If the Republican presidential field, the inaction of Congress and the European debt crisis makes you suspect that Lewis Black might go off on a bit of a rant, well, your suspicions would be well-founded but misplaced.
Because that’s not what has Black’s attention in In God We Rust, the comedian’s second special for EPIX, which debuted over the weekend.
Instead, he wants anyone who still might not know of him or his comedy what they’re in for, how he felt about playing a gig in Wendover, Nev., his contempt for Valentine’s Day (he previously has taken on Halloween and Christmas), and his feelings about AT&T’s iPhone service. Not that he was that much happier trying a Droid phone via Verizon. Even the underwear bomber from a few years ago earns Black’s attention before anything in current events.
Perhaps it’s his advancing age. He’s 63 now. Black had joked a few years ago that the politicians were making political comedy much too easy, writing their own punchlines for him. Now he’s marveling at his own old age and how his rock idols have aged along with him. Roll a clip.
Black does begin to get more socio-political in the second half of his hour, saying this about abortion: “It gives me pleasure, because I say the word and I hear every anus snap shut.”
When he turns his focus to Goldman Sachs and Facebook’s multi-billion dollar valuation, you begin to see and hear some of his familiar ire toward the haves who are taking advantage of the have-nots. And then the comedian who railed against Twitter only a couple of years ago (he since has joined that social network) has a few words to say about the Facebook “game” called Farmville. Roll it!
In the final quarter-hour, Black notes that the Tea Party was not quite the third political party he has waited his whole life for, and that leads him to Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann — who draws hoots and boos from the Minneapolis crowd. He doesn’t quite feed the audience’s thirst for comedy blood. Rather, he says: “I’d talk about it, but after a paragraph or so I’d begin to have seizures.” Black does have more than a few paragraphs to spare, however, for Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin.
Here’s what Black has to say about his special:
In God We Rust doesn’t quite reach the same emotional or political depths of his previous effort, Stark Raving Black (which won the Grammy Award in 2011), but in these pressing times, it’s just good to know that Lewis Black is still healthy enough to get angry at the world on our behalf and take the piss out of the powers-that-be and would be powerful without impunity if not for comedians like him.
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