Lee Camp

Some people hate Lee Camp. It’s just something the passionate, opinionated stand-up has to come to terms with. And though his opinions about abortion and assisted suicide hurtle out with volume and vitriol, he’s not a blowhard; he’s a comedian talking honestly about what matters to him, looking to hook his audience with a tightly worded phrase or recognizable pop culture riff. “I do great with two thirds of the crowd; one third just stares at me thinking, This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” says Camp, 29. “I’d rather have some fraction of the crowd love me than have everybody think I’m pretty good.”

This underlying philosophy was evident in his now-famous 2008 appearance on Fox News, during which he stopped telling jokes about Mike Huckabee to call the network a “festival of ignorance.” His bold gesture earned him inclusion in Paul Provenza’s new interview collection, Satiristas!, among heavy-hitters like Lewis Black and George Carlin; he’s also got a spot on Provenza’s new Showtime series, which should air later this year. “Our culture thinks dispassion and cynicism are more sophisticated than actually caring to communicate ideas and passions. What Lee does is more demanding, both intellectually and comedically,” says Provenza. “He’s waiting for a generation to catch up with him.”

This past fall, Camp challenged himself to create an hour of material; he’ll shoot a DVD of it, Chaos for the Weary, at the Tank Theater on March 26. Though this date sold out a month in advance, Camp will encore the set on April 29. Chances are, if the crowd doesn’t hate him, they’ll love him.

Lee Camp records Chaos for the Weary Fri 26 at The Tank with a repeat performance Apr 29. Satiristas! (itbooks, $30) comes out May 11.

Joe Mande | Adam Wade | Lee Camp