Lewis Black is a lefty comic and Comedy Central staple whose angry political rants became more resonant (and popular) under the reign of George W. Bush.

The product of a politically active family—his father quit his military job to protest the Vietnam War—Black was raised outside Washington, D.C. and earned an MFA from Yale in 1977 before beginning a career as a playwright. He penned nearly 40 plays over the course of two decades. When his theater career began to peter out in the late '80s, Black began performing stand-up comedy and garnering minor roles in TV shows like Law and Order and Mad About You. His comedy career took off in the late 90s when he landed a regular gig, "Back in Black," on The Daily Show, which led to several Comedy Central and HBO specials. Black's flat-out vitriol, which takes the obvious forms of sarcasm, mental breakdown, and plain-old-yelling, made him a household name during the Bush presidency, which became serious fodder for Black.

Black, who's single, was once married for, as he says, "about six minutes." He bought a new apartment in 2008, but doesn't spend much time there as he travels up to 250 days a year.

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