Michael Ian Black’s job is to be funny, mostly in front of a camera or on a stage. In 2015, he was on three separate TV shows or series: The Jim Gaffigan Show on TBS, Another Period on Comedy Central, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, with many of his past cohorts from the MTV sketch comedy show The State, on Netflix. Just before he picked up the phone for this interview, he was editing a new stand-up comedy special, which he anticipates will be out sometime in mid-2016.
But writing for the printed page is becoming an increasingly more substantial part of what he does. In January, he released his third book of essays, Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (But Also My Mom’s, Which I Know Sounds Weird). In October, he released Cock-a-Doodle-Doo-Bop! , his sixth children’s book, and he has a seventh coming out later this year.
To Black, it’s all writing. “It all is of a piece,” he says. “I mean, I write books and I write television shows and I write stand-up comedy…I do a lot of writing.”
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