By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
By Kyle Swenson
By David Villano
By Kyle Swenson
By John Thomason
By Michele Eve
NT: It sounds awful.
MIB: I’m used to it. It is awful. But it’s my awful. It’s an awful I’ve chosen for myself.
NT: Is there any competition between the two of you?
MIB: Not at all. I think any competition that there may have been in the past, it’s now clear that I won.
NT: And he’s aware of this?
MIB: Oh yeah.
NT: Do you guys stay together, like in the same hotel room?
MIB: Um, what you think, if you had to guess?
NT: I’m not qualified to guess at that.
MIB: We’re men in our 30s who aren’t dirt poor. So yes, we do.
NT: Have there been any special moments between the two of you?
MIB: Like what do you mean by special moments?
NT: I guess I’m wondering what you would think of as a special moment, so I don’t necessarily want to define it.
MIB: I told him his haircut was nice.
NT: Did you mean it?
MIB: I did. He got a nice haircut. He needs that kind of stroking, though. You need to tell him his haircut looks nice.
NT: Have you ever been down to South Florida?
MIB: My mom lives in Plantation.
NT: You’re going to see her when you’re down here, I take it?
MIB: Not if I can help it. Yes, I will.
NT: Are you aware that there are a lot of Jewish people and how are you going to handle that?
MIB: In South Florida, there are Jewish people? I had no idea.
NT: How did you choose the last name “Ian Black?”
MIB: Well my middle name is Ian. Were it my last name, it would be hyphenated. It would be Ian-hyphen-Black. My last name is Black. It used to be Schwartz.
NT: Right. Which you changed because you were ashamed of being Jewish.
MIB: Exactly right.
NT: So you co-wrote a movie with Simon Pegg, Run Fat boy Run, and it’s premiering in the U.S. October 26.
MIB: Nah, they moved it to March.
NT: Oh. That’s what you get for trusting Wikipedia. Well, can you tell our readers a little bit about the movie and the writing of it?
MIB: Fat guy runs a marathon. Hilarity ensues.
NT: Do you have any writing rituals? Where and when do you do your best writing?
MIB: No. No. I really don’t. Writing is so hard that I just try to just write whenever I’m able to, which isn’t often. It’s hard to just sit down and write. So, when that happens, that’s fantastic. But it doesn’t happen enough.
NT: So you have to wait for it to happen to you?
MIB: No, you sort of have to force it.
NT: Are you a procrastinator?
MB: I’m not really a procrastinator, but writing is hard. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to many people, myself included, so you really just have to struggle with it.
NT: Do you think you’re more of a natural actor or comedian?
MIB: I don’t know what I am. I’m just sort of a dude. Just sort of a really cool dude.
NT: Was it hard to work with someone with a last name like Schwimmer? (Run Fat Boy Run was directed by David Schwimmer).
MIB: Well I didn’t really work with him. He just went off and directed; I stopped by and said “hi.” That was the extent of our working together.
NT: Did you feel he bastardized your screenplay at all?
MIB: No, he actually did a great job with it.
NT: What kind of responses are you expecting from audiences in the U.S.?
MIB: Laughter. Applause. Cash money.
NT: Okay, let’s talk about the best sketch comedy show of all time – The State. What was it like to be part of the state?
MIB: It was pretty good. How’s that?
MIB: We were all friends. The State and our friendships evolved simultaneously. It was fantastic. We were all terrific friends. We went to college together and then we found ourselves with our own television show and there was a lot of terrificness about that. It was also very difficult because in a professional environment, it’s hard to know where to prioritize your friendship versus your job and sometimes that conflicted.
NT: Did you wind up having fall outs with anybody?
MIB: Not at all. We’re all still great friends. In a weird way, the fact that The State just sort of imploded because of low ratings on CBS was good in terms of our friendship. We never got to the point where we hated each other. We just ended up just hating our entire careers.
NT: Will there ever be a revival?
MIB: Yeah. In fact, we’re doing one.
NT: What?! Like everyone’s getting back together and doing more skits?
MIB: Yeah. We’re getting back together and doing a movie for Comedy Central.