This Wednesday (8/26) marks the season finale of the hilarious Comedy Central series Michael & Michael Have Issues, and since we've been fans of all things State-related for some time, we had to support the show by interviewing the creators/stars Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter in our August/September issue.
So now you've got two choices: You can click the link below to read the regular interview as it appeared in the magazine, or you can keep reading this post to see the full uncut interview. We recommend them both. How can you lose? Come for the deadpan white people, stay for the deadpan white people!
MICHAEL SHOWALTER & MICHAEL IAN BLACK: The UNCUT Q&A
Interview By Peter Rubin
Complex: So who is the average person who approaches you street—in celebrity terms? Which celebrity does your average fan most resemble?
MS: Laurence Fishburne. African-American...
MIB: early 50s...
MS: late 40s, early 50s. Very intense and male.
MIB: For me, it's Zac Efron.
Complex: That's the comparison?
MIB: No, the average person who comes up to me is literally Zac Efron.
Complex: Does it happen often?
MIB: It happens all the time.
MS: I've been with you when it's happened
MIB: It's awkward, 'cause there's that thing where you're famous and they're famous so you're supposed to give each other respect to a certain extent, like hang out—and Zac Efron is so needy that it's uncomfortable. It's just awkward. He wants to hang out with my kids. He'll be like, "What're you doing tonight?" I'm like, "Hanging with my family," and he's like, "Can I come?" What do you say? First couple of times I'm like, "Sure, come on by." Frankly, there's nothing to talk about; my kids don't like him, my wife is whatever, and I'm sort of in a position because I invited the guy over and now have the need to entertain him. I have a ping-pong table, and that's pretty much all we do. He's a decent ping-pong player, but that's not enough for me to invite him over.
MS: Don't you guys jam, though?
MIB: A little bit, not a lot. And our musical tastes are so different. He's got a great voice, but how many times can I hear the soundtrack of High School Musical 2, you know? Not a lot.
Complex: What projects of yours have had the most unexpected impact on your careers?
MIB: I will tell you what I thought was going to be a huge impact but didn't. When I won a silver in the biathlon.
Complex: It helped with endorsements, didn't it?
MIB: In the Norwegian countries, it was helpful, but there's just not that much marketing stuff in our country—I'm American and Jewish. So for me, winning the silver in the biathlon was not nearly as helpful as I wanted it to be but it was good. And the biathlon is not a prestigious event. If you're going to win a medal in the winter games, you want to win figure skating.
Complex: What are your favorite comedy lubricants?
MIB: You mean things that make you laugh?
Complex: I guess, or pre-show processes, anything that greases the wheels.
MIB: You mean like drugs?
Complex: Not necessarily.
MS: But maybe.
MIB: 'Cause you look like a stoner. You seem like you burn.
Complex: Right now, you mean? 'Cause yeah, I'm high right now.
MS: I get a lot of jokes from watching SNL, The Daily Show... where else?
MIB: Sometimes we break out the old tapes of Kids in the Hall.
MIB: We just hoist it, basically. It's essentially, "Hey, write this down, it's really funny."
Complex: Is that how you got the farting butterfly sketch from Michael & Michael?
MIB: Yeah, that was Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks in the original. They were great.
MS: Well, I wouldn't take it as the same joke. Clearly, the Carl Reiner butterfly was much more...
MIB: More Yiddish. Carl Reiner's butterfly had a Yiddish accent.
Complex: Are there certain foods you had to feed it to make it so gassy?
MS: The same kind of foods that we would give a human being.
Complex: Did it have favorites?
MS: It couldn't talk. We don't know
MIB: It seemed to like the beans, though.
MS: It did like the beans. That took me a while to figure out, though.
MIB: It also took us a long time to figure out where to put the microphone.
MS: We used a boom mic, 'cause when it was actually ready to fart, it was loud.
MIB: It blew out the...
MS: It was actually the crew guys who were popping the mic, so we ended up having to do a much more directional mic with a big camera.
Complex: Did you have any trouble with the censors for that?
MIB: No, not so much. I mean they don't have any hard and fast rules about butterfly farts. When I wanted it to come on its stomach, at that point they were like, "You know what? This might be an issue for first-timers."
MS: The way we always do it is we say let us shoot it for the show and you can see if it's acceptable. So we shot it.
MIB: Well, I shot it. You watched.
MS: I didn't watch actually—I could have, but I didn't want to. Mike shot on the butterfly's stomach and we tried everything, and we just couldn't get it through.
MIB: Yeah, they were pretty clear about it.
MIB: The whole thing took about 15 minutes
MS: And we did how many takes?
MIB: Oh, over 20.
MS: We took a lot of takes. Mike reloads really fast.
Complex: I think I remember reading that in an old interview he did.