Lewis Black

The angriest comedian in show biz thinks Houston is tops

Of all things that irk Lewis Black, Houston isn’t one of them. “People bitch about it,” Black says, going on to score points with every Houstonian ever. “I go, ‘Really? Have you been to Dallas, asshole?’…It’s got no center, and Houston may not have a center, but at least it’s trying. Dallas doesn’t even seem to give a shit.” It’s no surprise Black has such fondness for our town; it’s where he decided to become a comic. Black was premiering his play The Czar of Rock and Roll at the Alley Theatre in 1990 when he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do. He headed to the now-defunct venue Spellbinders and has been a comedian ever since.

That decision led to multiple comedy albums, including The Carnegie Hall Performance, which won a Grammy, and numerous film and television appearances, including regular slots on The Daily Show and his own show, Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil on Comedy Central (which begins its second season in July). Black is known for his biting social and political commentary, which is delivered with his signature on-the-verge-of-a-heart-attack style.

Got any advice for Houston’s energy companies, Lewis? “Yeah, I have advice. First off, if you’re big oil: Shut up, just shut up,’ he says. “We have people telling us to turn food into gas, I mean; it’s like an insane asylum.” But energy isn’t the only thorn in his side. “You have a maverick Republican in 2000 who’s now a moron. You’ve got a supposedly independent Democrat who can’t get to the middle fast enough and doesn’t even know how to get there.” Black also has plenty to say about popular culture. “Finding new music is difficult, and what did they come up with? American Idol — for me to listen to covers? Really? MTV destroyed music and then American Idol came along and said, ‘Well, you know, you didn’t really destroy it enough.’” Black performs today as part of his Let Them Eat Cake Tour at 8 p.m. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.thehobbycenter.org. $45 to $65.
Sat., July 26, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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