Photograph by Joseph Maida
After sharing 20-odd years of bizarro banter—in the sketch-comedy group The State and its eponymous MTV series (finally out on DVD) and in cultish movies like Wet Hot American Summer—Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter are getting a new Comedy Central series: Michael & Michael Have Issues**. It's about a pair of longtime collaborators hosting a sketch show—proving sometimes it's best to go with what you know. David Walters
Q: So the premise is pretty meta?
MS: Did it seem meta?
MIB: We're not trying to be meta. We're trying to be organic.
MS: We're trying to be like the chronic. That's organic, right?
MIB: Depends on how you grow it. I use those special grow lights. I don't know if that disqualifies it.
Q: Who's the top-billed Michael?
MS: The good thing about the title is that we never have to define it.
MIB: If we had called the show Jacoby and Meyers, then there would have been a fight. That would have been a much bigger problem. Because Meyers and Jacoby sounds just as good as Jacoby and Meyers.
Q: Any rejected titles?
MS: Lost. It was taken.
MIB: Apparently. I didn't know that.
MS: Access Hollywood. That one was not only taken but it—
MIB: Didn't really relate in any way.
Q: You guys finish each other's sentences, sort of like an old married couple.
MIB: I don't like comparisons to couples or marriage or shit like that.
MS: That was a really strong negative reaction, Mike.
MIB: I get creeped out by that. Because I am married. I know what it's likebeing married is creepy.
Q: What's it like working so closely with a friend?
MS: As a collaboration evolves, you kind of end up making a choice: Are we going to be friends or are we going to be coworkers? It's hard to be great hang-out friends with someone you work with.
MIB: It's kind of like a marriage. We're like an old married couple.