It's Black and Stack! Since we all know who Lewis is, let's start with Brian Stack. Brian is a comedy writer and performer who spent nearly 20 years creating some of the most memorable characters from Conan's television shows. Remember Kilty McBagpipes? Hannigan the Traveling Salesman? Artie Kendall the Ghost Crooner? Sure you do. The list goes on and on. Now you know him from Stephen Colbert's CBS show where Brian, among other things, is Cartoon Trump. Brian is considered one of the funniest comedy writers and performers in the history of television. OK, let's get back to Black. Lewis Black. Where to begin? How about where to see him? Lewis is playing the Borgata in Atlantic City March 10-11. March 16 he's at the Historic Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon. March 17 he's at the Mount Baker Theater in Bellingham, Washington. On March 18 he's at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, Washington. For all of Lewis Black's tour dates please visit www.LewisBlack.com.
On today's show Lewis talks about how his background in theater shaped his approach to standup. He describes his childhood and schooling and where his rage comes from. We also examine his moral compass and why he feels obligated to speak truth to power no matter what the consequences.
Brian Stack talks about some of his happiest moments working with Conan and how he gets into character.
Receiving critical acclaim as a stand-up, actor and author, Lewis Black has performed for audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. In 2012, he performed eight sell-out shows at Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway.
Back in Black is one of the most popular and longest-running segments on the Daily Show show for both the Jon Stewart era, and now The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Black has also taped four specials for the “Comedy Central Presents” series, co-created “Last Laugh with Lewis Black” and presided over “Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil.” His popular appearances on Comedy Central helped to win him Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards in 2001.
Increased exposure from “The Daily Show” generated a record deal with Stand Up! Records. His first CD, “The White Album,” was released in 2000 to critical acclaim. Black followed with eight more—six under the Comedy Central Records label. He has received five Grammy® nominations and two wins for his work. The first nomination came in 2006 for “Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues,” the second in 2009 for “Anticipation.” In 2007 he won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album for “The Carnegie Hall Performance,” and again in 2011 for “Stark Raving Black.” His 2012 release, “In God We Rust” (Comedy Central Records) was also nominated for a Grammy.
Black has filmed two specials for HBO, including “Black On Broadway” and “Red, White and Screwed.” The latter was nominated for an Emmy® in 2007. He had a regular feature for two seasons on “Inside the NFL” (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and in 2006, he was asked to participate in “Comic Relief.”
In 2009 Lewis filmed his first feature length concert film, “Stark Raving Black,” at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. The film had a limited run in theaters across the U.S. and Canada in the summer of 2010. At the end of the theater run, premium movie channel EpixHD picked up the film for its channel, along with the accompanying documentary, “Basic Black.” Both are aired regularly and can be found in the EpixHD on-demand queue. In 2011, he produced his second full-length concert, “In God We Rust,” which also airs on EpixHD. In August 2013, Black recorded his ninth stand-up special “Old Yeller: Live At The Borgata.”
In 2015, Black joined the cast of Madoff (ABC mini series). Black portrays Ezra Merkin, who, after investing with Madoff and receiving great returns, brought many famous and well-to-do Jewish clients, including Elie Weisel and The Hadassah Organization, to Bernie’s fold.
Black has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “Piers Morgan Tonight,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’ Brian” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Black has also had numerous appearances on CNN and MSNBC and has occasionally done the weather with Al Roker.
In the midst of a rigorous touring schedule, regular TV appearances and movie roles, Black has written three best-selling books: “Nothing’s Sacred” (Simon and Schuster, 2005), “Me of Little Faith” (Riverhead Books, 2008) and “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” (Riverhead Books, 2010). All garnered critical praise as well commercial success and spent numerous weeks on the New York Times best sellers list.
Black has penned more than 40 plays, many of which have been produced around the country. “The Deal,” a dark comedy about business, was made into a short film in 1998 and picked up by the Sundance Channel. In 2011, his play “One Slight Hitch” was produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and then again in 2012 at both the ACT Theatre in Seattle and The George Street Theatre in New Brunswick.
Among Brian Stack's most popular recurring characters:
James Sinclair St. Wallins, Audiencey Awards Fashion Correspondent. Brian LaFontaine, Singer on "Basic Cable Name That Tune". Conan frequently expresses his contempt for this character, making comments such as "Hate that guy" or "Easily my least favorite person". Voice of Minty the Candycane Singer, sings the theme song for "Minty the Candycane Who Briefly Fell On The Ground" (played by Brian McCann) every Christmas. Joe Galliano, John Galliano's 'brother' who Conan interviews, generally in response to comments made by John Galliano. Joe tries to defend his brother while changing into ridiculous hats every time the camera switches back to Conan. Wiki Bear, Stack provides the voice of 2014 recurring character "Wiki Bear", a teddy bear who has a vast knowledge of very disturbing facts.
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