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Monologues Are Like Meatballs, Says Actor Michael McKean

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Oct 30, 2017

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

When Michael McKean eats spaghetti, he saves the meatballs for the end:

"I kind of work the spaghetti and sauce awhile, just while eyeing the meatballs like they’re the Easter eggs we’re saving for tomorrow," he says.

Similarly when he's learning a new role, Michael says he memorizes his shorter lines first:

"I will save a big big chunk that I know has a slightly different rhythm than the rest of the play [and work on it, separately]."

But until he discussed his eating strategies with Dan, he'd never seen the connection. The dialogue is like the spaghetti. Those long monologues are the meatballs.


Michael is a serious stage actor -- but he's also comedy royalty.

He starred in This Is Spinal Tap -- the legendary rock 'n roll mockumentary that created an entirely new film genre.

These days, you may know Michael from TV. He plays Jimmy McGill's brother Chuck (below) on Better Call Saul, and he hosts (top) the Cooking Channel show Food: Fact or Fiction? (Check out their new season -- Dan's in it too!)


This week on The Sporkful, Michael and Dan discuss the unique role food can play in creating characters, providing comic relief, and heightening emotions:

"As far as food and emotions -- those connections are very important," Michael says. "When [the smell of] bacon hits the audience in that amazing moment [in the play Our Town]…it hits you like a wave. Your mouth is watering and your eyes are watering."

Plus, Michael tells us how he reacts when audience members bring their meals into the theater. (Hint: Just don't do it, OK?)

Listen in to the episode for the full discussion!

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

Connect with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Interstitial music in this episode from Black Label Music:

- "Sun So Sunny" by Calvin Dashielle

- "Hip Hop Slidester" by Steve Pierson

- "Stay For The Summer" by William Van De Crommert

- "Summertime Delight" by Colin Schwanke

Photos: Courtesy of Cooking Channel and Michael McKean and FlickrCC/karen and FlicrkCC/stratman2

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