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Michael Ian Black on Stand-up Comedy and His Upcoming Road Trip with Meghan McCain

​Michael Ian Black will take the local stage this weekend at the Improv. The comedian/actor/director/panelist from VH1's "I Love the '__'s" shows isn't exactly a Valley veteran, but his upcoming plans for a road trip (and a book) will see him in Arizona more often in the coming months.

We caught up with Black after a late flight before his first show in Tempe...

We hear you're working on a book with Meghan McCain? 
We're going on a road trip and we're gonna write a book about it ... We're starting July 4, here in Arizona. We're gonna go across the country ... and write a book about it.

There's going to be political undercurrents to it, or maybe overcurrents. I don't know if overcurrents is a word. I don't think it is. There will be political currents to it. But it will also be a chronicle of our adventure and the idea of, basically, we're two very different people who barely know each other.

And, the thinking is, if we can go on this road trip for three weeks and survive each other and talk to regular people about why politics is so fucked up and why can't everybody... 'get along' sounds too corny, but stop being so polarized and have more rational discussion about what's going on in the country, and still have fun doing it ... The idea is to put it out next year as the election is really heating up. And hopefully it will be a fun, funny book aimed at young people who are maybe a little disenchanted with the political process.

How'd the book come about?
We got in contact through Twitter. We've sort of met each other very briefly during a TV pilot that I was doing that she was on. And I've always liked her from afar. I always thought she's the kind of Republican I would be if I were Republican. So I contacted her over Twitter and said 'we should write a book together.' She thought I was joking.

What's your joke-writing process like?
It's 'sit down and try to write a joke.' It's not that much more complicated than that. Sometimes I'm in the shower and write a joke, then I have to sit down and write it after. Most of the time, 90 percent of the time, they're not funny jokes.

How do you pick out the funny ones from the not-so-funny ones?
I either try them out on Twitter or I try them in front of an audience and see if anybody laughs. And on Twitter, you can kind of tell if people are laughing or not because your computer vibrates.

Your computer just makes a laugh noise?
Yeah, it shakes a little bit and sometimes it pees.

Why didn't we get another season of Michael and Michael Have Issues?
Comedy Central cancelled it after the first season. That was the primary reason. Not enough people watched it, and apparently when people don't watch your television show, the network cancels it. I'm new to the game, but apparently, that's how it works.

I don't think they did a great job marketing it. More than that, they really didn't give it a chance. It was a good show, I know it was a good show. But it wasn't a loud show, it was the kind of show that needed a little time to find an audience. They, for whatever reasons they had, decided they didn't want to invest that time, so they cancelled it. I mean, it would be easy for me to sit here and say 'they're mother fuckers.' But I'm not gonna say it. I'm gonna imply it. I'm gonna strongly imply it, but I'm definitely not gonna say it.

Michael Ian Black is performing at the Improv all weekend until Sunday. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with tickets priced at $20.

Check out the Tempe Improv's website for more information.

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