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The ranting and raging comedian Lewis Black was born in Washington, DC on this date in 1948. He earned an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1977 and began his career as a playwright-in-residence and associate artistic director at a theater in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, where he collaborated with composer and lyricist Rusty Magee and artistic director Rand Foerster on hundreds of one-act plays from 1981 to 1989. Black emerged as a stand-up comic in the late 1990s and became well-known as a regular on The Daily Show, where he perfected his persona as a citizen decrying the illogic and injustices of contemporary politics to the point of bursting. He describes himself as a socialist (“Hello, that’s where all the Jews started, most of the Jews”), and his comedy as “being on the Titanic every single day and being the only person who knows what is going to happen.” His books include Me of Little Faith (2008) and I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas (2010). To see him riffing on Donald Trump’s administration, look below. To see him talking about Hanukah and Christmas (and Trump’s presidential campaign), look further below.
“Socialism appeals to me. It’s like imposed Christianity. You’ve got to share.” --Lewis Black
Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.