It’s been a bad 2015, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about it.
“I am so panicked about the amount of material I have,” Lizz Winstead says from her New York City office. Winstead, a Minnesota native, co-creator of the Daily Show, and all-around fearless political commentator, looks back at the year that was with two shows this week at the Cedar Cultural Center.
The upcoming election — yes, we have nearly a year of campaigning to go through — will be a key issue. The Republican debates, “minus the trays and shitty pizza, is like watching a bunch of young boys in a school cafeteria having a food fight. If this is how you are talking to each other, I don’t want you deciding who we have a relationship with.”
It goes beyond the infighting among candidates, though. “If we as a society can’t differentiate terrorists and the victims of terror, that's problematic,” Winstead says.
The other side has its own troubles, with the rise of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s issues with email security. “I’ll talk about Bengazi. During the 10 hours of testimony in the last hearing I wondered, ‘Is she wearing astronaut diapers? How is she doing that?'”
There are other important issues on Winstead’s radar. “Obviously, there is the continued erosion of reproductive rights and access, and the assets as a whole on clinics. There have also been more dumb things said about women’s reproduction,” she says. “The climate is crazy. Internationally, things are crazy. Entertainment has had lots of twists and turns, from Jared [Fogle] to Cosby to the Duggar family.
Winstead culls news reports and debates from the past 12 months to create her show. When she started, she was able to really hone it during December, as not much would happen the last month of the year. That’s gone out of the window in recent years, to the point where she will work on material right up to curtain call.
“Who knows what will happen when it's an hour before showtime and something breaks, as it inevitably does,” Winstead says.
And the light-speed nature of our culture means that it is easy to forget vital issues that distracted us for a day, like that stupid dress and whether or not it was gold or blue.
“You’ve got to be able to go everywhere. Really, every topic is within the limits,” Winstead says. That means you will hear about race, sexism, sexuality, and our country’s obsession with guns. “Guns are particularly insane. Why do we have a thirst for a well-armed fake militia getting in the way of common sense?”
Local topics will range from the serious (race in Minneapolis; Black Lives Matter) to the absurd (Cecil the Lion). The evening also includes performances from comic Frank Coniff and musician Sam Breckenridge.
For those can’t make it to one of the shows, Winstead’s performance will be available for streaming via pay per view over the internet.
IF YOU GO:
Lizz Miserables: A Hilarious, Tragic Review of 2015
8 p.m. December 30 and 31
Cedar Cultural Center
416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis
For tickets and more information, call 612-338-2674 or visit online.