Laugh Tracks: Lewis Black

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive
In a video, you mentioned that you might have to stop being funny when Bush left office. Has Obama provided more material than you expected?

That was what I was being told by people - that I would no longer be funny and that somehow my career was completely tied up with George Bush. It was like he was my agent.

It's not so much Obama, and it wasn't really so much Bush. It was the whole crew. It's like this whole group of people. It's always kind of been the issues more than the people, in a sense. It's gotten worse! It's like the first 10 years of this decade, part two.

There's always been a tinge of optimism in your material. But this is 2010. It feels like the future. Did you expect things to be better by now?

I thought it would just be that people were getting smarter, which they are. I thought because of that, other things might follow. But they're not! I'm putting together essentially a new act, and the hardest part is just trying to find the lightness about it.

It's an "Are you f---ing kidding me?" moment. I woke up this morning, and we're gonna do "don't ask, don't tell" again? I mean, it's like "Groundhog Day." It's the same stuff.

You seem to have such a hard time with news outlets, yet you have really current material. Do you just force yourself to sit through an hour of torture a day?

What usually happens is that first I just see the headline. Then it takes me a while to read the article. All I have to do is see the headline and go, "Wow! Really?"

AIG is gonna cut $20 million from their bonuses? Whoopee! You wiped out a company. You almost wiped out the world.

My humor comes from anger, or that's usually where it starts. That's really why I go to the newspaper first, because that really kind of revs me up.

I feel I have a working knowledge of what makes you angry. What makes you happy?

Dinner with friends. Women, but in a larger context. Golf, which is really sad. I like it because I don't have to think about stuff. I like getting away from all this, being able to take a vacation. I had literally no vacation from the time I was 25 until I was fortysomething.