Lewis Black, the Longest Running ‘Daily Show’ Contributor, Will Stay on After Jon Stewart Retires
1n 1996, The Daily Show creator and producer Lizz Winstead hired Lewis Black to be one of the show’s first correspondents, delivering rage-filled editorials in his now-famous style. When Jon Stewart took over for Craig Kilborn in 1999, he kept many of the early correspondents at first, but before long, they were all replaced. Except Lewis Black.
In 2015, Black still contributes to The Daily Show on a regular basis with his “Back in Black” segments, making him, at 19 years, the longest running Daily Show staff member. But, will all that change come August 6 when Stewart retires from the show, ushering in the new Trevor Noah era? We spoke to Black as he was promoting Inside Out and he assured us, he’s not ready to leave yet.
“I’m gonna work it for a little while longer,” Black revealed. “Part of it is, they want me to stay. But also, it’s a way for me to maintain a public profile. Like it or not, I’m not big and TV is important in terms of that. TV and then that it gets to the internet.”
While Black plans to stay with the show after Stewart’s departure, he almost never made it this far. In his early days, Black would write his own on-air rants. But then he suddenly found himself removed from the creation of his own segments. “A producer came in and the, pardon the use of the term, douchebag fucked with me. And basically cut me out of the writing. And, I said, ‘OK, I’ll just perform it.’ And, I did for a while. Now, I’m back in the groove and have some input. But, it really did almost destroy my relationship with the show.”
(Coincidentally given the movie he’s currently promoting, Black says he was able to get through that difficult time in his career with the help of a therapist, who told him, “Don’t let your anger get the best of you!”)
Black now says it’s now a more even split when it comes to producing his appearances. The Daily Show writers still write the “Back in Black” segments, but Black has considerable input. “I like the writers and they write really well for me. A lot of the times, I have input into it, but they write really well in my voice. It’s really fun to do.”
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah debuts on September 28 and while it’s unclear how much of the staff will return, we do know that Lewis Black will be there, just in case a news story falls through the cracks.