Lewis Black (b. August 30, 1948)
Here's a HIGHLY recommended book for your summer reading list: Lewis Black's Nothing's Sacred (Simon & Schuster). Black is the ranting comedian from The Daily Show who Richard Belzer calls "a whirlwind of brilliantly witty outrage and informed dissent."
In Nothing's Sacred, his first book, Black pinpoints the events in his upbringing that led to his divergence from the herd. Included are many reminiscences, hilariously recounted, of the drug experimentations of his youth. He even calls one of his chapters "Pot" and thusly describes his first experience with it: "I felt at one with the universe. I had never felt this before. Delusional or not, it was something I never found at the temple and it has been a comfort to me ever since." While also describing bad experiences with too much pot or LSD, Black says that he took mescaline for his GRE exams and scored higher than he had on his SATs.
Born in 1948 and raised by Jewish parents in suburban DC, Black writes affectionately about his family, his friends and his dog in between his scathing, side-splitting commentary. I particularly liked his spot-on observations about ADD, neckties, and our two-party system, where, "the Democrats are the party of no ideas and the Republicans are the party of bad ideas."
While we Americans, as Black puts it, "continue to rapidly homogenize ourselves into a neutered oblivion," thank goodness Lewis Black is around to shout us awake, laughing all the way. Though as Jon Stewart points out, Black can actually yell in print form, you can also catch his yelling broadcasted on the HBO special, "Red, White and Screwed."And catch his pot-ty mouth at the Hollywood Bowl, where he shares, "It allowed me to feel like outlaw in my own basement."