I went out to get the newspaper, and the guy hadn’t come.
What is your earliest memory?
Coming downstairs from my bedroom into the kitchen where my mother was. Captain Kangaroo was on the television, and my mother said, “What are you doing up?” In retrospect, if she didn’t expect me up, why was Captain Kangaroo on the TV?
If you weren’t a writer, comedian, and actor, what other profession would you choose?
I would figure out a way to collect disability payments from the government.
Describe a typical work day.
Get up, get the paper – WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE ALREADY – drink tea, read it, take a shower, fire up the computer, write, email, Twitter, email, write, Twitter, lunch, write, Twitter, see what my wife is doing, stall, write, Twitter, pretzels.
Is there a time you wish you’d lied?
When agreeing to answer to these questions?
What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?
I’d say, “Dermatologists can treat that.”
If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?
I might go with Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.
What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?
From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?
The work of my peers.
Name three books that have impacted your life.
If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?
That night I took E with my wife.
How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?
I don’t know. It’s probably less than six degrees, but I will leave it to better minds than mine to figure it out.
What makes you feel most guilty?
When my professional schedule conflicts with personal obligations.
How do you incorporate the work of other artists into your own?
Microsoft Word has a “cut” function and a “paste” function.
Please explain the motivation/inspiration behind You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations.
A desire to write something personal, cohesive, funny, and honest.
What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?
There is only one professional piece of advice worth giving, which is this: if you want to do something, do it.
List your favorite in the following categories: Comedian, Musician, Author, Actor
Comedian — Richard Pryor
Musician — Husker Dü
Author — Michael Lewis
Actor — Maggie Smith
If you had complete creative license and an unlimited budget, what would your next project be?
I’d like to make a movie with my friends.
What do you want to know?
What’s for lunch?
What would you like your last words to be?
“Oh God, don’t unplug me.”
Please explain what will happen.
We’re all going to die.
MICHAEL IAN BLACK is a writer, comedian, and actor who has created and starred in many television series including Michael and Michael Have Issues, Stella, and The State. He also starred in the NBC television show Ed and on Vh1’s I Love The… series. He wrote the screenplay for the film Run, Fatboy, Run and wrote and directed the film Wedding Daze. Black regularly tours the country as a stand-up comedian and is the bestselling author of the book My Custom Van (and 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face), the forthcoming I’m Bored, and the children’s books Chicken Cheeks, The Purple Kangaroo, and A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea.
In You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations, Black takes on his childhood, his marriage, his children, and his career with unexpected candor and deadpan wit in this funny-because-it’s-true essay collection.