Getting Rich Reinforced Everything Lewis Black Hated About People With Money

‘I look at my own business guys like, ‘What kind of scam are you running?’
Getting Rich Reinforced Everything Lewis Black Hated About People With Money

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While Lewis Black wasn’t an instant comedy success, he eventually found massive fame as the Rant Guy on the 2000s version of The Daily Show. As he told Paul Provenza in Satiristas, “If you stick around long enough and yell loud enough…”

Black made his bones as an everyman, the embodiment of a middle class that felt like it was being abused daily. “If the federal government has cheeks and an anus,” he probably shouted, “it’s sitting on their faces and shitting in their mouths.” And that’s why America related to Black yelling like a lunatic. 

But there’s a problem — or at least, a potential problem — when a common-man comedian becomes rich and famous himself. Did Black become one of the “haves,” disqualifying him as a voice of the “have nots”? Quite the contrary, Black said. Instead, his success “reinforced everything I’ve ever thought about rich assholes. I’ve learned firsthand that everything I believed about people with money and the way they’re all protecting it is true.”

Instead of losing his perspective, Black believes his success gave him an even more objective viewpoint. “Because I’ve been very fortunate, I now have a corporation and I see the way business managers and accountants do things,” he ranted. “I look at my own business guys like, ‘What kind of scam are you running? At the end of the year, my company’s broke on paper so it doesn’t pay any taxes? What the fuck is that? How can that be right?’ I want to put my taxes in, and it’s like I’m some kind of nut job to them. I go, ‘I’ve waited my whole life to pay taxes! I don’t care if they’re not using it as well as they should be; they’ll use it better at some point. I’ve waited my whole life to have money so I can give money!’” 

Black’s success allowed him to provide other people with livelihoods, as well as raise cash for a fellowship in his brother’s name. He’d rather do that than listen to accountants who, let’s face it, are also earning a living thanks to Black. The reason the comic could throw so much money at the charity is “because the pricks that watch my money aren’t directing it anywhere! They’re just, ‘We can get you a shelf built out of a giant Courvoisier bottle made in the 1700s’ or some stupid shit. Those fucks.”

In case you’re getting any funny ideas, Black assures the world that he’s no saintly figure. "Outrage and political humor is just what I think I’m best at, but I’m not Gandhi,” he said. “If I was as good at writing dick jokes as writing what I do, don’t think for a second I wouldn’t be doing that.” 


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