Michael Showalter

Michael Showalter

Michael Showalter at the Montclair Film Festival, May 2015
Born (1970-06-17) June 17, 1970
Princeton, New Jersey
Occupation Comedian, actor, writer, director
Spouse(s) Anne Kalin Ellis (2011–present)
Children 2

Michael Showalter (born June 17, 1970) is an American comedian, actor, producer, writer, and director. He is a member of the sketch comedy trio Stella. Showalter first came to recognition as a cast member on MTV's The State, which aired from 1993 to 1995. He co-wrote (with David Wain) and starred in Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and he wrote, directed, and starred in The Baxter (2005), with Michelle Williams, Justin Theroux and Elizabeth Banks. Both of these movies featured many of his co-stars from The State, and so do several of his other projects.

Early life

Michael Showalter was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Elaine Showalter (née Cottler), an author, literary critic, and professor, and English Showalter, a Yale-educated professor of 18th century French literature.[1] His father is Episcopalian and his mother is Jewish.[2] 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 Andrea Rosen.[3]


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 State was then picked up as its own show, 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

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,[4] which premiered in July 2009.[5] 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."[6] The book, Mr. Funny Pants, was published in February 2011.[7]

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.[8]

Showalter also appeared in a series of commercials advertising the Toyota Yaris, starting in late 2011.[9]

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.[10]

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 President Ronald Reagan in the series. The series premiered on July 31, 2015, and was more well received by critics. He will also co-write and star in the Netflix sequel Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later which will premiere in 2017.[11]

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.

Personal life

Showalter married Anne Kalin Ellis on January 16, 2011, in New York.[12] In June 2011, he welcomed twins with his wife.[13]


  1. "Michael Showalter Biography (1970–)". Filmreference.com. June 17, 1970. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  2. "Romantic Comedy Loser Finds Love", Jewish Journal, September 2, 2005.
  3. Eliot Glazer (October 11, 2007). "Inside With: Andrea Rosen". The Apiary.
  4. "Michael Ian Black: Come See Michael & Michael Have Issues". Michaelianblack.typepad.com. July 31, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  5. Martin, Denise (February 18, 2009). "Comedy Central commits to 'Michael and Michael Have Issues'". LA Times. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  6. "The Rumpus Interview With Michael Showalter". The Rumpus.net. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  7. "Amazon.com: Mr. Funny Pants".
  8. "the comic's comic: Law & Order sets new record for comedians in an episode that's not about comedy". Thecomicscomic.typepad.com. September 18, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  9. Friar, Christine (September 21, 2011). "Michael Showalter's Toyota Commercials Make Us Want To Buy A Yaris (VIDEOS)". Huffington Post.
  10. http://topicspodcast.com/
  11. Fleming Jr, Mike (2016-10-19). "Alyssa Milano Joins Season 2 Of 'Wet Hot American Summer'". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  12. "Ep. 634: Where Michael Showalter | CNET TV | Video Product Reviews, CNET Podcasts, Tech Shows, Live CNET Video". Cnettv.cnet.com. July 15, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  13. "Michael Showalter Welcomes Twins With Wife Anne Kalin Ellis". June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
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