You may know Michael Ian Black from the cult 2000 comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” the sketch comedy series “Stella” or from Twitter, where he entertains his nearly two million followers.
His next gig is hosting “The Friskies” in October — an awards ceremony for the best cat videos on the Internet — an honor that Black calls his swan song. (RELATED VIDEO: Blind kitten wins grand prize at The Friskies)
I talked to Black last week about cats, his sex scene with Bradley Cooper, his new TBS game show and FOX sitcom — and that Twitter feud with Marc Maron.
So tell me about hosting “The Friskies.”
It was important for me to reassess my life and career. One of the things I had never done was to host the most important Internet cat video award show ever. This is my swan song – after this, I’m done. I will bid showbiz adieu.
I don’t believe you.
Oh, you just wait and see.
What is your favorite Internet cat video?
Here is the thing. I am the host of “The Friskies.” As such, that is a lot of power. I really can’t say. That’s how I have to be. I have to maintain a sense of objectivity. You think the people at Friskies take this seriously? Even saying “cat video” is a gray area for me, even acknowledging its existence. It’s a gray area.
Can you tell me about your new game show (TBS’ “Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host”)?
Yeah, it’s called “Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host,” and it’s D.L. Hughley and myself hosting, and there’s one contestant, and the way it works is one of us tells the contestant the truth and one of us lies, and the contestant has to figure out who’s doing what.
What are the kinds of things people have to tell the truth about?
We each present the contestant with a competing fact, so if there’s a category like, I don’t know, Elvis. One of the questions might be, “Quentin Tarantino played Elvis in an episode of the Golden Girls.”
That’s not true.
Well, is it? Or isn’t it? And D.L. says that, and then I say, “Most people know Elvis’s favorite sandwich was fried bologna and peanut butter. Did you know that it was also his favorite dessert?”
I did not know that.
Right, well you have to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s lying? And then we back it up with some comedic assertions.
Tell me about the FOX sitcom.
That’s called “Us and Them.” It’s based on a British show called “Gavin and Stacy.” It’s based on that, and we’re shooting that now, and I don’t know when it airs because it’s a mid-season replacement, so whenever one of FOX’s shows gets yanked.