By Doc Lawrence
|Bill Oberst, Jr. as Lewis Grizzard|
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA-The grand Southern humor writer would be 70. After his death in 1994, few newspapers have humor columns. The exception would be the splendid Miami Herald with Carl Hiassen and Dave Barry. For a few years, we had Georgia’s homegrown Lewis Grizzard, who had readers and live audiences howling with laughter as he told good stories, pausing occasionally to stick a hairpin in a bloated politician. Lewis was irreverent, loaded with one-liners, a worthy descendant of Southern humorists like Brother Dave Gardner.
Bill Oberst, Jr., the distinguished Hollywood actor, has taken the role of Lewis Grizzard to the live stage for two decades with performances throughout the country and here at the Fabulous Fox Theatre and Art Station, the cultural treasure inHistoric Stone Mountain Village. The South Carolina native reprises his stage performance as Lewis, “In His Own Words,” on January 21, 22 and 23 at Art Station.
Lewis Grizzard literally took fried green tomatoes to another level after the hit movie of the same name, declaring in a column that the best tasting version was served at Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, Georgia. Almost instantly, the number of diners expanded exponentially. Ever provocative, he advised his audience to avoid eating barbecue in North Carolina, described Clemson as Auburn with a lake and tormented the wonderful girls of Alabama with stories about beehive hairdos.
Bill Oberst’s portrayal conveys Grizzard’s deep loyalty to the University of Georgia, Lewis’ alma mater, the Atlanta Braves and most things Southern. For those who relocated to Atlanta and gratuitously complained that things were better in cities they hailed from, particularly Chicago, he advised, “Delta is ready when you are.”
Lewis often said that “there is no such thing as being too Southern,” and that the only way Coca-Cola could be improved is to “put rum or bourbon in it.” One of Lewis top tales was Sherman’s unsuccessful attempt to remove a Confederate soldier positioned high up on Stone Mountain.
Bill Oberst, Jr. will take you back to those halcyon days when we opened the newspaper at first light to the column that made us laugh, often at ourselves.
Humor is in the DNA of Southern daughters and sons. Lewis will help cure those winter blues. Count on it.
For tickets, contact Art Station at www.artstation.org; (770) 469.1105