Sam Morril and Mark Normand ask the question we all ask ourselves after good conversation makes you lose track of how many drinks you have had. We Might Be Drunk Podcast is two empire state comedians telling stories and talking life, New York City, intoxicating stories, and of course the past and present state of comedy.
In this week’s episode, Sam and Mark are joined by legendary comedian Lewis Black sharing stories of the Daily Show, riding around NYC with naked women, getting arrested with Jim Norton and more.
Born in Washington D.C. on Aug. 30, 1948, Black was raised in Silver Spring, MD. Colicky as a baby, he was destined to be angry and easily irritated. His mother, a teacher, and his father, a mechanical engineer, instilled the importance of education and the necessity to question authority—lessons that influenced Black throughout his life.
He fell in love with the theatre at age 12, after seeing his first play, which led to pursuing a career in drama. 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. As the West Bank grew, so did Black’s stand-up skills. 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. Black has also taped four specials for the “Comedy Central Presents” series, co-created “Last Laugh with Lewis Black” and presided over “Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil.” His popular appearances on Comedy Central helped to win him Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards in 2001.
Increased exposure from “The Daily Show” generated a record deal with Stand Up! Records. His first CD, “The White Album,” was released in 2000 to critical acclaim. Black followed with eleven more—six under the Comedy Central Records label. He has received six Grammy® nominations and two wins for his work. The first nomination came in 2006 for “Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues,” the second in 2009 for “Anticipation.” In 2007 he won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album for “The Carnegie Hall Performance,” and again in 2011 for “Stark Raving Black.” His 2012 release, “In God We Rust” (Comedy Central Records) was also nominated for a Grammy. This year he is again nominated for a Grammy, for his comedy album “Thanks for Risking Your Life”.
Black has filmed two specials for HBO, including “Black On Broadway” and “Red, White and Screwed.” The latter was nominated for an Emmy® in 2007. He had a regular feature for two seasons on “Inside the NFL” (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and in 2006, he was asked to participate in “Comic Relief.”
Black also supports our military personnel and has performed in three tours with the USO, visiting several Middle Eastern and European military bases with Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong, Kid Rock, Miss America Rachel Smith and Kellie Pickler.
Black resides in both Manhattan and Chapel Hill, N.C. Still loyal to his alma mater, he’s worked with UNC students to create the Carolina Comedy Festival, a yearly festival on the UNC campus that highlights performances and provides workshops and lectures for budding comics, writers and performers. With his involvement at UNC, Black continues a life-long commitment to education and the arts. He continues to tour heavily, playing countless dates each year and providing a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience.
Join the guys every Sunday and share a drink and you might find yourself drunk too. Checkout previous episodes of We Might Be Drunk featuring comedians Whitney Cummings, Fahim Anwar, Rosebudd Baker, Tom Segura, Bill Burr, Aida Rodriguez, and many more HERE!