DAILY SHOW alum and epic All-World ranter Lewis Black is coming back to Savannah for a return engagement at the Johnny Mercer Theatre, "The Rant is Due, Part Deux." We had a quick but intense phone chat with him last week.
So Lewis, what's pissing you off most these days?
Lewis Black: What's pissing me off is the weather. Everything else is meaningless. I just don't care anymore. I'm done. I'm broken! This is beyond seasonal disorder.
When the sun comes out again people are gonna snap. But hopefully in a good way. Maybe people will be running naked in the streets.
I came home yesterday and was tired of looking at the weather report. So I was thinking I’d go see my parents in Baltimore after my show in DC. My mother calls me and says you can’t stop by here, it’s snowing. What?!
At least I’m not in Boston. If I were in Boston these days, I’d don’t know what I’d do. I guess I would’ve gotten into voodoo.
Climate change is making everything more extreme and unpredictable.
The whole thing’s false.
Wait—you mean, you’re a climate change denier?
No, it’s false to give both sides. The whole debate is false.
It doesn’t work to just talk about the extremes. It’s not worth the trouble. To argue climate change is useless. There’s nothing to discuss, it’s a fact.
And the real thing is, even if it’s wrong, what’s the actual problem with thinking about things we should maybe do because God forbid they run counter to economics? You do things because they’re the right things to do, and you figure how to make it work, because we’re caretakers. I mean, what did they even write the Bible for if that’s not the case?
But it all falls on deaf ears. I’m beginning to think English is the most difficult language to understand, because apparently any word means anything else.
Ironic given the democratization and universal availability of information in the Google/smartphone age.
It’s the influx of information, but mostly it’s the lack of facts.
Are we still making fun of Fox News, or has the world finally left them behind?
Fox News will always come up with something else. They really will. Just don’t call it “news.”
Everything’s commentary now, there’s no news being reported. I need a show that’s just called “Fucking Facts.”
Of course, the whole journalism industry basically bailed out during the Iraq War and we haven’t really seen them since. I’ve never forgiven them for that.
You’re one of The Daily Show’s most famous alumni. How do you feel about Jon Stewart announcing he’s leaving the show?
Jon kind of evolved as far as he could in that position. He’s really made an intelligent choice. He could just sit there in the same place and do that and collect jacks. But that’s what I admire about him—he’s decided to use his talent in other ways.
The Daily Show is Saturday Night Live for millennials. A breeding ground for so much talent.
Yeah, it’s been a great place for a lot of people to take first steps.
But unlike SNL with Lorne Michaels, it’s never been an ego thing for Jon Stewart.
I don’t think he has any ego about that at all. I mean, it only reflects well on him.
But the other side of it is, only smart people get a shot at being on The Daily Show. It’s sort of like, 'Gee, I don’t understand why so many people are successful after graduating Harvard.' Because they take the best people in the first place!
We had the best of the best to choose from! Of course that’s not to undermine the fact that Jon always knew what he wanted.
So tell us about the material you’re bringing to town this trip.
It’s a totally new and different show. I talk about mental health—it’s an increasingly big problem, and if you don’t think it’s a big problem look at Congress. As far as I’m concerned the U.S. Congress is the largest outpatient clinic in the world.
This is the same group standing in front of you still trying say they know how to solve the problems they created.
I’m trying to find a word that describes who they think they’re talking to. How stupid do they think we are? These people must think we’re just meat with eyeballs.