Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lewis Black Skewers Election Season in Political Show at Just for Laughs

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lewis Black Skewers Election Season in Political Show at Just for Laughs

Article excerpt

Lewis Black skewers politics at Just For Laughs

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MONTREAL - Lewis Black isn't surprised Prime Minister Stephen Harper proclaimed Calgary as the best city in Canada during the recent Stampede.

"He likes a big breakfast and who can blame him," the explosive Black quipped in a telephone interview. "Get out in the street and do some flapjacks. He'll be with you."

Black, who is best known to Canadians for his rants on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," will headline a political humour show at Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival on Friday, taking particular aim at the U.S. presidential election campaign.

"After a while, you just get sick of it," he said of political shenanigans, his voice tinged with incredulity and frustration. "It's unbelievable. How can it be stupider than last time? -- But it is."

U.S. politicians seem like "fictional characters come to life," he says.

It was a challenge to make fun of Barack Obama in his first presidential election in 2008 because he talked in paragraphs instead of sentences, Black said. This year's Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, however, is an easier target.

"We elected a black president," Black explained. "Now the Republicans respond by electing the whitest man ever. He makes George Bush look Jamaican."

He dismissed arguments that U.S. politics is polarized, saying 17 per cent of Americans agree with what's happening in Congress.

"That means 83 per cent of us agree" that they don't like it.

Canadian John Wing Jr., who will be among those appearing with Black, tends to agree with him but also suggests comedians have to pick their spots for their jokes. For instance, when he performs on cruise ships, many in the audience are diehard Republicans.

"If you're going to make a joke, it has to be about a Democrat because if you make a joke about a Republican you'll get complaints," he observed.

As far as Obama goes, he speculated a lot of left-of-centre comedians got caught up in the lovefest around the presidential hopeful in 2008 and treated him with kid gloves. …

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