Culture Surfing - Lewis Black shows his true colors

Besides authoring more than 40 plays over the years, Lewis Black has built a comedic empire calling "bullshit" on everything from politics to pop culture to religion. Currently, he mediates debates on the merits of beer vs. weed and sororities vs. strip clubs, among other vices, on Comedy Central's "Lewis Black's Root of All Evil." And while he may be best-known for acerbic rants such as "Back in Black" on "The Daily Show," he does have a softer side — a puppy-loving, iced-tea-drinking, golfing side. Who knew? Black performs at the Fox Thursday, Oct. 2.

Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters: "I read it when I arrived at drama school and the first two pages said more about life and people than anything I could ever imagine writing. I had writer's block for a year, till I realized what I had to say would be different than what he had to say, but that I had someone to aspire to in terms of expression. Not one play I have ever written is like one of his."

Golf: "As a child, I could cross the street and play the course where my father worked. It was where I could go to be alone."

Dogs: "Practically any dog ... I had a great dog ... He was more intelligent than every human being I have ever known and more empathetic. He was a joy to be with, and sadly someone kidnapped him, or so I believe. I always am excited when I see any dog. They make life make sense. They seem happier about it than the rest of us."

"Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office" and "The Colbert Report": "They have all changed comedy in their own way."

My father's paintings: "He is a hard-edged abstractionist. That's what he calls himself. Whatever that means. He started painting when he was 60. He stopped at the age of 85. I asked him why. He said he had run out of ideas."

Unsweetened iced tea: "Water has no taste."

A better public school system: "We need to relearn how to pass on the knowledge of the ages. It is the most important gift we have to give. It's what will make possible for the generations to come to become the best that they can possibly be. We owe them that opportunity."