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May 07, 2009

My Comings and Goings (I Said "Comings")

Yes, my blogging has fallen off substantially in recent weeks, but that’s because Michael Showalter and I have been working our little tails off trying to get the scripts ready for “Michael and Michael Have Issues,” which we begin shooting on Monday. Finally, after many late nights and weekends (on his part. I’m out of the office every day by three), the scripts are more or less locked and ready to go.

We’re both quite excited about the new show and hope that people like it, since we’ve both pretty much worn out our good will at Comedy Central and no other network will hire me. Showalter’s got plenty of other opportunities (“The Baxter 2,” for example, entitled “Welcome Baxter: The Baxter 2”). Plus, we think the show will be good and want people to watch.

After several years, I watched a couple episodes of “Stella” on Hulu the other night and was pleasantly surprised how funny I thought they were. I also realized, seeing it again, that we were out of our fucking minds if we thought people were going to watch a show about three fey, semi-retarded, suit-wearing adult men living together in a magic vegetable-growing apartment. I used to think that America just wasn’t willing to meet us halfway; seeing it again, I think maybe they needed to travel a little further than halfway to meet us. Maybe considerably further. And frankly, understandably, they just weren’t interested in making the trip. So be it.

Oddly enough, when we were making “Stella,” we all thought “We’ve finally got our finger right on the American pulse.” Sometimes self-delusion feels an awful lot like a realistic worldview. This time around, I think we’re a little wiser about our expectations.

We’ve also started doing some press for the show, which will be dribbling out over the next few months. There have been several photo shoots, an ad campaign, and Kanye’s new album is inspired by the show, which is weird but very flattering.

Family life gets put on the back burner when you’re making a TV show, which is tough. Not so much for my kids, who are indifferent, or for my wife who said to me last night when I came home unexpectedly early, “You know, it’s nice having the house to yourself.” But for me, who misses them all very much and doesn’t necessarily enjoy spending every night alone in my tiny studio apartment watching the BBC show “MI-5” on my laptop. Although all that alone time does leave me plenty of time to Twitter.

(Yes, I recognize that I have all that alone time that could be spent blogging, but after spending the day writing jokes for the show, it’s hard to come home and write more jokes for my blog, particularly after you’re feeling bloated from eating as much Kashi GoLean Crunch as I consume.)

Anyway, just thought I’d keep my regular readers informed of my comings and goings. Hopefully in a few months, the show will be a big hit and I’ll be able to forget about all of you entirely.   


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Michael, Stella was just right for America--just for a very small part of it. You know, the imaginative parts. Best of luck with the new show.


I hope this doesn't mean you're trying to meet America halfway. I LOVED Stella.

-that person who bought the DVD


I always liked Stella. I even put down the cash to buy the series when it available in the iTunes store. I definitely still watch all the episodes at least a couple times a year and I still crack up. Every once in a while I convicne someone to watch it with me and at first they're turned off but the next day they're taking jokes from the show. I'm stoked for you and Michael's new show, I'll be watching!


Dear MIB:
I notice I am the first person to comment on this particular blog(?), and I am feeling a huge amount of responsibility. You are obviously excited for this new show,'Michael Does Michael', and I understand the sense of dread and impending doom you must be experiencing waiting for yet another show to crash and burn on Comedy Central. Wait, I'm sorry, that sounds bad, I don't mean the show will necessarily fail right away. Hopefully it will die a slow death like the others, giving you the opportunity for yet another comedy cult classic. Good luck, hope this all goes well, and keep up the good work.
P.S. I was able to get through this entire blog(?) and now understand why you have so much time to Twitter. I think that's great!
Thank You
A Fan


Do you smell that? That smell is Stella being the shit! That show is seriously one of the best ever! And fuck anybody who didn't watch that show because they obviously suck for not watching. (FYI: My life motto is "Fuck anybody that sucks.")


Stella was great. I feel bad for the America that didn't think so but am equally happy not to be lumped into that group. If I wanted pop comedy I'd watch Uncle Joey stand up specials. God I miss Uncle Joey.


I liked Stella


I've always MEANT to watch Stella, but I still haven't. Regardless, you're still a funny guy. I recently started following you on Twitter and it was a very good decision on my part.


You mean Showalter didn't invite you to live with him?


As a twitter follower and Michael Ian Black blog reader I'd like to make a comment about your discovery and near obsession with Kashi GoLean Crunch. I too was once in love with the cereal but had to cut the relationship short due to the gastrointestinal side effects. This is an extremely powerful force not to be taken lightly. I hope it's not too late for you.


Stella was radical.


ha! Your cereal references/GI tract troubles remind me of that "Colon Blow" commercial on SNL. ANyway, I think as long as you both are happy with the way the show turns out,it's all good. Easy to say from way over here,though. Now I'm being a little flaky and bordering on negative.

You guys rock and I think we may be signing up for Directv,just in time for the airings. Yay!


Definitely had to meet you further than halfway. Love you & the rest of the squad from Stella, very much wanted to like the show, but couldn't quite get there. The lack of context made it a tough nut for me to crack, to be honest - I assume it was a conscious decision on your parts, but I found it distracting. I think the humor could have wound up shinier had there been a less abstract context for the characters. It could have been an absurd context, but I wanted something.

My two cents, anyway.


God save the queen!

Erm, whoops, wrong hemisphere....

Doood you no blogses cos you has life to pursues -- no see issue.

Wishing many good laughs for the show -- the subsurreal Fallswell.


Stella was amazing. Literally blew my mind. I didn't really have to meet you halfway, more like a quarter of the way. I've watched all the shorts on youtube and bought the dvd. Anywho, enough kissassery. Will the episodes be online somewhere to watch? I don't have cable, so I can't really watch it on tv, but I'm expecting to be awesome!


*expecting it to be awesome!


Mr. Black, I am always willing to travel further than halfway. You just stay right where you are. The ones that weren't willing to travel to the funny aren't people you want as fans anyway.


Michael and michael - we loved you. We loved Stella, and we will love the new show. All your hard work pays off for those of us who died laughing at every Stella episode. It does not go unnoticed. Thank you Michaels!

The Naked Redhead

I, too, love Kashi Go-Lean Crunch but cannot eat it anymore. Not because of the gastro-intestinal side effects, but because of temporo-mandibular joint disorder, which prohibits me from eating large amounts of horse food.

Also, I hope Kanye's new album--inspired by your show!--is ALL singing, with gratuitous amounts of Auto-Tune. I do also wish that he wear mini-blind sunglasses forever, and perhaps maybe take up an instrument. Something respectable, like the clarinet.


I loved Stella when it came out and bought it the second it went to DVD. I watched every piece of film on it and even watched all the episodes with the hilarious commentary. I can't wait for the new show and The State to come out on DVD. Keep up the good work. White Power! YAAAY!


I Loved the Stella shorts on the website (pre-ComedyCentral-show), but when Stella (The Show TM) came out...ehh, I Wanted to love it, but it felt like I was making more of an effort than Passively Experiencing Audio-Visual Stimuli should have been. This sounds weird, but maybe if the show was a collection of shorts, instead of attempting to make a 'absurdity & plot driven' 22-minute sitcom, it would've been more...coherent?

Still, it had great moments, and the format of the new show (a sketch show, with MIB & MS conflicts as a result of the making of that show...right?) sounds like it'll be easier to digest than sugar water.

...though I really loved WHAS, which was a Movie of absurdity & plot...so I'm an idiot.


The campaign episode of Stella was the funniest 30 minutes of TV I have ever seen.

Michael Ian G (Minus the Michael part)

Even if america didn't love stella, I did. it is the equal best show of all time, along with futurama and red dwarf.
now i may be a simple australian, but the show rocks regardless.. season 1 never came out on dvd here, so i had it shipped all the way over from stella hating america.
i got it on an amazon with a payment plan. it was just $10 a month.

long live stella

dalas v

Please keep making people go a long way to meet you. I don't mind you guys doing some mainstream projects to pay the bills, but the crazy stuff is what makes me laugh.

Lo And Li

We adore this blog!

Check out ours when you get a sec at


_lori and liza

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