America's favorite curmudgeon Lewis Black will be in town tomorrow night to perform his stand-up act at the Bayou Music Center. Before turning to stand-up comedy, Black actually got his start in theater, earning an MFA from Yale, serving as playwright-in-residence at an Off-Broadway theater, and even writing a musical called The Czar of Rock and Roll, about an American teenager who becomes the biggest rock star in the old USSR. It was described by TheaterSource, tantalizingly, as "an international rock epic about one man's search for Marxism, music, and the hottest women on the far side of the Iron Curtain," and it made its premiere right here in Houston at the Alley Theatre in 1990. (It was briefly revived in New York a few years back.)
But that musical isn't Black's only connection to Houston. His legendary rant about two Starbucks across the street from each other was surely inspired by the dueling Starbucks in the River Oaks Shopping Center, which sit on opposite sides of West Gray. (If he returned to the spot today, Black would discover to his horror that they have now been joined by a third Starbucks in the adjacent Barnes and Noble.) In the bit, which you can listen to below, Black claims that if you stand midway between two Starbucks, time will stand still—although we cannot recommend that Houstonians stand in the middle of West Gray, as they will doubtlessly be mowed down by a hypercaffeinated soccer mom in her Land Rover.
Fortunately, Starbucks is merely the first on a list of the many, many things that drive Lewis Black crazy. We're confident that he'll take aim at some new targets tomorrow night, but to tide you over we've collected what we consider the definitive list of Black's top 10 greatest rants.
(Warning: videos include some offensive language. For immature audiences only.)
1. On Starbucks
2. On iPhones
3. On George W. Bush
4. On Bottled Water
5. On Greed
6. On Terrorism
7. On Quail Hunting
8. On Creationism
9. On High School Guidance Counselors
10. On The Mexican Border Fence