EXCLUSIVE: After 35+ years as a touring stand-up comedian, Lewis Black is preparing to park his tour bus for good.
On the road through next month to wrap up his 2023 tour, Off The Rails, Black this morning unveiled the dates for Goodbye Yeller Brick Road, The Final Tour, which is set to take place throughout North America and Europe from January through May. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 17 at 10 a.m. local time, with Official Fan Club pre-sale starting Tuesday, November 14 at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET. (View the full list of dates below.)
Going forward, as Black moves away from doing hundreds of live shows a year, he will for the most part devote his time to the writing of a new play and book, as well as an expansion of his podcast, Rantcast. But while his time on the road is nearly over, the 75-year-old comic does expect to continue performing on stage “from time to time.”
The comedian told Deadline that he’s been letting folks know about his impending retirement for a while now, though no one believed he was serious. He joked that if anyone asks why he would retire from touring, this would be “after years of being asked” why he would ever have entertained such an “exhausting” pursuit in the first place.
Black also spoke about the “great joy” he’s taken from touring and the “world of possibilities” it’s opened for him over the years. “I thought the road would go on forever, well I was wrong about that. And the fact is as hard as the road maybe to be on, it’s harder to leave it,” he said. “I am only retiring from touring. It’s time for me to explore other avenues such as writing, reading your rants, and pitching tv shows that will be rejected. (Which is why I know they are good.) More importantly I can finally give my Fantasy Football team the focus and time it truly needs. And maybe, just maybe I can become the professional golfer I was born to be.”
In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Black explained that he would probably have already retired from touring as a stand-up, had it not been for the Covid pandemic. “Here’s what I learned from all this— that whole thing of five-year plans? ‘Oh, what are you going to do in five years?’ Don’t ask the question anymore,” he jokes. “It’s a stupid f**king question.”
As someone whose touring career took off in his 40s, who began his career as a playwright, he “never expected” to have cultivated such an accomplished career in this arena, referring to his tour bus and “a sense of discipline” in his lifestyle as the factors most key to his longevity.
Perhaps the best part of touring, for Black, has been getting to see the U.S. like few people ever do, which was always a goal. Some of the best years, for the comic, came upon his introduction to The Daily Show, when he routinely found himself performing for people of all ages.
In looking back at his years touring a “spectacular” assortment of venues, Black only wishes he had filmed more of his life on the road — “not so much to get it out to everybody,” he says, “but just to have a record of it.”
In a tease of the material to be heard on his final tour, Black jokes that it will be life changing. “I think, finally, I’ll demonstrate my ability to cure a variety of diseases. That’s really the transition I’m going through,” he says. “As many Americans seem to have done, I’m moving on from just being a comic to being a healer, and that’s the big surprise, when I show up in their town and set up at an airport and do 50 to a hundred healings, and then fly out the next day.”
While he initially intended to wrap up his stand-up career with two specials, including one “psychotically titled Louis Black’s Greatest Hits,” he’s now just planning to put together one centered around his last tour, in which he will further reflect on life “in satirical times.” In addition to the aforementioned, upcoming projects for Black will hopefully include a travel show that he will host, showcasing his favorite places in the U.S.
A two-time Grammy winner and six-time nominee known for his trademark style of comedic yelling and finger pointing, Black’s goal in his career has for the most part been to make people laugh at life’s hypocrisies and the insanity he sees in the world. Thus far surpassing 1.3 million views on YouTube, his most recent special, Tragically, I Need You, explores topics including his ways of coping with the pandemic, his frustrations with the evolving world, and of course his thoughts about the chaos of America these last few years.
In addition to numerous specials for HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, and Epix, Black has released eight critically acclaimed comedy albums, including Grammy winners The Carnegie Hall Performance and Stark Raving Black. He’s the longest-running contributor on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, having been with the show from the beginning, and has also published three bestsellers and 40+ plays, seeing his work performed throughout the country.
Also an actor soon to heard reprising his role as Anger in Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out 2, Black’s other feature credits include Universal’s Accepted co-starring Blake Lively and Justin Long, Man of the Year opposite Robin Williams, and Paul Feig’s children’s Christmas movie, Unaccompanied Minors, for Warner Bros. He’s also previouslyn been seen on shows like Madoff, The Big Bang Theory, and The Root of All Evil, which he hosted for Comedy Central.
Black’s ongoing podcast, Rantcast, sees him give voice to rants written by fans from around the world. The comic is repped by Paradigm and Del Shaw Moonves.
LEWIS BLACK: OFF THE RAILS TOUR 2023
|Thursday, November 16, 2023||Troy, NY||Troy Savings Bank Music Hall|
|Friday, November 17, 2023||Peekskill, NY||Paramount Hudson Valley Theater|
|Saturday, November 18, 2023||Waterbury, CT||Palace Theater|
|Sunday, November 19, 2023||New London, CT||Garde Arts Center|
|Thursday, November 30, 2023||Rocky Mount, VA||The Harvester Performance Center|
|Friday, December 1, 2023||Bristol, TN||Paramount Bristol|
|Saturday, December 2, 2023||Charlottesville, VA||The Paramount Theater|
|Sunday, December 3, 2023||Morgantown, WV||Metropolitan Theatre|
|Friday, December 8, 2023||Montclair, NJ||Wellmont Theater|
|Saturday, December 9, 2023||Bensalem, PA||Parx Casino – Xcite Center|
|Wednesday, December 13, 2023||Stuart, FL||The Lyric Theatre|
|Thursday, December 14, 2023||St. Petersburg, FL||Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater|
|Friday, December 15, 2023||Jacksonville, FL||Florida Theatre|
LEWIS BLACK: GOODBYE YELLER BRICK ROAD, THE FINAL TOUR 2024
*bold denotes newly added dates on sale November 17
|Thursday, January 18, 2024||Monterey, CA||Golden State Theatre|
|Friday, January 19, 2024||Santa Barbara, CA||Lobero Theatre|
|Saturday, January 20, 2024||Anaheim, CA||City National Grove of Anaheim|
|Thursday, January 25, 2024||Modesto, CA||Gallo Center for the Arts|
|Friday, January 26, 2024||Brooks, CA||Cache Creek Casino Resort|
|Saturday, January 27, 2024||Reno, NV||Silver Legacy Resort Casino – Grande Exposition Hall|
|Sunday, January 28, 2024||Santa Rosa, CA||Luther Burbank Center for the Arts|
|Friday, February 2, 2024||Denver, CO||Paramount Theatre|
|Saturday, February 3, 2024||Boulder, CO||Boulder Theater|
|Sunday, February 4, 2024||Fort Collins, CO||The Lincoln Center|
|Friday, February 16, 2024||Grand Rapids, MI||GLC Live at 20 Monroe|
|Saturday, February 17, 2024||Detroit, MI||MotorCity Casino Hotel – Sound Board|
|Sunday, February 18, 2024||Waukegan, IL||Genesee Theatre|
|Friday, February 23, 2024||Chesterfield, MO||The Factory|
|Saturday, February 24, 2024||Springfield , MO||Gillioz Theatre|
|Sunday, February 25, 2024||Omaha, NE||Steelhouse Omaha|
|Friday, March 8, 2024||Red Bank, NJ||Count Basie Center for the Arts|
|Saturday, March 9, 2024||Wilkes-Barre, PA||F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts|
|Sunday, March 10, 2024||Munhall, PA||Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall|
|Thursday, March 21, 2024||Providence, RI||Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The VETS)|
|Friday, March 22, 2024||Boston, MA||The Wilbur|
|Saturday, March 23, 2024||Portland, ME||Merrill Auditorium|
|Sunday, March 24, 2024||Orono, ME||Collins Center for the Arts|
|Friday, April 19, 2024||Chattanooga, TN||Walker Theatre|
|Saturday, April 20, 2024||Nashville, TN||Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) – James K. Polk Theater: Nashville Comedy Festival|
|Sunday, April 21, 2024||Atlanta, GA||Buckhead Theatre|
|Thursday, April 25, 2024||Iowa City, IA||The Englert Theatre|
|Friday, April 26, 2024||Prior Lake, MN||Mystic Lake Casino Hotel – Mystic Showroom|
|Saturday, April 27, 2024||La Crosse, WI||Viterbo University Fine Arts Center – Main Theatre|
|Thursday, May 2, 2024||Wilmington, DE||The Grand Opera House – Copeland Hall|
|Friday, May 3, 2024||Washington, DC||The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts – Concert Hall|
|Saturday, May 4, 2024||Richmond, VA||The National|
|Tuesday, May 14, 2024||Amsterdam, NL||Meervaart Theater|
|Thursday, May 16, 2024||Brussels, BE||La Madeleine|
|Sunday, May 19, 2024||London, UK||Leicester Square Theatre|
|Wednesday, May 22, 2024||Berlin, DE||Ernst-Reuter-Saal|
|Friday, May 24, 2024||Stockholm, SE||Södra Teatern|