Neurotic comedian Richard Lewis likes to say that he was "born and lowered in New Jersey." He calls his grandparents "depressed-again Jews" and relates that his parents made him so crazy he'd eat M&M's one at a time, sipping water after each one. Plenty of stand-ups, Jewish and not, have turned kvetch into shtick, but Lewis has a morbid, feverishly self-loathing edge that naturally draws audiences' sympathies even as it challenges. When an interviewer asked him recently whether he'd done any shampoo commercials, Lewis replied, "How dare you. No, I don't do fucking shampoo commercials. If they pay me the right money, I will. I have dandruff, if that's what you're implying." a Wed-Thu 10/4-10/5, 7:30 PM, Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 312-337-4027, Fri 10/6, 8 and 10 PM, Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main, Saint Charles, 630-513-1761, and Sat 10/7, 7 and 9:30 PM, Zanies, 230 Hawthorn Village Commons, Vernon Hills, 847-549-6030. All shows $26, two-drink minimum, 21+.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Karin Martinez.