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Saturday, May 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lewis Black

Ultra intense comedian hits Northern Quest

Lewis Black yells so you don’t have to.

The 60-year-old, vein-popping comedian does this as a customer service. As his Web site puts it, a Black performance provides “a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience.”

This is the Lewis Black that most people discovered in the 1990s during his regular appearances on “The Daily Show” and on his Comedy Central specials.

It’s also the Lewis Black who is popular enough to schedule two shows this weekend at the Northern Quest Casino, after selling out an appearance there in 2006.

However, here are few things you may not know about Black:

• He began his career as a playwright.

• He graduated from the University of North Carolina and the Yale Drama School.

• He became the playwright-in-residence at the West Bank Café’s Downstairs Theatre Bar in New York.

• He wrote more than 40 plays – and even a musical called “The Czar of Rock and Roll.”

• One of his plays, a black comedy called “The Deal,” was made into a film which has aired on the Sundance Channel. Another, “One Slight Hitch,” has been performed in L.A. and Tampa.

• He emceed all of the one-act play performances at the West Bank Café, which helped him hone his stand-up comedy style. In the late 1980s he became a full-time stand-up comedian.

• He once described his stand-up style as “being on the Titanic every single day and being the only person who knows what is going to happen.”

• He first appeared on “The Daily Show” during its prehistoric beginnings – 1996.

• His three-minute “Daily Show” rants – about whatever was aggravating him at the time – soon evolved into a weekly segment called “Back in Black.”

• He has played Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

• He had a regular segment for two years on “Inside the NFL.”

• He has written two best-selling books, “Nothing’s Sacred” (2005) and “Me of Little Faith” (2008). The latter hit No. 9 on the New York Times list last summer.

• He still lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., where he went to college.

“It’s one of the few spots on earth where I have felt comfortable in my own skin,” Black wrote in “Me of Little Faith.” “I don’t feel that way in many places – hence the very attractive series of twitches one sees in my stage act.”

• He has served as host for the “World Stupidity Awards” in Montreal.

• He was arrested in 2000 for his involvement with the Teen Voyeur Bus, featuring topless women, as part of a stunt for the Opie & Anthony radio show.

• He had a role in Woody Allen’s multiple-Oscar-winning 1986 movie, “Hannah and Her Sisters.”

• He had a recurring role on the 1990-1991 sitcom, “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”

• His parents report that he was a colicky baby. Big surprise.

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at

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