Lewis Black believes comedy isn’t taken more seriously in the academic world because of clowns.
For one thing, he says, clowns give children nightmares.
Black, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, made his reputation as an angry comic with a dirty mouth. The 57-year-old comedian has gained national prominence through his “Back in Black” segments on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” hosted by Jon Stewart.
He also has found a place in movies, including the upcoming “Farce of the Penguins” and “Man of the Year.”
Black returned recently to the University of North Carolina to teach several classes as part of his alma mater’s annual Carolina Comedy Festival.
He considers his teaching part of the art form’s oral tradition.