Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.
For decades, he has paced stages in comedy clubs in his trademark black suits, the neurotic genius in his natural habitat. Night after night, Richard Lewis brings strangers into the world inside his head, making them laugh and making them think. He is, by any measure, among the most prolific comedians of his time, and more than that as well, discovered regularly by new audiences in films and, recently, in his recurring role on Larry David’s HBO smash hit “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Lewis is now set to join the cast of “Blunt Talk,” where he will play a Freudian psychoanalyst, quite a twist for him, and as of today Lewis has a new book out: “Reflections From Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live” with illustrations by Carl Nicholas Titolo and a foreword by Larry David.
The Overhead Compartment carefully, and from a distance so no germs were spread, interviewed Richard Lewis, to learn about how a funny, neurotic hypochondriac handles travel and life in general.
The Overhead Compartment with Richard Lewis begins now…..
OC: You grew up on the East Coast, but spend a lot of time on the West Coast. Do you have any advice for how someone from the Big Apple survives in the City of Angels?
RL: Move back to New York.
OC: Which town has better restaurants, New York or LA? Your favorites?
RL: Neither. My grandmother’s noodle kugel wins out on all.
OC: You’ve been touring so successfully for decades, in which town do you always get the biggest laughs?
RL: In any town …in bed.
OC: Which town is the toughest to get laughs in?
RL: I’d guess Munich, Germany.
OC: What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you on an airplane?
RL: After being recognized, the flight attendant did a five minute routine instead of doing the safety precautions before take off.
OC: You are recognized by Comedy Central as one of the top 50 stand up comics of all time, what advice would you give to aspiring comedians?
RL: Don’t believe best of lists. Just believe in your own authenticity.
OC: What’s the first thing you do when arriving at a hotel in your room?
RL: I call housekeeping and have them clean it again.
OC: Your new book is called “Reflections From Hell: ‘Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live”, is there one main take-away from the book we can all learn from?
RL: This is not a joke book. Read between the lines and discover ways to survive life’s nightmares.
OC: “From Hell” is a part of the lexicon that you invented. Where did that come from?
RL: Before I got sober 20 plus years ago, I always fancied myself as a victim by everyone and everything and I rarely took responsibility for my own character defects.
OC: My husband tells me you watch a ton of sports with Larry David — what are those evenings like?
RL: The worst. He turns the TV off within seconds thinking he will hex the outcome.
OC: You two have known each other since summer camp. What were you both like as teenagers?
RL: The same as today. We loved each other but could barely tolerate one another’s company.
OC: Which comic was the biggest influence on you?
RL: Lenny Bruce, Jonathan Winters and Mel Brooks.
OC: Complete the following sentence: I never leave home without:
OC: Travel secret/habit about you that no one knew until now?
RL: I wash my hands about 1000 times a flight LA to NY.
Richard Lewis please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!
Top photo credit: Phil Provencio
Second photo credit: Sonya Sones