Lewis Black

Stand-up Comic
Comedian, Actor, and Playwright

Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.

Born in Washington D.C. on Aug. 30, 1948, Black was raised in Silver Spring, Md. Degrees followed from the University of North Carolina and Yale Drama School, with a stint in Colorado owning a theatre with a group of friends in the interim. During his tenure at UNC, Black ventured into stand-up, performing at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill. Stand-up was a steady presence as he pursued his career in theatre. Black eventually settled in New York City and became the playwright-in-residence at the West Bank Café’s Downstairs Theatre Bar. He oversaw the development of more than 1,000 plays, including works by “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, “American Beauty” writer Alan Ball, as well as his own original works. In addition to overseeing the works on stage, Black emceed every show. He left the West Bank in the late 1980s to pursue stand-up full time.

In 1996, his friend Lizz Winstead tapped him to create a weekly segment for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” The segment, a three-minute rant about whatever was bothering him at the moment, evolved into Back in Black, becoming one of the most popular and longest-running segments on the show for both the Jon Stewart era, and now The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

In 2015, Black joined the cast of Madoff (ABC mini series). Black portrays Ezra Merkin, who, after investing with Madoff and receiving great returns, brought many famous and well-to-do Jewish clients, including Elie Wiesel and The Hadassah Organization, to Bernie’s fold. Black has penned more than 40 plays, many of which have been produced around the country. In 2015, Black notably voiced the character “Anger” in the Oscar nominated film from Pixar, “Inside Out.”

 


Lewis Black's Contributions