In decades of furious gestures and deafening shouts, Lewis Black has used the concept of rage-as-comedic-art form to find the most unlikely of things: common ground. Thanks in part to the high profile he's achieved from his appearances on The Daily Show, Black fills theaters with audiences of young and old desperate for someone to share their confusion and disgust. In the last 10 years, he's written three books, recorded seven albums and two HBO comedy specials, and in 2010 released a feature-length concert film called Stark Raving Black. Before his shows at the Cutler Majestic Theater on September 9 and 10, Black called from New York to talk about comedy, Dick Cheney, and what all that yelling is about.
ARE YOU ENJOYING GETTING OLDER? No. I just am old. And, I don't like it. I just had my birthday. It's like, "Can we stop this already?"
WHAT DID YOU DO TO CELEBRATE, IF ANYTHING? I didn't want to do anything. But, my friends said we should go to dinner, so I did that.
PRETTY LOW-KEY. It should've been lower key.
WHAT WAS YOUR LAST CRAZY BIRTHDAY? Probably when I turned 60. That was pretty crazy. We had a whole bunch of my friends get together at this place we hang out at, and then I think I woke up fourteen hours later. It was good. And, I woke up and I didn't feel ashamed.
HOW HAVE YOU FELT ABOUT SEEING DICK CHENEY BACK ON TELEVISION? First of all, I was very upset that he published the book the same day as my birthday. I don't think it was right of him to take the spotlight away from my birthday.
IS THAT A BOOK YOU WOULD READ? That's a book that I would open and squat over and take a shit on. At least wipe myself with the pages.
IN YOUR ACT, YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT PLAYING THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER AND SEEING CHENEY, SITTING NEXT TO YOU, LAUGHING. ARE YOU WORRIED THAT IN THIS BOOK SOMEWHERE HE'S WRITTEN, "TIMES WERE DARK, BUT THANK GOD LEWIS BLACK WAS THERE TO MAKE ME LAUGH"? If somebody finds that, it'd be really perfect. It's weirder than that. One of my good friends, who has passed away, his brother and Dick Cheney are very close. And, I knew about this from way back, before Cheney's name even surfaced for Vice President. He'd always tell me, "Oh, he's really a nice guy." And, I'd say, "Why didn't he just stay in business?"
HAVE YOU GOTTEN MORE OR LESS PARANOID AS YOU'VE GOTTEN OLDER? Less paranoid. I've never been a conspiracy theorist. We're so stupid that we don't even know how to do the basics. They can get Osama Bin Laden, but ten years afterward. They can do that kind of thing, but when it comes to a couple of agencies being coordinated to fuck you, I think that's nonsense.
AS A COMEDIAN, DO YOU HAVE TO DIVORCE YOURSELF FROM ANY HOPE OF THINGS GETTING BETTER? No, I don't think I could be as angry as I am if I didn't think it was going to get better. Or that it's not supposed to get better, but it should get better.