series and films he tries to be as diverse as possible. Yet, most close to his heart was his four year run in ABC's critically acclaimed series "Anything But Love," co-starring with Jamie Lee Curtis, "Anything but Love", available on DVD with Volume One of the four year situation comedy. "Diary of a Young Comic," which he starred in and co-wrote, first aired on NBC in the "Saturday Night Live" time slot at its highest ratings period and is considered a cult classic. Late night TV viewers and media junkies in general are familiar with his frequent guest appearances. He may hold title to having the most late night appearances, chalking up well over 100 appearances with Dave, Jay, Conan, Jon, Stern, Ferguson and Maher.
He's grateful for being sober for over 18 years. He also takes great pride in serving on the Board of UrbanFarming.org, a charity to wipe out world hunger, alongside his wife, Joyce Lapinsky-Lewis who is the Board Co-Chair and Program Development Consultant.
To close, in his own words —"I go on a long tour and make people happy that they're not me and go home."