Comedian Richard Lewis has some advice for young comics: ''Put on a flak jacket and dive in head first.'' Lewis, who was named to GQ magazine's list of the 20th Century's Most Influential Humorists, says, ''There are lots more opportunities to be a comedian these days than when I started in the 1970s. That's the good news. The bad news is it's still a business. As long as all you want is to make people laugh, you're fine. But as soon as you want a paycheck, that's when things get squirrelly. Most of the people you meet behind the scenes, sadly, are unscrupulous and full of it and get in the way of an artist. Honestly, I don't know why more people haven't cut their ears off.''
Jan. 3-6, 2013