One of the most prolific TV writers of his generation, Michael Schur wrote for some of the most beloved comedies of the 2000s, including "The Office" (NBC 2005-2013) and "The Comeback" (HBO 2005), whi...
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
|The Writers' Room||2014 2011 - 2014||Actor||Panelist||20147|
|The Office||2012 2003 - 2012||Actor||Mose Schrute||20127|
|Miss/Guided||2007 2006 - 2007||Actor||Male Teacher||20077|
|The O.C.||2006 2002 - 2006||Actor||Paul||20067|
|Parks and Recreation||2013 2007 - 2013||Director||n/a||4|
|Brooklyn Nine-Nine||2013 2012 - 2013||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Saturday Night Live||2013 1974 - 2013||Segment Producer||("Weekend Update")||1|
|Brief Interviews With Hideous Men||2009||Associate Producer||n/a||1|
|Brooklyn Nine-Nine||2013 2012 - 2013||Creator||n/a||2|
|Parks and Recreation||2013 2007 - 2013||Creator||n/a||2|
|NBC 75th Anniversary Special||2001 2000 - 2001||Writer||n/a||1|
|Saturday Night Live Primetime Extra II||2000 1999 - 2000||Writer||n/a||1|
|Saturday Night Live: Mothers' Day Special||2000 1999 - 2000||Writer||n/a||1|
|Comedy Central's Last Laugh '04||2004 2003 - 2004||Consultant||n/a||1|
|The 2002 MTV Video Music Awards||2002 2001 - 2002||Consultant||(for Jimmy Fallon)||1|
|Became a writer on "Saturday Night Live"|
|Co-creator and executive producer on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"|
|Co-created "Parks and Recreation"|
|Landed a staff writing position on "The Office"|
One of the most prolific TV writers of his generation, Michael Schur wrote for some of the most beloved comedies of the 2000s, including "The Office" (NBC 2005-2013) and "The Comeback" (HBO 2005), while also having served as co-creator and executive producer on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" (2009- ). A fan of comedy from a very young age, Schur's obsession with making people laugh continued well into his college years, where he wrote for Harvard University's famed humor publication, The Harvard Lampoon. His work on the publication earned Schur a much-revered spot on the writing staff of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ). A comedic training ground for countless writers and performers, "Saturday Night Live" gave Schur insight into the numerous responsibilities that go into making a weekly TV show, while also honing his writing chops. After leaving the show in 2004, Schur joined the writing staff of NBC's "The Office," where he penned 10 episodes over the course of three seasons. Then in 2009, Schur teamed up with the long-established comedy showrunner, Greg Daniels, to co-create an "Office"-style mockumentary called "Parks and Recreation." Although not an immediate hit with critics, by season two the show became one of the most critically-acclaimed comedies on network TV, thus underscoring Schur's already growing reputation as a comedic talent to watch.
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and raised in Connecticut, Schur discovered comedy at the age of 11 after stumbling upon a beat up paperback copy of Woody Allen's Without Feathers. Allen's 1975 collection of humorous, often surrealist essays, made an immediate impression on Schur, and he spent the better part of his high school years immersing himself in the world of TV comedy. His tastes were broad and wide-ranging, and included everything from mainstream hits like "Growing Pains" (ABC 1985-1992), to the more character based comedy of the hugely-popular medical dramedy "M*A*S*H" (CBS 1972-1983). By the time college rolled around, Schur had only one school in mind he wanted to attend: Harvard University. Sure, Harvard was one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country, producing Presidents, business leaders, and some of the brightest minds the modern world has ever known. But Schur's primary reason for attending the university, aside from its obvious prestige, was the fact that it was the home of the legendary humor publication, The Harvard Lampoon. Schur began writing for The Lampoon shortly after arriving on campus, never thinking it was anything more than a fun hobby to occasionally distract him from his studies. Little did he know, however, that his work on the publication would ultimately prepare him for a long and prosperous career as a professional comedy writer.
Although he had experimented with acting during college, Schur ultimately learned that his true talent was in writing. He had dreamt of writing for "Saturday Night Live" ever since his youth, and in 1997, a few months after he graduated college, Lorne Michaels hired him as one of the show's writers. Schur was 22 at the time, and despite sharing the same interests and Gen-X sensibilities of most of the show's castmembers, he was usually one of the youngest faces in the writer's room (some of whom were holdovers from the show's 1970s heyday). Undeterred by his age, and determined to prove himself, Schur worked twice as hard to ensure his sketches made the final cut. He also made it a point to forge relationships with a few members of the cast, including Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon. Thus, when Colin Quinn left the anchor's desk of "Weekend Update" in 2000, leaving Fey and Fallon to take over as co-anchors, Schur was the obvious choice to take over as the segment's producer. With Schur working tirelessly behind the scenes, Fey and Fallon revived the once dormant "Weekend Update" segment to a level of popularity not seen since the 1970s. Schur served as producer of "Weekend Update" for three seasons, before leaving "SNL" in 2004 to pursue other television writing opportunities in Los Angeles.
Always having a desire to write for a scripted series, Schur wrote a spec script of Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO 2000- ). That strength of that spec alone earned Schur a meeting with Greg Daniels, a long-established TV comedy writer who's credits included "The Simpsons" (Fox 1989- ), "King of the Hill" (Fox 1997-2010), as well as a famous episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC 1989-1998) called "The Parking Space." Daniels was busy assembling a writing staff for an American adaptation of the beloved British sitcom "The Office" (BBC 2001-03), and hired Schur on the spot. It was also around this time that Schur married his longtime girlfriend, and daughter of TV personality Regis Philbin, Jennifer Joy Philbin. When "The Office" debuted in the spring of 2005, it was not an immediate hit with viewers. However, by the second season, and with some much-needed softening of Steve Carell's character Michael Scott, the show eventually caught on with audiences. In the years that followed, "The Office" consistently landed on several critics' Top 10 lists, while also having earned numerous Primetime Emmy Awards. Then in 2008, with the success of "The Office" at an obvious high point, Daniels approached Schur about writing a possible spin-off series. The script, however, eventually took on a life of its own, and by the time "Parks and Recreation" debuted in the spring of 2009, the show's focus had shifted to the daily happenings of local government officials in small town Indiana.
The premise of "Parks and Recreation" may have been entirely different from that of "The Office," but much to the disillusionment of Schur and Daniels, the show suffered a similar fate during its first season. Critics tore "Parks and Recreation" apart, and as a result, ratings were consistently low. However, NBC saw promise in "Parks and Recreation," just as it had with "The Office," and people started watching. By the second season, "Parks and Recreation," a mockumentary-style single camera comedy, had become one of the most acclaimed comedies on network TV, while also earning several Primetime Emmy nominations. In 2013, Schur saw "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox, 2013- ), a cop comedy that starred "SNL" alum Andy Samberg created by himself and "Parks" writer Dan Goor, hit the airwaves. In addition to serving as an executive producer on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Schur continued to maintain his day-to-day duties on "Parks and Recreation."
|Is a big fan of David Foster Wallace's sprawling novel, Infinite Jest, of which he also owns the film rights.|
|Has written for the sports website, Fire Joe Morgan, under the psuedonym, Ken Tremendous. Schur has since used the name Ken Tremendous as his Twitter handle.|
|"I mean, the only real way you can learn how to write and produce TV is by watching people who are better than you do it." - from www.splitsider.com, September 2013|
|"I am a terrible actor. I swore off acting for good when I was in college. My feeling was that I always knew how words should sound coming out of my mouth; I could just never make them sound that way. And I finally after being in another play where I felt like I was a solid B minus, it was like, 'Oh, I don't have to do this anymore. I can write the words and have more talented people say them.' I just completely switched over to becoming a writer and a director, which was a very good call on my part." - from www.splitsider.com, September 2013|
|"A certain amount of TV production and writing is instinct and practice, and a lot of it is just osmosis. You just hang out with people who are good at it and learn everything that they do. I don't know that there are little pithy aphorisms or anything that I can point to about how to magically make great television. It comes from kind of grinding it out day after day after day with people who know what they're doing." - from www.splitsider.com, September 2013|
|Is married to Regis Philbin's daugher, Jennifer, who he met while working as a staff writer on "Saturday Night Live."|
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