When you think about it, there’s absolutely no way Lewis Black could possibly be “Lewis Black” in everyday life. “If I acted like I did on stage, I would’ve been dead ten years ago,” the cantankerous comic said in an interview last week. Better make that 20.
When not in front of an audience erupting with hilarious anger at the world and everyone who lives in it, Black said he’s a “less intense” guy who finds joy performing on the road, enjoying mild celebrity status, and feasting on headlines that send him over the edge. Speaking of which, the former “Daily Show” contributor is taking his show on your road this summer in support of the recently released cd/dvd combo “Stark Raving Black.”
The album was recorded at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit, and finds Black aiming his snarky bullets at Wall Street suits, growing old, and those who question if he has enough angst in a post-George W. Bush world. We know that answer definitively without getting the cd. On a recent Monday afternoon, I spoke to Black in the midst of a promotional day for “Stark Raving Black.” In abnormally calm form, the Aruba pitchman assured me while he’d spoken to a few reporters beforehand, he was in good form to speak. “You’ll do fine. You’re at the breaking point. It’s that poor son of a bitch calling at 2:15 that’s going to be in the shitter,” he said. Lucky me.
Why did you decide to film the Fillmore show?
What really drove me nuts – [we had] this deal with HBO who kind of said they’d basically produce me every two years and then reneg’d on it. So I lost a special in the process, and I just said we got to get it done, and I can’t wait around anymore.
How is this special/cd different than previous ones?
What makes it unique is it’s the best looking in terms of the amount of cameras and the way in which they chose to shoot this one.
I know you address a post-Bush era, but are their some subjects that you haven’t discussed before but do here?
Well, there’s aging – the fact that I’m old and consider myself old. People are dying later and living longer thanks to whatever drugs they’re pumping into themselves, but 60 is old. People need to stop acting like it’s the new 40. I also talk about death. That’s how you know you’re old. When you’re 22, you’re not thinking about it unless it’s [wondering] what disease you’re going to get. By the time you get to 60, people around you start getting sick, having problems, and drop like flies.
Harrison Ford, I think, is the reason why that “60 is the new 40″ tagline comes from. Can we expect you to get your ear pierced?
That’s not happening. No tattoos. It’s kind of silly. It didn’t work for me when I was younger, and now I’m going to do it? Unless I can pierce my head and make hair grow…
If I can do that, I don’t have to do this for a living anymore and I can hire you for my infomercial and you don’t have to work for them anymore. It’s a billion dollar industry. My mother said something today and it’s a great quote. She said, “I just watched your ‘Back in Black’ special and the thing is you still have the same amount of hair as you did then. Which means you’re just as bald now as you are then.” Continue reading