Lewis Black: Always angry and always funny

August 7, 2012

Vikram Murthi

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Lewis Black was always funny. And he was always angry. But he didn't put the two together until his late 40's, which is relatively late to start a career in comedy. But long before that, Lewis Black fell in love with the theatre at the age of 12 and initially pursued a career in drama, taking him to the University of North Carolina to the Yale Drama School. After overseeing the development of over 1,000 plays, including the works of Aaron Sorkin and Alan Ball, at the West Bank Cafe's Downstairs Theatre Bar in New York City, Black eventually pursued a stand-up career once he found his public voice.

In 1996, Black was contacted by his friend Lizz Winstead to create a weekly segment on a new program on Comedy Central called The Daily Show. The segment was conceived as a three minute rant about whatever was making Black angry at the moment and ultimately evolved into "Back in Black," a long-running, popular staple of Comedy Central's landmark program. Along with his continued stint on The Daily Show, Black has taped four stand-up specials for Comedy Central Presents and two specials for HBO, released over seven stand-up albums, written two best-selling books, and helped create the Carolina Comedy Festival at his alma mater UNC.

But Black is taking a break from his heavy workload to talk with Afternoon Shift guest host Jason Marck to talk about his life and career. Lewis Black will be performing from August 15th-19th at Chicago City Winery, a new facility in Chicago that combines a fully functioning winery and intimate concerts.