Monday, June 19, 2006

Michael Showalter Interview

One of the greatest influences on my comedy has been "The State" and the guys that used to be in that show, since they do so many different projects these days, from Reno 911 to movies and live shows. One ex-stater who has contributed a great deal of his talent to stage and screen is Michael Showalter. I recently had the opportunity to interview the guy behind The State, Stella, The Baxter and most recently, Michael Showalter's Bogus Journey Into Night. It's 10pm on Tuesdays at Rififi.

So many of your endeavors involve collaborations with your friends and other talents you know. Personally I think that's got to be really enjoyable. Did you have to fight to work with the people you wanted, or has it come easily?

Hm. that's a good question. It is enjoyable. Working with friends and other talents that is. Not as enjoyable as Ecstasy of course. Unless it's bad shit. Then it's terrifying. I didn't really have to fight no. Met all the State/Stella guys in college rather by accident. One of my good friends in college was John Hamburg (he wrote Meet The Parents.) I think that like minded people sort of find each other. What's the saying? Oh yes, "Birds of a feather flock together." I don't know which feather I'm of but I seem to have found other birds of it...so...

You make yourself easily accesable to fans. What is one of the best things to come from fan interaction?


Besides groupie sex?

One of the worst?


Besides groupie sex?


What was the most valuable lesson you learned in making the Baxter?

1) Making movies is hard. 2) It absolutely sucks to have mean things said about you in national publications. 3) Roger Ebert is a fat shit. 4) Richard Roeper's pubes are brittle. 5) I would do it again in a heartbeat.


Will you be writing more screenplays?


Mos def (not the rapper). I'm not currently writing one but I have a few ideas that i'm excited about and I just haven't hunkered down to write them yet. There's two reasons for this: 1) I really like to say "hunker down." 2) Really it's just that first reason.

Without mentioning specifics, doing the Baxter opened you up to greater exposure, which eventually resulted in some tabloid gossip. Most of your career, you've managed to be well-known, but fall out of this kind of radar. Do you think you're prepared for more of this attention were it to come in the future?


It's really hard when the spotlight of stardom burns on you the way it has with me but I, like Brittany Spears, am used to it and it's only making me stronger.


I have enjoyed seeing your live Stella show since I was in high school. At the time you started it, there was nothing else like it. How did it come to fruition?


It just sorta happened. Mike, David and I were too lazy to ever write anything so we had to develop an onstage rapport by default of the fact that we didn't have any written material and we had time to fill.

Can you tell me a favorite memory from doing the Stella show?

Probably when we were reminscing about Bruno Kirby's scene from "Spinal Tap" and getting all the details wrong and then he came onstage and corrected us. He was in the audience that night and it was set-up. Really funny moment.

I haven't seen your new show: Michael Showalter's Bogus Journey Into Night, can you tell me more about it?

Each week I'm trying different stuff. I have musicians and comedians. Week ..1 we performed our shitty jokes that haven't worked over the years. The performers were Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen and Janeane Garofalo. The band was King Of France. Week ..2 was Slide Show Week with Chelsea Peretti, Andrea Rosen, Demetri Martin and the band Last Car. This week Seth Herzog will be doing all his dances back-to-back. The band is Pooch Punt.


Do you ever get sick of being funny?


No but other people definitely get sick of me being funny.


See past interviews:
Comic Book Writer Brian K Vaughan
Fashion Designer/ Project Runway chic, Kara Janx

No comments: