The new Comedy Central show Michael and Michael Have Issues reunites Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter at their bickering best; a latter-day Odd Couple more like the I’m-a-PC-I’m-a-Mac guys than Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. The duo first exposed themselves (ahem) on the short lived, critically-acclaimed cable comedy The State, and Black became a mainstay in VH1 Pop-Culture lampoons like I Love the 80s, while Showalter pretty much waited for Black to pick up the phone again. Here, they talk about the Broncos, Tom Brokaw and the Ku Klux Klan.
French Davis: Whose idea was this tour? Why this particular format? Why not something more like the show?
Michael Ian Black: We both thought touring would be a good idea both as a means of promoting the show and getting a chance to spend some time together, since spending 16 hours a day together during production wasn’t enough. In terms of doing something more like the show, I’m sure we will find many opportunities to insult and undermine each other while on the road.
FD: So, if Comedy Central decides to offer you $50 million to extend your contracts, are you going to run off to Africa and leave all your fans wondering why?
Michael Showalter: Probably not but only because I don’t like hot weather. I might go to Finland or Norway though.
MIB: I would probably go someplace temperate like North Carolina. Africa seems too far and Finland seems too Scandinavian.
FD: Have either of you been to Colorado before? What do you like about the Centennial State?
MS: Many times. I’ve been to Boulder on several occasions. I think I ate at a sandwich place called Yellow Submarine. Am I just imagining this? I also did a show in Denver many years ago with Eugene Mirman and Leo Allen. We ate at an amazing barbecue restaurant I remember. The weather in Colorado is amazing. Nice and dry.
MIB: I love Colorado. My first professional job was at the Denver Repertory Theater. I played a wayward teen. I remember that while I was in Denver I learned about Cobb salads and attended a Ku Klux Klan rally (I went in opposition, not in support.) It was, to date, my first and only Klan rally.
FD: Football prediction: Denver Broncos. How will they fare this season?
MS: Yeesh. It’s not looking too good is it? This new coach seems like he knows how to make enemies. I miss the days of Randy Gradishar and Rick Upchurch.
MIB: I think they go undefeated. And I think Elway will have his best year yet.
FD: Which comedians have had the biggest influence on you?
MIB: Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Tom Brokaw.
FD: You’re hosting a dinner for three famous people, living or dead. Who would you invite and why? And what are you serving?
MS: William Shakespeare, George Washington and Jesus. I’d serve chicken—I feel like you can’t go wrong serving chicken.
MIB: I’d invite John Lennon, Groucho Marx and Michael Showalter. I’d have an all-you-can-eat taco bar and ice cream sundaes.
FD: What pisses you off the most?
MS: Loud noises; people who cut in line; when I ask for extra ice and don’t get it.
MIB: I have to agree with Showalter about loud noises. And people with a little bit of power who act like they have a lot of power. Like DMV workers.