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Featuring Jimmy Failla, Ophira Eisenberg and More!
Completely Objective Biography by M. McDonald
Michael McDonald is not a singer. That’s the other guy. He is also not a professional fighter. That’s the other other guy. He’s also not an abusive unemployed alcoholic. That’s some of the rest of the Michael McDonalds out there. You’ve found the one who is best known for his ten years playing freaks on Mad TV. Michael got his start writing and performing for free at the famed Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. His first paid writing and acting jobs came from Concorde Pictures, Roger Corman's infamous low-budget movie studio. Starting as an extra, McDonald landed dozens of roles in terrible movies. He eventually moved behind the camera to write and direct more terrible movies. Roger Corman still owes Michael money. Since those early poverty stricken years, Michael has divided his career into as many tiny hard-to-reassemble pieces as possible:
Michael has usually worked in television, landing guest spots on SEINFELD, ELLEN, JUST SHOOT ME, and NEWS RADIO before landing on MAD TV in 1998. During his ten-year run, McDonald created several weird characters - most notably man-child Stuart Larkin, Marvin Tikkvah Rusty Miller, and The Depressed Persian Tow Truck Man. He was also forced to attempt many impressions, including Dr. Phil, Al Gore and most of the murders & politicians of that era. In 2007, McDonald left MAD TV because the wigs were really getting to him. He went on to guest star on more television shows, including SCRUBS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and PUSHING DAISIES. As of this writing by a completely impartial third party who has no connection to Michael what so ever, I – I mean Michael - currently has recurring roles on HOUSE OF LIES and WEB THERAPY. Both of these are on SHOWTIME, which means they are better than network shows, but they don’t pay very well. Michael’s first film role in years is as a bad guy in THE HEAT, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Watch for it in the summer of 2013.
Aside from the early days of directing crap for Concorde Pictures, McDonald took up directing again on Mad TV. It seemed like a natural thing to do, since he was always telling everybody what to do anyway. From there, he branched out to direct episodes of other shows in which he had previously worked as an actor, including SCRUBS, and SEVENTH HEAVEN. Eventually he became a producer/director on ABC’s COUGAR TOWN, and guest director on DON’T TRUST THE BITCH IN APT 23, SAVE ME, and HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS. Directing actors has taught Michael that he should be nicer to directors when he is acting.
McDonald enjoys writing his own material, starting with those horrible Corman movies in the early days, to sketch comedy at the Groundling Theater, and then on MAD TV. In 2012, his first drama pilot, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, was produced for NBC but was not picked up because it was “too cool for TV.” NOTE: It bears repeating that this is an unbiased, third-party assessment. Michael is currently working on another drama script through his deal with ABC Studios. Luckily, this one is guaranteed to be a hit – because it just has to be, damn it!
STAND UP COMEDY
Whenever his schedule permits, (translation – frequently) McDonald tours the country doing stand up comedy. His first hour-long comedy special, MICHAEL MCDONALD: MODEL. CITIZEN. aired on SHOWTIME in 2010 and is currently available on AMAZON. Michael hopes to tape a second hour-long special before the end of 2013.
Ophira Eisenberg is a Canadian comedian, writer, and actress. She is from Calgary, Canada. She has made guest appearances on comedy programs including Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and Fresh Faces of Comedy, as well as VH-1's Best Week Ever and All Access, the E! Channel, the Oxygen Network, and the Discovery Channel. She had her own half-hour comedy special for CTV Television Network’s Comedy Now!.She was also featured in the award-winning Canadian film The Overlookers and episodes of The Guardian and Queer as Folk. Eisenberg performs regularly in New York City, where she resides. She headlines comedy clubs and colleges across the US as well. She also hosts and tours with The Moth, a NYC storytelling show and is featured on one of their Audience Favorites CDs. She is a core performer in the live shows Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad and The Liar Show. She co-produces and hosts the long running stand-up comedy show, Sweet Paprika. She was featured in New York magazine’s “Ten New Comedians That Funny People Find Funny”, New York Post’s “The 50 Best Bits That Crack Up Pro Comics”, selected by Back Stage magazine as one of “10 Standout Stand Ups Worth Watching” in their Spotlight on Comedy Issue, and hailed as a “Highly Recommended Favorite” by Time Out New York magazine. She was a MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets) Finalist for Best Female Comic.