53° Good Evening
53° Good Evening
NewsNew York

Lewis Black dishes on the election season, but he's no pundit


Black Photo Credit: Getty

Lewis Black has made a name for himself with his sardonic, angry, politically tinged comic shtick, perfected on “The Daily Show” and on the hard-working comedian’s many live tour dates.

amNY caught up with the 62-year-old Manhattan resident while he was in California promoting his new book “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas,” which is in stores tomorrow, and got his thoughts on the wild, wacky midterm election season that climaxes tomorrow.

Where do you go for your political coverage on TV?
I kind of skim the dial. I watch CNN for a bit. And then I’ve even started watching the evening news again. … It’s like comfort food.

Why did you turn down Larry King’s election show?
I thought it was absolutely absurd for me to go. I get five minutes to push a book and no more. … I’ve made it kind of a rule that I don’t want to sit around with pundits. I’m not a pundit. I don’t want to be a pundit. I don’t want to be the person who’s going to be the funny guy with the other people. If you want to talk to me, I’ll come on as a comedy guy. … So I’m not going to be doing that, to the disappointment of 50 or 60 people.

What do you make of Jimmy McMillan and his “rent is too damn high” message?
I thought it was funny. That message needed to get out, that’s for sure. But that’s who we are. It’s not a party.

What did you think of the New York gubernatorial debate?
It’s a bit of insanity. [Attorney General Andrew] Cuomo doesn’t even have to talk, you know? I mean, seriously. You’ve got a guy running for governor who’s imploding, and the fact that the “No Rent” guy is the big news, I mean, we’re nuts.

Do you think the Tea Party remains relevant through 2012?
The only way that works is if wherever the money’s coming from keeps coming. Then it’d be a cultural phenomenon.

What, to you, defines this election?
What defines this election is ignorance. That whole thing, the basis of the citizen having political say is really nice in theory, but the citizen I think should really be doing something else.
Do you ever watch Fox or Glenn Beck? He’s the P.T. Barnum of politics. He’s a great salesman. There’s no question that he’s making a small fortune. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I don’t watch them, because it makes me psychotic.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news