There’s a nice little interview in the CityPaper with Michael Ian Black. The star of the cult comedy hits like State, Viva Variety and Stella with be joining his comedic comrade Michael Showalter at the TLA tonight (note: we simply cannot call it the Fillmore).
City Paper: You do all of your shows in alternative venues. Are your crowds less rowdy than the typical comedy club crowd?
Michael Ian Black: Rock club crowds tend to kind of reflect back to you what you gave to them. So, if you’re engaging them, they’ll engage you. Sometimes you get some rowdy crowds and that’s fine. I guess when you have the kind of rapier wit that I wield, nobody is safe.
CP: Do you feel that this power comes with any sort of responsibility?
MIB: No, I don’t really feel any responsibility, but I have no conscience. So, I would probably be more like Topher Grace’s character in Spider-Man than the Peter Parker character.
CP: Are there benefits to not having a conscience?
MIB: Oh, sure. I really only answer to my own particular want at the moment without any thought of consequence.
CP: What is your particular want at this moment?
MIB: Well, I just satisfied it. I went to Denny’s and had lunch. In that case it didn’t hurt anybody. It was actually good for the economy.
CP: What sort of response does a celebrity such as yourself get at Denny’s?
MIB: Today was a good example. The waiter came up and he’s like, “Hi. Welcome to Denny’s. Can I take your order?” The guy was playing it so straight — it was almost as if he didn’t even know who I was. So I played along. I was like, “Yeah. I’ll have the mushroom Swiss chopped steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables.” It was clearly like gamesmanship at that point. He was like, “Great! Would you like anything to drink?” It’s almost like we were at Wimbledon playing match point. So literally, without missing a beat, I was like, “Yeah. I’d like an iced tea.”
CP: Do people ever try to profit off your celebrity?
MIB: Oh, sure. We’ve all seen those knockoff Michael Ian Black bobble heads. That’s just some cheap Taiwanese outfit cashing in on my celebrity.
CP: Are you planning on developing any of your own products?
MIB: I’m working with a company right now to develop the most realistic Michael Ian Black-brand vagina that you could buy.
CP: Is this your first venture into the erotic market?
MIB: It’s my first venture as an entrepreneur. Certainly not my first venture into the erotic market, no.
Fri., Nov. 30, 9 p.m., $20-$22,
The TLA, 334 South St.