November 4 – Cleveland – The Grog Shop Michael Ian Black is bringing his quirky observational comedy to Cleveland’s Grog Shop this month, promoting his one hour Comedy Central special and comedy album titled “Very Famous,” which premiered in August. Michael Ian Black is probably best known for his wildly hilarious appearances on VH1’s television series “I Love the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s.” His straight-faced delivery and pop culture quips made Black one of the show’s most popular hosts. But Black’s resume includes much more than VH1’s popular nostalgia show. Most notably, he’s written two feature films including 2007′s “Run Fat Boy Run” starring Simon Pegg (“Shaun of The Dead”), authored a children’s book titled “Chicken Cheeks,” written several other books including his upcoming memoir “You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations” and “Stupid for America,” a book he’s co-writing with Megan McCain. Lastly, Black recently starred in his own television show on Comedy Central called “Michael & Michael Have Issues.” He was born in Chicago, but grew up in New Jersey, where he was first exposed to comedy. “It’s hard to live in New Jersey and not see comedy in some capacity because it’s a terrible, terrible place,” he said. Black knew early on, after participating in a play at summer camp, that he wanted to be on stage, but not necessarily as a comedian. He enrolled in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University with dreams of becoming an actor. “I didn’t think I was going to be a comedian. It didn’t really occur to me, it wasn’t on my radar as something to do for a living. I was going to be an actor,” he said. While enrolled at NYU, Black became a founding member of “The State,” a sketch comedy group dedicated to giving every member “their own window.” “The State” performed their signature high energy comedy locally and around campus, creating quite a bit of buzz. The group impressed MTV executives who then offered the troupe a place on MTV’s growing lineup of non-music shows. Despite a loyal following the show was canceled after three seasons. Even after staring in a comedy show on MTV, Black still wasn’t sold on comedy. “I just stuck with it, all along thinking to myself I may not do this as a career,” Black said. Black’s first major film role was in 2001′s “Wet Hot American Summer” written by “The State” alum and Shaker Heights native David Wain and stars Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd and Janeane Garofalo. The film’s reception was mixed by critics, but loved by audiences. It’s around this time when Black realized that he was a comedian. “At some point in my 30s I said, ‘I think I’m a comedian,’” Black explained. “I like comedy, it’s fun. It’s certainly more fun than trying to figure out who committed sex crimes on ‘Law and Order SVU.’” Black continued to appear in several other projects his former cohorts produced including “Viva Variety,” “Reno 911” and “Children’s Hospital.” Since then Black has been taking his talents in stride: “I’m hysterically funny,” Black said. He went on to star in VH1’s nostalgia show “I Love the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s” where his off-beat, observational humor kept audiences laughing in their living rooms. When asked what year was his favorite Black replied, “What year were you born Will? 1987? That is my favorite year. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but I knew something magical was happening.” “Very Famous,” Black’s new hour long comedy special premiered on Comedy Central in early August. He is currently in the midst of a 20 city tour, which is stopping in Cleveland, something he seems excited about. “Shaker Heights, those are my peeps.” he said, adding: “Cleveland, no matter how bad it is, no matter how terrible your economy is, remember: At least you’re not Detroit.” If you have any questions as to what to expect, Black describes his stand-up best, “My comedy is a combination of fusion jazz and Muzak. I am the Muzak of comedians.” Michael Ian Black will be performing at The Grog Shop on November 4.