Interview from New York Magazine in Which I am Funny and Showalter is Not
Name: Michael Showalter
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Name: Michael Ian Black
Neighborhood: Currently every neighborhood and Connecticut
Occupation: Writer/actor/director/comedian/celebrity (very famous)
Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Michael Showalter: Al Hirschfeld. His cartoons encapsulate everything I love about New York.
Michael Ian Black : (1) Every member of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, especially Jackie Robinson, (2) Ed Koch, (3) whoever thought of the "Mitzvah Mobile."
What's the best meal you've eaten in New York?
MS: The mussels at Noodle Pudding on Henry Street.
MIB: Every year, my wife and I celebrate our anniversary at the Gramercy Tavern. Delicious. And they give you coffee cake to eat the next morning: by far my favorite meal of the year because I love my wife. (NOTE: This was written before we announced our divorce.)
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
MS: I act silly and take it very seriously.
MIB: I make jokes.
Would you still live here on a $35,000 salary?
MS: I'd try. I did it for many years.
MIB: I've certainly lived in New York for less. New York is a great town in which to be really wealthy or really poor. Middle-class, not so much. When I was younger and had no income I used to shoplift groceries.
What's the last thing you saw on Broadway?
MS: Next to Normal. Loved it!
MIB: Hair. I was there for the first preview; I went for the nudity and the groping.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
MIB: Not very often.
What's your drink?
MS: Iced coffee.
MIB: Currently Diet Dr Pepper. I will occasionally have a regular Dr Pepper, but that's only when I'm feeling frisky.
How often do you prepare your own meals?
MS: Two or three nights a week.
MIB: If you expand the definition of "you" to include my wife, often. If not, then not very often.
What's your favorite medication?
MIB: Currently Ambien, although I don't know if that counts as a medication since I don't take it to medicate anything other than consciousness. But I'll pretty much swallow anything that comes in pill form.
What's hanging above your sofa?
MS: A large painting of a wooded area in autumn.
MIB: Some guy.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
MS: Depends on the haircut, I suppose. If I was a diva, there's no number.
MIB: Anything above $25 is pushing it, although if I have a shoot that I need to look good for I will treat myself to a $100 haircut by my amazing stylist Josh, who is female, British, and the only person left who still thinks rockabilly is cool.
MS: 11:30 p.m.
MIB: An hour after I take the Ambien.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
MS: I try to avoid it altogether.
MIB: I have always suspected that the people who pine for the old Times Square never really experienced it. If they did, they wouldn't want it back. It was a terrible, filthy, dangerous place filled with crack whores. I don't miss it at all, although it's become much harder to find a $2 BJ.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
MS: Seems like a good dad.
MIB: He's everything I hate about white people.
What do you hate most about living in New York?
MS: Crowds and noise.
MIB: Lack of public restrooms and guilt about not doing anything cultural.
Who is your mortal enemy?
MIB: I'm not crazy about Sam Champion.
When's the last time you drove a car?
MS: This weekend. I have a beat-up Honda. I drive it all the time.
MIB: This past weekend.
How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
MS: I will know more in ten years.
MIB: My second job as a stripper at FlashDancers is generating much less tip money.
Times, Post, or Daily News?
MS: Times and Post.
MIB: The Times is not only the greatest New York newspaper, it is a daily miracle. The only thing that would improve it is if they replaced the Tuesday Science section with a Tuesday Gossip section. And added a comics page. And topless girls, like the Sun.
Where do you go to be alone?
MS: I like walking around in my neighborhood. Just drifting.
MIB: The odd thing about New York is that walking down a street jammed with people can be the most solitary experience in the world. When I want to be alone in New York, I walk.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
MIB: Knowing which direction to look for your train while waiting on the subway platform.
Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black's new show, Michael and Michael Have Issues, premieres at 10:30 p.m. tonight on Comedy Central.