Barry Goldblatt is my friend and literary agent. He also happens to be literary agent to actor/comedian/author Michael Ian Black, with whom you may be familiar. This past November, Barry took a small group of usme, Laura, and Colleen AF Venableto see the taping of Michael's new standup comedy special at John Jay College in Manhattan.
Now, this happened to be the very next day after my book release party for The Accidental Terrorist, so 1) I was still on a pretty big high, and 2) the comedy outing felt almost like a continuation of the party from the night before.
Look, the show was hilarious. Josh Gondelman opened, and though I think we old people were prepared to hate him, he charmed us with a very funny set. When Michael Ian Black took the stage, however, there was no looking back. His set seemed to effortlessly ride a line between his signature ingratiating archness and smarm, surprising hints of vulnerability, and some of the most potentially offensive material imaginable. Laura and I were weeping with laughter.
Toward the end of the hour, Michael launched into a long story about getting arrested on an old warrant for a brief
lapse interregnum in his auto insurance. Suddenly, at the point in the story where he's being hauled off to jail, he asked the audience, "Who's been to jail here before?"
I don't want to spoil anything for you, but Laura, Colleen, and especially Barry all started hissing at me to sticking my goddamn hand in the air already. After taking stories from two other audience members, Michael called on me. My mouth was dry and it felt like I couldn't get enough breath, but somehow I managed to elicit from him the reaction you can see in the Instagram video below.
On Friday, May 13, I invited a bunch of friends over to watch Michael Ian Black: Noted Expert when it debuted on Epix. It turned out to be a lucky Friday the 13th for me because I didn't have to explain to my guests why I had dragged them over to my house to watch a show that I wasn't even in.
I hope you'll watch the special too. If you have Epix, it runs again this Wednesday night on Epix2, or you can watch it on-demand through the Epix app on many different streaming devices.
I encourage you to watch the full hour, because it's a very funny show, and because Michael Ian Black really needs this, guys. But if you're only interested in seeing my bit, start from the 48-minute mark. That should give you enough context for maximum enjoyment.
Oh, and buy my book, okay? The ebook editions are all on sale.
What on earth did I say to elicit this reaction from @michaelianblack? To find out, watch his new @Epix comedy special, NOTED EXPERT: http://bit.ly/notedexpert And for more details, read my new memoir, THE ACCIDENTAL TERRORIST: http://bit.ly/memorder #michaelianblack #notedexpert #epix #epixhd #epixspecial #comedy #standup #standupcomedy #crime #criminals #arrest #arrested #underarrest #jail #mormon #mormonism #exmormon #exmo #postmormon #postmo #missionary #missionaries #mormonmissionary #mormonmissionaries #terrorism #terrorist #accidentalterrorist #bombthreat #bombthreats
@VentnerKendo Not even close.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 12, 2015
SPOILER ALERT: No. https://t.co/cn6vOsTTIj— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) May 13, 2016
@shunn I might have lied in the spoiler alert.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) May 14, 2016
Here comes a true story of a guy who said there was a bomb on an airplane and got charged with "public mischief." #notedexpert— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) May 14, 2016
Beware! If @michaelianblack tells you you're not in his comedy special, HE'S LYING. Or maybe I shouldn't generalize from my experience.— William Shunn (@shunn) May 14, 2016