Lewis Black with Emerson College

Comedian


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his hour-and-a-half interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Lewis Black talks about his early interest in drama, and what made him decide to be a comedian. He speaks of developing his routine, and crafting his comedic persona that The Daily Show audiences would eventually come to know. Black speaks of anger in comedy, as well as politics, and if comedy can be learned. He discusses the business of show business, and the importance of cultivating longevity in a comedy career. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on October 19, 2005 in New York, NY.

“A friend came up to me and said ‘The problem is you're really angry, and you're not yelling. When you go back up on stage I want you to start yelling.’ And I did. And that was it - it was like the light had started shining.”

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Lewis Black on developing his comic persona
Lewis Black on the value of comedy to change things and help people get through life
Lewis Black on working out his stand-up routine in front of audiences
Lewis Black on the then-future of comedy
Lewis Black on his early interest in playwriting
Lewis Black on the academic study of comedy
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On The Steve Allen Show's influence, and on Henry Morgan; on his early interest in playwriting; on his early interest in drama, and on becoming a comedian
On doing open mic nights at Catch a Rising Star in New York City; on working out his stand-up routine in front of audiences; on developing his comic persona
On the source of the anger in his comedy, and learning how to use the anger; on audience reaction to the evolution of his angry character; on doing political humor
On judging how far he can go with audiences; on whether comedy can be taught; on dealing with the business end of show business as a comedian
On longevity in a comedian's career; on the value of comedy to change things and help people get through life; on the academic study of comedy
On the academic study of comedy; on the then-future of comedy; on looking back on his career
Shows

Steve Allen Show, The (1956-61)

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Lewis Black on The Steve Allen Show's influence, and on Henry Morgan
Topics

Fame and Celebrity

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Lewis Black and dealing with fame and celebrity, and on the trajectory of his career

Pop Culture

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Lewis Black and dealing with fame and celebrity, and on the trajectory of his career

Television Industry

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Lewis Black on longevity in a comedian's career
Lewis Black on working out his stand-up routine in front of audiences
Professions

Comedian

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Lewis Black on his early interest in drama, and on becoming a comedian
Lewis Black on doing open mic nights at Catch a Rising Star in New York City
Lewis Black on working out his stand-up routine in front of audiences
Lewis Black on developing his comic persona
Lewis Black on the source of the anger in his comedy, and learning how to use the anger
Lewis Black on audience reaction to the evolution of his angry character
Lewis Black on doing political humor
Lewis Black on judging how far he can go with audiences
Lewis Black on whether comedy can be taught
Lewis Black on dealing with the business end of show business as a comedian
Lewis Black on longevity in a comedian's career

Performers

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Lewis Black on his early interest in drama, and on becoming a comedian
Lewis Black on doing open mic nights at Catch a Rising Star in New York City
Lewis Black on working out his stand-up routine in front of audiences
Lewis Black on developing his comic persona
Lewis Black on the source of the anger in his comedy, and learning how to use the anger
Lewis Black on audience reaction to the evolution of his angry character
Lewis Black on doing political humor
Lewis Black on judging how far he can go with audiences
Lewis Black on whether comedy can be taught
Lewis Black on dealing with the business end of show business as a comedian
Lewis Black on longevity in a comedian's career
Genres

Talk Shows

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Lewis Black on The Steve Allen Show's influence, and on Henry Morgan
People

Steve Allen

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Lewis Black on The Steve Allen Show's influence, and on Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan

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Lewis Black on The Steve Allen Show's influence, and on Henry Morgan

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