Lewis Black's Root of All Evil
By Will Wade,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Funny, but verges on meanness; for mature viewers.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show follows a courtroom format, so the participants are in an adversarial setting as they try to make the case that a certain person, group, or concept has a negative effect on society. The present the subjects in the most unflattering way possible and at times skirt the line between funny and mean-spirited.
Violence & Scariness
Some references to fights.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex or nudity, but plenty of references to sex. In an episode in which the Catholic church was one of the "defendants," for example, many references were made to sex with young boys (the phrase "boy f--king" is used several times), as well as oral sex. An historic image of a torture device also depicted a bound, naked figure.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
The participants are trying to paint people, organizations, or pop culture topics in the worst light possible and often swear, using words like "ass," "whore," "bitch," "f--k," "d--k" and other colorful phrases (the strongest terms are bleeped).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Many organizations, companies, people, and products are referred to by name, ranging from Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump to the Catholic church, Viagra, and YouTube.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
No drugs or drinking shown, but there are frequent references to being drunk or high.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show is all about mockery, casting famous people, organizations, or other well-known topics in the worst possible light and then deciding which is the "worst" offender against common decency. It's funny, but it sometimes seems mean-spirited. And while some of the subjects aren't too surprising (Donald Trump, Paris Hilton), it's hard to see why others (Oprah?!) have been deemed worthy of this treatment. Plus, the content is definitely on the mature side, with frequent references to sex, drinking, and drug use, as well as strong language (only the strongest words are bleeped).
Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
Report this review
What's the Story?
Lewis Black has to make some very difficult choices on his new show, LEWIS BLACK'S ROOT OF ALL EVIL. In each episode, he must determine which of two ostensibly highly offensive people, organizations, or topics is truly the worst. Is Dick Cheney more unpleasant than Paris Hilton? Is beer a greater menace than marijuana? To help, Black (best known for his rants on The Daily Show) has assembled a roster of comedians to serve as advocates. After each presents their case for why their subject is truly awful in a series of scathing -- but very funny -- takedowns, Black renders his verdict on which presents the greater danger to civilization.
Is It Any Good?
Though funny, Root of All Evil skates on a thin line between humor and attack. Spending an entire episode describing all of a certain celebrity's flaws and problems or detailing all of a certain group's woes can seem like overkill -- and in the Lewis Black court, nobody ever steps forward to defend the accused.
Instead, Black and his advocates simply pull out one mean-spirited joke after another. Though many of the subjects seem to invite derision, the show sometimes reaches a point where viewers may actually start to sympathize with them, which most certainly is not Black's goal.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about fame and popularity. Why do so many celebrities evoke such a strong -- and often hostile -- response from the public? Lewis Black plays to that sentiment, defining the show's subjects o as evil, selfish, vain, stupid, or worse. Do you think anyone deserves this kind of ridicule? Do you agree with Black's assessments? There's an entire industry devoted to unearthing and selling gossip about stars. Do you think that the wealthy, famous, and powerful give up their right to privacy? Is it acceptable to mock them?
- Premiere date: March 12, 2008
- Cast: Greg Giraldo, Patton Oswalt, Lewis Black
- Network: Comedy Central
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate