Michael Ian Black Talks Klondike Kandy Bars, Losing a Girl to a Guy Named “Taco,” and More
Plus, he (very reluctantly) answers the Same 10 Questions We Always Ask Everyone.
You’re the latest celebrity spokesperson for Klondike. What’s going on in these videos you made for them?
You know Klondike, the delicious ice cream bar? And you know candy, the genre of food? Klondike is now making these candy bars where they combine Klondike with candy, and so the videos are about how they met and how they had their child.
How does that work?
Exactly! It’s me narrating the bedtime story of how Klondike and candy got together. It’s a little risqué, I’m not going to lie to you.
So they hook up and have a child, and that child is one of these new Klondike Kandy Bars?
Peanut is their anthropomorphic child who’s saying, “Where do I come from?” And then Klondike’s going, “Oh, I’ll tell you how we met. I’ll tell you how we got together.” And I’m narrating the story, and as the story goes on you see me, the narrator, getting more concerned about the direction the story is headed, because, as I said, it’s a little risqué. Klondike and Candy get together and they [makes sex noise], and a Kandy Bar comes out. You do not see birth.
Why did you decide to do this?
Because Klondike does funny things, and I like Klondike. I’ve worked with them before. The first time, I didn’t know that I liked Klondike because I don’t think I’d ever had one. As part of working with Klondike, they want you to try the Klondike…turns out Klondike is delicious. I might’ve even tweeted that Klondike is delicious. That’s how much I like Klondike!
So I’m assuming you eat them a lot?
I haven’t had the opportunity to eat them a lot because someone screwed up my order. I was supposed to receive dozens, if not cases, of Klondike Kandy Bars at my home. Someone who is sitting in this room totally screwed it up, and it’s not her [points to one of the two other people in the room]. It’s like my Klondike order went into a portal. But the ones that I have tried are delicious. The caramel and peanuts is very good and the cookies and cream is very good. I haven’t had the fudge crunch yet. Honestly, I have not had a Klondike product I haven’t liked. At this point in my life, I’ve had a lot of Klondike products and they’re good. I prefer them to [names another chocolate bar company], which to me is too fancy. I don’t want to be talked down to by my candy par. I want a people’s ice cream bar.
But what specifically do you enjoy so much about this Klondike Kandy Bar?
Hey dummy, it’s Klondike and candy put together. Why do I have to explain that to you!? It’s caramel, peanuts, and ice cream. It’s cookies and cream ice cream combined with Klondike. Hey, dummy, that’s perfect. That’s delicious. I’m not looking for an experience or to be transported; I’m looking to shove ice cream into my face and that’s what this is. It’s delicious. I don’t need to be whisked away on a cloud of ice cream. I just want to put food in my face – delicious ice cream food in my face – and that’s what this gives me the opportunity to do.
Moving on. You’ve written other children’s stories, correct?
I’ve written many children’s books that have little to nothing to do with Klondike. I would actually say nothing to do with Klondike. One is called Chicken Cheeks, which is about animal butts. That was my first children’s book and it was a little bit embarrassing because it was just a list of funny ways to say different animals’ butts. I thought, “this is funny and my kids would like this, but could I really sell this?” The total amount of text is 50 words and somehow I got it published. That launched me into a career as a children’s book author. Once you come up with the phrase “duck-billed platypus gluteus maximus,” you’re like, “you know what, I’ve really got something here.”
Your new film, They Came Together, which also stars Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, is coming out soon…
Yes, that is coming out soon. I’d hesitate to say “my film.” It’s a film I’m in from the guys who made Wet Hot American Summer – Michael Showalter and David Wain. It features some of the same cast as Wet Hot American Summer, with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the stars. Chris Meloni is in it; I’m in it; and then a bunch of other funny people.
And you play a guy named Trevor?
I don’t know, do I?
According to IMDB, yes.
That sounds right. I’m the dickhead in the office. They might as well just call me Office Dickhead because that’s what I play. It’s a spoof of romantic comedies, so there are a lot of various stock characters from romantic comedies and mine is Office Dickhead, which is great. I get to be a dickhead to Paul Rudd, which I am in real life, too.
I read somewhere that you were once dumped for a guy named Taco. Can you describe that experience?
Well, Meredith was her name. She was my first girlfriend. We were 9, and this was at summer camp. I very much fell in love with Meredith, and she was my first kiss (no tongue). During the winter I wrote letters to Meredith, and I think she wrote back once or twice. The following summer I discovered during Israeli folk dancing that she was now with a boy named Taco. It was hard for me to argue with that because his name was Taco.
Was Taco his birth name?
I really don’t think that was his birth name. He was Jewish like the rest of us, but for whatever reason they called him Taco – and there is no cooler nickname than Taco. I could have had a Ferrari, but I don’t think it would have made a difference compared to a name like Taco. Also, because I wouldn’t have been able to drive it at the age of 10, I guess.
I know you used to play a lot of poker. Any advice you can offer our readers?
Fold a lot. That’s the number one rule in poker. Number two: don’t play poker. If you’re going to play poker, don’t play poker, because once you start playing poker that’s all you want to do. When that happens, you drop out of college, and think you’ll become a poker professional. Before you know it, you end up driving a cab in Las Vegas. First, you drop out of law school and explain to your parents that you’re going to be a professional poker player, and they go, “That’s a bad idea,” and you go: “You don’t understand. I have a rare and unique talent for poker that very few people possess.” This is based off the fact that you’ve won $300 to $500 playing online poker once, and so you think this is clearly what you were meant to do. So you drop out of law school, probably move into a house or an apartment with six or eight other guys with the same dream as you, and you study poker all day, and learn how to play poker. You go and blow through every penny that you have that was meant for law school, and you develop a drug and alcohol problem, and you don’t know how to communicate with women. Your working hours are basically 5pm to like 6am, and at the end of it, you’re in debt for $30,000, you’ve lost all your social skills, and you have no idea what to do with your life. You end up being a bartender in Las Vegas or dealing poker in Las Vegas and you’re dead by 30. So, number one is fold, and number two is the other thing.
That’s great advice… Would you mind answering the Same 10 Questions We Always Ask Everyone?
I mind. This interview is over.
Starting with one. What is the last thing you had to apologize for?
It happened earlier today. I called somebody in Los Angeles at about 3:30 or 4:00 L.A. time in the morning with a very banal question, thinking that person was here and kind of awake and expecting me. I didn’t understand that I was calling somebody who A) didn’t have the information I needed; and B) was asleep in the middle of the night. I immediately recognized my error and texted back with an apology, thus waking her up again.
What is your favorite curse word?
Freaky is my favorite curse word. That one gives me the heebie-jeebies! That’s my curse word of choice. This freaky interview is freaky.
What is the worst hangover you’ve ever had?
I’ve never been hungover. I didn’t really start drinking at all until I was about 35, and then I’ve never drunk enough to be hungover. I don’t think I’d like that; it seems terrible.
What was your first car?
A 1985 Hyundai Excel? Is that what they were called? It was my brother’s. He bought it new because were really inexpensive, and he made me buy it from him when I got my license and then it died like six months later. I left it on the street and got yelled at by my friend’s dad because it was his street that I left it on. He said, “You have to get rid of this car. You can’t keep it here on my street.” Then we finally had it towed. I think we just sold it for scrap. That was my last Hyundai.
What are you driving now?
A Rolls Phantom.
Do you have a scar that tells a story?
Yeah, but it’s not a good story. I have this scar on the side of my nose that I got when I was 4. I was on the playground and my brother was on the swings, and I think I was mad at him about something. To express my anger, I stood right in front of the swing as he was coming back toward me. I’m not sure what I thought that would accomplish, but it smacked me and sent me backwards to the emergency room. Also, I have a scar where my foreskin used to be.
Do you have any party tricks?
I am very good at parties by taking a book from the host/hostess and then hiding and reading the book. It’s like a disappearing act.
What is the biggest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
No! A regular Vietnam-era helicopter.
Like a Kiowa?
Yes, exactly, a Kiowa.
What is one thing to remember in a fistfight?
Don’t get in a fistfight.
What if you’re attacked?
And play dead?
Just fall down and cry. I don’t think you have to play dead. You’re not going to convince anybody you’re dead. But yeah, fall down and whimper, “Please, please, please don’t.”
Who was the last person to see you naked?
Probably the Klondike people right before this interview. Remember when I said “freaky”?
Finish this sentence: If I ruled the world for one day, I would…
So, I can enact laws? Wait, if I ruled the world for one day, the following day any laws that I enacted would be overturned?
Yes, so you have to do something dramatic.
I mean, what am I going to do? That is a stupid question! I’m really stumped here. What are some other answers?
Some people would say, “I’d feed all the hungry people in the world,” or “I’d cure AIDS.”
For one day? I can cure AIDS for one day?
They’d be cured permanently…
Ruling the world doesn’t give you the magical power to cure AIDS. What are they thinking? “Oh, now I rule the world, AIDS is cured!” What kind of idiot thinks that by having power and snapping your fingers AIDS will be cured? AIDS would be cured if that were the case. Some world leader would say, “Oh, now I’m in charge of Guatemala, AIDS is cured.” I’m going to pass. I’d take a nap.
The whole world is depending on you to take action, and you’re just going to go take a nap?
It’s one day! I’m not going to do anything to screw things up.