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Folks, the election is happening right now, it's happening now. Voting is going on now for everything you need to know about voting, go to vote. Doug, you can check on your registration. You can find your polling place. You can volunteer to be a poll worker. That's vote dog.


Lock the gates. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck next? What's happening? I feel I haven't checked in with you guys in a while, but I don't know. How are you guys holding up? What's going on with the thing? How are the kids? How's the family? You feeling pretty tight.


How's the tight knit family going? I can't imagine. I'm sorry, man. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I'm so sorry that, you know, you have to spend this much. I don't need it. When did it stop being quality time for you people with families?


When did it turn into like, oh my God, when is this going to fucking end time when this is the end times? But you know what I'm saying?


I imagine that you've all gotten to know each other pretty fucking well. Did you ever think you would get to know yourself or the people that you live with or your children as well as you do now? You're all growing in strange ways because of this isolation. Look at it that way.


That's a positive. Hey, we're we're weathering the storm together. And, man, what a fucking nightmare. Not really. It's good. I try to keep up with my buddies who who have families and whatnot, and it seems like there's good and bad to it.


But I do feel bad for the four kids.


I mean, I'm an old man, kinda fifty seven and I've basically lost a year to some degree.


I don't know what I'd be doing that much differently other than knowing I could do things if I wanted to. That's the primary difference for me is that I spend a lot of time alone. I do the podcast. I miss doing comedy now, but I had a dream about the comedy. But I like knowing I had options to go out, need to stop and have a coffee to say hi to a friend, go do a set to do just that options.


Now, it's like, you know, I don't mind hanging out by myself and doing the work, but no fucking options. Not many options.


You want to take a drive? I don't know, man.


I just I can't take it. I can barely breathe because the reality of the world is gripping my entire body and squeezing the breath out of me on a daily basis.


I'm just going to have to meditate just to expand the grip that reality has on me, to get me a little room so I can and breathe again and terrified.


Election Day is fast approaching and nobody knows what the fuck is going to happen. But I'll tell you this, honestly, and this is non-partisan.


If Trump holds on to power, it will be the end of America as we know it, in terms of tolerance, democracy, majority rule, the judicial system.


Yeah, so good times. It's happened in many countries before and it will in many countries again. But we didn't think it would happen here. But we are on the precipice of real authoritarianism. And that's exciting, right? How are the kids? How is everything you still holding up as a family? Real authoritarianism right around the corner. And I guess we'll know by the end of the year where we stand. Right.


And just remember, it only takes a couple of reinforced suggestions by a occupying power for your neighbors to kill you for having different views.


Good morning. Everything OK that's happened in other countries. What makes us special? One of the things that's happened during the pandemic is I've gotten to see my producer more often since we do a lot of these talks on Zoome and I notice he's got the quarantine facial hair going, which was pretty unruly from the start, but now he's got it under control and one way he got it under control was by switching to Herries. There are so many good reasons to start shaving with Harrys from their new sharper blades to their honest value.


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Lewis Black is on the show today. He's been on in the past.


You'll notice that this week I've had I've actually had a couple of guests that I've had on before because we realised, like Lewis was back, he was on episode like forty five in 2014.


He also did some Collins on the really old episodes of WTF.


And I used to talk to Lewis a lot on my old Air America show back in the day.


He's got a new stand up special. It's called Thanks for Risking Your Life. It's out now. So I thought it'd be a good time for a chat, good time to catch up. But also, there are people in my life where I consider friends who I consider, you know, people I can have a nice conversation with about anything. And that seems to be happening a bit. And Lewis is definitely one of those.


So I look forward to that coming up. I am sure as fuck I am. I've actually gotten into a like not a predicament, but I'm constantly sore because I guess who's I just talking to? A friend of mine. Oh, I was talking to Zach Braff. I don't know if he's a friend of mine, but he's a guy I met by, by the way, from the show. I met him from this show. I met him because I talked to him.


I interviewed him.


But he brought up this idea about, well, I knew a dopamine and serotonin management through exercise.


Like, I don't know that I've ever exercised this hard or this much in my life. And I think the quarantine is forcing me to do it because that way I know I do something, but my joints are a little fucking Hirte. I hike two or three times a week. I do circuit training three times a week.


And I wonder, like the other day I thought, like, do I have cancer? Why can't I get off the couch? And I don't think I put it, you know, really took it under consideration.


Just how much those workouts fucking drain me?


I mean, they're good, but Jesus man, I'm fifty seven and granted, like, I'm not wearing a superhero suit on a mountain bike, but I'm definitely working out and I don't think I have some sort of terminal illness.


I think I'm just fucking sore from beating the shit out of myself. Maybe this is it. The first turn of the screw of the aging thing.


I got to accept it, I got to temper my exercise, I can't expect. All right, look, I'm 57. Maybe that six pack is never going to happen. Not that I'm trying, but I'm just trying to stay sane and stay healthy.


I got to get the fuck out of here.


You guys, seriously, here's my plan now.


I bailed.


I bailed on the two week trip by myself because of the erratic nature of my emotional disposition at this particular juncture.


But I think I'm going to try to get away and just hide from the news on the day before Election Day and Election Day and then resurface today after just to see what havoc has ensued.


What has happened? Wouldn't it be exciting if I could do that if you just remain completely detached until November 4th just to see like where we're at, just like after two days, which will seem like a month, just check back in. I think I might do that, maybe I'll go up north northern California, someplace where it hasn't burned.


I want to talk to you for a minute about safety, we've all been trying to stay safe this year, but here's something you might not think about very often, but it's something that puts your life at risk. It can be a little frustrating, especially if you are in a hurry or running late to find yourself at a railway crossing waiting for a train. And if the signals are going and the train's not even there yet, you may feel a bit tempted to try to sneak across the tracks.


Well, don't ever. To the naked eye. Trains appear to be further away and moving slower than they are, and they cannot stop quickly even if the engineer hits the emergency brakes right away.


It can take a train over a mile to stop over a mile.


OK, by that time, it's too late and the result is a potentially deadly crash. The point is, you can't know how quickly the train will arrive. The train can't stop quickly. Even if it sees you, it ends in disaster. If the signals are on, the train is on its way. And you just need to remember one thing.


Stop trains can't. What do you in a hurry for now? I've been out on the road, people honking their horns. Where are you going? Where do you got to be? You have an appointment at an empty building. Fuckin relax. God damn, man. I don't know.


I don't know what's going to happen. And you know, the worst thing about everything that's going on right now and I've said this before, is like no one can tell you it's going to be OK.


Nobody nobody even that is like it's always kind of tempered a bit. It's always, you know, potentially bullshit. But sometimes it's OK, it's enough.


There's if, you know, the odds are pretty good that it might be OK. Don't know about those odds anymore. I do not know.


But I do know that Lewis Black, who I consider a friend I consider a funny guy, and he's one of the sweetest guys I know. And I'll tell you honestly, this show, as it did before, it is doing again. It's saving my fucking sanity. It's saving my fucking life.


When I talk to people on this show and I talk to these interviews, I'm able to engage with somebody else, get out of myself, listen to someone else's story, be moved by someone else's story.


We moved through someone else's story, connect on a human level and during that time. It's a beautiful thing because that's what humans do and so many of us during this time are denied that, especially with family, with friends. It's challenging and it's sad.


It's very sad not to be able to connect on a human level, and I think it's fucking with our heads on top of everything else, obviously. So I guess the one thing I hope that some of you get out of this is by proximity. You get to connect because it's literally saving my my sanity in my life, because I wander around my house a lot alone. I talk to my cat and, you know, sometimes I get way out of my skull because I'm too far in it.


Sometimes the inner monologues, the thoughts, like, I realize I'm having a complete relationship with some sort of fiction that my brain is generating, that's why I've taken to doing these Instagram with some mornings and having coffee with all the strangers, even the fucking trolls that love me. I've decided that if you have a troll that is a repeat customer, they're in love with you and they're just dying for you to get mad at them because that's how they experience love.


I think many of them may be masturbating while they're attacking you on Twitter or on Instagram or wherever you are. You roll comments. A lot of them are just it's deep down it's just a frustrated love. And they just want daddy to yell at them. They want to make daddy mad so they know Daddy cares.


Fuck trolls. Anyways, what I'm saying is see where my brain just went. Is that. I need to get out of my head, and it's very hard now, and I hope I'm providing that for you and I just want to I'm prefacing this conversation with Lewis because we had some laughs. He got me out of my head. We talked about his new special. We talked about life. And it's not there's nothing better than making Lewis Black laugh.


I like making people laugh in general.


But Lewis has got one of those, you know, deep, almost emphysema. Laughs. But as I said earlier. Lewis has a special out, it's called Thanks for Risking Your Life. It's available on all video, on demand platforms and streaming audio platforms.


He also has a podcast called Lewis Black's Rant Cast, which we talk about a bit so you can get a sense of what it is and how you can participate and you can get that wherever you get podcasts.


This is me talking to my old friend Lewis Black on. All right, I hear you OK? I don't know you.


It's been a while, I don't know where you don't know, but I'm in I'm shocked that I usually this takes 20 minutes.


I was I was hoping for that. I was looking for some unintentional slapstick to unfold with the old boy.


Usually that's but it's usually the case. Usually it's bit brutal technically.


So where are you, man?


I'm in my home in New York. Oh, you're in New York? I thought you were in North Carolina. I was until the other day.


And then I left. I wanted to talk to you from New York. OK, well, that I appreciate you traveling for me.


OK, did you fly? No, no.


I won't fly. I won't get in the plane. No.


What is that noise now?


That's the land line I have so I can speak to my mother.


Oh, so. All right. So it's like, what are you getting a fax. What the fuck is happening over there now?


That's my landlord that somebody is calling me to tell me probably that something has occurred in China. Usually it's a Chinese person.


Oh. So it's like a it's an emergency phone. They call the comedian in New York. We've got problems. I see what you drive from North Carolina.


You drove home that tour bus. I have a tour bus. And I took it out of mothballs and said, this is it makes no you know, it's kind of like traveling in a pot.


You own a tour bus, you own it. No, I don't. I lease it.


Oh, and but so you've just had you've just been leasing it in case you need to drive back and forth, you know, you can rent a car.


No, no, I don't drive anymore because it's really it's not fair to people on the road really.


That's so responsible. Jesus Christ.


I reached I reached a level of anger in Los Angeles about ten years ago, driving in the backseat of a car that I thought, wow, if this is my road rage in the back seat and I'm not driving, I shouldn't be doing this.


Oh, so it's not because you're you're old and cannot cannot navigate the road. It's because.


Well, also, it's not the it's not being all that you have no attention span. I don't have any interest in what's in front of me really.


You can't maintain continuity enough to drive when you're driving a car though. Yeah. It's like, what is this sign? Oh fuck. I don't I don't I don't mean to say you're old, you're not old.


You're a spry whatever you are. Yeah, I'm old.


Yeah. It's old 72. Yeah.


What's going on in New York. How's it feel there. I have no sense of, of it. I wish I was there because it's fall but it seems like it's sad. There is. It's sad there. What are you feeling.


Well it was sad. I think it's it's it's perked up a little, you know, it's, you know, people, you know, people are eating outside. So there's a sense of life out there. It's kind of nice. They're wearing their masks. There is kind of movement. It kind of calm down. There's a slight sense of that. We're two seconds away from like the early the late 70s in New York. This is really, you know, holy God.


Yeah, but there's it's less of that. It's more. But it seems to be kind of a sense that it's kind of confining a balance.


Yeah, well, that well, that's interesting to me because like in thinking about talking to you and I watched part of this special and I you know, I understand it's interesting that enough in the material was sort of evergreen ish enough for you to just frame it around because, you know, we've all had that night where, you know, something horrible has happened that day and you've got to reckon with it, you know, if you're that kind of comedian.


So here you are on the eve of the lockdown and it's still relatively cute to reference, you know, and you're able to reference it and riff on it for five minutes and then go into your act. That is still relevant, you know, and funny enough to where it's not dated yet, because all we've been doing, you know, after the night that you did that special, everyone has had the same life. And it's not that expensive. It's it's just relative to dread terror and wondering if we're ever going to be able to go outside again.


There's no big movement, right?


It's the same day. It is Groundhog Day, it's in. And I have this feeling that between one in four time just stops. You look and you go, wow, it's one. I can get a few things done. Then it's four and you've done. You can't remember what it was that you didn't do. No. Oh, no shit.


And then from five to like eleven, you're like, I don't even know what's happening anymore. And then it's like, when did I go to sleep and minesweeping? Is this a dream and then you wake up again and start over? Yeah, exactly. It's really it. But in terms of how are you?


How are you? How are you dealing with this? Because I started to realize in terms of creative people that we're we're literally in the cauldron of trauma here. So there's no one's going to create some art that is relative to what's going on, because what is going on, we're all in this fucking holding pattern. You know, be wary of authoritarianism and economic collapse. And, you know, what can we really create right now to a romantic comedy where people wear masks?


How are you dealing with this?


Intellectually, it took a while because there was it's just as of late that I've started to kind of go, I'm going to do this, this and this, where I really kind of I was in lockdown for ten, ten weeks here in New York in this apartment by myself. So I call it solitary confinement. I saw no one. Yeah, I'm lucky because I have kind of a nice terrace where I can walk around. Right. So it was solitary confinement and a little place where the prisoner could walk.




And it really bothered, so to speak. Yeah. And it did damage I mean, it did real damage 10 weeks like that. There's a reason they put people in the hole.


Yeah. And what you find about yourself, what did you learn about Lewis?


With the time I learned that I'm not really I learned that my mind given give it you take away all the targets that I've had my life. It goes right after me, you know, it's all of a sudden I finally figured, you know, well, you know, the deal, all the things that should set up out there. Boop, boop, boop.


And it was like, yeah, yeah, yeah. I couldn't get I could not go after myself fast.


I finally got me cornered.


I was literally like a rat with a bug my brain saw. My body is a piece of cheese.


But you came out the other side. What did you did you how deep of the darkness did you get? Did you have to. Was that the reason you got out?


Well, yeah, I kind of I realized that eventually I kind of realized that there were things, you know, partly partly that came out of that that first when it was like you in the highest risk category. Lewis Yeah. So that was big, right?


So it was kind of like you could die if you go outside. Yeah. You're you know, that was it every day. And so it took a while to kind of come through that and then and then and I had been tracking this son of a bitch stuff for a while.


And what do you mean he saw the lockdown. Away before the lockdown, you know, Italy, China, all of that, when it was coming, it as soon as it hit China, it was like, OK, you fuckers. Yeah, where are they going to fuck ups? Somebody ate what? Yeah. God damn it. You know, because I used to have that joke. Somebody gets off a ship, a corpse in their head and shakes jurors.


It's all over.


Yeah. Yeah. The world ends. Yeah.


So I so I somebody so I had so I kind of kept, I kept trying to find the information.


I had friends who kind of knew stuff. Yeah.


You know, people who were working, you know, kind of I don't even know what their gigs were. But in the sense what they were doing and bringing to people epidemiologists and I was starting to get information and realizing, OK, if I do this and do that, that I don't need to smoke my food and Clorox, that I was watching everything. Everything.


And we all. Yeah, we did that. Yeah, yeah. You can get it from every surface. And now it's like, hey, there's no need to worry about that stuff. It's in the air. Yeah.


So, so I kind of went through that and then I was in touch with friends who were also doing it and then kind of realized and they, and they invited me was my friend Kathleen Madigan, who, you know.


Sure. And her and a friend of hers were hanging down in in Nashville and said, you can come down here. Yeah. And they had been in their own pod and not seeing anyone. Right. I had not seen anyone. I got you and I went down there and that was when it started.


When I started to see people, I started to come back and it took a while.


So you took the bus down?


I took them. I took that down and that that one. And then I went from there to see a friend of mine. One of my oldest, my oldest high school friends lives in Durham, North Carolina, near Chapel Hill, where I went to school. So so I went there. He also he and his wife had been also in lockdown. And these were and they were also both kind of in isolation in places that were isolated. Yeah.


And so I'd hang out with them and I'd take walks. Oh, good. Which is nothing I've ever you know, I'm not I'm not mister fuck. Yeah. Yeah. But now it was like, give me a hike. Let me look at birds. Yeah. Let me, let me be out with my friends and that kind of and all of that. And then I went and saw my mother was she. And then I traveled around a bit.


Where's your mother. She's in an assisted living situation outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Wow, so you really got to you kind of got caught up with everybody.


Hello. Hello. OK, wca I think the. Hold on.


OK. Well that's because I'm talking about my mother.


She, you know, that's the way she lives. Even even if she can't deal with me psychically she'll go after that.


Yeah. No I know they're always in you. They live in your brain.


They do. And my mother just to take it from where we were. Mom's 102.


102. Yeah.


Did she smoke. Yeah, she was she was sixty sixty two or something.


That's that's some tough genetics, which which Eastern European country does that come from?


That's Russia. My my grandfather smoke cigars and inhaled them and he died at 86 and not from the cigars. Right. He just hated you know, he just he stopped working and he kind of he just was done these small.


He just stopped eating. Yeah. He'd had enough.


Well, because he's the cigar thing. He quit it. He quit smoking cigars at 82, which is why he said I didn't like the taste anymore.


Yeah. Yeah. And that's probably why he quit eating. It was the only thing he enjoyed. Yeah. Were the cigars.


But like in and so that was it does make you appreciate. I'll tell you one thing this time that I've spent by myself and whatever the hell I'm going through, you do really start to appreciate your friends and start to appreciate, you know, you get it's an interesting thing to not to know that there's nothing you can do to work in what we usually work in and no one else can either. Yeah. So so there's a certain amount of pressure that's taken off you.


You can stop for a minute because there's no options and there's something aggravating about that. But I found I found that given the time I'm OK doing nothing and I might know, but it takes time to get to that.


You know, how long it takes to get to that point, which is unbelievable. It took a long time to get there.


Didn't yeah. Like, are you going to go do these driving shows? You look like, oh, fuck, you know, fuck them. Are you fucking kidding me? Yeah. Yeah. Are you going to do the show where everybody wears your mops? Fuck you.


Yeah. But you be right. Did you get that call from your manager. Look, they're they're doing this now.


I got a there's a there's a theater I like over in, you know, in New Jersey, one of the performing arts center, they call in with an offer to play outside.


That's the other thing.


You know, don't you take one of your great joys, isn't it, being a comic? Cause I can't wait to play outside again. Oh, no.


I'd like to do it again. Again. See, that's the thing. It's like you spend your life trying to get away from shit gigs and now there being this is like, isn't this great? We're doing it again. And it's a shitty gig.


No, no, I'm not doing it. They offered me a thing and they said, you know, everybody be socially distant. She wasn't they'd be out, they wouldn't be in cars, but it was going to be kind of in a in a in a drive in. Yeah, wouldn't be they wouldn't be sitting in cars to be sitting, you know, they'd have hoods or whatever.


Yeah. Yeah. And then they sit and then like you Zambonis you said and there'll be food carts. Your food trucks.


Well are you. What. That's the bucket list.


There's another way. So can they put lights, any lights on the food trucks that I really saw. I can have the same sense that I have inside when I'm at certain places and they make that. Well, exactly.


Make sure the audience is with so I can see the movement towards the trucks and the lines that the trucks and is, as a friend said, when you see that kind of thing, if I'm out there and there, the audience is there and I can see those pictures. All I'm going to think about is, you know, I hope what is in that food truck. Yeah. What am I missing?


Yeah. Can you get me some before they run out or whatever the fuck it is that's distracting people from my show. So here's the other question I have is I've got a question.


If you have a resume, do you don't do that doing comedy, do you? We're on Zoom right now. No, no. The comedy where you go, dude, I can't do that shit.


Are you kidding me? It's like I talk to some someone the other night, a comic, and she said, yeah, it's OK if you can work without laughter.


And I'm like, what the fuck are you talking about? This is what we've come to. It's a good gig, but you can't hear any laughter.


Oh, well, that sounds great. Yeah, but you know how to pace yourself. I don't. What? There's no fucking way, dude. I can't I don't even go to zumaya meetings.


I'm out of my mind.


I fucking but but I guess like most days I'm managing and I'm taking in the news. But you're a guy like. Yeah. So you were in New York. You remember the fucking 70s, right. You've got a few years on me.




So is there a way are you able in any way to contextualize, you know, mentally what is going on now with with some precedent that gives you any comfort at all? No. Great.


Good. A lot of. Not a thing. There's nothing like you can't come back to Nixon, you can't go back to the 60s, you can't go back anywhere.


No, not because we're also because even with Nixon, even at that point, there was a sense that he had some sense of what government was about. He'd kind of gone like student council camps.


Right, right. Right. The system still held. This guy is dismantling the system. Yeah.


And that makes it hard. And he's coming on every day and rattling the cage and then they're allowing him to rattle the cage. Not only, you know, the whole Congress is allowing you to be rattled, Cage. And then and then the fucking news, you know, the news can't keep their eyes off them. And it's like, no, you have to stop it. You have to basically stop it and go get us information that will help us stop worrying about fucking him and start worrying about us.


So where are you on a day to day basis with this? I mean, how much aggravation does it cause you?


I've gotten down to I do about 40 minutes in the morning until they start repeating the news, which I do now. Yeah, like 40 minutes into it, they start over again with the same bullshit and different people talking about the same bullshit. There's no nobody's going.


Yeah, it's it's all speculative. You get you get for facts and then, you know, 72 hours of speculation.


So there's that. And then and then what I've done is and it's not because of an age thing, but just because to get a wrap up each day, I watch the you know, the news that comes on NBC, the, you know, the six thirty news out there. Right on the news that comes on like NBC, the late night local news.


And, you know, I watch a little of the local news to see to NBC News. Yeah. Like NBC. Yeah, I think you're living in the 70s. Yeah. It's like which of the three channels am I going to watch?


And this guy is I like this guy and it's twenty minutes and then generally I watch about twenty minutes and that's it. That's it. And that's all I do. And then I try to avoid it unless something seems to be like, oh you know, maybe they got him, maybe they caught him now you know, like him walking out of house.


I thought you got him. He just did something. He's walking around spreading a fucking major virus in the White House. And you got him? Yeah. Nothing. Yeah, nothing. It's OK. Sure. Let him wander around.


Can you imagine working there? No, not if I can imagine. I mean, you sit there, go see, my day was shitty, but I'm not in the White House.


I can't quite understand the the sycophancy and the loyalty. I don't know what kind of strange satanic magic he has over people other than the ability to destroy them, which I guess is pretty powerful.


But I mean, but he doesn't really have that power. I mean, he kind of does in the sense that he could futz with people. But if enough people stood up, I mean, they're all standing up at the end. It's like, where were you fucking two years ago, three years ago.


But do you think like I was talking to my friend, who did I talked to last night, maybe Sam Lipsyte or somebody that I think like, you know, what probably will happen if we make it through this and if he doesn't get re-elected, is that all these fucking guys, you know, given six months to a year, going to be like, yeah, that was crazy. That's crazy time. I don't know what. Yeah. What they'll happen to everybody, but we're OK now.


Yeah, we're good. Yeah. Like they're just going to they're just going to like scramble to save their own asses.


Right. I mean that's all that's. Yeah. Oh my God.


So. So what are you doing. Otherwise you're writing a goddamn play or something.


I am. What I'm doing at this point is I've started to I did a got a rant cast which I do, which is this I put together the I do these live rants after each show that were written by people in the audience, people within the city that I'm performing in or the state. So it's alive, it's done in front of the audience and it's sent throughout the world. I've been doing this for like five, six years, and it evolved really into that.


It was like, you know, actually give me a TV show. So fuck you, this is my TV show. It was really like and it was me standing in front of a mic reading what these people were writing. And it got better and better and better, and it evolved into what it evolved into, which was like in like, you know, let's say Charleston, South Carolina. And the Shelby is the it's the Charleston, South Carolina show.


Yeah. And it's written by these folks in Charleston or around, you know, Columbia or wherever, Greenville and and so but we we started to put those together in what is essentially, you know, like a podcast.


But it's the ranch. It's the ranch. We're going to have the shows been taken from the. Ah, and so I'm doing the openings for those how many you got where this is the 14th one we did OK 14 podcast and then we've got a few more. And then I've started to do the I call them virtual ones. Right now I have folks writing in and they come right in now to, you know, to to my to my website.


They can find out how to do it. And I've been I've been collecting new rants and then I stand in front of a camera. I'll be doing it from here and I'll start and I'll read their rants. I'll read the ones that I like and they're great. I mean, what's amazing more is the level of the writing. It's spectacular.


Well, it's like, well, they they probably know you. They probably know your comedy, you know. You know, they can and they can write to your voice.


Yeah. Right. Yeah. But but what I'm what's intriguing is, I mean, is this how many people kind of right now on a regular basis and not whether I do it or not, they don't seem to give a shit. They just you know, it's given them a way in which to get stuff off their chests. Right. But it's been about stuff that's just some of it is just spectacular when you know that thing about comedy and you kind of mind an idea and you start mining it and sometimes you go even I'm sitting there going, holy fuck, if this was my assignment.


Yeah, I couldn't have written what this guy wrote with I had a guy write a thing. One of the great ones was the guy opens up a jar of peanut butter and expects it to be smooth, you know, chunky. Yeah.


And seven minutes on, it is seven minute diatribe about his hate for chunky, chunky fuck and why it's disgusting and all of the things but one thing after another.


But like, meticulously written. Yeah. I mean, it's the kind of thing if I if I handed it to you, you'd go after three things. You give a fuck.


How much can you hate peanut butter. Yeah, it was like in pickles because some people are like people lining up like it's like it's a two party system of over pickles. You don't put that thing squirting shit on like it's a cumshots. Somebody wrote, I don't need the goddamn pickles shooting to come shot of my burger, you fox.


I mean, it's like, wow, you got to love it. And it reminds people of the time in a nostalgic way that we will return to when that was the height of our pain.


I think those things getting hung up on those things, there's always a way. It's a sort of controlled and and seemingly less offensive way to express our anger and fear. Right. So I would assume that now where people feel so out of control and, you know, if not hopeless about the situation, that getting angry about mundane things, you know, that could go on for a few days, you know, and and it's a way of controlling your environment, I would think.


Yeah. I mean, it's like for me, it's like it's just like the amount of dread and anxiety. It's like I can't even get to anger like I used to. Like, I go right to like, oh my God, I want to be dead, you know, like I don't either.


But like, you missed the anger, the anger. I keep missing it. I got I got I got a loop back around, you know, I got a loop back around it. Usually what happens is I miss the anger exit and I find myself and I want to be dead road. And then I look back around and the only available exit is sadness.


So, like, I keep I keep missing anger.


I have to say, you know, it's something I talked about early on when when I was first in the lockdown was. I'd never and it was probably and maybe in the end, it will you know, what good might come out of it is? Is folks might have an understanding when all is said and done, when somebody like I've known people who are anxious and I have a sympathy for that anxiety, I mean, a certain amount of empathy, anyone with which kind of like tries to kind of listen, you know, but I've now I've experienced it.


Anxiety, anxiety and dread. Yeah. And and depression on levels that I'd never experienced before. And so I feel more attuned to that.


And I'm hoping that others who've now kind of gone through it. You know, kind of get it now and don't turn to their friend to go, come on, snap out of it. Right, right, right, right. Well, what was your primary emotion? Just anger before.


Like, you never had anxiety or dread because you just never had anxiety. I just not, you know, because I was kind of just kind of had like I kind of was focused on what I was doing, you know, let's do this. And to do that, they would do this, right.


I mean, I kind of thought my dad and I like writing, you know, so you never wallowed in what the fuck am I going to do is that you get the difference. I know what I'm doing. Well, I don't know what I'm doing. Yeah. Yeah.


And I was always in and I you know, I could see friends and I lived in New York and it was always kind of a pulse of life and.


Yeah, but you seem a little like I mean, in the midst of all of the crankiness and whatever is funny, I mean, you always seem to, you know, kind of have a fairly at the core of it.


And I think why the humor continues is that, you know, there is some there's some there's some tone of hope at the core of most of your ranting and raving like, you know, I do when I listen to you do comedy.


I'm like, I think it's going to be OK, because I understand you're angry, but you don't seem terrified.


No, I you know, I don't I do. The only thing now that gets me is that the thing that undermined it was I had this firm belief in the American people, which I still do because of that. But you know that that you could always you know, you can fuck the politicians. You could rely on the American people that they would come. They they got it. And I think that it's true.


And that what's occurred now is, is that, you know, one of the things that's happened is, is that, you know, these are the people who should have basically said to the 30 percent who think they own the world now in this country, this is it may be democracy, but you're really not in charge, OK? Right. You're not you know, you're thirty percent. You don't get to wander around and yell and scream your bullshit.


Right. That's what it's written here.


OK, well, I mean, the thing that I'm starting to realize about people in general is that, you know, they're easily manipulated. They don't do a lot of their own thinking. Many are shallow and they've got a lot of anger that is easily misdirected into possibly killing Jews.


So and that that that scares me a little. I have to be asked. By God. Oh, boy. Right.




And I did talk.


I hadn't heard it from someone, you know. Well, you know, we laugh at it.


But I was told I was interviewed by like a 14 year old girl for the I work for the do some stuff for the Vonnegut Museum building out in Indiana. And they they had this young girl who's fucking smart as fuck. Yeah. Brilliant. And she was interviewing me and asked, have you ever experienced anti-Semitism? And I kind of was a couple of things.


I talked and you said, yeah, but only from me, pretty close to true. And but she I said, you know, I kind of explain it, but it was, you know, at the Times which I've experienced, that there's always been other people around who weren't Jewish and were more offended, you know, kept yelling, you know, you're fucking they're the ones on the back. So I never felt that sense of dread from that.


And I said, why have you experienced it? And she said, Oh, yeah, you know, they they I've experienced a lot. I mean, she lives in Indiana, so in Indianapolis, you know, so that's that could be part. But I was like I was stunned because, you know, we hear it, but I had not heard it directly from someone. You know, you see somebody on TV. But this one girl even now, do you have a Twitter?


Are you on Twitter? Yeah, but I don't pay much attention. Oh, I don't dive into it because it makes me psychotic. That really is the rabbit hole, because if I start looking at it, I get I get deranged.


Oh, no. All of this stuff is making everybody crazy. You know, my big fear and I don't know, like because generally, generationally, you and I maybe just a little different.


Like I just turned 57, 67.


You are like a like of earlier boomer that I mean, the end of the boomer, you know, like the big. Right.


But but there is this sort of this there's a problem with barometers of truth, that there's this idea that that that all truth has gotten sort of shaky on both sides.


You know, the left was always real good. I think we we really you know, I think the antisemite early on, the Christians invented conspiracy theories, you know, with with the New Testament and then with the Illuminati. But it seems like the left perfected it in the 60s and now and and now it's been hijacked. But both sides are fairly proficient at believing bullshit and and questioning the integrity of any sort of fact. And I think that the fact that both sides are doing that, that it's become quite nebulous.


You know, what we base our reality on and what is true and what isn't. And when you get a whole population or even two thirds of a population that is in that zone, they're very easily manipulated and eventually can be driven into a type of apathy that would make it very easy for authoritarianism to take hold.


But part of that came from it's exacerbated by the word I rarely get to use. Yeah, it was exacerbated by the state that we're in in terms of, like you said, look at Twitter. Yeah. You know, it's it's exacerbated by the fact that we're looking at screens the whole time. No, absolutely. Absolutely. We're not people anymore. And we're being undermined by not being in the public square so that the guy who you might not like, who is a schmuck, whatever side you want to pick.


Yeah. You you still were you know, you saw him every day and he's a schmuck. But, you know, he's right. You kind of he's a schmuck. But we eat lunch sometimes. Yeah, exactly.


You know, and you kind of felt OK. I feel a little bad for him. Yeah.


Because of A, B and C, you know, that was the empathy.


But if you got this fucking piece of shit in front of you, you know, and you're looking at this, you don't have any empathy for that because I wish somebody would write something fucking you fuck. And I just sit there and I'm like, fucking fuck it.


Yeah. It's not even their real name. You don't even know who you're yelling at. It could be, you know, a 14 year old who just wanted to I'm yelling at it.


But yeah, it's just it's a guy whose hobby it is to make all Jews snap.


Look like we got look, we made another one. Nutt's it's hilarious. No, I agree. I think that's true. I think that, you know, that this there is an isolation to technology and certainly that's exacerbated now because of the plague and that people are sitting there, you know, engaging with the screen, engaging with selective information.


That's but it's like really there are some people who we I think that are so brain fucked by by bullshit that they're not coming back.


I mean, you know, the way you're talking, it used to be that you knew Republicans that you could sit with. Right. Were those days, you know any of them anymore?


Well, you know the Lincoln Republicans. Yeah, but those guys are monsters, you know.


I know they you know, it seems like they're like they're they're doing a good thing, but they're just triangulating. You know, as soon as they get rid of this guy, they're just jockeying for their position to be cunts again.


But I did. I mean, I was and I think I think it's all very simple in terms of politics, that for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction.


We go here, here, here, here. And what will happen happened in my lifetime, you know, because early on had been a bum, bum, bum, bum bum in the in the nineteen hundreds in the early nineteen hundreds into the twenties. You know that people will, you will end up with a Congress in which there are there are going to be Republicans who seem like Democrats and Democrats who seem like Republicans. And we'll get back to that.


When I was a kid, my mother nothing irritated my mother more than when I voted for that. We had a senator from Maryland. One of the first times I voted was for that senator was Republican. It was great. But really, I can't believe you vote well, because 90 percent of what he does, I completely think is great.


I don't know what the other schmucks going to do, but I know that this guy ninety nine times out of ten, he's going to do what I want him to do.


And you think you think that there will come a time where we're not going to be as divided and tribalistic and that this is I think this is this is truly a this is like you could go A, A, B and C, D and E, F, this is a perfect storm. We're in the midst of that perfect storm and out of it. I'm not saying there's going to be some fucking sunlight bullshit when we come out of the storm.


Yeah. You know, no, but it will take time, but. Yeah. We will return, yeah, OK, so you don't think that you know, that we're going to break up the republic or that the militias are going to succeed?


No, no, because once you get people back, like Twente, the student council, they go, no.


All right.


Well, I can say they fucking went home and they don't even know what's going on. They go, please vote for me. I didn't really like him. Just vote for me.


I like I'm different. You know, they're back there. They're ready to fucking you know, I like that you have some some faith in that.


There's still an active student council camp culture. I like that.


I do believe there is. I mean, that's what drives them nuts about Biden. That's what drives them nuts. He's a part of her. She's a big fucking come up fucking with you, Conspiracy's. You didn't like the son of a bitch when he won the election in high school. You still don't like him. Fuck you.


But aren't you astounded at the the the the intensity of the shit magnet power of this particular administration? Have you ever seen more cheap ass grifters and con men and bullshit artists and religious fanatics? I mean, it's fucking astounding. It's like he drew them as their holes, like some sort of fucking snake charmer, and he hired every one of them, every fucking mind blowing.


Well, this is when you really you'll appreciate this in those listening will have no idea. We'll have to look it up, put it because you knew him. You know him is I'm sure you've been in touch with what's his name. I can see the guy, the one that he bought, one of the 60 that he pardoned that Randy Credico showed Credico.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He showed. I don't know how you know Credico. Yeah, yeah. In the Roger Stone situation. Credit. Yes.


I mean really of all the people that I thought, wow. Well usually because I mean I've worked with credit card a couple of things and I did stuff with red, you know.


Yeah, well, Credico was like the leftist, like he was the guy that went down to Nicaragua to work with Watts's Ortega to help the Sandinistas. Right. He said that he brought criminals down there and they were yeah. They were just shy of being part of the government. And then and then he comes back here and he's a political comic and, you know, you know, a fairly active participant in the nose candy movement.


And he would he would get on stage. You do one politics joke and you go like, oh, what do you want? Impressions. And he do Popeye for ten minutes.


So and I don't know. I don't even understand that. And then I knew he was involved with cancer somehow for a while.


But I don't know I don't know his position that he ended up with Roger Stone and then he ended up with the WikiLeaks thing. And it was like, what man? He's walking around with a little dog. I thought, this is the road to madness, you know? I mean, I did this, but that's when I knew. When you're talking about Grifter's, it was that was what I knew. Things were totally off the charts to another level.


I mean, you look at Roger Stone and you. Well, how do you look at him? You go, would you hire him?


Outside of maybe working in front of the restaurant. Twenty one here, you might have him stand out front in that outfit.


Well, you just realize it like the corruption is so blatant and so expansive. And you realize that on some level, you know, because of all this bullshit, it's the most transparent administration we've had in years because you knew the possibility of the grift and that these fuckers have been turning out. You have been have been basically gaming the system all the time, you know, to to to make personal profit. I mean, that's the whole Republican trip.


Break it down, use the system as a money laundering operation, and then let the fucking thing collapse and see if business can put it back together. And we're sort of at the end of that experiment and probably the end of the democratic experiment. We'll see which one wins, right?


Yeah, I think the democratic experiment will win.


I'm worried about what you know, how the financial thing, because they don't seem to give a shit about coming up with the stimulus package.


You know, now now he's really trying to buy votes. He's like, yeah, well, here's one point. Eight trillion will make everybody well, you do what's his name.


But meanwhile, McConnell is standing in the way of it. How do you do that? OK, I mean, I know too many you know, people. How do you do that? How do you stand in the way of people that, you know, need that shit?


OK, you fucking dick.


Yeah, I don't I you know, he's he's a crafty motherfucker. And I and I can't claim to understand all the machinations, but what do you like?


Are you what are you doing for for fun? Are you doing anything for fun.


That if you win. Yeah. Yeah. Like it usually takes the form in watching movies. Yes I, I do. I play golf which is nice but but it helps.


You can do that when you go out with people. Yeah. I mean you know because you got real because the people I'm playing with are also people who have been basically isolated. Yeah. See anybody we drive in different carts. We don't you know, we don't you know, it's golf. You're outside. Where do you go Jersey.


No, I was playing down in North Carolina. That was I was I was working half the day today. I was out there playing golf. And the nice thing about golf is, is you don't it's such a stupid game. And I understand why people don't want to play golf, and I get it. But it allows you a complete escape from this.


I've never done that. I was talking to some guys about it yesterday. I got a friend that does it and I've maybe I went to a driving range a couple of times when I was younger. And I can understand the rush of making contact with the ball correctly.


That little ping that you feel, you know, I've never gotten better, which is appalling. And but it allows I used to say, but it allowed me was to hate myself more than I normally do in my daily life.


Yeah, but but what it does do is you can do it outdoors while you're walking to the next hole or driving you just like I mean it's really.


Yeah. So that helps. I mean that does help. Reading is still elusive. I find it hard to focus long enough to read. I'm getting better at it.


I've been listening to a lot of music, I've been buying records, I buy a lot of records and I'm back. That's good. Yeah, I enjoy it man. You know, I listen to I listen, you know, John Lennon's birthday today and I put on Plastic Ono Band and listen to a couple off of there.


Did you ever listen to a like back in the day? Did you ever listen to the incredible string band? Yeah. How fucking good are they?


Dude, I am actually just for the first time discovering those Gaelic hippies. And I'm like, amazed.


Like, I've got I got their first four albums and I obsessively and I'm like, holy fuck.


Yeah, I'm really good. Yeah. They were like they kind of disappeared but they were in that whole movement. It was like everything that was coming out at that time, you go fuck, fuck, fuck and fuck.


Yeah, that's good too.


There's just like it was so like I can't believe I'm going to talk about this, like this is new, but the way they use the sitar, you know, integrating into sort of like weird Scottish folk melodies without, you know, overdoing it, you know, like it wasn't like, look, we're using a sitar, but everything was nicely balanced and there was a lot of space. And I was like, this is magical music. That's the great thing about music is what I'm saying, Lewis, is that, you know, it's always there to be discovered for the first time, even if you're fifty years too late.


Yeah, no, it's no, it's good. I mean, that's something that helps. And I binge watch a bit of things, but you watch what do you even want to watch. Do you watch the show.


No, I like it.


It's really sick. It's an interesting analysis of part. There's a part there's a kind of a through line to it that this guy kind of created this.


Oh, the documentary about Nexium or whatever. Yeah. Yeah.


But it's really like part of it. I'm sitting here watching. Good. Well he created this in part to get laid. I mean. Wow. Yeah. Wow. I mean that's a lot. That's. Exhausting begging is easier. Do you know how many men have it? That's the driving force of almost every thing for a lot of dudes. You can't imagine how many comedians I have talked to. Their intention by being funny, by being a comedian was to get laid.


Yes. Oh, yeah.


But they didn't make a business out of it, you know what I mean?


But this is really it's well, it's it's kind of fascinating. It's like one of these things you go, wow, it's the paranoia that we live in. Right. You know, you kind of you're looking at, you know you know, this thing about what what you were talking about in terms of people, the left or the right, whatever, you know, these and then really and a lot of intelligent people kind of losing their minds. This is a group of really bright people who end up doing this and you kind of go, holy fuck.


Well, that's exactly what that's what's happening with the with the fucking Kuhnen. I mean, that that people are not. Most of these people that you know, some people, you know, your whole life and you think, well, this is a reasonably, reasonably informed guy, you know, a bright person who who can, you know, knows the difference between right and wrong, seems to be able to think.


And then one day you're like a fucking moron. How the fuck did that happen? How did you get duped? You know, I don't know what that is. I mean, that's what I've been obsessed with that thing for a while now. Like, how do I think that, like, look, if you've got enough, like, weird self-hatred but self awareness and enough sort of like strange anger and ego, you're not going to be easily led into spiritual solutions or cults.


Like, there's no fucking way that I'm going to be in a cult because I don't like leaders.


I don't like to lead. Just, you know. You know what? Go fuck yourself. I'm OK. Don't. What do you want from me? I don't know. I don't know what exactly it is that that makes me not vulnerable to that. Well, I don't think.


Well, it's called you question authority. That's it for starters. Right. Right, right. So, yeah, I've got an innate. Who the fuck is this guy?


What's this guy want. Yeah but.


But yeah but but do you ever find yourself like for me, like when I try to really think about it, like art, spirituality, craving like you know, I've experienced some sadness and loss in the last few months and I understand like it'd be nice and I did.


And I'm sorry about that. Thank you. I appreciate that stuff. I understand that is terrible.


But then you like what is what is it all mean? You know, what is existence. You know, why am I here, why that happened to her, you know, like is there does it all make sense? Then you start to realize it's a fundamentally human thing. You don't know when the fuck it's going to happen. But everybody carries loss. Everybody deals with it.


It's part of the human experience. It's horrible. But it does make you sort of like, you know, I never think like, is there a God? Is there is there like what does God have to do with it? But there is that party that's sort of like, how do I reckon with this?


And I don't really have an answer, but I rarely go to God.


It's not.


Do you know, I, I go to. I have gone to faith, which is not in God, but it's you know, it's that it will work.


Right, right, right, right, right, right, right. I've got, you know, that it's bigger. You know, I've kind of my thoughts have always been about it. The problem with God to me is the concept was it's smaller than what's going on out there. Don't do this right, right, right.


Way bigger. Don't reduce it to an entity or a guy that cares about you.


Yeah. And then I had a son, you know. Yeah. But, you know, an interesting one of the interesting the kind of thoughts about this about passage of life. Art Buchwald, who's a really good writer, really funny writer for a long time. Very, very good. He he was he his kidneys were giving out. He was old. He kind of he decided he was going to stop doing dialysis. He just went fucking I'm going to go in going to the hospice are going to die.


So he goes in there and and he and he does it. He people come to visit six months later, he's still going he's writing apology letters. I'm really sorry. He said the one thing that he felt that he learned was his he said that he wondered if it wasn't so much. Where he was going, he the big question was, why was he here, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, right. Which is really an interesting way to look at it as opposed to that is supposed to out there.


It's what is this about?


Well, yeah. I mean, that happens in relation to it.


I just I guess I'm just talking about, like, you know, there just seems to be much more like, look, I've believed my share of bullshit in my life, but, you know, and I'm not sure that some of this stuff I'm hanging on to right now isn't bullshit.


I'm sure it is.


But but I never looked for salvation like, you know, I guess there's people that look to be relieved of of the burden of of their own struggle and the seeming unfairness of life.


And they're those of us who who just, you know, believe that that without that to complain about, what do we have?


Yeah, that's really true. And that's the difference between Jews and Christians.


Yes, it is.


And then the other thing is that I kind of arrived that which is similar to that is, you know, why do these people like him, the the leader? Why do they like him so much? It's precisely that he feels that he expresses what they feel every day, which is put upon.


Right. Right. Support for the victims. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. The grievance culture, you know, like we've been fucked and now, like, you know, who who's who's fucking us. You just point a finger like that.


Those fuckers, the Libs, the Dems, the juicy third on the list, which is I'm telling you, third on the and the other two are kind of the same thing.


So where does the special going to be on.


But it's on iTunes. Amazon, it'll be on Amazon Prime eventually. Google TV party. Bobo and Daddy. Daddy, you're one hundred and forty seven platforms.


I do believe me, I did a whole bit on it. Did you do a bet on it?


No, no, no. I didn't know that after hearing you. But I'm not stealing. So I always love.


I love talking to you, man. It's good seeing you. I'm glad you're holding up.


It was really a pleasure, you know, and and, um. And I and I did want to tell you, you know, I, like, glow a lot. I thought you were I mean, I'm not really like I like you, too.


Oh, thanks, man. Yeah. You know, it's like it's sad. But like when it comes down to it, I think it was really honestly, it was about money, but it was also about safety. I mean, we don't you know, we were going to probably be shooting in May.


Oh, we're right on time finishing this thing. My Gardiner's just got here and, you know, who knows if it would have been safe.


I tell you, it does not look fun to work on the set right now.


You know, I'm good friends who are doing it. I have some friends who are doing it and and it has not. And they've had to fight about it.


Yeah, no, it looks it looks just miserable. But stay healthy, buddy. I love you, man. Love you.


Take care of yourself, Michael. Okay. Good to see you. Who is black folks love that guy. The new special is Thanks for Risking Your Life to get it on all the video demand platforms, also streaming audio platforms and his podcast, Lewis Black's rant cast. You can get that where you get the podcasts. And a good reminder for everyone. Again, if you're ever stopped at a railway crossing and the signals are flashing and you don't see the train or the appears to be moving slow and you're thinking maybe you could get across the tracks before the train comes.


Think about this. Even if the engineer sees you and applies emergency brakes right away, it can take a train over a mile to stop, a mile to stop. By that time, it's too late and the resulting crash will be deadly. It'll be a mess. So stop trains. Can't you dig? Let's play some music and I'm going to go take a bath in Epsom salts. Boomer lives, don't forget Monkey Nephi Fonda.