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Lewis Black: Basic Black

TV-MA 2010 | Comedy EPIX Originals
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What makes comedian Lewis Black tick? More importantly, why is he so darn angry? With new interviews and archival footage, this documentary retraces Black's comedic (and theatrical) upbringing, from his college days at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to his early years in the comedy clubs to his current role as America's elder statesman of rage.

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Top 10 Fun Facts

  1. Lewis Black writes more than jokes, you know - he's also written 40 plays.
  2. Actually, Black has said he doesn't exactly "write" his jokes. He claims that he merely starts talking about something that makes him angry until he has to move on, "before he has a stroke."
  3. One of the 40 plays under Black's belt is a musical called The Czar of Rock and Roll, which includes a Marx-inspired hip-hop dance break. Those socialists know how to bust a move.
  4. Black's time in the theater led directly to his stand-up career. He'd go onstage to introduce the plays and before he knew it, he was the opening act.
  5. Channeling Howard Stern: Black appeared as a "shock jock" on a 2004 episode of Law & Order: SVU.
  6. Black wanted to film an HBO special at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., but they asked him to cut down on the number of f-bombs in his act. He opted to tape his performance at the Warner Theatre instead.
  7. The Warner Theatre must have had good mojo: Black picked up an Emmy nomination for the HBO special he filmed there, "Red, White and Screwed."
  8. That same year Black brought home a Grammy Award for "The Carnegie Hall Performance," which won Best Comedy Album. No word on whether the Carnegie Hall folks wanted him to tone down his language.
  9. In 2008, Black hosted a History Channel documentary called "History of the Joke." It's way funnier than their special about the Peloponnesian War.
  10. Speaking of history, Black returned to his high school alma mater to perform a benefit show in 2007. He cursed at one of his former teachers for giving him a B, costing him the title of valedictorian. Hey man, at least you've got that Grammy.