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Standup comedian, writer, actor, and director Michael Showalter got his big break in 1993 when the MTV network began airing the half-hour sketch comedy television show The State. Showalter, a New Jersey native, became a founding member of the State comedy group while he was attending New York University. He stuck with the State as he transferred and eventually graduated from Brown University. Short films that the group made for MTV turned into an offer for a series that would run for two years before the CBS network picked it up. After one strange Halloween special with special guests Sonic Youth, CBS sent the State packing, and slowly the group dissolved. After a short gig with Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Showalter would form a new comedy group, Stella, in 1997 with former State members Michael Ian Black and David Wain. As Stella gained a loyal following through touring, Showalter and Wain were also writing the film Wet Hot American Summer, a cult hit that would see release in 2001. Four years later Showalter would direct and star in his own film, The Baxter. The film also starred Zak Orth, who would form the musical comedy duo the Doilies with Showalter. Also in 2005, Stella would land a show on the Comedy Central network, but it was canceled after just one season. In 2007 Showalter would begin hosting his own web show -- The Michael Showalter Showalter -- on the collegehumor.com website and release his debut comedy album -- Sandwiches & Cats -- on the Jdub record label.
Michael Showalter (born June 17, 1970) is an American comedian, actor, writer, and director. He is a member 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 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.
Personal life 
Showalter was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Elaine Showalter (née Cottler), an author, literary critic and professor, and English Showalter, a Yale-educated professor of 18th century French literature. His father is Episcopalian and his mother is Jewish. He has one older sister, Vinca Showalter LaFleur, a professional speechwriter. He attended Princeton High School. For five years, Showalter shared an apartment with his friend Andrea Rosen. Michael was married to Anne Kalin Ellis on January 16, 2011 in New York.
Showalter began his undergraduate studies at New York University, where he joined the sketch comedy group The New Group. He transferred to and graduated from Brown University. After he completed 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 played Ron Parker, the arrogant host of Cheap Seats, on ESPN Classic in the pilot episode. However, after a bookcase fell on Showalter's character, tape librarians (and brothers) Randy and Jason Sklar took over the hosting duties. Showalter spent a brief time as a correspondent on The Daily Show (1996). He is also one half of The Doilies, an acoustic comedy band, in which he sings lead vocals opposite guitarist Zak Orth.
Showalter is the host of The Michael Showalter Showalter, an original Internet series on Collegehumor.com which premiered January 16, 2007. His first guest was comedian Zach Galifianakis. Other guests have included David Cross, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, David Wain, Andy Samberg, Michael Cera, and Mike Birbiglia. In the fall and winter of 2006, Showalter toured the US with frequent collaborator Michael Ian Black. In March 2007 Showalter briefly toured as the opening act for Janeane Garofalo. The Ten reunites him with frequent collaborators from The State.
Showalter signed with JDub Records, a non-profit record label, in June 2007. He released his first stand-up CD titled Sandwiches & Cats in November 2007. He teaches screenwriting at New York University's Graduate Film School.
Showalter teamed up once more with Michael Ian Black in the Comedy Central series Michael and Michael Have Issues, which premiered in July 2009. The show detailed the two Michaels' trials and tribulations as they create a television series. They confirmed the series' cancellation in early 2010.
In an interview with The Rumpus in February 2009, Showalter talked about a memoir he is working on. "I am writing an 'important' memoir about not being able to write an important memoir. It winds up being kind of a novel-length comedic essay on insecurity and procrastination."
He appeared twice on the NBC drama Law & Order: in the episode "Endurance", which aired on October 18, 2000, and in the episode "Reality Bites", which aired on October 16, 2009.
Showalter also appeared in a series of commercials advertising the Toyota Yaris, starting in late 2011.