Comedian Lewis Black dares to take pop culture to trial Wednesday night with his new television series on Comedy Central, Root of All Evil. Welcome to the comedic courtroom of the honorable Judge Lewis Black, where pop icons are indicted for evil in the first and second degree and comedic license reigns supreme. Under the biased and hilarious judgeship of Black, various comedians take the stand to debate just who deserves the title of "the root of all evil" in American culture. Everyone is guilty.
Take, for instance, the case Oprah versus the Catholic Church - or as Black sardonically calls, the battle between "devout worshippers and the Catholic Church." America's favorite talk show host gets relabeled as the nation's greatest cult leader, possessing the power to start and end careers (i.e. Tom Cruise) and the audacity to put only her own face on her monthly magazine should her devotees ever forget their leader.
Other villainous showdowns pit Paris Hilton versus Dick Cheney, chick flicks versus video games, and even Donald Trump versus Viagra. Comedian Andy Kindler argues, "Donald Trump is the root of all evil because he trademarked the phrase, 'You're fired.' I'm going to trademark 'Hello,' and don't even try 'Hi' because I own that too."
No reputation is spared -- not even Black's, as Greg Gilardo, defender of Viagra as evil, jokes, "There's nothing more gross than old people having sex, no offense your Honor."
The only person in contempt of court is Judge Lewis Black himself, as he rants, tirades, and patronizes the most sacred cultural icons of today. Unfortunately, he does so in small doses - instead the debates from Black's comedic subordinates dominate the show. The only thing stopping this series from being a hit is to let Lewis Black do it all.
Root of All Evil airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central