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Stark Raving Black

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Album Review

After decades of working along the margins of show business, Lewis Black has become a bona fide star of standup comedy, a turn of events that seems to puzzle him as much as it pleases him, judging from his 2010 album Stark Raving Black. In his bit "Mainstream Comedian," Black marvels at the fact his bitter, apoplectic rants are now considered acceptable entertainment for the masses and goes on to describe a benefit gig in which he was sharing a bill with Vince Gill and Amy Grant, a combination that previously would have been considered some sort of practical joke. As fate has smiled on Lewis Black, he's begun to moderate his trademark anger just a bit, and while there's no shortage of foul language or cranky bellowing on Stark Raving Black, he seems to be leaning more on dynamics, and trying to let his quiet moments speak as clearly as his full-on blasts of venom. It's telling that Stark Raving Black was recorded during a show in Detroit, a city hit especially hard by America's economic downturn, and the precarious state of the nation's finances and leadership sets the stage for much of the material. This might account for the lighter touch Black applies on some of his routines, but when he twists the knife as he talks about the infinitesimal differences between Republicans and Democrats, the irresponsibility that led to the collapse of the housing market and the lack of support for alternative energy, Black is as powerful as ever, and remains one of the most potent standup comics at work in the 21st century. Stark Raving Black may find this master comedian lining up his shots with a bit more care and caution, but when he pulls the trigger, his kill count remains truly impressive.

Customer Reviews

Worth the $

Not the black I'm used to hearing , but still better than Dane Cook and still worth the $.

Had some good points, not very humorous...

I know Lewis Black to be a comedian who is always screaming at the top of his lungs, swearing left and right, and making funny point after funny point. This album was different. It wasn't fantastic, but I think it was interesting.

He didn't really scream at all in this one, in fact he was very... tepid. He did scream a little bit, but he wasn't over the top as usual. He talked calmly for a large portion of it, making interesting point after interesting point, but they weren't always funny points. I am a George Carlin fan above all else, and I know Georgey will always say something funny, on topic or not. Black was the same a while ago, but now he's more of a talk show host rather than a standup comedian. My favorite thing Lewis Black has done was his rant on the Daily Show "Back in Black" about Glenn Beck, and he was nowhere near that level of comedy in this album. However, was worth the money, but barely.

Black does it again!

Simply fantastic


Born: August 30, 1948 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Satirist and standup comic Lewis Black rose to prominence in the late '90s with regular appearances as a commentator on the Comedy Central cable network's The Daily Show. Obsessed with human stupidity, Black became one of the show's most distinctive contributors with his weekly Back in Black segment; his delivery was so full of frothing, barely articulate bile and rage that it could sometimes obscure the sharpness of his social and political observations. Black graduated from the Yale Drama School...
Full Bio
Stark Raving Black, Lewis Black
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Customer Ratings