Lewis Black's Root of All Evil

For TVB series with a similar title, see Root of Evil.
Lewis Black's Root of All Evil
Created by Scott Carter
David Sacks
Presented by Lewis Black
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 18 (list of episodes)
Running time 20 minutes
Original network Comedy Central
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
Original release March 12 
October 1, 2008
External links

Lewis Black's Root of All Evil is an American television series that premiered on March 12, 2008, on Comedy Central and was hosted by comedian Lewis Black. The series producer was Scott Carter from Real Time with Bill Maher and the writer was David Sacks from The Simpsons. Sometimes there were pre-recorded video segments directed by supervising producer Michael Addis.

Lewis Black's Root of All Evil is formatted as a tongue-in-cheek mock trial acted in deadpan. Black presided over two opposing guest comedians championing a person or thing as the "root of all evil" (YouTube, beer, Oprah Winfrey, PETA, etc.). The series ended on October 1, 2008, with a total of 18 episodes. The series' cancellation was confirmed by Lewis Black in September 2009. The entire first season of Lewis Black's Root of All Evil was released on DVD in the United States on September 30, 2008. The remaining episodes from season two are not currently available on DVD.


Each show followed the same format: Black welcomed the viewer to his courtroom and announced the two Evil candidates for the Root of All Evil. Black gave a brief history of each of the Evils and introduced the two advocates, who presented their oral arguments why their Evil is the greater. Black began his inquisition, questioning the advocates about their Evils. Usually, the answers pointed out the good or usefulness of the opponent's Evil or the greater evil of their own. Black asked the advocates to predict what would happen if their Evil continued to spread. The Ripple of Evils used absurd, comedic logic and were generally very silly. After the advocates gave their closing arguments, Black asked for the audience's opinion, which he seldom followed, and announced his verdict and the loser's sentence.


The advocates were not the same every week, but six of the eight appeared multiple times. The advocates and their Win/Loss records are:[1]

Advocate Wins Losses Ties Poll wins Poll losses
Andrew Daly 4 2 0 2 4
Andy Kindler 3 1 0 1 3
Patton Oswalt* 3 2 1 3 3
Kathleen Madigan 2 1 0 1 2
Greg Giraldo 2 7 0 6 3
Paul F. Tompkins* 1 4 1 3 3
Jerry Minor 1 0 0 1 0
Andrea Savage 1 0 0 1 0


Season 1 (2008)

No. Advocate 1 Advocate 2 Root of All Evil Poll winner Original air date
Paul F. Tompkins for Oprah Greg Giraldo for Catholic Church
Catholic Church
March 12, 2008
Andy Kindler for Donald Trump Greg Giraldo for Viagra
Donald Trump
March 19, 2008
Paul F. Tompkins for Weed Andrew Daly for Beer
March 26, 2008
Patton Oswalt for YouTube Greg Giraldo for Porn
April 2, 2008
Greg Giraldo for Paris Hilton Patton Oswalt for Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Paris Hilton
April 9, 2008
Patton Oswalt for High School Andy Kindler for American Idol
American Idol
High School
April 16, 2008
Kathleen Madigan for Kim Jong-il Greg Giraldo for Tila Tequila
Kim Jong-il
Tila Tequila
April 23, 2008
Andrew Daly for Las Vegas Patton Oswalt for The Human Body
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
April 30, 2008

Season 2 (2008)

Season two was dedicated to the memory of George Carlin, who died on June 22, 2008; but a dedication message did not appear until the end of "Olympic Games vs. Drinking Games" on August 13, 2008.

No. Advocate 1 Advocate 2 Root of All Evil Poll winner Original air date
Andrew Daly for Ultimate Fighting Patton Oswalt for Bloggers
July 30, 2008
Greg Giraldo for Steroids Andrew Daly for Boob Jobs
Boob Jobs
August 6, 2008
Andrew Daly for Olympic Games Greg Giraldo for Drinking Games
Drinking Games
Drinking Games
August 13, 2008
Andy Kindler for NRA Paul F. Tompkins for PETA
August 20, 2008
Paul F. Tompkins for Red States Patton Oswalt for Blue States
Puerto Rico
Red States
August 27, 2008
Kathleen Madigan for Disney Andy Kindler for Scientology
September 3, 2008
Greg Giraldo for Going Green Andrea Savage for Spring Break
Spring Break
Spring Break
September 10, 2008
Paul F. Tompkins for Gen X Andrew Daly for Baby boomers
Baby boomers
Baby boomers
September 17, 2008
Greg Giraldo for Strip Clubs Kathleen Madigan for Sororities
Strip Clubs
September 24, 2008
Jerry Minor for The Hills Paul F. Tompkins for Rocket Scientists
The Hills
The Hills
October 1, 2008


Even before the first episode was broadcast, Brian Lowry in Variety attacked the show, saying that the guest comedians were "second-tier" and that the set "resembles a cut-rate version of The Weakest Link set" and that "Comedy Central's programming usually falls squarely into the sublime or the ridiculous, so consider Root of All Evil a rare tweener in terms of quality—one that proves a whole lot of Black is preferable, albeit marginally, to a black hole."[2] Attracting about 2.3 million viewers, the debut episode was the most-watched premiere episode of a Comedy Central series since the premiere of Chappelle's Show in 2003 and topped the demographics for male audiences ages 18 to 34.[3]

Mark Dawidziak of The Plain Dealer wrote in his review, "I'm a sucker for a good Lewis rant, and sometimes Root of All Evil would benefit from more Lewis fomenting and less formula. For as long as it's around, though, it does make a good fit with a Comedy Central lineup that includes Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Sarah Silverman and, of course, South Park."[4]

The 3rd Annual Independent Investigative Group IIG Awards presented an award to Root of All Evil recognizing the promotion of science and critical thinking in popular media on May 18, 2009.[5]


While there was no official notice from Comedy Central, Lewis Black stated in a September 2009 interview that "the show is dead".[6]

Home release

The entire first season of Lewis Black's Root of All Evil was released on two disc DVD set in the United States on September 30, 2008. The remaining episodes from season two are not currently available on DVD. All episodes are available on iTunes. However, Netflix Instant and Hulu no longer carries Lewis Black's Root Of All Evil.

DVD nameRelease dateEp #Features
Season OneSeptember 30, 2008[7] 8Post show interviews, "Meet Judge Black", "Meet The Lawyers", "PolitiBits", "Your Day In Court", Reno 911! - "Prostitution Sting", "What What in the Butt" parody from South Park episode "Canada on Strike", The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - "Baracknophobia", and The Colbert Report - "Cookie Monster"[8]

See also


  1. "Prosecutors". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  2. Lowry, Brian (2008-03-10). "Lewis Black's Root of All Evil". Variety. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  3. Eggerton, John (2008-05-21). "Comedy Central: Black Is In for Summer". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2008-05-23.
  4. Dawidziak, Mark (2008-03-12). "Lewis Black's Root of All Evil a good match for still-sharp South Park". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  5. "IIG | The IIG Awards". Iigwest.com. 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  6. Zaino, Nick (4 September 2009). "Lewis Black on his new special, The Daily Show, and the Root of All Evil". Aol TV. Retrieved 2009. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. "Lewis Black's Root of All Evil Season One uncensored". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  8. Lambert, David. "Root of All Evil - Get to the Root of these Lewis Black DVDs this Fall". TvshowsonDVD. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
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