If Richard Lewis has learned anything about his colorful life, it’s that it’s best to just embrace his neuroses.
“I have a myriad of them, of which I take great pride in,” Lewis moans before adding, “And … I’m in a mood today …”
Well, when is he not?
Actually, the acclaimed comic’s fans wouldn’t have it any other way, which should make Lewis’ stand-up gig Thursday through Sunday at Cobb’s Comedy Club in The City something to truly savor.
But lately, Lewis appears to be standing out for more than just his angst.
Now in his sixties, the comic has longevity on his side — a rare thing — and all the perks that come along with it, particularly wisdom and perspective.
This is, after all, a man who stormed the comedy scene in the 1970s and ’80s, connected with giants like Lenny Bruce and Mel Brooks, rose to stardom, surprised critics while turning heads in the sitcom “Anything But Love” and, in the last decade, still managed to garner more fans alongside Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Look around, though, and you’d be hard-pressed to find that many comics today with the same kind of artistic integrity Lewis has running through his comedic veins.
“If I can’t be totally honest then I wouldn’t go on, and I would quit this part of the arts,” Lewis quips. “And yet I’m so grateful that people still come to see me and get a kick out of my multitude of dysfunctions.
“I don’t have an act,” he says, “I just have a life and I do it onstage.”
These days, life is full. He talks about wife Joyce Lapinsky, with whom he experiences a tight bond, and then sobriety, before fretting over being a pack rat.
Eventually, it all comes back to the neuroses.
“I wear them as a badge of honor in a way, and they never really, really go away,” Lewis notes. “They’ll always be this cloak in my closet; numerous cloaks of insecurities and dysfunctions and fears and phobias. I mean, I’m not a basket case — if I ran amok, it would be like a Kafka novel, so getting out onstage is probably the happiest I am in life.
“That hour or so onstage … if the audience is with me and they’re willing to go along on my ride, man, is that bliss.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Tickets: $20.50 to $23.50
Contact: (415) 928-4320, www.cobbscomedy.com