Inside Out 2: Lewis Black Breaks Down How Anger Drives His Comedy

The art of anger is all about tension and release, Black tells ComicBook.

When Inside Out was first made, the choice to cast Lewis Black as the embodiment of Anger was a no-brainer. The comedian, then famous for his work on The Daily Show and his stand-up special Unleashed, was having a huge pop culture moment already when Pixar came and asked him to do his thing -- just in a voice recording booth. Speaking with ComicBook ahead of the release of Inside Out 2, Black explained his fairly thoughtful approach to the use of anger in his comedy, and why it continues to work and hasn't yet fizzled like so many comics to come and go over the last 20 years.

The comedian and actor told us that part of what works is subverting the expectation created by the silence that follows any one of his characters' explosions.

"Well, becuase comedy is tension and release, so what's interesting is, you can build the tension with being angry, and then you knock it out and then you pause -- and people are tense and then you say something goofy and then bwa-ha-ha-ha," Black explained.

"I've found ways to modulate it. Anger is like scoring a piece of music when you're dealing with it in performance," Black added. "And it's great in terms of, you can kind of approach it as, you're being really calm and then you just snap. And it's something that everybody feels and doesn't express, and that's part of the hook that I had as a comic."

Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions! Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who've long been running a successful operation by all accounts, aren't sure how to feel when Anxiety shows up. And it looks like she's not alone. Maya Hawke lends her voice to Anxiety, alongside Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Lewis Black as Anger, Tony Hale as Fear, and Liza Lapira as Disgust. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen.

The cast also includes Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Paul Walter Hauser, Kensington Tallman, Lilimar, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green, Grace Lu, Yvette Nicole Brown, Sarayu Blue, Flea, Ron Funches, Dave Goelz, James Austin Johnson, Bobby Moynihan, Frank Oz, Paula Pell, Paula Poundstone, John Ratzenberger, Kendall Coyne Schofield, June Squibb, Kirk Thatcher, and Yong Yea.

The film opens in theaters tomorrow, with Thursday previews tonight.