Born in Washington D.C. on Aug. 30, 1948, Black was raised in Silver Spring, Md. Colicky as a baby, he was destined to be angry and easily irritated. His mother, a teacher, and his father, a mechanical engineer, instilled the importance of education and the necessity to question authority—lessons that influenced Black throughout his life. He fell in love with the theatre at age 12, after seeing his first play, which led to pursuing a career in drama. Degrees followed from the University of North Carolina and Yale Drama School, with a stint in Colorado owning a theatre with a group of friends in the interim. During his tenure at UNC, Black ventured into stand-up, performing at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill. Stand-up was a steady presence as he pursued his career in theatre.