The Madeleine Brand Show for March 12, 2012

Comedian Michael Ian Black discusses his new memoir

Michael Ian Black

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Actor Michael Ian Black, author of "You're Not doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations."

Comedian and actor Michael Ian Black is a success in every sense of the word.

The 40-year-old has a nice house in Connecticut with a beautiful wife and two kids. He was a founding member of the well-known comedy groups The State and Stella, he is a published authors, he co-starred on the sitcom Ed and he has starred in commercials for everything from eBay to Sierra Mist.

Despite all of his various accomplishments, however, he still asks himself - much like the Talking Heads song - "How did I get here?"

He explores this existential quandary in his hilarious new memoir called "You're Not doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations."

The title of the book originated in Amsterdam where Black was honeymooning with his wife, Martha. After several attempts at creative recreation - of which he had no prior experience - Martha informed him of his flawed technique saying, "You're not doing it right," and the line stuck. "Those five words neatly encapsulate how I feel about my life," he said.

Much of the memoir deals honestly with the trials and tribulations of Black's relationship with his wife, which critics have praised for its bravery. "I do go into a lot of our ups and downs, because that makes better writing, " he said. "We talk in our own marriage frankly and openly about the problems we're having."

No topic caused more aggravation for the couple than the birth of their first child. In fact, Black even has a chapter titled, "I Hate My Baby."

"Not because of [the kids], although they were awful ... Those early years as a parent are so stressful and so difficult for anybody that inevitably [our] thoughts turned to escape - how can I escape this situation," he said. "I think it's another thing people aren't honest about."

And the self-critical honesty doesn't stop there. Black even recalls how the band Creed changed his life.

"When my wife was pregnant ... because of my own emotional immaturity I was just acting like the worst partner ... [doing] awful, unforgivable stuff ... so I'm driving and I here a song on the radio about this guy who finds out he's gonna be a father ... and my reaction to this corny, awful song was violent, uncontrollable sustained weeping," he said. "I needed it, this kind of catharsis, I guess. The point is this: Creed changed my life."

Guest:

Michael Ian Black is a comedian and actor. His new memoir is called "You're Not doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations."


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