Interview: Comedian Michael Showalter

Michael Showalter's playing a Barack Rock Fundraiser. But it's not an endorsement. "My sister was a speechwriter in the Clinton White House," he says. "So why don't you pick up that ball and run with it."

Michael Showalter arrived on the comedy scene with the mid-'90s hit MTV comedy sketch show The State, in which he played the hilariously pissy teenager Doug. Besides hosting The Michael Showalter Showalter on, teaching screenwriting at NYU's Graduate School of Film, and working on dozens of other projects, he's been on the road with Michael Ian Black, also formerly of The State, in support of his new comedy album Sandwiches & Cats. The two will perform Saturday at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and at the Barack Rock fundraiser on February 4 at the Bowery Ballroom with their sketch-comedy troupe Stella.

Recently he talked to the Voice about his choice for president, the Writers' Guild strike, and what he has in common with Albert Einstein.

VV: You wrote about your tour with Michael Ian Black on your blog. It sounds like it's been rough--you lost your luggage, your wallet, your paycheck from a show.
MS: Yes, I constantly lose things. It's the story of my life, so it was nothing new really. And the shows were very good and I enjoyed myself, but I'm incapable of not losing things so that part of it was bad.

VV: Why are you always losing stuff?
MS: I'm absentminded. It's a common affliction for people who are as brilliant as I am. You know, Albert Einstein was famously absent-minded. Doogie Howser, who was a young genius fictional character, but he was known to be quite absent-minded.

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