Michael McDonald comes to Parlor Live
BY KEEGAN PROSSER
Michaal McDonald is the kind of entertainer that’s got his hands in everything: acting, directing, writing, stand-up comedy. But you’ll probably know him best as man-child Stuart Larkin, a character he played during his 10-year run on “MadTV.”
After leaving the show in 2007, McDonald worked both behind and in front of the camera on a variety of television shows and in film: he co-starred in all three “Austin Powers” films, appeared on every season of “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” and guest-starred on the hit series “Scrubs” and “Desperate Housewives.” He’s also been a writer, director, and producer for several other primetime shows.
Even so, off-the-cuff-comedy still has a special place in his heart. That’s why McDonald is back on the road this summer, sharing his observations about the people around him.
We recently caught up with the jack of all trades in advance of his shows at the Parlor Live Comedy Club this weekend:
SCENE: You’ve dabbled in several roles: writing, directing, acting, stand-up; What do you enjoy most – and why?
Michael McDonald: Whatever pays the most [laughs]. No, it’s sort of – for me – I don’t have a favorite. My thing is I get bored, so I have to try something different.
SCENE: If you could describe your act in two words what would they be?
MM: Funny stories
SCENE: Your known for your characters; does your standup act call on a lot of character playing or is it pretty straightforward?
MM: My style is story based. I definitely take on characters; Stuart always comes up, because he’s a big piece of the puzzle
SCENE: Stuart is a character you created a long time ago, and spent a lot of time portraying on “MadTV.” Do you ever tire of him?
MM: No. It seems to bring people laughter – and it’s gotten me out of speeding tickets.
SCENE: Really? Can you expand on that?
MM: Well it was when I was out on the road. I was driving and got pulled over, and I was like, “Alright, well this is it.” So I hand the cop my license and he starts to walk back to his car. And then he stopped and looked back at ID and said, “I can’t give Stuart a speeding ticket.”
SCENE: What/who inspires your characters?
MM: The same thing that inspireD Mad TV. I love how weird people are. All you have to do is just observe – just open up your eyes and observe what people are willing to do and say in public.
SCENE: Has the focus of your standup changed over the years? If so, how?
MM: I think my basic outlook is kind of the same. I like the freaky people out there. I guess it’s sort of a different format; it’s more stream of consciousness now. Every show is a little different.
SCENE: What are you looking to most about being in the Northwest?
MM: [Everyone there] is paler. I’m pale too, so I feel at home.
Michael McDonald will be at the Parlor Live Comedy Club May 9-11. $15-30, www.parlorlive.com.