Black Humor
October 27, 2006 4:22 AM   Subscribe

"Three dollars a minute for technical assistance for my computer? If I'm going to spend that kind of F--KING money, I'd just as soon have phone sex." Lewis Black on customer service.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow (25 comments total)
That quote should be in all caps with spittle.
posted by srboisvert at 4:34 AM on October 27, 2006

That's a pretty tired schtick he's got there.
posted by biffa at 5:23 AM on October 27, 2006

I quite like it. I find him very funny, and it was a good article to boot.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:33 AM on October 27, 2006

Hey, does anyone have a link to audio or video (w/audio) of his "if it wasn't for my horse" story?
posted by knave at 5:45 AM on October 27, 2006

I think he's hysterical. It doesn't seem quite such a schtick to me (compared to, say, Sam Kinnison) when he's commenting on current events. Some of his segments on the Daily Show were brilliant.
posted by Nelson at 5:52 AM on October 27, 2006

I don't know about brilliant, and I rarely find him convincing. He often messes up -- and it's startling how completely it undoes his schtick when it happens -- and he always seems to be half-smiling at the start and end of it all. Doesn't work for me.
posted by dreamsign at 6:08 AM on October 27, 2006

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change those that I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

posted by Flashman at 6:34 AM on October 27, 2006

For a more nuanced look at the phenomena described by Black, try Steve Allen's classic "Dumbth"
posted by TedW at 6:53 AM on October 27, 2006

he's very funny, what I really want to see is a Lewis Black / Rudepundit double bill. DVD of the decade!
posted by matteo at 7:16 AM on October 27, 2006

As much as I enjoy his comedy, he comes off really, really poorly in this... The epitome of the entitled white man who feels that the world owes him, and decides to take it out on the first face he sees (be it the underpaid barista at a cafe, the underpaid clerk at a ticket desk, or the underpaid call center workers).

Okay, so he's not seeing the faces of the people in the call centers, but all the same he comes off as a huge dick, which is disappointing since he always seemed very proudly working class to me.
posted by incomple at 8:04 AM on October 27, 2006

I had a family connection to Rusty Magee, who was popular in New York in the 80's and 90's with his work in Broadway music writing and the music club circuit. He started with Lewis Black at the same comedy club in New York. McGee died about three years or so ago, and Black MCed the tribute show they did for him at the same club. A lot of people get tired of Lewis Black's schtick, but I wish they had been at that event because it was by far one of the most loving, and most hilarious performances I have ever seen any comedian do in my entire life. There are times, including here, I tend to question if Black is as good a comedian as people make him out to be, and then I remember watching him as the tribute performance, and I don't ever doubt it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:13 AM on October 27, 2006

And hey, what's the deal with airline food? Am I right?
posted by thekilgore at 8:24 AM on October 27, 2006

"he's very funny, what I really want to see is a Lewis Black / Rudepundit double bill. DVD of the decade!"

Even better, ditch the guy I've never heard of and give me a Lewis Black double DVD.
posted by Eideteker at 8:31 AM on October 27, 2006

man, the jonmc Junior Rangers are popping outta the woodwork. Thank god the post was about Lewis Black, and not Bill Hicks.
posted by boo_radley at 8:32 AM on October 27, 2006

Shit. Bill Hicks. That's the guy. Now I feel dumb.
posted by knave at 8:33 AM on October 27, 2006

posted by Eideteker at 8:40 AM on October 27, 2006

Now I feel even dumber... but thanks for the link Eideteker!
posted by knave at 8:45 AM on October 27, 2006

L. B. for prez!
posted by winks007 at 8:50 AM on October 27, 2006

Also....jonmc for VP!
posted by winks007 at 8:55 AM on October 27, 2006

A day off of work and I am bored shitless. Can't ya tell?
posted by winks007 at 8:55 AM on October 27, 2006

90% of Black's act is presentation. quoting him saying "F--CKERS!" repeatedly does a disservice to him. While I agree that he slips at times, seeing him in person (or even on TV for one of his acts) when he's on point, he genuinely appears he's going to literally choke on his rancor.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:03 AM on October 27, 2006

ditch the guy I've never heard of
Karl Rove's leather slave is worried about his master. Down in the basement of the White House, chained across an empty keg of Ulysses Grant's favorite ale, Karl Rove's leather slave sees Rove in the corner, coked out of his mind on a special kind of blow from Uruguay cut with the powdered bones of Sunni children, and Rove's nose is bleeding as he weeps and thrashes about, unable to get a hard-on to save his life, searching for his shining steel strap-on, the one he calls "Steely Ann," tossing aside Chester Arthur's hand-crank mutton chop trimmer and Ike's collection of Philippine shrunken heads, raging at the beams about his seething need to show his leather slave he means business.

Karl Rove's leather slave would like to offer Rove some whispered words of sympathy and comfort, but it's hard to talk, you know, with a ball gag leather-strapped into your mouth. And, of course, with his hands cuffed to the cement floor, he can't even gesture over to John Tyler's cabinet, a gift from Texas slave-owners, ironically enough. But no, no, instead, he must just watch Rove destroy the basement of America's house.
posted by matteo at 9:34 AM on October 27, 2006

and I agree that a large part of Black's awesomeness is in the presentation
posted by matteo at 9:35 AM on October 27, 2006

I'm sorry, matteo. That guy uses the words "Karl Rove" too much. It's like a 14th Century Catholic and the word "Devil." He may be evil, but there was evil in the world long before him, and will be long after. While Lewis Black is funny when he talks about politics, it's not ALL he talks about. (For the record, I did in fact google the "rudepundit" site, having of course intuited from the word "pundit" that he was an internet sophist of the blahg variety. I was unimpressed.)

Seriously, in the 1950s we had communists. In the 1600s in Salem, it was "witches and demons". Libruls. Paleocons. Turrists. Has anything productive ever come of demonizing one particular group and painting issues as black and white? No. It's tired, and it's not funny. I'm coming to terms with the fact that people will never shut up about it (whatever it is this decade), because it's psychological comfort food for people who feel they're living in a troubled age (what age isn't troubled? except for the perpetually-retreating past and the ever-intangible future). You can be angry at something and blame it for your problems; it's convenient, it's a cognitive shortcut we all must take, because even if we had infinite time to work out the intricacies of our daily lives and how they affect the world (let me do 14 hrs. of exhaustive research on each item I'm going to purchase at the store this week to make sure I minimize my exploitative footprint!), the brain simply cannot contain all of the multifarious connections in the world; a box cannot contain itself. And hey, if it makes you feel better about your place in the world and your impact on those around you, fine. But please try to minimize the impact on others with which you wield this shield of yours. It's no more palatable to those who don't share your views or appreciate your one-note symphony than the continuous proselytization of evangelicals. It's tired, it's monotonous, and while it makes you feel better, it's not helping much else. In fact, it has a long-term negative effect on many of those around you (either by causing them to join your one-note chorus in not solving anything, or by turning otherwise politically efficacious people off to politics entirely). While you're trying to figure out how to make the world a better place, please evaluate your psychological footprint on those around you. While screaming into a wind-tunnel about change in the world in general, have you neglected to make the kind, small gestures in your immediate neighborhood (real, virtual, or otherwise) that in reality are the core of every positive change in the world?

I'm sorry for derailing like that. This has obviously been something that's been stewing with me for some time, not just provoked by matteo. I hope my attempted eloquence and level-headedness on the subject will excuse the length and off-topic agenda motivating my screed. Again, my apologies. And my thanks to anyone who's read it and nodded their head in silent agreement, though I know they will never speak up and overwhelm the vocal minority. And if you read it and disagree, my thanks as well. What makes America great is the discourse; I hope you will elocute your dissent. What makes America fail is a lack of discourse (e.g., name calling, demonization), regardless of party affiliation.
posted by Eideteker at 10:23 AM on October 27, 2006

Karl Rove is the devil.

But seriously - you want there to be discourse, just keep it clean and pretty...? I actually (think I) agree with most of what you're saying. But it also sounds like you're (understandably) suffering from outrage fatiuge. Just 'cause it's boring doesn't mean there aren't legitimate reasons for outrage.
I have no opinion on Lewis Black or the other person I've never heard of. Sorry to further the derail.
posted by zoinks at 7:31 PM on October 29, 2006

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