The years have been good to Michael Ian Black. By just happily existing during the '70s, '80s and '90s, the actor/comedian did enough research to provide VH1's popular I Love The... specials with some of its funniest observations and spot-on comments. But since VH1 has momentarily run out of decades, the former bowling-alley manager on NBC's Ed is keeping busy with a pilot for Comedy Central (with two of his comic cohorts from The State). Tonight and tomorrow night, he'll also be sitting in The Late Late Show's guest-host chair.
TV Guide Online: Have you ever done any interviewing or guest-hosting stuff?
Michael Ian Black: I did. When Stuck on You came out, I interviewed Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Cher and the Farrelly brothers for a special on Comedy Central. And I learned that, in person, Matt Damon is actually gorgeous. Incidentally, so is Cher. The woman is stunning, to the point where, I mean, I was having fantasies about doing Cher while interviewing her.
TVGO: How's your wife?
Black: [Laughs] How's my wife? She's good. I have two kids, none of them by Cher. Older boy, younger girl.
TVGO: Amy Brenneman is one of your guests. Are you a big Judging Amy fan?
Black: No, I've never seen the show. [Laughs]
TVGO: Do you plan to get an episode in beforehand?
Black: Ehh... We'll see. I don't know. [Mock indignant] I mean, how much preparation can I possibly be expected to do?! I'm a busy, busy man. I'm only going to have so much time in Los Angeles when I'm out there. I mean, I think Amy Brenneman is lovely and I'm looking forward to speaking with her. Doesn't mean I have to see her work.
TVGO: Also, Jason Ritter from Joan of Arcadia is another one of your guests. Have you seen that show?
Black: No. I've heard it's good. I don't watch a lot of popular television. I'm a parent, [so] generally, I watch animated children's programming and Blue's Clues. If you're gonna have Joe from Blue's Clues on, we can talk for hours.
TVGO: You're arguably more well-known now for being in the VH1 specials than anything else.
Black: Well, you'll get no disagreement that if people know me from anything these days, it's from VH1. Ironically, I get recognized for being on Kids in the Hall more than I get recognized for being on Ed, and the fact is I was never on Kids in the Hall. On an almost daily basis, somebody comes up to me and says, "Hey, weren't you on Kids in the Hall?" I say, "No," and then they say, "Shut up! Yes, you were... You d---."
TVGO: At least you've got the recognition for VH1.
Black: It's kind of good to be known, almost regardless of what you're known for. Paris Hilton is case in point of this. She did nothing except release a sex video and now she's "Paris Hilton" in capital letters. So, the point being, look for my sex video coming out any day now.
TVGO: I may not.
Black: It's really hot.
TVGO: So... Before you go, since we'll have to wait until 2010 for VH1 specials about this decade, can we get a sample of your take on current pop-culture stuff? Reality TV, for instance?
Black: It's unbelievable to me that people are seeking out ways to humiliate themselves on television. Honestly, I don't understand how they think it is going to improve their lives to be known as the guy who ate the horse's ass on Fear Factor. I really don't. You know, I think if you're in line for a promotion at work and it's you and the other guy, if I'm the boss, I'm probably going to pick the guy who didn't eat the horse's ass.