Interview: Comedian Michael McDonald

By: @brentXmendoza

Not simply a one-trick musical pony, The Roxy Theatre has a rich and storied history of superstar comedians (Cheech & Chong, Paul Reubens, Robin Williams), gracing the stage for landmark, breakout performances. Following in these fabled footsteps, seasoned funny man Michael McDonald leaves his comedic mark September 18, as he performs stand-up featuring some of his best known characters created for the long running MADtv series.

Before heading to this laugh riot on The Sunset Strip, get to know the comedic mastermind who brought to life memorable pants peeing characters such as “Stuart,” “The Silver Fox,” and “The Depressed Persian Tow Truck Man,” as he cracks wise about meeting his comic idols, his most memorable onscreen death, and sharing his name with “the other” Michael McDonald.

First off, Michael McDonald… the name must be a bit confusing for some people. Any good identity mix up stories?

Yes. My parents were disappointed when they found out they had not given birth to a Doobie Brother.

So why The Roxy as your choice of venue, as opposed to a more traditional comedy club setting?

My show is a little untraditional, so I wanted to do it in an untraditional space. I thought about doing it at a theater, like Largo or something, but the idea of The Roxy on Sunset just sounded too good to pass up. Plus I hear the bartenders pour a stiff drink!

You’re probably best known for the characters you created for MADtv, and impersonating dozens of different celebrities. Which was your favorite character to play? Any unpleasant run-ins with any of the impersonated?

The character people probably know best is “Stuart,” the cross-eyed weird kid with the high voice and the rouge. He might make an appearance in my stand up show at The Roxy. Don’t you love how I’m pretending not to know what will happen in my own show?

As for running into people I have impersonated… All have been good sports about it. I’d probably be nervous if I ran into Dr. Phil. In case he’s reading this, I’d like him to know that I did not write those sketches and I have the home addresses of the writers who made me do it. Unless he liked the sketches; then, I helped.

With such an extensive résumé, have you been able to meet most of your comic idols? Is there anyone in the comedy world that you have not yet met that you have always dreamed of meeting?

I’ve been lucky to meet many of my idols—and most of them I would like to meet again, because I usually blow it on the first try. Like Amy Poehler… I met her at an “industry party,” and she was very nice, but I was nervous, and tried to make her laugh by being obscene. I am counting on her not remembering.

Some of your perhaps lesser known work has included roles in Leprechaun 2, Carnosaur 2 and 3, and Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero. What’s the most far out/embarrassing/over-the-top character you’ve played. Any bizarre death scenes on film?

First of all, how dare you say Leprechaun 2 is “lesser known!” Most bizarre death scene: being steamed to death by my own cappuccino machine in Leprechaun 2. Most embarrassing character I’ve ever played—Janice Dickinson, MADtv. Self-explanatory…

Speaking of bizarre… in your experience, who’s more f*cked up comics or musicians?

It’s a wash. Every comic I know wants to be a rock star, and every rock star wants to be a comic.

What projects are you currently working on? What’s next for you?

I’ve spent the last few months touring comedy clubs, so I am really excited about finishing up my tour at The Roxy. After that, I am set to direct a few episodes of TV, and then after that, I’d really like to purchase a baby at a good price.


Tickets for the September 18th show are available now via Ticketweb. This show is seated and a 2-drink minimum will be enforced.