Photo by Clay Patrick McBride. What’s behind this special connection you have with Milwaukee? It was alcohol. I just have always had an affinity for the whole area. You guys just seem to get it. If it weren’t so f—ing cold, I probably would’ve moved to Chicago and spent more time there. What are some […]
Photo by Clay Patrick
What’s behind this special connection you have with Milwaukee?
It was alcohol. I just have always had an affinity for the whole area. You guys just seem to get it. If it weren’t so f—ing cold, I probably would’ve moved to Chicago and spent more time there.
What are some of your favorite haunts in town?
Bartolotta has great restaurants. And the bars I’ve just stumbled into, which are too many to mention. Water Street. I spend way too much time on Water Street. When you know it’s one of those streets that you might have been found dead on, you remember the name of the street. I’ve just had some of the more amazing adventures of my life in Milwaukee.
One night I was at a bar. I was upstairs, we were drinking, and I thought, “Boy, I did it. I hung in and I drank with everybody, and I’m fine. I’m gonna get back to the hotel, and I’ve done it.” It was like learning how to run a marathon. Then the owner came up and closed the door and he said, “Now we’re really gonna start drinking.” And I went, “Oh geez.” I still was running the 100-yard dash.
Everybody sees you as the angry man, but What are you optimistic about?
I’m actually optimistic about people. I’m not optimistic about leaders, but I’m optimistic about people. I don’t think you talk about what I talk about unless you believe it can be better. I don’t think you get this angry unless you think it’s gonna get better.
The thing that always amazes me, natural catastrophes occur, and Americans who have no relationships whatsoever get up and go help. Leadership on all sides seems to work counter to that.
So what makes you happy?
What makes me happy is listening to other people talk rather than myself. Hanging out with my friends and having dinner. I like the tour bus and traveling through the country. Sometimes, I’ll stay on it and work and just stare out the window. Staring makes me happy. When everything in my brain stops and I can stare.
You know you’re performing here on the same night as Jerry Seinfeld?
He’s supposed to put me on that Web show at some point. [Pause] No wonder I’m not selling tickets.
What would surprise people about your offstage persona?
That I’m pretty calm. Almost somnambulant at times. And that I’m kind of shy.
You’re 66 now. how long can you keep doing this?
When I was 60, I said I’ll be done at 65. I don’t know. I think, if I’m not doing this, I’ll be doing something. I’ll be writing. But I think I’ve got at least 4 more years.
➤ Black hopes that you’ll buy a ticket for his Oct. 10 & 11 shows at the Pabst Theater.