We asked Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, the stars of Comedy Central’s new show-about-a-sketch-show Michael & Michael Have Issues, to debate three real issues that have crept up in their long friendship. Read their arguments, choose your side, and don’t forget to watch their second episode, which premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Bravo reality television: good entertainment or brain cell depleting?
SHO: Bravo reality is NOT good entertainment — it’s GREAT entertainment. It’s also brain cell depleting but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Cheech and Chong have none left and they seem fine. It’s real-fake drama! It’s way better than fake-fake drama! Next I’d like to see some cross-pollination between reality shows: Next Top New Jersey Housewife, or Flip Tim Gunn’s House; or Project Haircuts of Orange County. Okay that last one needs work.
BLACK: Bravo is the final destination for those for whom “regular TV” is too intellectual. There was a time, and it seems like a very long time ago indeed, when Bravo used to stand for arts and culture programming, not wannabe cooks attempting to figure out how to incorporate chorizo into their flan. It’s a ludicrous channel featuring ludicrous people doing ludicrous things. I understand how that might appeal to some people, particularly the kind of people who find it entertaining to watch housewives bitch about other housewives, but I am not those people. Bravo, you suck.
The Twilight franchise: who cares less?
BLACK: This is a tough one because I really don’t care about Twilight. Oddly enough, I usually enjoy things that teenage girls like: unicorns for example. And lip gloss that tastes like Dr. Pepper (but just because I like Dr. Pepper, not because I like lip gloss). But for some reason I can’t care about these Abercrombie & Fitch models running around biting each other’s necks. Nor do I want to read 1,200 pages about said teenagers. It would be hard to care less about this nonsense than me.
SHO: I think I win this one. I rented Interview with a Vampire seven years ago on VHS. I still haven’t seen it. So how can I skip ahead and watch a movie with teenage vampires? At this point, I owe Blockbuster thousands of dollars in late fees. It’s sitting there on my shelf just waiting to be watched — I’ll watch this weekend. I swear.
Pork-barrel spending: legitimate current concern, or antiquated partisan talking-point?
SHO: A little from Column A, and a little from Column B. While the appropriation of government spending secured through underhanded means is both in direct conflict with service to the greater public at large and still an unfortunate common practice, its ramifications pale in comparison to more pressing issues like renewable energy and responsive education policy. And most importantly “pork barrel” is kind of a funny thing to say. I’d hate to see it go.
BLACK: I love it. I love when politicians appropriate money for Old West museums and studies about snails and maple syrup resuscitation efforts and whatever else they steal money for. Pork-barrel spending is such a minuscule part of our budget. Let’s figure out a way to bring down the cost of health care, make sure Social Security is solvent, and send a couple dudes to Mars. Then let’s tackle pork-barrel spending. But I agree with Showalter on this one — “pork barrel” is too funny to say to have it go away.
Watch a clip from Michael & Michael Have Issues:
More Michael and Michael:
Must List Live! An exclusive clip from MTV’s long-awaited ‘The State’ DVD
Site of the Day: College Humor’s ‘Michael Showalter Stuff’
Clip du jour: Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter take on Billy Bob Thornton
PopWatch Interview: 13 things you might not know about Michael Ian Black
Michael Showalter guest blogs for PopWatch