Black is White
Last night at The Mohawk, comedian and hopeful Taco Bell spokesman Michael Ian Black, on his nationwide Black is White Tour, stepped onto the outdoor stage in front of a crowd that filled all levels of the venue. The fans were eager to see a man who keeps himself busy, whether with Sierra Mist commercials, children’s books or horribly inappropriate tweets.
Black certainly knows how to get a show rolling, starting off with a hilarious and sound defense of his latest cringe-inducing tweets and plainly stating that Texas is really quite a “shithole.” But don’t worry, he assures the crowd, Austin should still be proud about being the best city in a state that is a shithole.
And since he was in the Live Music Capital of the World, Black was able to enjoy some live music during his set from some other neighboring venue. Pausing during his own act in order to decide if he liked the unknown band or not, it didn’t take long for him to decide that they were indeed "shit." It certainly makes you appreciate a comedian who not only improvises on the spot, but can even serve as a music critic in a pinch.
There's not much Black hasn't done; a founding member of mid-90s comedy group The State, he rocketed to MTV stardom with their short-lived sketch show, moving on to co-host the even more short-lived Viva Variety before eventually appearing in cult film Wet Hot American Summer, among many others. Since, he's had success both on the small screen (with Ed, Stella and Michael and Michael Have Issues, co-starring another ex-State member, Michael Showalter) and big (appearing in dozens of films, like Take Me Home Tonight, where his cameos are treats for comedy-loving crowds). He also hosts a popular podcast, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks.
Black is also known for putting a personal twist on the anecdotes he tells, such as when he realized that maybe he wasn’t supporting his wife enough during her first pregnancy. He of course came to this conclusion while driving and hearing Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open” playing on the radio. He instantly knew the song was a piece of shit, which is why he had to pull over while sobbing uncontrollably.
It’s a little story that shows part of the appeal of Michael Ian Black. He’s able to take very real and personal stories from his life and deliver them to where they can make you laugh, as seen with his sadsadconversation posts on YouTube.
Amongst all of the other outrageous comments that filled the night, Black certainly shows why he has such a huge following while still sitting just outside of the mainstream. His best material is too much for most television viewers, but his precise delivery and disarming tone is able to bring down just about any live audience’s politically correct defenses and make them laugh. He’s not just a comedian, he’s a funny guy who allows the audience to have the catharsis that laughing provides, no matter what the subject. Even if it's baby shaking.
(Relax, Black loves kids; he even wrote a book to prove it! See him read, below.)