Michael Ian Black (born Michael Ian Schwartz; August 12, 1971) is an American comedian, actor, writer and director. He has starred in several TV comedy series, including The State, Ed, Viva Variety, Stella and Michael & Michael Have Issues. He is also a prominent poker player, appearing on Celebrity Poker Showdown several times. He released a children's book, Chicken Cheeks, in 2009.
Black was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jill, a store owner, and Robert Schwartz, an executive. He grew up in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, where he attended Hillsborough High School. His parents divorced when he was three years old. When he was twelve, his father died during neurological surgery following a mysterious assault. His birth name, Schwartz, is derived from the German word "schwarz," which has the same meaning as his stage name, Black. Schwartz changed his name to Michael Ian Black because there was already a popular actor named Michael Schwartz.
Black attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in New York and Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, but later dropped out.
Black is known for appearing on VH1's I Love the... series, his Stella comedy