In American comedy, there are certain comedians who take the spotlight and never fail to make millions laugh with their antics. Lewis Black is one such comedian, who began performing standup comedy in 1981. Black has played numerous roles on TV, in movies and in many a stage production. Known for comedy that has satire at its root, he often portrays topics such as American politics, culture and current events in a hilarious light. He counts the likes of Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, Shelley Berman, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce as his influences. He has also gone on to influence a generation of American comedians, including Doug Walker and Dara O Brian. His fans can catch his live comedy sessions through Lewis Black tickets.
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This talented comedian is known for works such as Back in Black on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, The Carnegie Hall Performance and Stark Raving Black. He is a regular performer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, playing his commentary segment, Back in Black. He has won two Grammy Awards for his two delicious comedy albums; 2011's Stark Raving Black and 2007's The Carnegie Hall Performance. He has also won the American Comedy Award for the ‘Funniest Male Stand-up’ among other awards. Outside of comedy, he is also a best-selling author and a playwright. He is famous for his unique brand of comedy, which often sees him enact a mental breakdown, complete with an angry face and rant.
Lewis Black has been ranked as one of Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Standup Comedians, as well as fifth in the Standup Showdown by Comedy Central. From Silver Spring, MD, Black studied in Springbrook High School and went to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Maryland. He then went to study at the Yale School of Drama where he graduated with an MFA degree. His career in entertainment started out writing plays for theater productions. He was first employed as the associate artistic director and resident playwright at Steve Olsen's West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theatre Bar.
In between 1981 and 1989, he worked in several hundred one act plays with artistic director Rand Foerster and lyricist and composer Rusty Magee. He also teamed up with Rusty Magee in 1990 and wrote The Czar of Rock and Roll, a musical that was staged at the Alley Theater in Houston. In 1998, his first Comedy Central Presents special was aired. Two more specials were aired in 2000 and 2002, as part of the same series, as well as a special on another TV network dubbed Taxed Beyond Belief. In 2003, at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, Canada, he was the host of the World Stupidity Awards.
A HBO special was aired in 2004 titled Black on Broadway which was loved by millions across the world. In 2006, he performed yet another special for HBO, this time titled Red, White and Screwed. In 2007, he hosted Last Laugh 07 on Comedy Central with comedians D.L. Hughley and Dave Attell. Later that year, he won the Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best Comedy Album’. It was for his massively hilarious The Carnegie Hall Performance album. In 2008, he hosted a TV series on Comedy Central titled The Root of All Evil.
In 2008, he appeared on, of all places, The History Channel, where he hosted a two hour documentary on comedy titled History of the Joke. During the same year, Comedy Central aired Stand-up Month which featured one of his specials that was previously aired on HBO. At the end of the year, he ranked fifth on the viewer countdown of the most popular shows on Comedy Central as part of Stand-up Showdown 2008.
In 2009, his standup comedy gigs in Detroit, Michigan were turned into a critically and commercially acclaimed comedy album titled Stark Raving Black. The album would go on to win the Grammy Award for the ‘Best Comedy Album’. In 2011, another of his specials, In God We Rust, was aired on Epix and released on Blu-ray and DVD. On TV, he has played roles in The Big Bang Theory and Law & Order. He has also voiced characters in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Penguins of Madagascar. All in all, Black is a gem of an artist whose live shows come at a cost of just a few Lewis Black tickets but give fans a memorable time.