Lewis Black opens Stark Raving Black by telling his audience to reduce their expectations by 20%; so should you. This stand-up comedy CD is decent enough.

It doesn’t meet the standards previous Lewis Black CD like Anticipation or Rules of Enragement have set. Stark Raving Black features the usual diatribe and usual is the the key word. There is also something generic about some of the comedy routines here.

Lewis Black Stark Raving Black opens as always with Black deflecting the audience’s applause. He then goes into a bit on Obama’s election, how electing a Democrat is no better than electing a Republican, and asks the pointed question, “What is it that Democrats or the Republicans have done for any of you in the past thirty years that has made any difference in your life?”

Black then looks at how he has become a mainstream comedian and working the USO. The Amazon mp3 version of Stark Raving Black does not include Vince Gill, Amy Grant, & Me. This is no great loss and probably an improvement on the CD version. This bit is a long (12 minute) story about preceding the couple on stage at a benefit and aside from how good Gill and Grant are, there is little point to it.

Other bits include one on turning 60, starting to forget things (which sets up a callback at the end), and how not matter what people say sixty is not the new forty.

A bit more interesting on Lewis Black Stark Raving Black is the bit about Black’s ninety something parents and a trip to the Poconos.

The Economy has a déjà view quality to it with Black giving an example of a CEO spending millions on his office and an example of what he would have done. This time it is not a personal ball washer but a giant shark tank.

This stand-up comedy CD ends with a routine titles Hope. We could achieve all we want if we put the same kind of energy and talent as we did creating the Iphone. Black’s anger comes from the knowledge his dream will only happen the day of his funeral.

Stark Raving Black
Lewis Black
Stand-up Comedy CD
Comedy Central 2010
77 minutes

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