Jon Lovitz headlines Mesquite Street Southside on Friday, Saturday

Jon Lovitz.jpg
Posted at 3:32 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 17:26:53-04

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars in an attempt to defend his wife against the comedian's joke.

A fan tackled Dave Chappelle at a recent show.

Longtime stand-up comedian and SNL alum Jon Lovitz hits Mesquite Street Southside on Friday and Saturday. So is he afraid of getting tackled on stage?

"No," he said, simply.

He points out that it's important to weigh the number of shows that happen in a year against the number of incidents reported.

"They're blowing it out of proportion, really. It's happened two times in the last 100 years, you know. And, most comics now — someone came on stage . . . they’re not going to wait to see what the guy wants, so I wouldn’t advise it," he said dryly.

The veteran deadpan funnyman is known for his roles in "A League of Their Own," and alongside other SNL veterans such as Rob Schnieider and Adam Sandler, with whom he co-starred in several movies such as "The Wedding Singer" and "Little Nicky."

COVID-19 stopped his tour in its tracks, and when he was finally able to hit the stage again in May 2021, he said people's desire to get out of the house was palpable.

"I sold more tickets than I ever have," he said. "I don’t think it’s because of me. I wasn’t doing anything. It was just – people, I think, really want to get out again."

And pandemic or not, in his experience, they want to see the same version of Jon Lovitz they've grown to love. It's the reason he said he performs the same droll and cutting comedy he always has.

"People go 'Do you change your act for where you are?' and I'm like 'No. Don't need to,' " he said. "And they go 'Well what if you offend somebody?'

'Well, what am I gonna do?" he said.

For Lovitz and other comedians, irreverence is part of the job description.

"It's my job, is to make fun of everything and satirize everything — and I do — including myself, you know. It's just pointing out the humorous sides of an issue and I'm presenting my sense of humor.  So, I'm not gonna change it because someone may not like it. I'm like "Well then, leave,' " he said, with a laugh. "Just go. It's fine."

"The more you say you have to watch everything you say, then the audience is like ‘No! Like, do your act. Like, be funny,'" he said. "It’s just a few people that don’t like it. And there’s nothing you can do."

He likens asking a comedian to change his act to trying to do the same at a concert.

"I’m not comparing myself to them, but if you want to see the Rolling Stones, are you gonna stand up in the middle of the show and go “I don’t like that song! Don’t play it!’ " he said. "It’s like, what are you gonna do? Hand ‘em a set list? It’s their show. It’s ridiculous."

Lovitz will do three shows at Mesquite Street Southside: one at 8 p.m. Friday, one at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and another at 10 p.m. Saturday.