It would have been hard to predict that hotheaded Lewis Black would catch a second wind in his career doing entertainment for children, but thats how the last few years played out.
Pixar Animation Studios chose well when Black was cast as the voice of Anger, the personification of rage, in its hit 2015 feature Inside Out. Before that, Black was perhaps most known for his frequently obscene 2004 HBO special Lewis Black: Black on Broadway.
Blacks latest stand-up show The Emperors New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour stops Nov. 19 at WinStar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave., in Thackerville.
The comedian is known for his surly-to-the-point-of-hilarity rants, often about politics or society. He makes occasional appearances on Comedy Centrals The Daily Show for a funny, cathartic segment called Back in Black. Earlier this month, he spent the segment railing on disillusioned millennials who say they plan to not vote.
He blamed laziness as much as apathy.
You want me to go somewhere and pull a lever? he mocked. Why cant I vote the same way I date by swiping right on the toilet?
Black also is not afraid of dismantling seemingly innocuous cultural conventions. One of his most famous stand-up bits derides the existence of candy corn and adults who dress up for Halloween.
The Maryland native couldnt help but spin a few fresh rants while speaking with Oklahoma Gazette ahead of his Nov. 19 show.
Oklahoma Gazette: Your recent 5-minute Back in Black segment about millennials and voting is very funny. How long do those take to create?
Lewis Black: They make the decision on what the topic will be and then they run through a couple of drafts and I come in and I work with them on it. We read it over again with a whole bunch of people in the room. Then we rehearse it, I might improv some stuff and if it works, well throw it in. We do one last draft, and then we go to show.
OKG: Whats one reason millennials havent yet shown up to the polls?
LB: Apparently, theyve never felt disappointment. I mean, seriously. The thing that really got me was when there was one millennial who was saying, Well, Bernie [Sanders] lost, so that really crushed me. I dont know how they were brought up. Some of them and I dont think its all of them by any stretch of the imagination seem to have been brought up inside of an incubator. What did you do when your best friend lost the presidency in high school for student council, or did everyone at your school get to be a president? People lose, and thats how you decide you either want to get out of something or pursue something and get better at it.
OKG: Youre probably doing a lot of political stuff on this tour, right?
LB: Yeah, but I try to focus on how this shit affects us. A lot of what Ive talked about over the last several years is, Can we do something? I dont care what it is; just lets do one thing. This is madness, what were doing now. Were acting like the world has ended. Part of the problem is were at 50-50, 52-48 or however the hell you want to put it. But its still a matter of compromise. We have all these problems to deal with, and we dont deal with any of them, none of them.
OKG: Youre known for your bit on Halloween and candy corn. Have you softened your stance on Halloween over the years?
LB: No; I hold firm: Its absurd. Candy corn is a piece of shit. Now theyre selling it in a variety of colors. Theres July Fourth candy corn, which is red, white and blue. Now theyve made it into an industry of shit. Theres candy corn granola, candy corn Oreos. I mean, come on.
Its a kids holiday, and adults wander around in costumes. Whats the matter with you? Any day they want, an adult can dress up in a costume. Thats what its like to be an adult. Kids dont get that option; thats why you give them the day.
OKG: Is it weird having a really young base of children who know who you are?
LB: I mean, they kind of do and they kind of dont. But Im hoping that will suck them into my comedy eventually. I can destroy the minds of another generation.
OKG: Its a great long-term investment for you.
LB: Yes. It was a lot of fun. I actually have dinner tonight with [Inside Out director] Pete Docter, which is nice. Hes really a brilliant son of a bitch.
OKG: Probably a lot of people, especially children, recognize you just by hearing your voice.
LB: Well, yeah. I was on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so its kind of funny to be in there. Its also funny to me that Im not doing any mature, adult cartoons. Im doing all this kid stuff, which I think is just hysterical.
OKG: Is there anything you want to say to Oklahomans going to your show?
LB: Theyll have a lot of fun. ... I just hope theres no earthquakes when I get there. This is now the earthquake capitol of the world, and they completely deny it has to do with fracking. Its unbelievable. What do they think it is? Is something coming out from the Earth at them?
OKG: Hopefully you dont experience anything like that while youre here.
LB: Good. Id like not to.
Print headline: Dark humor, The famously grumpy Lewis Black brings his stand-up tour to WinStar World Casino and Resort.