Aafter 27 years as a contributor Daily Show, Lewis Black finally gets his chance to host. While the comedian sincerely admits that Comedy Central took him long enough to call him, he’s ready to take the reins as guest host for the week of June 20, assuming the WGA strike has been resolved by then.
Returning to The Last Laugh podcast, Black lets go of his angry personality and reflects on his comedy legacy. She also talks about why she named her latest stand-up show special. Tragically, I need you— available to watch on YouTube today — and weighs the unwarranted conservative anger at Bud Light and Fox News’ decision to fire “scumbag” Tucker Carlson.
Before we start recording, I casually ask Black how it went, and he replies with deep sarcasm, “Oh, it’s getting better every day. How can we ask that question now when every moment is marvelous?” Moments later, the comedian’s signature rage comes to life as he roars when he can’t find the headphone jack on his Apple laptop: “This means it’s made by a company that cares.”
Inside Tragically, I need youFollow up until the 2020s Thanks For Risking Your Life, Black is directing his anger at those who are moving away from the COVID-19 pandemic in a way he hasn’t been able to.
“It is unbelievable that we continue to act as if it was an epidemic and now it doesn’t exist!” says. Despite being in the minority of Americans who have not yet contracted the virus, Black himself is still dealing with the impact of COVID. “It affected everyone in one way or another,” he says. “Until the pandemic, I had never experienced certain things like depression and anxiety in my life.”
“Part of my brain is still stuck in COVID-ville, and part of my brain is out of it,” he adds. He consumed it, in part because he had an “underlying ailment” and, of course, because of his age. Black will turn 75 this summer, but explains: “Until the pandemic, I never considered myself old, and then I was told I was old.”
As Black enters the inevitable final chapter of his comedy career, he says he doesn’t think too much about his “legacy”—even though he admits that since he has no children, the only thing he will leave behind is himself. work.
“I don’t know if it matters anymore,” he told me. “I was more successful than I expected. At this point, I find myself wondering if I stayed at the fair too long. Is it time to complete? As long as I can learn from the craft, I’ll stick with it.
Black can easily imagine he’s drifting away from stand-up comedy, and right now he feels like he has one, maybe two more special features in him. After that, she says, “I want to enjoy my own damn for a change.”
Below is an edited excerpt from our conversation. You can listen to the whole thing here Subscribe to The Last Laugh Open Apple Podcasts, spotify, Google, sewing machine, Amazon Musicor wherever you get your podcasts and be the first to hear about new episodes as they air every Tuesday.
I love what you said at the beginning of your new special event where you build the expectation that the audience won’t hear your jokes as they should. Essentially, you’re telling them, “I’m going to tell jokes but you’re going to feel humiliated.”
Yes, it occurred to me for a moment that they would react as if I had a knife in my hand, and after I had told the joke, they would come into the audience and smash their chests and eat their hearts. . Some responses are too exaggerated.
Do you think this is a new phenomenon? Over the years you’ve been doing this, has it increased that people somehow feel personally offended by things that are just jokes?
Yes. I mean, some guys quit college partly because of “PC”, partly because of “waking up”. But I was always somewhat prepared. I know I’m going to say something and they’re going to talk about it, they’re going to get angry. And it’s kind of like, “That’s what the joke was about, the joke wasn’t about what you thought, when you hear a word you stop listening.”
In those moments when you react to the moans, I feel a kind of improvement. It looks like you can lock onto it and enjoy some aspects.
Yes, I know, because that’s really—come on guys! There is a group of adults in the room. What was the last thing about Budweiser and the transgender model? [Dylan Mulvaney]? Or “impressive”. The transgender thing, they get psychotic but the influencer thing doesn’t bother them? Someone pops up out of the blue and suddenly that person is an influencer? I still don’t know how this damn thing happened. But what you really have to wonder is these people who are so upset about this thing because I didn’t see it.
I think most people who are upset about it never saw it in the first place. They would never see this. They just heard about it and were upset.
This, to me, is the key to much of what’s going on. Because it opened a Pandora’s bullshit box that wasn’t there. They would never hear of it.
It did not affect them in any way.
In no way. And then all of a sudden these people were like, “Look at this, it’s terrible! Do you see how terrible that is?!” I wasn’t looking for him. And it’s not terrible. Now you’re going to get me into an argument about whether this is terrible or not? Who cares? I just don’t like Bud Light. Where is this discussion?
“I was always like, ‘I’m not going to take this shit’ and walk away. Then I thought, I can’t walk away, what am I thinking?”
— Lewis Black
Well, that definitely sounds like the kind of thing you can talk about when hosting guests. Daily Show. Did it take a while to get this question? I know you weren’t in the first round, but now you’re in the next round. What was your reaction to this?
Honestly, when they first started, “We’re going to have guest hosts,” and I’m literally like, “I want to join. Can I sit in that chair once?” I’ve been on the show for 27 years.
Longer than anyone else!
“Can I please take a seat?” I sent it as soon as I found out. [Trevor Noah] was leaving. And they started talking about how to get these guest hosts. And he was quite angry about it.
That it wasn’t originally on that list?
None of us were! None of the reporters. And I thought, come on guys, throw a bone. And it really undermines something I’ve felt about this show for years, namely the importance of the writers in that show. So it’s not just who’s sitting in that seat. It was the men and women in the back pumping all sorts of things every day.
obviously they started with some big namesand that was probably part of the plan, but now it’s great to see the reporters there as well—Roy Wood Jr., Jordan Klepper.
Yes, but I have to say, every time he does that against etiquette, I said come on. And you have people who have watched the show forever and are connected to the show and know all the reporters. I thought Roy did a great job, Jordan did a great job, it’s all going to be really good. I won’t be good but they will be awesome! [Laughs]
This is not true! I just there was Samantha Bee on the podcast recently and I was quite surprised to learn from him that he hadn’t received a call to be one of the guest hosts. No one reached him.
Which I did not understand. They reached Hasan. [Minhaj]. And I don’t disdain having these people, I think that’s great. I just think they should start with us. But I’m excited to be able to do this.
Yes, as you said, it’s exciting to be able to sit in that main seat for the first time after being on the show for nearly three decades. How do you feel that you will approach him?
I wish I knew. I know the approach is audience based. My approach to anything is based on being in front of an audience and so there’s a level of comfort I have there. If I get the laugh, great. If I can’t stop laughing, I know how to laugh. I’ve been doing this way for a very long time. And that’s why I look forward to it. Writers know how to write with my voice. People always ask, “Do you write your own posts?” they ask. Daily Show?” And the answer is “No.”
I remember talking to you about this, you didn’t even pick a subject for “Back in Black”.
No. They took this away from me early, and it’s because a few producers on the show didn’t feel like I belonged there. And they didn’t think I was funny. They wanted a crucial point rather than an attitude. But my side of what is my bread and butter as a comic is my attitude. Attitude gets laughs. My first reaction when it comes to the workplace has always been confrontational. I was always like, “I’m not going to take this shit” and walk away. Then I thought, I can’t walk away, what am I thinking? I will not stray away from this. Would you like to write? To continue. All I had to do was take what they gave me and express it in my own voice. So it was like an acting show. Now they all know my voice so it’s never a problem. And I love what you write.
So does this attitude make you feel better about stepping in as a host?
Yes, because I have incredible confidence in what they’re going to write. I’ll throw my two cents here and there. And I’ll have to say, “No, we’re not going to say I’m old for the 36th time.” But mostly I think it will be fun.
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