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The Michael Showalter Interview

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Showalter Explains It All

MS: But I don't have any loftier ambition than that. I like performing. It's not the same as acting. It's much more...it is performance. It's much more real.

LB: Would you do it at a comedy club?

MS: I would.

ME: Like at the Laugh Factory?

MS: I wouldn't seek it out, but I'm not opposed to it. I wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't go look for it. It doesn't feel organically like it best suits me. 'Cause I tend not to tell jokes, I just sort of rant.

LB: Did you listen to any of the classic comedy albums like Steve Martin or George Carlin before you started? Or did you just go for it?

MS: I kind of just went for it. I have listened to a lot of the comedy records, but I am not a student of the form so much as I know a lot of other comedians are. That's why I don't necessarily see myself as a stand-up comedian. I see it just as another form of comedy. I'm a comedian and there are a bunch of ways I try to be funny and stand-up is one of them.

LB: You are touring in support of your album Sandwiches & Cats. Do you perform the material from the album at your shows?

MS: There are certain things I do the same every time. There are certain bits that I do that I know are funny and that I can always go to. But I try to do as much new stuff or non-sequitur stuff as I can. A lot of it is improvisational. I try to do as much improv as possible and talk about whatever is on my mind. Just see what happens. And work with the audience. I think of it as a live experience. I want each show to feel like "you had to be there" and for each show to feel like that it has to be spontaneous.

LB: What about when you're doing your show on collegehumor.com [The Michael Showalter Showalter]? Is that all scripted?

MS: That is all improv.

LB: Really?

MS: Yeah, it's all improv. Like, I'll say, here's the idea: I'm going to ask you for money. And let's turn the cameras on and see what happens.

LB: You've got some amazing people on the show. Are they volunteers? Or friends?

MS: I just ask people and they say yes.

ME: Would you let MTV's Human Giant on the show after that confrontational interview in Radar Magazine?

MS: Yeah, they filmed already. I have some new episodes and they were a guest. Theirs was very funny. I did Michael Cera, Human Giant, Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock...

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Mondo Extra
The Michael Showalter Interview

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Showalter Explains It All

MS: I would.

ME: Like at the Laugh Factory?

MS: I wouldn't seek it out, but I'm not opposed to it. I wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't go look for it. It doesn't feel organically like it best suits me. 'Cause I tend not to tell jokes, I just sort of rant.

LB: Did you listen to any of the classic comedy albums like Steve Martin or George Carlin before you started? Or did you just go for it?

MS: I kind of just went for it. I have listened to a lot of the comedy records, but I am not a student of the form so much as I know a lot of other comedians are. That's why I don't necessarily see myself as a stand-up comedian. I see it just as another form of comedy. I'm a comedian and there are a bunch of ways I try to be funny and stand-up is one of them.

LB: You are touring in support of your album Sandwiches & Cats. Do you perform the material from the album at your shows?

MS: There are certain things I do the same every time. There are certain bits that I do that I know are funny and that I can always go to. But I try to do as much new stuff or non-sequitur stuff as I can. A lot of it is improvisational. I try to do as much improv as possible and talk about whatever is on my mind. Just see what happens. And work with the audience. I think of it as a live experience. I want each show to feel like "you had to be there" and for each show to feel like that it has to be spontaneous.

LB: What about when you're doing your show on collegehumor.com [The Michael Showalter Showalter]? Is that all scripted?

MS: That is all improv.

LB: Really?

MS: Yeah, it's all improv. Like, I'll say, here's the idea: I'm going to ask you for money. And let's turn the cameras on and see what happens.

LB: You've got some amazing people on the show. Are they volunteers? Or friends?

MS: I just ask people and they say yes.

ME: Would you let MTV's Human Giant on the show after that confrontational interview in Radar Magazine?

MS: Yeah, they filmed already. I have some new episodes and they were a guest. Theirs was very funny. I did Michael Cera, Human Giant, Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock...

LB: Do you watch 30 Rock?

MS: Yes. [shaking his head "no"]

LB: I know that you've been friends with the guys from Shudder to Think for a long time and they did the soundtracks for your movies. Now that you have your own band [The Doilies, with Zac Orth], are you going to take over that role?

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