Michael Showalter is a founding member of the sketch comedy group The State. He’s in part responsible for other cult comedy favorites like Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Stella and more.
These days, Showalter has been spending more and more time behind the camera, as a director. He directed the Academy Award nominated drama The Big Sick, starring Kumail Nanjiani. He directed and co-created the hit HBO comedy Search Party.
He recently directed the new film Spoiler Alert. It’s a romantic drama based on the book Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, a memoir by TV writer Michael Ausiello.
It tells the story of Michael, played by Jim Parsons, and his relationship with Kit Cowan, played by Ben Aldridge.
Michael and Kit meet. They move in together, grow closer, grow more distant. Then, about 13 years into their relationship, Kit’s diagnosed with a rare, deadly form of cancer – a little over a year later, it claims Kit’s life.
If there’s a theme in Michael’s recent work, it’s an ability to find comedy in the darkest, most vulnerable places – and he does it without coming off as phony or betraying the gravity of the situations they depict.
Michael joins us on the latest episode of Bullseye to talk about Spoiler Alert. Plus, what it was like to direct Sally Field, and his process when casting his movies.
Spoiler Alert is streaming now on Peacock.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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