Politicians can run, but they can’t hide from comedian Lewis Black. The Daily Show alum will bring his new solo show, Running on Empty, to Broadway just in time for the election, but Black isn't quite relishing the opportunity to take shots at today's political figures.
“Everybody goes, ‘Oh, this must be an exciting time for you,’ Black told the Associated Press of election years. "No. It’s always the same. It’s always the same—but worse.”
In Running on Empty, Black slings insults at both presidential candidates, referring to Mitt Romney as the whitest candidate ever. Compared to Romney, even good ol’ boy George W. Bush “looks Jamaican,” Black quipped. And President Obama? “He’s offering up hope and, at my age, that’s a worthless commodity.”
The famously grumpy comedian also criticizes Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan's love of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. “If you’re going to pick a book and you want to base a system of government around it, why not Harry Potter?”
Running on Empty marks Black's first appearance on Broadway after Lewis Black: Black on Broadway, which was filmed for HBO in 2004. The comedian, who attended Yale Drama School and originally aspired to be a playwright, is also celebrating the George Street Playhouse's upcoming production of his play One Slight Hitch. “It’s really weird,” Black said of his success. “In the world I should have been in, the play should be on Broadway. I should be playing the State Theatre in New Brunswick.”
Although he never became a prolific playwright, Black is satisfied with his career as a stand-up comedian. "Stand-up is the only thing in which you actually write it, act it and direct it simultaneously, so it's actually a great theater exercise."
Running on Empty plays the Richard Rodgers Theatre October 9 through 20.