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.