The last angry man, Lewis Black is a hilarious raging bull of a comic who aims a great deal of his nostril-fumes at the absurdity of the political system. Born in D.C., poetically enough, Black became well-known on Comedy Central and now takes his act to the land of Hamilton and The Book of Mormon. His one-kvetch show, Lewis Black: Black to the Future, will be at the Marquis Theatre on September 12, 19, and 26 and October 10, 17, and 24 — all Mondays, when the theater is dark anyway, as he jokes. I called him for a venting session.
Hello, Lewis. Let’s cut to the chase: Do you think Hillary is a crook?
Common sense doesn’t seem to be her strong suit, but that comes with spending too much time in Arkansas. Sometimes I feel the Clintons were walking in a park somewhere and got hit by lightning. “Really? You didn’t think anybody would pick up on this stuff?” How is it humanly possible that we’ve arrived at a point in time where the Republicans, if they had spent ten minutes in lucidity, trying to find someone who acted like a leader, they might have actually gone up against Hillary and be able to win it. And the Democrats could have found a number of people. Both sides were given the rare opportunity to win without a contest, and both of them said, “No. Let’s try this idea.” People dismiss what the rest of the world thinks, but when the rest of the world thinks you’re stupid, that’s a lot of people. Start counting, jackass. We really need a democracy for this?
Are you in the Hillary’s-the-lesser-of-two-evils camp?
Yeah, you have to. We’re stuck with it. Anyone who lives in New York and has been around Trump and votes for him needs to go to a psychiatric clinic for a year. Look at the pieces of shit he built near the West Side Highway. What’s the ugliest colors you can get? How can you make it a bad rendition of Gotham City from Batman? “I’m the greatest”? No, you’re not. Steve Wynn builds better places.
Wait — that hideous casino?
In comparison, it’s spectacular. My father wanted to see Trump Tower. The water was coming down the walls. He said, “This is what I imagine Rome looked like just before the fall.” He said, “With water running all the time like that down a wall, I hope they have large public restrooms.”
But as the water drips, will people keep hacking Hillary?
They’ll continue to hack each other. It’s a hackathon. Meanwhile, we still have a president and a Congress. I don’t think anybody’s noticed. All the stuff that’s being talked about should be getting done now — or four years before that or four years before that. No matter who’s elected, what matters most is still in Congress, which has an 11 percent approval rate. If you had an 11 percent approval rating on Facebook, there’d be a moment where you’d say, “Maybe I should kill myself today.”
Your thoughts on Trump’s comments about African Americans?
I thought it showed he never talked to an African American before. The second he said Mexicans were coming into our country, raping, pillaging, and taking all the avocados, that was it. Anyone with a conscience would say, “That’s not our guy.” But the Republicans wanted the eyeballs — the ratings. CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, they all wanted the ratings. You know what’s next? A rabid dog will be running for president. It’s whoever sent in the most box tops from cereal! The main problem with Hillary is nobody is hearing what she’s saying because of the 24-hour news cycle and she’s been around so long.
She never went away. She’s the woman who’s been in your carpool for ten years and every morning, you say, “I can’t believe I gotta pick her up again.” We lose complete sight of the fact that a woman’s been nominated. A large part of that is her window was eight years ago. But you’ve got to hand it to her — she’s taken a billion hits and keeps standing.
You’re brave to perform at colleges, where they’re often insufferably p.c.
I just tell them to fuck off. I’ll tell a joke that works in 95 percent of the places, then they get upset about something in it, and I say, “Here’s the deal. Here’s where you stopped hearing what I said, so you didn’t hear the joke, did you? You’ve got to grow the fuck up and hear the whole paragraph. Some jokes are upsetting. If jokes upset you, don’t come to a comedy show!”
What kind of epithets have you been called?
They’ll say I said something because it’s p.c., not because it’s a thought in my fucking head! Or “asshole.”
Really brilliant stuff.
So witty! [Laughs]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 2016