Lewis Black, who many people associate only with Comedy Central but is one funny comic who has had to pay his dues to get to where he is, was born August 30th 1948. He attended the Yale University drama program and let's say it was not the most positive experience and, he once said, is the reason he is not a playwright. In terms of influences, he has named the usual comedians: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce --it must be a stand up comic standard answer, they all say that-- but also Dom Irrera and Dave Attell. Lewis Black tells funny jokes but they bite back. Lewis Black is an astute social critic, a take no prisonners political commentator/humorist, a dark comic, and a brilliant stand up. Some comedians are funny because they are harmless, say Jeff Foxworthy or Ray Romano. Lewis Black is funny because his take on society, politics, people is dead on, caustic and yet there is some positive slant in there somewhere.
It would be unfair to compare Lewis Black to George Carlin, they are similar comedians in many ways, but George Carlin may be getting long in the dentures while Lewis Black is definitely in his prime. Carlin's social cynicism used to be his forte and the basis for many funny skits and funny jokes, but now he comes across as just another angry guy who bitches about stuff just because people expect him to, there is something fake (in the going through his paces kind of fake) and much meaner and insincere about Carlin's last few albums. Lewis Black is in his prime and dead on. Yes, he is a regular on Comedy Central's The Daily Show and has covered this year's political conventions for them, but he is also much more than a tv show comic. Proof of that is that he has never been on Jay Leno's version of the Tonight Show although he has often appeared on Conan O'Brian and has started showing up on Late Night With David Letterman.
Lewis Black latest available show is an HBO presentation called Black On Broadway and, again, Lewis Black lives up to his reputation as a caustic comic who gets annoyed at just about everything and everybody stupid. He points out those things that make absolutely no sense either in society, politics, or people and basically asks us why we haven't noticed that before or done something about it before and this is why we think he tells funny jokes.
To date, Lewis Black has three comedy cds in stores. His first, The White Album, on Stand Up Records, came out in 2000. Perhaps it was a daring title, considering how stupid some record stores are and the chances they would either put that cd in the Beatles section or not order it because they already had a White Album (The Beatles) in stock, perhaps it is just a bad pun or funny joke, perhaps it is a Freudian message that Black the comic is not Black the person. Whatever the reason behind the title, it is definitely brilliant and a must have for anyone who enjoys more than your standard, whitebread comedy by whitebread comedians.
If you want proof that Lewis Black is different, his next two comedy cds, The End of the Universe, also on Stand Up Records (2002) or Rules of Enragement on Comedy Central (2003) are ample proof of that, or you can draw conclusions from the story he tells of having been pegged to have his own sitcom before the studio had a casting call for someone to play Lewis Black himself. (DUH!!) You might not want to rely on the Comedy Central Unleashed dvd (WEA) to get an accurate version of Lewis Black because this dvd is clips from various Comedy Central appearances and cleaned up for those with sensitive ears.
There is no doubt Lewis Black will be around for years to come and whatever success and spoils he gets, he deserves. Lewis Black is the kind of comic who will give you a great show, guaranteed.
Other Lewis Black Reviews
Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues: Taped June 18, 2004 at the, you guessed it Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center, this is yet another solid Lewis Black comedy CD. It contains the same kind of dark, edgy, adult oriented humor featured on previous CDs like Rules Of Enragement, The End of the Universe, and the eponymous The White Album.
Stark Raving Black CD Version: Decent and a bit generic Lewis Black CD.
Rules Of Enragement: A great stand-up comedy CD. Black at the top of his game.
Unleashed: three excellent performances aired on Comedy Central.
Nothing's Sacred: it is actually possible to hear Lewis Black rant on these pages
Nothing's Sacred Audio Book: Some wizard decided to cut this audiobook into tracks that have nothing to do with the book itself.
Lewis Black The Carnegie Hall Performances: an almost excellent 2 CD set of stand-up comedy by Lewis Black
Anticipation: The best Lewis Black CD so far and a classic already
The Prophet: recorded in 1990 and maybe funny 21 years ago
In God We Rust - Richard's review: Pretty good with solid routines on Farmville and the Tea Party
In God We Rust - Brett Watson review: left me feeling refreshed and ready for another, juicier comedy special.
Lewis Black Audio Reviews