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November 21, 2008

Who's Marcus?

Home from my many and sundry travels. Yesterday I was in Atlanta for the Book Festival of the MJCC. MJCC stands for Marcus Jewish Community Center. Who’s Marcus? I know.

My evening at the festival was fun. I was on a “panel” with two other comedic authors – Brian Frazer (Hyper-Chondriac) and Stephanie Klein (Moose). The event was moderated by Hollis Gillespie, an Atlanta based author whose written a bunch of books. The reason I put panel in quotes was because there wasn’t really a panel the way I think of panels: that is, there was no freewheeling Q&A/discussion about a chosen topic. Instead we each stood at a lectern for twelve minutes, made funny, then Hollis opened it up for questions.

A note about Hollis: when I asked her to autograph her book to me, she wrote, “I heard you have a huge dick.” I suspect this was in response to reading over my shoulder when I inscribed a book to a girl who asked me to write something filthy. I wrote, “I want to cum all over your tummy.” I don’t know that Hollis heard the girl ask me to write something like that and instead assumed that that’s just what I write on people’s books. I don’t. I usually write, “I want to spoog on your tummy.” Totally different.

Which reminds me of something else: when I went on her show, Chelsea Handler signed her book to me, “Suck me hard.” This was before we even met. The book was just waiting for me in the green room when I arrived. At first I was flattered because I thought, “She signed it that way because she thinks I’m cool and ‘gets it.’” When I asked her about it, she said “Yeah, I just sign all my books that way.” So I didn’t feel so special, but it made me question why she got so flustered when I began describing fingering my first girlfriend on her show. Classic case of being remaining in the proverbial kitchen despite being unable to stand the heat.

Incidentally, here’s the way I usually sign my books. I have a selection to choose from depending on the person:

• I (heart) you
• I love you
• I miss you
• You’re my BFF
• You’re my new best friend

And this new one which I just came up with and like a lot:

• I’m proud of you

See? Very upbeat. Very self-affirming. Not dirty in the least. Why these women feel the need to be dirty in their inscriptions I don’t know. And for the record, my dick is not huge. It is average-sized. I know this because I carry a tape measure with me wherever I go and ask to measure other dude’s penises as a way to “break the ice” and also as a wa to gather valuable data, which I then sell to spammers trying to get people to buy girth-enlarging herbal supplements.

Stephanie and Brian both talked about how people can learn stuff from reading their books and about their personal journeys of self-growth, which they then poured into their manuscripts. My book contains an essay entitled “How to Approach the Sensitive Question: Anal?” so I couldn’t really do that. Instead I talked about my time in Marquette, Michigan the day before and about Halloween ’08. They are both very good speakers and writers who made me feel like maybe I should be trying a little harder to convey something of value to my readers. But then I thought, “Nah.”

After the “panel,” we went out to eat with some of the local Jews to a restaurant called “Apres Diem,” which is French for “Daily Apricot.” Stephanie held court a little bit and told us all about her first failed marriage, which you can read about in her first book, “Straight Up and Dirty,” which if you look on Amazon can be found under the tag “funnel cake.” I do not know why.

(I had to take several calls from Hollywood during the course of the meal so I missed a lot of it. The Hollywood calls I cannot go into at this point, but they might make for some interesting blogging somewhere down the road. But one thing I enjoy doing is loudly announcing to whomever I’m with whenever I get a call from California, “I’m sorry. I have to take this. Hollywood is calling!” Then I make a big show of taking the call. Hilarious.)

Here’s what I ordered at the restaurant: black bean soup and the Fattoush Salad. If you have to ask why I ordered something called the “Fattoush,” then you have no business reading my blog. Was it delicious? It was. But I was exhausted from my many travels and had to get up early to go do “Good Day Atlanta,” the local Fox morning chat show. I’ve been trying to eat better lately because I’ve noticed that I’m developing the kind of stomach overhang that once-skinny men get when they reach a certain age. Apparently I am at that age. I look like I had successful gastric bypass surgery, but couldn’t afford a follow-up tummy tuck. So I’ve decided to try to either get liposuction or just try to firm up down there. Step one in firming up involves ordering dishes that, if so desired, could be pronounced “Fat Tush.” Was it desired? It was. Was it done? And how.

Got back to the hotel around midnight and tossed and turned most of the night – the result of a stressful week involving many Hollywood phone calls coupled with my total lack of desire to get up at six o’clock to go be on a morning show where I felt pretty confident they would not have any idea of who I was or what I was doing there. This is usually the case with chirpy morning news shows.

Image_4667069 I couldn’t have been more wrong about “Good Day Atlanta.” I loved that show, mostly because it’s hosted by a total hottie named Suchita. At the time I thought she was kind of into me, but I just watched the interview and I realized that what I interpreted as “kind of into me,” was probably in reality closer to “not into me even a little bit.” And honestly, watching the interview, I wasn’t that into me, either.

So then I went to the airport and got home just in time to heat up a can black beans and write this in my soon-to-be Dutch oven.



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You signed my book with "DEFEND ME."


I thought it was a turkey. I swear to God!

Mark Garcia

That lady was a bitch.

Mike: "For me, the 80s were good, not great."

Bitch: "Well, I beg to differ"

Seriously, lady?


HAHA!! "Kiss my chicken cheeks." yes! i dislike morning talk show personalities. it's unnatural to be that cheerful that early in the day.

fyi: i will expect a totally unique and glorious note in my copy of your book when you come to Berkeley next month. So. Start planning now.


Funny blog. I thought the pretty interviewer lady seemed very into you, maybe she just got a little intimidated by how particularly good-looking you were in person and got somewhat tongue-tied about what she should say next. (Because that has never happened to me around you, ahem.)

Glad to hear you're taking so very many Important Hollywood Calls and my fingers are crossed that you might possibly sign on to do something where you are forced to spend way too much time out here on the west coast, stuck for months on end filming in some beachy community, say...about two hours south of LA.
Then I can hold that tape measure for you, if you need someone for that.


You are always such a joy to watch on television! Even an early morning show. You are what's known as "an upstager"(in movies this would be called a "scene steeler"). Anyone who shares the screen with you inevitably melts into the background. You are just that much of a comedic force. A JOY!! Anyway, I hope those Hollywood calls amount to something fabulous and henceforth bring more joy.

P.S. I think you should have some filthy book inscription choices at the ready as well. You know, just in case (for when I ask you to sign something for me in Chicago).


Dude -- I heart love miss you, my new BFF! I loved your interview MIB. Susanna you are right on. Michael is the best of scene stealers. It is inspiring. I ain't kissin' chicken cheeks when I say, I love watching him go. Thanks for the second video!! Is it Christmas already?? Or, in the spirit of Hanukkah, feel free to keep giving us videos for eight more days. Or longer. Yes. Do it.

You're great. I'm proud of you.


Three obsequious, sickenly-sweet comments in a row from the same old "us" is sure to have the opposite desired effect on someone as cynical as you and will probably bring out the nastiness that the college boy readers love to direct at us "loser-women".
If saying so helps to negate this, I will add that the interviewer probably suspected your slight paunch and that your lackluster enthusiasm for the "best decade ever" pushed her to mentally move on to the next day's guest who would hopefully prove to not be such a handful.
Poor Michael.


you sure are funny! I lol'd several times.

and, I think there's a general rule: reporters/bartendresses/waitresses are never really interested. we are just means to an end. everyone knows this, but we think, "Hey maybe this situation is different...yeah...yup...really...yeah..."


if obsequious means adorable, and loser means awesome, than I agree. Too much fabulous is such a drag man.

But I will pick on your French, because Apres Diem, that does not mean Daily Apricot, haha (daily apricot: abricot quotidien). In fact, Apres=after (vs. apricot), and diem=is that French? Day in French is "jour," daily, "quotidian." Did you just randomly make this up? Is this just a special small joke to yourself? Like a, "Isn't it funny how many people will now refer to this restaurant as the Daily Apricot just based on my word, and I don't know French?? I am just effing with their heads!?" Because, if it is, I love that. Keep effing with my head Mike. Secret surprise jokes are about the tastiest jokes around. Even tastier than apricots.


You were totally hitting on her, with that kiss my chicken cheeks comment. But yeah, she absolutely didn't enjoy the book.


Good morning Michael. Thanks for this great read, fun and unexpected.

I'm also intrigued about Hollywood calling for a show that is shooting in the outskirts of Chicago. (Neener neener Zane. Neener fucking neener.)

First off - as Billy used to say, you WOOK MAHVELOUS. Seriously, your face is always the same, throughout the years, never changes, absolutely no lines - I'm talking about that trendy hair cut. Look out now! You were razor sharp and witty, as usual. I do have one suggestion for you, and it's an easy one. Just smile more. You have a disarming boyish friendly smile that immediately puts the other person at ease. Suchita, for instance, has watched you on VH1 and therefore is unsure if and when your sass may come her way. She doesn't know you. A smile would let her see the warm, sweet, down to earth guy that promises not to sass unless it's all in good fun.

A word, or several, about the lovely and exotic looking Suchita. I see this from a viewers perspective, watching body language, observing voice inflection and using the common sense my Mama TOLD me to start using "Or else Lady Jane", I'm going to say you're wrong. She does think you're a cutie. AND she even said so (did you catch how her voice changed when she said this, by the way? That's honesty.)- what was it? "I'm mesmerized". She talks rapidly, and a lot, giggles, she's surprisingly nervous and without the confidence of a beautiful woman who could normally give a crap as to how she is coming across to her guests in the chair, other than charming. Rest assured you dont have the "that stripper is totally into me" syndrome. You should have asked her to dance, Elliot. You two could have enjoyed a pleasant and more relaxed conversation over morning tea (in porcelain cups).


Suchita apparently may not have been too thrilled with the book, but you were nothing short of enchanting. She toootally thought you were cute, yo.


The interview with Suzeechio was not of high quality for us folk across the pond, all jumpy and stuff, I couldn't watch with the sound on, as you both sounded epileptic.

But in agreement with the previous comments, she so too was 'into' you.

You looked rakishly handsome in the interview, and I hope Hollywood has some major leading man action lined up, to show off the pretty.


I can't handle all the sexy in this post. I have to go lye down now.

Hollis Gillespie

You signed my book, "Thank you for your graciousness"! I usually sign mine, "To my fellow bitch," but I'm thinking of changing it to "Stick it in."


Hahaha, Hollis, I like it! Even for women. Still funny. Funnier, haha.

Lisa Baron

You signed mine: Sex with you would be great. And I think you meant it. (No, I do not).

Bring Stella to Atlanta, you obviously have a big fan base here.


Michael Heldar

For historical purposes I had a Gyro and Amy had cheese tortellini.

Hollis probably didn't notice your tummy love book signatures, she's just like that. When I first met her that night I saw her standing next to her book, without reading the title, I asked if it was hers, thinking that it wasn't at all, but thinking instead she worked with Marcus. Then I freaked out when I read the title and thought she was going to be offended thinking I called her a slut. But it turns out it was her and she went on to say I should be auctioned with the rest of the firemen downstairs, and then the dirty comments kept cuming out of her mouth all night.

She was polite though and asked me if she could sign my book with something about cuming or touching penises, but I said it was for my Amy (book festival extraordinar) so she signed "to my fellow bitch"

Sorry my comments are way to long but I also wanted to say when I first saw you Michael, I asked if you had tickets at will call and you stood there looking at me like a fool, I thought it was funny, then I thought you were blocking the line so I asked Brian and Stephanie if they had tickets at will call and they said the funniest thing all night "um, we're the show". Oh almost the funniest thing. After dinner in the parking lot one of the guys that ate with us like fell to the ground, reached to the heavens and shouted to himself in disbelief: "OMG I made Michael Ian Black Laugh", and something about my life being complete.

Thanks for the twitter fame.



Well, that last comment sums things up nicely, eh?
This isn't the first time I have heard people say, "Oh my God, I made MIB laugh" and be as proud as punch about it (not anyone I know personally, btw, because that's certainly never happened).
I think your smile (when we see it) warm and genuine, absolutely helps to put the person at ease, because it seems, almost, that you aren't absolutely cringing on the inside (whether that is the actual case or not), so maybe on this tour, try it out a bit more with fans, interviewers, particularly the ones with the awkward, lovestruck look in their eyes. A little bit a love back could go a long way in making someone feel that it was GREAT getting to meet you and that they aren't quite as pathetic as they might otherwise believe for not saying just the right thing during their 2 minutes meeting you.
(I'm not talking about me in this, as I am now quite comfortable chatting with you at length about any possible subject that pops into my head for as long as I want to, seeing as I usually bring along rope and tie you to a nearby pole.)


the MJCC event was fun and you signed my book - thanks! except that i calculated and it cost my friend briana and i over a dollar a minute each to see you. and the beer was overpriced. can i borrow 15 bucks?


I'd just like to point out that I did not say "OMG."

All of the rest is true, though.


1. Gillespie is my new idol.
2. I kind of want you to develop a FUPA, so stop eating healthy and don't ever work out.
3. You signed my book with one of those best friends quotes which I thought was sweet at first. Then I forced you to take a picture with me and thought, "WTF? This guy doesn't even know me!" So I walked away without looking or saying another word to you, which I kind of feel bad about now. But that way, I was out of your hair faster and I got to meet a really cute dog in the parking lot.
4. I didn't watch the video because morning talk show hosts scare me in general.


Great interview. I do think that girl liked you. I think you have to be careful when you are a hosting a morning tv show to not state that you loved a book that possesses a title that brings a cum shot to mind and has an essay about coloring your dick. She probably did love it, but just couldn't say it. And I think she did like you. I think her comment about you being mesmerizing was honest.

On another note, you do have a wonderful smile and I like to see it. But I have always thought that if I got to meet you I would love it if you gave me one of your "suprise/contempt" looks. The one that says, "Wow, you an even bigger asshole than I thought you were and by the way, I'm better than you." I love that look.


I don't think Zane has made it clear enough that she wants to have an affair with Michael (even though he's married). She should probably say it three thousand more times.

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