Monday, September 26, 2011

Lewis Black: The Prophet

Due to time constraints, this won't be a full review, but it's worth noting that Comedy Central is releasing "The Prophet," an album of a stand-up performance by Lewis Black from 1990, on Sept. 27. The recording is a bit lo-fi, not quite up to modern standards of sound quality, but in it, you can hear the beginnings of all of Black's familiar rhythms and screams. The material is out of a time capsule -- politics of the day, just like Lewis does now, but the Bush he's talking about here is the elder one, who was in office at that time.

There are a few bits and pieces that became staples of Black's act for awhile, like "I Get A Cold," which touted the virtues of Nyquil, and "Christmas." A highlight, however, has got to be "Dan Quayle," where Black reports, dissects and annihilates the former vice president's verbal mistakes.

There are also a few portions of this performance and album where Black still used a more conventional type of stand-up delivery. It's interesting to hear what amounts to the "pilot" version of Black's personality as a performer, covering political subjects from before the time where he became prominent and known for what he would cover in the political parts of his performances.