Actor Bill Oberst, Jr. has stepped into the late Lewis Grizzard's shoes over 1,000 times in the last decade. Oberst's portrayal of the Southern writer and humorist is a one-man show authorized by Grizzard's family, which says it is the closest thing to seeing the late great spokesman of the south onstage again since Grizzard's death at age 47.
Lewis Grizzard: In His Own Words will be presented at the Strand Theatre Sept. 27-29.
The show is presented in two acts and runs 90 minutes.
The two-act performance features Grizzard’s best-loved stories and jokes, along with some poignant and funny readings from his books and newspaper columns. Lewis Grizzard was the most widely syndicated columnist in America for 15 years until his death at age 47, appearing in 450 daily newspapers.
He famously refused to use a computer and wrote on a manual typewriter, saying, “I like to by-God hear some noise when I type.” Grizzard wrote early each morning at his Atlanta breakfast table, agonizing over each word and going through countless drafts and cigarettes before calling his secretary at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to dictate the finished result.
He once turned in an entire manuscript to Random House with no ‘e’s in it because his ancient Royal typewriter’s ‘e’ key had snapped off. Gizzard told the publisher, “Wherever you see a blank space, just put an ‘e’ in there.”
Lewis Grizzard’s 18 best-selling books include Elvis Is Dead And I Don’t Feel So Good Myself, Shoot Low Boys - They’re Riding Shetland Ponies, When My Love Returns From The Ladies Room Will I Be Too Old To Care? and Don’t Bend Over In The Garden Granny - You Know Them Taters Got Eyes.
Oberst is a South Carolina native. He lives in Los Angeles these days doing film and TV work.
Onstage the actor wears Mr. Gizzard’s own Gucci loafers and his favorite golf shirt.