Michael Showalter

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Michael Showalter
Michael Showalter May 2015 crop.jpg
Michael Showalter at the Montclair Film Festival , May 2015
Born (1970-06-17) June 17, 1970 (age 51)
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, film, television
Years active1992–present
Genres Surreal comedy, improvisational comedy, farce, dark comedy, stand-up comedy, alternative comedy, sketch comedy, anti-humor, cringe comedy, physical comedy, satire / parody
Anne Kalin Ellis
(m. 2011)

Michael Showalter (born June 17, 1970) is an American comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer. A member of the sketch comedy trio Stella, he first came to recognition as a cast member on MTV's The State , which aired from 1993 to 1995. He and David Wain created the Wet Hot American Summer franchise, with Showalter co-writing and starring in Wet Hot American Summer (2001), and the Netflix series. Showalter wrote and directed The Baxter (2005), in which he starred with Michelle Williams, Justin Theroux, and Elizabeth Banks. Both films featured many of his co-stars from The State, and so do several of his other projects. Showalter is also a co-creator, co-producer, actor, and writer for the TV series Search Party . He directed the 2017 critically acclaimed feature film The Big Sick .


Early life

Showalter was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Elaine Showalter (née Cottler), an author, feminist literary critic, and professor of English, and English Showalter, a Yale-educated professor of 18th century French literature. [1] His father is Episcopalian and his mother is Jewish. [2] [3] He has one older sister, Vinca Showalter LaFleur, a professional speechwriter. He attended Princeton High School. For five years, Showalter shared an apartment with his friend, comedian and actress Andrea Rosen. [4]


Showalter began his undergraduate studies at New York University, where he joined the sketch comedy group The New Group. He transferred to and graduated from Brown University. After he completed college, The New Group changed its name to The State and began creating video shorts for an MTV show called You Wrote It, You Watch It , hosted by Jon Stewart. The comedy troupe then got its own sketch comedy TV series, The State , which aired for two years on MTV.

Showalter has also had several smaller roles in movies and TV shows. He played Ron Parker, the arrogant host of Cheap Seats , on ESPN Classic in the pilot episode. However, after a bookcase fell on Showalter's character, tape librarians (and brothers) Randy and Jason Sklar took over the hosting duties. Showalter spent a brief time as a correspondent on The Daily Show (1996). He is also one half of The Doilies, an acoustic comedy band, in which he sings lead vocals opposite guitarist Zak Orth. In 2005 he wrote, directed and starred in the film The Baxter .

Showalter in 2007 Michael Showalter.jpg
Showalter in 2007

Showalter is the host of The Michael Showalter Showalter, an original Internet series on Collegehumor.com which premiered January 16, 2007. His first guest was comedian Zach Galifianakis. Other guests have included David Cross, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, David Wain, Andy Samberg, Michael Cera, and Mike Birbiglia. In the fall and winter of 2006, Showalter toured the US with frequent collaborator Michael Ian Black. In March 2007 Showalter briefly toured as the opening act for Janeane Garofalo. The Ten reunites him with frequent collaborators from The State .

Showalter signed with JDub Records, a non-profit record label, in June 2007. He released his first stand-up CD titled Sandwiches & Cats in November 2007. He teaches screenwriting at New York University's Graduate Film School.

Showalter teamed up once more with Michael Ian Black in the Comedy Central series Michael and Michael Have Issues , [5] which premiered in July 2009. [6] The show detailed the two Michaels' trials and tribulations as they create a television series. They confirmed the series' cancellation in early 2010.

In an interview with The Rumpus in February 2009, Showalter talked about a memoir he is working on. "I am writing an 'important' memoir about not being able to write an important memoir. It winds up being kind of a novel-length comedic essay on insecurity and procrastination." [7] The book, Mr. Funny Pants, was published in February 2011. [8]

He appeared twice on the NBC drama Law & Order : in the episode "Endurance", which aired on October 18, 2000, and in the episode "Reality Bites", which aired on October 16, 2009. [9]

Showalter also appeared in a series of commercials advertising the Toyota Yaris, starting in late 2011. [10]

In 2013 Showalter and Michael Ian Black launched a podcast called "Topics" in which the duo discuss evergreen topics in a serious manner, although if something funny comes up, it's okay. [11]

Showalter was a writer on the ABC sitcom Super Fun Night .

In 2014, Showalter co-wrote with David Wain They Came Together . Wain and Showalter then co-wrote the eight-episode Netflix prequel Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp based on the 2001 film with almost the entire cast of the original film returning. Showalter himself appeared as Gerald "Coop" Cooperberg and President Ronald Reagan in the series. The series premiered on July 31, 2015, and was more well received by critics. He also co-wrote and starred in the Netflix sequel Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later which premiered in 2017. [12]

In 2015 his film Hello, My Name Is Doris debuted at SXSW, where it was acquired by Roadside Attractions. It was released in the United States in March 2016, and received critical acclaim.

His 2017 film The Big Sick starred Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. It saw a wide theatrical release and had an overwhelmingly positive 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Showalter next directed the 2020 film The Lovebirds , starring Kumail Najiani of The Big Sick, along with Issa Rae, Anna Camp and Paul Sparks. The film was scheduled for theatrical release in the United States on April 3, 2020, however due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic its theatrical release was cancelled, similar to many other films, and it premiered on Netflix on May 22, 2020. More recently, he signed an overall deal with HBO Max. [13]

Personal life

Showalter married Anne Kalin Ellis on January 16, 2011, in New York. [14] They welcomed twins in 2014. [15]



1996TickCliffordShort film
2001 Wet Hot American Summer Gerald "Coop" Cooperberg/Alan ShemperAlso writer and co-producer
2001 Kissing Jessica Stein Stephen
2002 Signs Lionel Prichard
2002 Stella shorts MichaelAlso writer and director
2002Operation Midnight ClimaxChip
2004 Hair High Wally (voice)
2005 The Baxter Elliot ShermanAlso writer and director
2006 Griffin & Phoenix Terry's Fiancé
2007 The Ten Police Lt. Flarn Bleern
2007 Reno 911!: Miami Paul
2008BirthdayMichaelShort film
2013Bum FutureFredShort film
2014 They Came Together Writer and producer
2014 Two Night Stand Rick Raines
2015 Hello, My Name Is Doris Writer, director, and executive producer
2017 The Big Sick Director
2020 The Lovebirds Director and executive producer
2021 The Eyes of Tammy Faye Director


1992–1993 You Wrote It, You Watch It Various charactersAlso writer
1993–1995 The State Various charactersAlso creator and writer
1995The State's 43rd Annual All-Star Halloween SpecialVarious charactersTelevision special; also writer
1996 The Daily Show Correspondent
1997 Apartment 2F Phil4 episodes
1999 1999 MTV Movie Awards Writer
1999Random PlayVarious charactersAlso additional writer
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Plasma Boy (voice)Episode: "The Plasma Monster"
2000, 2009 Law & Order Artie Kramer / Allen Gee2 episodes
2003 Sex and the City BillyEpisode: "The Post-It Always Sticks Twice"
2003–2005 The Wrong Coast Writer
2004–2006 Cheap Seats Ron Parker
2005 Stella MichaelAlso creator, writer, and executive producer
2008 Wainy Days LandonEpisode: "Molly"
2008 The Michael Showalter Showalter HostAlso creator and executive producer
2009 Michael & Michael Have Issues Michael ShowalterAlso creator writer, director, and executive producer
2012 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Gordon ScheerUncredited
2013 You're Whole Dr. Robert WexlerAlso series director
2013 Inside Amy Schumer SteveEpisode: "Bad Decisions"
2013–2014 Super Fun Night Wrote 2 episodes
2013–2014 Newsreaders Wrote 2 episodes
2014 Bob's Burgers Ethan (voice)Episode: "The Kids Rob a Train"
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Clyde BryllisEpisode: "Nick Offerman Wears a Green Flannel Shirt & Brown Boots"
2015 Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Coop / President Reagan 8 episodes; also creator, writer, and executive producer
2015 Jammers Jeremy / Cool Guy / Ol' Drippy (voice)Pilot
2015 The Grinder Sandy MalmuthEpisode: "Dedicating This One to the Crew"
2015–2016 Childrens Hospital Nils VildervaanAlso wrote 4 episodes
2016-2018 Love Directed 3 episodes
2016Giles VanderhootGiles VanderhootAlso writer, director, and executive producer
2016 American Dad! Mark (voice)Episode: "Bahama Mama"
2016-2019 Grace and Frankie Directed 2 episodes
2016–present Search Party Max5 episodes; also creator, writer, and executive producer
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Coop / President Reagan 8 episodes; also creator, writer, and executive producer
2017 9JKL Walter MichaelsonEpisode: "Set Visit"
2018 Sugar Rush Himself (Guest judge)Episode: "Camp Sugar Rush" [16]
2019 In the Dark Directed episode: "Pilot"
2019Ray Romano Right Here, Around the CornerDirector
2021 The Shrink Next Door Director

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