Richard Lewis

Actor and Top Stand-up Comedian
Fee Range: $25,000–$35,000 [FEE NOTE]
Travels From: California
*Photo Credit: Joey JoJo

The brilliant, famously neurotic comedian Richard Lewis is known to millions from his thousands of TV and radio appearances, HBO comedy specials and his sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Often referred to as a comic’s comic, he was named on G.Q.’s list of the Most Influential Humorists of the 20th century.

The same neuroses and dysfunctions that had been the basis for his successful stage persona and generated so much wonderful material for his comedy wore heavily upon him. At 44, Richard Lewis found himself on a gurney in the ER, toxic with alcohol and hallucination from excess drug use. How he got to that point, how he got on the road to recovery, and how he copes with being Richard Lewis sober on a daily basis are the subjects of the very funny, deeply honest, inspiring but unsentimental new book, The Other Great Depression: How I’m Overcoming, on a Daily Basis, at Least a Million Addictions and Dysfunctions and Finding a Spiritual (Sometimes) Life.

Book review quotes include: “Behind the Music meets Portnoy’s Complaint…Lewis’s standard of total honesty [has] allowed him to unearth neuroses he’d never even touch onstage—or on the couch.”—New York Magazine; [An] urgent, nervous, heartfelt book…Lewis writes with an addict’s jumpy restlessness, staggering from hurt to hurt, from tensely jokey confession to confession, from twitchy spiritual discovery to discovery.”—Entertainment Weekly; “Candid and inspirational”—USA Today.com; “Brims with anecdotes and…funny self-analysis…Lewis…has narrative gifts few celebrity authors exhibit.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer

In continuing to redefine himself, he expanded on his acting career by making different kinds of choices. Lewis took on his first dramatic role in "Drunks", co-starring Dianne Weist, Faye Dunaway and Amanda Plummer. Built around an AA meeting, Richard received rave reviews as the central character, Jimmy Epstein, an addict fighting for his life. Lewis also got excellent notices for his cameo appearance as an agent in another film that dealt with alcoholism, "Leaving Las Vegas". Furthering his ‘indie’ credits, Lewis also completed the film "Gameday", as Coach Adler, a college basketball coach whose personal life is in shambles but, on the court and in the locker room, he’s brilliant. Ironically Lewis had, earlier in life, battled some of the same demons these films address and he is uncompromisingly honest about them in his book.

With scores of other guest acting appearances and TV series under his belt, far and away his favorite was his four year run in ABC’s critically-acclaimed series "Anything But Love", co-starring with Jamie Lee Curtis. Late night T.V. viewers, Howard Stern fans and media junkies in general are familiar with his frequent guest appearances. He may hold title to having the most late night appearances, chalking up over 50 each on "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show" alone.

Along with continuing personal appearances and countless acting roles, in 2003 Richard Lewis returns as a recurring guest star to the AFI award-winning, Emmy-nominated weekly HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" as one of Larry David’s closest friends (as is true in real life). Mr. Lewis also continues appearing as Rabbi Glass in the critically acclaimed family drama "7th Heaven" on the WB network.

In his speeches, Mr. Lewis reaches to his comedic roots to recount his rise – performing to a standing room only audience at Carnegie Hall, 6 hour-long comedy cable specials, and an extraordinarily successful acting and stand-up career – and fall – into the depths of alcoholism. Using his unique gift of communication he draws on his years on the center stage he presents a commanding and compelling discussion of issues like recovery, self empowerment and using humor as a life tool.

Mr. Lewis resides in Los Angeles.

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