Michael Showalter (born June 17, 1970) is an American actor, writer, and director. He is one-third of the sketch comedy trio Stella. Showalter first came to recognition as a cast member on MTV's The State, which aired from 1993 to 1995. He co-wrote (with David Wain) and starred in the cult classic film Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and he wrote, directed, and starred in The Baxter (2005), with Michelle Williams, Justin Theroux and Elizabeth Banks. Both of these movies featured many of his co-stars from The State, and so do several of his other projects. He is also one half of The Doilies, an acoustic artistic comedy band, in which he sings. The other member is the guitarist, Zak Orth.
Showalter was born in Princeton, New Jersey to an Episcopalian father and a Jewish mother, the literary critic Elaine Showalter. He has one older sister, Vinca Showalter LaFleur, a professional speechwriter. He began his undergraduate studies at New York University where he joined an improv troupe known as The New Group. Showalter transferred to and graduated from Brown University. After completing college, The New Group changed its name to The State and began creating video shorts for an MTV show called You Wrote It, You Watch It hosted by Jon Stewart. The State was then picked up as its own show which aired for two years on MTV.
Showalter has also had several smaller roles in movies and TV shows. He was the host of the sports show Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic in the pilot episode as Ron Parker, an arrogant host. However, after a bookcase fell on Showalter's character, tape librarians (and brothers) Randy Sklar and Jason Sklar took over the hosting duties. Showalter spent a brief time as a correspondent on The Daily Show (1996).
Showalter is the host of The Michael Showalter Showalter, an original webshow on Collegehumor.com which premiered January 16, 2007. His first guest was comedian Zach Galifianakis. Other guests have included David Cross and Michael Ian Black.
As of March 2007, Showalter was touring as the opening act for Janeane Garofalo.
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