Las Vegas. YouTube. Paris Hilton. What do they have in common? They all make Lewis Black want to strangle himself with a television cord. Join the abrasive comedian as he and his brethren take on pop culture, politics and all the things that most stupefy and pervert our society. With the help of comics like Patton Oswalt, Greg Giraldo and Andrew Daly, Lewis Black will help you find the Root of All Evil.
These are times that try men’s souls, and what the world needs is a forum where the hot button issues of the day can be heard in the court of comedy opinion. Lewis Black presides over this lively Comedy Central series in which two comedians take sides in debating which is worse: Oprah vs. the Catholic Church; Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney; Donald Trump vs. Viagra, and other things that, Black rants, “turn my mind into a cesspool of madness.” This format is an excellent showcase for Black, who prefers the conflagration over the slow burn, as well as esteemed colleagues Patton Oswalt, Greg Giraldo, Andy Kindler, Andrew Daly, Kathleen Madigan, and Paul F. Tomkins. Giraldo is the Hamilton Burger of the series. In this first season, he does not win a case. Oswalt has a better track record, but win or lose, the testimony is often inspired. In the case of American Idol vs. High School, Oswalt convincingly argues, “American Idol is where people go to get judged, humiliated, and pigeonholed, but where did they learn to do that? High school!” Another Clarence Darrow moment is his argument that YouTube has turned us “into a nation of deranged roman emperors sitting around in our bathrooms saying, ‘I’m bored, I’d like to see something poop or sneeze.” Recurring segments such as Black’s “inquisitions,” man on the street interviews and expert witnesses (singer-songwriter Aimee Mann taking the anti-pot side) add to the guilty pleasures. Not since Judge Ito has there been this much contempt in court, but it’s all directed at deserving targets. Root of All Evil absolutely pleases the court. –Donald Liebenson