Lewis Black to take comedy to Egyptian Theatre Thursday


Lewis Black at the Egyptian Theatre.

By Arthur Aumann

Comedian Lewis Black is returning to DeKalb Thursday — and no, his attitude has not mellowed out.

Black, who is also an author, actor and social critic, uses an angry-face style of comedy with plenty of yelling and swearing while trying to get across the ridiculousness of social issues.

Black answered some questions about his career and what keeps him coming back to DeKalb:

Q: You’ve got kind of a unique, ranting, angry style of comedy. How did that come about? Was it drawn from any of your influences?

A: No. It took a long time to figure out but I’m funniest when I’m angry and that’s always been the case. I’m funniest when I’m sarcastic and when I’m angry — and it took me a long time to figure it out and take it on stage. Your instinct isn’t really, ‘Hey, let’s go on stage and be angry.’

Q: You studied playwriting in school and have written plays yourself. Who’s your favorite playwright?

A: There are a lot of favorites. Chekhov is pretty top-notch. Favorite plays would be: ‘A Thousand Clowns,’ ‘Death of a Salesman,’ the one I just saw ‘You Can’t Take It With You,’ — Sam Shepard’s stuff especially his early stuff and Samuel Beckett. There’s a ton of them.

Q: You’ve done quite a bit of acting. What was your favorite role? If you could be on any television show which would it be?

A: My favorite role was the one in ‘Accepted’. I played a fake president of a fake college and that was a lot of fun, in part because I got to improv a lot of it. For a show, I guess ‘Housewives of Atlanta.’ (laughs) No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding. There’s a few of them: Larry David’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Harry’s Law,’ which was a show Kathy Bates did but was actually written for me up until the point when NBC obviously didn’t want to deal with me.

Q: You’ve been to DeKalb several times. What keeps you coming back?

A: They keep asking me. If they keep asking I’ll show up. One of the reasons you keep going back to places is because when you start as a comic you go to clubs, then you try to go back to those cities as often as you can and that’s the way you develop an audience. Over time I’ve been able to develop somewhat of an audience in DeKalb.

Read the full interview in the Northern Star Thursday.