Bombarded by constant news reports filled with violence, crime, political scandal and economic woe, how is a person supposed to find something to laugh about?
Actually, it's as simple as black and white. Lewis Black and Ron White.
The two comics are the biggest names in the fall comedy lineup at Santa Rosa's Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, which also includes Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops and others from the fondly remembered TV series, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
Lewis Black At Wells Fargo Center
And comedy is cropping up on the calendar at other venues at clubs and theaters around the North Bay, with local, regional and some national performers.
Blue Collar Comedy Tour veteran Ron White, armed with a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other, kicks off the local comedy season with a sold-out show Saturday, Aug. 24 (event has now passed) at the Wells Fargo Center.
Won't cross paths
Lewis Black, "Daily Show" favorite and master of the satirical rant, plays the center next month, and he's sorry he won't cross paths with White in Santa Rosa when he performs at the same venue on Friday, Sept. 13.
"I like Ron," Black said in a recent phone interview. "He's funny. He's so crazy, he makes me look sane."
Black's comedy style is usually characterized as falling somewhere between anarchy and apoplexy, but he contends he's just trying to "make sense of the idiocy in the air."
Talking on his cellphone while being chauffeured between engagements, Black apologized when his phone kept cutting out.
"We're in the part of New York where they say, 'Why would you need cellphone service here?' " Black said. "It's isolated and lonely at night, and if your car dies and a guy comes up to your window with a pickax, you're dead anyway."
No subject is off-limits for Black. Here are just a few samples:
President Obama -- "He's wandering around for the 500th time trying to sell the idea that we should do certain things you'd think we'd be doing anyway."