Lewis Black is angry. And when he gets angry, he yells. And when Lewis Black yells, people laugh. At least I do. A lot.
What exactly, you might ask, is Black angry about? For starters, how about the weather, the government, corporate greed, and the lack of clean water? Fortunately, Black is far more than just another middle-aged curmudgeon, as there's always a payoff to be found when he starts one of his diatribes. So if you're in the mood for some uproarious, laugh-inducing, bile-filled yelling, you should run, not walk, to the store and pick up a copy of last year's HBO special Black on Broadway. Right from the opening salvo fired directly at the audience, Black on Broadway is pure gold: misanthropic, brutally honest, frightfully thought-provoking comedy that effectively catalogues the staggering stupidity of human existence.
Black's signature style-profanity-laced rants punctuated by shouted punch lines that see him come one step short of becoming completely unhinged-finds plenty of fodder here, as this special shows him to be a satirist and social critic on par with such modern-day greats as Bill Hicks and Chris Rock. Early on, he gives us a pitch-perfect characterization of the two political parties ("The Democrats are the party of NO ideas, and the Republicans are the party of BAD ideas!"), coupled with a tirade on the economy ("It goes up, it goes down, it goes UP, it goes DOWN!") that's surprisingly spot-on no matter what your political leanings. Black really gets going later on with his discussion of Americans' obnoxious reflexive patriotism, the current misguided health mania, and comparisons between the current terrorism fears and the nuclear paranoia of his childhood ("That era was pretty f---ing scary!").
While I didn't really know what to expect when I got this DVD (I don't watch the Daily Show, so my exposure to Black was minimal), I really can't say enough good things about it. In a profoundly irrational world, Lewis Black provides a rare voice of reason, even if that voice is filled with rage and spite. While Black doesn't suggest much in the way of making the world better, he does at least let us have some laughs at the absurdity of our lives.