Actor and author Michael Ian Black won comedy fans with his roles in television shows like "The State" and movies like "Wet Hot American Summer," as well as his hilarious, often enlightening interviews (like this one with comedian Mary Kobayashi). For his next project, he's stepping to the other side of the microphone.
Audiobook producer and retailer Audible, an Amazon subsidiary, Monday launched "How to Be Amazing," an interview show hosted by Black. The first four episodes of the podcast, which are available free of charge for the next two weeks, feature authors Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love") and Bob Odenkirk ("A Load of Hooey"), as well as teenage magazine publisher Tavi Gevinson ("Rookie") and Broadway lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda ("In the Heights"). Future guests will include filmmaker Kevin Smith, comedian Amy Schumer and filmmaker Miranda July.
In a press release, Black said he's excited about doing the show in an audio format: "Audio is such an intimate format, both in terms of the interview itself and how it's conducted.... Also, I can wear whatever I want and I don't have to shave; nobody knows."
Black might be best known for his comedy, but he's no stranger to the world of literature. He's the author of four children's books, including "Chicken Cheeks" and "A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea." He's also written two books for adults ("You're Not Doing It Right" and "My Custom Van"), and he co-wrote the 2012 book "America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom" with Meghan McCain, the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain.
New episodes of the show will be released every two weeks and be available for download for 99 cents. The podcast will only be available via Audible and not through other outlets such as iTunes.