Black has more than a bit in common with Dewey Finn, the substitute teacher he plays. Finn is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. But Finn's band, No Vacancy, kicks him out … and music is the only thing in his life. Black has much more going on in his life.
Tenacious D, an unlikely success, is still going strong. The group's self-titled album became a hit in 2001 and they've toured to sellout crowds, both as an opening act for Weezer and Kid Rock and as a headliner. The group's HBO variety series showcased Black's comic and musical skills as a performer and a witty songwriter.
But even when he's not singing, Black's hard rock underpinning is at the heart of his success as a comedian and actor. In High Fidelity, he played the part of a slacker hanging on to his childhood as a record store clerk to perfection, convincingly flashing an encyclopedic knowledge of rock while being otherwise incapable of adult living.
Last year, he co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards with Sarah Jessica Parker, earning the show's highest ratings ever and making it one of the top-rated cable programs of the year.
Black next teams up with Ben Stiller in the Barry Levinson film Envy.
Black and White teamed up to write many of the songs the School of Rock kids play in the classroom, including several musical solos.
"They're not really songs so much as nuggets of songs," says Black. "I could have stretched them out into songs, but they're more like comedy nuggets." The title song of the movie, played by the kids in the film's finale, was written by The Mooney Suzuki, a band Black had coaxed into the project after he had seen them open for The Strokes in New York.
White passed along ideas for The Mooney Suzuki contributions in a creative process the screenwriter won't soon forget.
"We were trying to write lyrics and I thought, 'What would AC/DC do?'" White says. "I don't think I've ever been in a script meeting where I was thinking, 'What would AC/DC do?'"
But with Black's star on the rise, AC/DC-influenced theater might become its own genre.