Michael Ian Black
Last week, TV Guide Magazine headed down to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras with the good folks from HGTV and comic Michael Ian Black, who hosted and live-tweeted their hilarious House Hunters Bingo bash. Turns out Black is a major fan of the show (as are we), so in between screaming for beads from the parade floats rolling down the legendary St. Charles Street and watching the on-screen discussions of open-floor plans, we sat down with the funnyman to talk frustrating home buyers, the Wet Hot American Summer sequel and his new book (in stores today). Oh, and Bradley Cooper, if you're reading this, call your fake husband!
TV Guide Magazine: How did you become such a fan of House Hunters?
Michael Ian Black: Through wife viewing. Not "viewing my wife," but viewing with my wife. It was a show that we both enjoyed watching and there are so few of those.
TV Guide Magazine: And she's a designer, right?
Black: Yes. She's an interior designer. I don't think it normally would have been a show I would sit down and watch on my own.
TV Guide Magazine: What do you watch?
Black: I don't really watch TV. Almost none. But at night when we're at home hanging out and the kids are in bed, House Hunters is a standby for us.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you have the same level of frustration with how some of these people pick their homes?
Black: Oh it's an outrage. Every episode is a new outrage.
TV Guide Magazine: It's the paint-color thing, right?
Black: If I hear one more time that the paint color is wrong, I may reach through my TV and strangle someone. Do they not know that they can repaint a wall? Tell me you have a problem with a backsplash, I understand. That's some work there. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: And HGTV has other shows that will teach you how to replace a backsplash!
Black: Exactly. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: Now HGTV.com allows viewers to download their own cards and play "House Hunters Bingo" based on terms used on the show. What do you think?
Black: I suspect it will work quite well. They really have figured out what you hear over and over again in each episode.
TV Guide Magazine: It's like a drinking game.
Black: It's not "like" a drinking game. It is a drinking game.
TV Guide Magazine: Would you ever consider doing a show like this?
Black: Nothing would make me happier. I would like to go in and yell at people about what terrible taste they have. Part of me just wants to scream and leave, but I understand there's the Gordon Ramsay model, where you scream at people then have to help them.
TV Guide Magazine: Otherwise you're just Nancy Grace.
Black: [Laughs] Yeah, I don't want to be Nancy Grace. I want to be Gordon Ramsay. I wanna be tough love.
TV Guide Magazine: Now let's talk about your new book, You're Not Doing it Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations. How different is it writing for the print medium versus stand-up comedy? You don't really get to try out this kind of material.
Black: It requires an ability to really listen to yourself as opposed to listening to an audience. That can be challenging, actually. You have to learn to trust yourself. It's harder to trust when something is good than when it's bad. It's easier to just say, "That's terrible, throw it away." It's harder to look at something and say, "OK, I think there's some merit here."
TV Guide Magazine: You start to wonder if you're becoming married to your words?
Black: Yeah, and I am kind of ego-less about my writing. So my instinct is always to say something is s--t.
TV Guide Magazine: If they were to make a TV show based on your book, who should play you?
Black: I guess Chelsea Handler. It makes sense, right? [Laughs] You do realize I am an actor, right?
TV Guide Magazine: Yeah, but we're hoping you'll be too busy making Wet Hot American Sequel!
Black: [Laughs] Yeah, well, we'll see. Nobody's cut me a check yet. But that would only be four weeks of my life.
TV Guide Magazine: That's all it took to shoot the original?
Black: Yeah, it was like four or maybe five weeks. It rained the entire time, too.
TV Guide Magazine: It's so cool that people have finally found out how great that movie is. Are you still in touch with the cast?
Black: All of them. Well, I haven't spoken to Bradley Cooper in a while.
TV Guide Magazine: That's weird, since you married him in the original movie.
Black: Because we're united in love? I know. Maybe that's why we haven't been in contact. Maybe he wants to put all of that behind him. [Laughs]
House Hunters airs weeknights at 10/9c.
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