Comedian Michael Ian Black has three reasons to celebrate. One, The State has finally come out on DVD, so we can all watch his classic pants-buying and Captain Monterey Jack sketches. Two, Michael and Michael Have Issues, his new Comedy Central show with fellow State alum Michael Showalter, is hysterically funny. Three, he gets all the Klondike bars he wants as the new Klondike company spokesman. We know which of those three we'd be most excited about, but it's hard to get past the trademark Black deadpan to figure out which has him the most jazzed. You be the judge!
TWoP: They say in every joke there's a grain of truth -- how competitive are you and Showalter, really?
Michael Ian Black: In real life, super-competitive. It's never come to fisticuffs, but it's gotten intense.
In an upcoming episode, you two have to room together at a college gig. Have you ever been roommates, or would that be too much to bear?
MIB: Well, it's too much to bear at this point in our lives, but certainly in the past we've shared hotel rooms, and when we were in our early 20s we were roommates for a summer.
How'd that go?
MIB: No major problems, but he's disgusting to live with. At that time, all he ate was baloney.
That is disgusting. In another episode it says you turn the show into a "frat house spectacle"? What does that entail, exactly?
MIB: I don't even know what that means. What does it say?
"In an attempt to broaden their appeal, the guys turn their show into a frat-house spectacle."
MIB: No. That is not one of the episodes. [Laughs.] I'm not sure where that came from, but that is not one of the episodes. But it sounds like a good episode. I would watch that episode.
Will we see any familiar guest stars in upcoming episodes?
MIB: No, we didn't ask any of our better-known brethren to appear on the television show, because we felt like, especially for the first season, we wanted to make sure that the focus remained on us. Mostly because of our delicate egos. I mean, if you have some movie stars showing up on your stupid little cable show, everybody's gonna be like, "Oh, look at the movie star," instead of "Hey, look at that guy from VH1."
Do you still love the 1980s, or are you tired of talking about them, really?
MIB: You know, I didn't love the '80s even when I said I loved the '80s. I have no credibility about loving decades.
Really? There's no decade you have a particular fondness for?
MIB: I don't give a shit. I like individual days within individual years within individual decades. I can't say I like any one decade better than the next.
Are you as relieved that The State is finally out on DVD as the fans are, or had you more or less moved on with your life?
MIB: I've certainly moved on. I didn't care that much whether it came out or not. The one real upshot is that now people will not have to ask me when is it coming out. That's a tremendous relief to me. Because I probably got that question more than any other. Even more than this question: "Were you in Kids in the Hall?"
Do you really get asked that?
MIB: I get that question on pretty much a daily basis.
Wow. That's rough. What can you tell me about your upcoming movie role in Young Americans?
MIB: Topher Grace is the star, and I play his love interest's boss in the film. You know, just sort of a jerk. That's kind of what I'm best at.
Do you feel you get typecast as jerks?
MIB: I get typecast as either the jerk or the gay guy. Never the gay jerk, though.
Usually a pretty friendly gay guy?
MIB: Yeah. Very friendly gay guy, upstanding gay citizen, or jerk.
How did the Klondike spokesman gig come about?
MIB: Well, they contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be a part of their new, I guess you'd call it almost a Web series. And I said sure, that sounds like fun. It's that iconic "What would you do for a Klondike bar" thing. And I felt like, "Well, I've already memorized that line, so half of my job is done already." So the rest of it I figured would take care of itself. And so we went out on the streets and talked to people and asked them what would they do for a Klondike bar, and surprisingly, they would do some crazy things.
Were you involved in the scripting at all?
MIB: Yeah, I was involved to a certain degree with it. I did not do the actual writing, because of my carpal tunnel.
Any closing remarks?
MIB: No, I would just say that if Michael and Michael Have Issues doesn't provide you with enough Michael Ian Black hilarity, go to klondikemancave.com for even more. If Michael and Michael Have Issues is the entree, Klondike is what's for dessert.
Klondike's not paying you to say that, are they?
MIB: I... they are. They absolutely are.
Michael and Michael Have Issues airs tonight at 10:30/9:30C on Comedy Central.
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