Michael Ian Black is a patron saint of comedy nerds, thanks to MTV’s groundbreaking 90s sketch comedy show The State and the cult classic Wet Hot American American Summer. He’s also a tenth degree Twitter black belt, a not-half-bad-poker player, and an author of hilarious kids’ books. But if you’re reading this now, you’ve come for the kind of parenting wisdom that can only be dispensed by a man who made sweet, sweet love to Bradley Cooper.
On Raising Kids With Good Taste
“I’m so conscious of not pushing my own agenda onto my kids that I let them walk around flaunting their terrible taste. As a result, I have become well-versed in the art of Miley Cyrus.”
On Finding Some Peace And Quiet In A Crazy Household
“This is what I do: Say you are running low on milk. Volunteer to get the milk. That way you get points for helping out but you also get some time to yourself. You can also do this with fixing the car, donating blood, helping orphans, rescuing dolphins, etc. Basically, anything that will get you away from your wife and children. The other thing you can do is drink some bad milk or something that you really do get sick. Then, for the next several weeks, you can claim illness and disappear into the crapper for hours at a time.”
On How To Decide What Movie To Watch
“Watching Frozen again with my daughter because we paid $19.99 to download it so she’s going to f—ing watch it every day until college.”
On Getting Kids To Sleep
“There’s nothing you can do. Believe me, my kids were the same way and we tried everything. We rocked the kids, drove them around, let them stay up late, got them up early, gave them extra food and milk, everything. Nothing helped. They were up when they wanted to be, which was ALL THE F—ING TIME. All you can do is steel yourself to the notion that your children are going to sleep when and how they want, and even when you scream at them that daddy is exhausted and will smother them with their pillow if they do not pipe down, they will not listen.”
On Balancing Career With Kids
“Parenthood in and of itself has not affected my approach to my career except that it made me care a lot less about it. Before kids, I was a lot more interested in fame and fortune. I remain interested in those things, but not at the expense of my kids. An example: Show biz is obviously located in Hollywood. I live in Connecticut. The reason I live in the woods instead of Hollywood is because I do not want to raise my kids in Hollywood. Growing up is hard enough already without being further inundated with the LA culture. That choice has probably stalled my career to a certain extent but I don’t give a shit. Creatively I don’t feel like much has changed for me.”
On Staying Fit After Having Kids
“It’s a lot harder to get exercise when you have kids. It’s also a lot harder to eat as well as you did before because they will not let you do anything so eating becomes a matter of shoving food down your face whenever you get a minute. Instead of trying to maintain your boyish figure, a better plan might be to allow yourself to gain the weight over the next few years and let the children know it’s their fault. That way, you get to eat your horrible foods, you don’t need to exercise, and you get to assign the blame to somebody else. That’s win/win/win.”
On The Simple Pleasures
Just texted my daughter: “You are at school and I am hanging out having fun. HA HA HA!!!” I am an awesome father.
On What To Do When Your Kids Start Figuring Out Their Anatomy
“I’m pretty sure most people understand that a 3-year-old doesn’t understand the appropriate place to wank it. His body exploration is fine. When in public, try to distract him from his weenie by saying things like, “Look! There’s Thomas the Tank Engine!” After a few times of not seeing Thomas the Tank Engine, he will become so dispirited that he will begin to associate touching his penis with disappointment.
On The Truth About Marriage
“It gets on my nerves when people in relationships paint their spouses as these perfect people. I’m flawed. My wife is flawed. Our relationship survives, and hopefully continues to grow, because we recognize that we’re both screwed up people who sometimes hate each other, and that we persevere in spite of whatever obstacles we encounter, and that by doing so, we come out stronger on the other side. It’s worked for us so far, but who knows? We might split up in 6 weeks.”