MADtv Comedian Michael McDonald Takes Off His Pants for New Times

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I know you have a movie coming out, The Heat, with Melissa McCarthy, and that she was in the Groundlings as well. Did you guys know each other back then?

Yes, she was one of my students. She and her husband Ben met in my class.

Wow! That is so exciting for you.

I know, isn't that crazy? It's been such a fun thing to. We never lost contact, but you just get busy -- it's sort of like being in the circus when you work in showbiz so you don't see people, even people you are fond of and would love to work with. So it is great after all this time to circle back and get to work together again. I really hope people like the movie, I think they will. Obviously it is Sandy [Sandra Bullock] and Melissa doing what they do best, and they are two really, really fun girls. The only weird thing for me was that I spend the whole movie basically trying to kill them. I play a bad guy. It's just the weirdest thing to be chasing Sandy and Melissa around with knives for a summer.

There is a trend in Hollywood now that wasn't there before where women are starting to do funny movies that don't suck. Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, and I see The Heat going in that trend. Are you starting to see that as well?

Yeah, I never understood the whole concept that women aren't funny or that movies with women in them will not be successful because growing up in the Groundlings, many of the funniest people I knew were women. Kathy Griffin, Lisa Kudrow, Cheri O'Teri, Jennifer Coolidge, Ana Gaysteyer, Kristen Wiig -- you name it. I'm happy to see it, I'm not surprised and I hope it continues. I just want movies to be funny, I don't really care if its a men's or women's movie. I'm just a fan of comedy.

From looking at the shows you have been on, you are clearly buddies with Bill Lawrence.

Yeah, Bill has kind of been my most frequent employer.

He is awesome!

He is on fire, right? He has three new shows on the air. I am going to direct at least one of them, maybe two. I direct a lot for him. I like working with him for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is he typically has the same crews and he has great taste in writers. On Cougar Town, I got to sit in the writers' room and I met probably the most talented group of writers that I have ever sat with. I guess I am pretty lucky he thinks I am good enough to hire.

Well, specifically, Clone High might have been the greatest cartoon of all time.

Ah man! I loved doing that so much. I was so bummed out when it got pulled.

Hold on a sec. [Background conversation]

That's my assistant. Who I did not know was here. I have just been wandering around. I changed my pants while I was talking to you, I walked out in the yard and did stuff. I almost gave her a really good show. Sorry about that.

It's okay! So, you were Gandhi, which was an amazing character.

That was too fun to do. We actually all got to play multiple characters, but I loved doing that character. That was like a big, happy family. And I thought the idea was so good, didn't you?

Oh my god, the concept is like actually so genius.

You know what? I've never seen an episode.


Yeah, I've never seen an episode. Like, if I were to watch it now I would not even know what is happening next.

Well, you should watch it! At least the first episode, it's classic.

I love that you brought it up. I've done a bunch of really obscure things, and that was far from obscure, it was a TV series, but because of it's early demise it got lost. It brings up old happy memories.

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Dana Krangel