is coming to Netflix, and he’s coming to perform polka.
In the first trailer for Netflix’s The Polka King, we get our first glimpse of Black as disgraced polka star Jan Lewan, a figure as complicated as he is outlandish. See, Lewan was something of a polka sensation back in the ‘90s, when things like that were still allowed to happen. He spread like wildfire through the Slavic-American communities in Pennsylvania, becoming a kind of rock god for old white people. Originally trained as an opera singer in Poland, Lewan had never heard of polka when he first came to America. Once he adapted to this “American dance craze,” as he put it, the result was a smash hit.
But, spoiler alert, the dream was not to last. After Lewan expanded his businesses to include alcohol, European tours and a record label, and attracted all kinds of investors, news came out that it was a Ponzi scheme. The man who performed for years at Trump Taj Mahal and knew Pope John Paul II was just “Bernie Madoff in sequin,” as a documentary from 2007 once put it. Lewan ended up going to jail, convicted of defrauding investors for millions. As the trailer implies, the entire thing collapsed around Lewan’s ears.
Lewan has since been released from jail, and apparently briefly considered a comeback based on a fusion of polka and rap (yes, really). We wonder what he’ll think of Black’s somewhat awkward Polish accent.
The Polka King
comes out on Netflix on Jan. 12. It also features Jenny Slate, JB Smoove and Jason Schwartzman. Watch the trailer above, then check out the key art below.