Comedian Michael Ian Black to perform standup at IMU


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Michael Ian Black is a man of many trades, but when it comes to comedy, his “mission on this planet” is to provide at least one person with joy during his act.

“I’m just here to bring a little bit of laughter to this dark world,” he said.

He hopes he can accomplish this goal during his standup performance at 10 p.m. Friday in the IMU Main Lounge. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Comedy has been a large part of Black’s life since college. While attending New York University, he cofounded The State, a sketch comedy troupe that eventually went on to have a successful run on MTV.

From that point, his career skyrocketed, and he landed a role in the NBC TV show “Ed,” wrote and directed his own film, recorded an album, and wrote a children’s book.

Despite following many paths, the comedian continued to return to standup.

“Standup is fun just because of the immediacy of it,” Black said. “You’ve got an audience there that responds, and if you need gratification, as I do, then you’ve got it.”

He is working on a memoir about his life titled You’re Not Doing It Right, in which he takes a more sincere approach instead of being purely comedic.

“I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could write something of substance and quality that didn’t include fart jokes,” he joked.

The comedian’s wide range of talent drew the Campus Activities Board to his act.

For several years now, the organization has tried to book Black, and this year, it finally got the chance.

UI junior Logan Hood, the Campus Activities Board executive director of comedy, said Black has a vibe that seems to resonate with Iowa City culture.

“He has a different style from that of most comedians in that he isn’t as bombastic but has a more sarcastic and intelligent set of jokes,” Hood said. “He appeals to many different crowds, from college students to middle-age adults.”

UI junior Corinne Farrell, the Campus Activities Board president, agrees that Black’s diversity makes him a great comedian.

“What’s so great about Michael Ian Black is that almost everyone has seen his work, whether it’s been film, television, or online,” Farrell said. “Plus, he’s a Chicago kid, like so many students here at the University of Iowa. Chicago breeds nothing but great comedians.”

While Black is touring several universities this year, he said, he would like to explore all of his options.

“The variety keeps it exciting and challenging, and it gives me options,” he said. “But I’d also like to continue my career as a radical feminist poet, because that’s some of the stuff I’m most proud of.”

Michael Ian Black
When: 10 p.m. Friday
Where: IMU Main Lounge
Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

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