Michael Palascak
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Michael Palascak

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
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The best kept secret in music

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"Hanging at Mom's House with Michael Palascak"

I know Michael Palascak from his days as a Chicago improviser. Always a nice, hard working guy, he’s yet another Chicago comedian who’s risen in the comedy scene over the years. From his Comedy Central Special to appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” Michael continues to push himself at being a better comic, all while staying that humble, nice dude I knew back in the day. I caught up with him while he was at his mom’s house during one of his frequent busy travel weeks to ask him more about how he became an in-demand touring comic and how he handles life on the road.

MP headshot

Serial Optimist: Where are you right now?

Michael Palascak: In my parents house in Orland Park, IL

SO: You come back to the Chicago area a lot, don’t you?

Michael: Yeah for sure.

SO: … but you still live in LA?

Michael: Yes, I’m not exactly sure where I spend more time though.

SO: Are you on tour right now or the point is, you’re a touring comic, so you’re always traveling?

Michael: I just sort of book up my calendar. And go from there. January, Febrary and March I try to stay in LA most of the time.

SO: You were originally in Chicago doing improv. At what point did the trajectory change to standup in LA and on the road?

Michael: I’ve been doing standup for almost as long as improv. I would go to improv classes and then go to open mics. In the beginning it was easier to do both simply because it takes a little bit of time to get stuff on the road. In 2008, I did my first NACA and got a bunch of schools and that’s when I really was on the road a lot. And that’s when I probably for the first time did very little improv. And then in 2010 I moved to LA because my manager said it’d be a good idea. And I just stayed there.

SO: And what was the festival or competition that first really got you attention? I remember there being a very specific time that it seem like things changed with your career. Am I wrong?

Michael: Not at all. I did The Lucky 21 at the Comedy Festival in 2007. That was the first time any industry ever saw me perform. I met my manager there and ended up booking my first TV set–Live at Gotham. And I got to do Montreal the next summer. And I got the opportunity to do that because of Zanies Taste of Chicago stand-up contest that summer and Comedy Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fight.

SO: Wow! What’s it like preparing for your first TV set? Did you know right away what material you’d use? Did you have to run it by people? Where you super nervous?

Michael: I knew the stuff on the tape I sent them. And then I new the stuff I wanted to do. You have to write out a transcript for them to get approved by legal, and advertising, and then probably by Comedy Central people. I remember changing some things as it got closer. I honestly don’t remember running the set every night multiple times, but I think it was because I had worked on it so much with these other shows before. Also, I remember talking to my manager, before we were even officially working together and he offered some help in putting it together. When it comes to nerves I think it’s been there a lot for a lot of shows. The one good thing about this (The Comedy Central) show was that the MC mispronounced my name like 5 times and every time he did it we stopped and he had to redo it. By the time I actually got to come to the stage for real I was more relaxed and the crowd was super excited that I was finally getting to perform.

SO: What would’ve happened if you veered away from the transcript? I mean, sometimes you tweak things in the moment because something’s not working.

Michael: They have you do 10 minutes and they only use 6-7. So if they didn’t like it, they’d probably cut it out. Also, with a TV set, hopefully it’s working. And if it’s not working, I think committing to it more is a stronger choice.

SO: You’ve since appeared on Letterman, Craig Ferguson and even got your own Comedy Central special? How did all that come about?

Michael: I showcased at NACA Northern Plains in 2008 and did like 80 college shows the following year. And I kept doing shows at clubs and I continued performing improv and sketch when I was in town. And when it came to showcasing and performing sets, I just really wanted to have a strong set that was original, true to me, and built with bigger and bigger laughs. So I worked on that at clubs and open mics. Letterman came about because Eddie Brill came through Zanies every year and Bert Haas put me on the showcase. Eventually the timing was right for me to do the show. Eddie had worked with me on a set for about 2 years but he felt I needed to grow. An offer for “The Tonight Show” came so I did it. When it came time to do “The Tonight Show” again, I told Eddie I’d really like to do his show before doing any other show again. And that’s how I got booked on Letterman.

As for Ferguson I got to open - Serial Optimist


"Michael Palascak's quarterback comedy. The Chicago ex-pat finds humor in the everyday."

Of all the Chicago stand-up comics who've emigrated to the coasts in recent years, Michael Palascak has yet to achieve the sort of mainstream success of someone like Hannibal Buress or John Mulaney. It doesn't have anything to do with his material. Palascak has perhaps spent more time on the road (and thus in relative obscurity) than other Chicago ex-pats, honing his act in venues across the country. As such, he's become the ideal club comic: someone who works in admittedly innocuous, PG-13 territory yet retains a strong command of both his craft and persona.

With his observational style, Palascak doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel, but onstage he seems genuinely perplexed by the sort of minutiae of everyday life. Jokes about bed-and-breakfasts ("It's like a hotel . . . but in someone's house"), Facebook, Starbucks—generally the kind of stuff that would sound trivial coming from a lesser comic—are bolstered by his inquisitive, Mike Birbiglia-esque manner of delivery. His charisma doesn't hurt; neither does his affability. In a lot of ways, he represents the ideal antidote to the sort of unbridled cynicism that pervades much of contemporary stand-up. Yes, Louis C.K.'s misanthropy is brilliant and compelling, but a guy like Palascak, whose emotional scars run as deep as quarterbacking his high school football team to a winless season ("We even lost some practices that year"), helps us to remember the escapist value of comedy. - Chicago Reader


"Nationally Recognized Comedian, Michael Palascak Entertains SCSU Students"

By Ashli Gerdes
ST. CLOUD — Nationally recognized comedian, Michael Palascak entertained a standing room only crowd last (Wednesday) night at St. Cloud State University’s Atwood Quarry.

Palascak has appeared on late night talk shows such as, “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, “The Late Show” with David Letterman, and “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson.

He has performed his stand-up routine at the TBS “Just For Laughs” comedy festival in Chicago. He says he hopes to land an hour long segment on Comedy Central and pursue a career in acting.

Palascak says his interest in stand up comedy started when he was a kid.

His visit to St. Cloud is part of SCSU’s Husky Spirit Challenge week, where students attend events and compete for a cash prize.

The events are organized by the University Program Board. - AM 1240, WJON.com


"5 comedy shows to see this week"

5 comedy shows to see this week
Posted in #Chicago blog by Kris Vire on May 21, 2013 at 5:15pm

Michael Palascak

1. Michael Palascak
Stand-up Michael Palascak finally moved out of his parents' house in the suburbs—formerly the source of much of his comedy—and all the way to Los Angeles, scoring his first Comedy Central special last year. Head out to Rosemont to find out what he jokes about these days. Zanies Rosemont. May 22, 23. 8pm. $20.

2. The Timey Wimey Fantastic Brilliant Extravaganza (Geronimo!)
Bring your sonic screwdriver to this affectionate tribute to a certain time-traveling doctor and his companions, penned by brothers Justin and McKenzie Gerber. Right Brain Project. May 24, 25 10:30pm; May 26 3pm. $15, kids 12 and under $10.

3. Improvised Star Trek
Now that you've seen Into Darkness, make the Trek to iO for a night of improvised nerdiness set in the sci-fi franchise's Next Generation era. iO Del Close Theater. May 24. Midnight. $5.

4. Chigaygo
The Laugh Factory slates a new weekly night of queer and queer-friendly comics, produced and hosted by Scott Duff. The inaugural outing features Jessica Halem, Archer Coe, Joel Kim Booster, Kenny DeForest, Gwen La Roka and Marc 'DJ Moose' Moder, with proceeds benefiting the Lesbian Community Care Project. Laugh Factory. May 27. 8pm. $17.

5. Two Hour Comedy Hour
Two hours is a lot of stand-up, but the room is a charming one and the producers keep the audience involved with games. Gallery Cabaret. May 25. 7pm. Free. - TimeOut Chicago, TOC Blog #Chicago


"5 comedy shows to see this week"

5 comedy shows to see this week
Posted in #Chicago blog by Kris Vire on May 21, 2013 at 5:15pm

Michael Palascak

1. Michael Palascak
Stand-up Michael Palascak finally moved out of his parents' house in the suburbs—formerly the source of much of his comedy—and all the way to Los Angeles, scoring his first Comedy Central special last year. Head out to Rosemont to find out what he jokes about these days. Zanies Rosemont. May 22, 23. 8pm. $20.

2. The Timey Wimey Fantastic Brilliant Extravaganza (Geronimo!)
Bring your sonic screwdriver to this affectionate tribute to a certain time-traveling doctor and his companions, penned by brothers Justin and McKenzie Gerber. Right Brain Project. May 24, 25 10:30pm; May 26 3pm. $15, kids 12 and under $10.

3. Improvised Star Trek
Now that you've seen Into Darkness, make the Trek to iO for a night of improvised nerdiness set in the sci-fi franchise's Next Generation era. iO Del Close Theater. May 24. Midnight. $5.

4. Chigaygo
The Laugh Factory slates a new weekly night of queer and queer-friendly comics, produced and hosted by Scott Duff. The inaugural outing features Jessica Halem, Archer Coe, Joel Kim Booster, Kenny DeForest, Gwen La Roka and Marc 'DJ Moose' Moder, with proceeds benefiting the Lesbian Community Care Project. Laugh Factory. May 27. 8pm. $17.

5. Two Hour Comedy Hour
Two hours is a lot of stand-up, but the room is a charming one and the producers keep the audience involved with games. Gallery Cabaret. May 25. 7pm. Free. - TimeOut Chicago, TOC Blog #Chicago


"The Bob and Tom--Guests--Michael Palascak"

The old adage in comedy has always been ‘write what you know.’ For comedian Michael Palascak, early in his career those topics include living at home, dorm life, donuts and intramural flag football. Fortunately for audiences everywhere, he’s matured (a little) and has since broadened his experiences to include a lot of the little things that we can all laugh at. Michael has won a number of comedy competitions including the HBO Lucky 21 Festival, the Comedy Central Open Mic Fight and the 2007 Sierra Mist Zanies Taste of Chicago Comedy Search. (click link for clips) - The Bob and Tom Show


"Comedy Central teams up with KFC for David Koechner web series (Video)"

By Samantha Simon

KFC and Comedy Central have teamed up for an original Web series and contest, which has been titled Growing Up And Getting Out. The series follows comedian Michael Palascak as a 20-something who moves back in with his parents after graduating college, much like 85 percent of his classmates. (I hope you didn’t hear my heavy sigh through this article or last night’s fried chicken dinner, now cold, as I type from my parents’ kitchen.) Huh?

Oh, sorry.

David Koechner (Anchorman, The Office) plays Michael’s dad who has turned Michael’s old room into a “thinking space” (namaste!) and Mo Collins (MadTV) plays his mom. Steve Rannazzisi of The League hosts the whole thing.

So, where does the contest come in? Well, each week fans are asked to share pictures and stories about moving back in with their parents over at freereentcontest.com where the show is hosted. At the end of the contest, which ends Aug. 20, five winners will receive rent for the year in the form of $12,000 cash. Some math here: if you’re renting an apartment that’s under $1,000 that should cover you for a year. Winners will also receive an additional $500, $600 in KFC chicken checks (only applicable to KFC products or KFC catering). Winners are encouraged to give at least $100 of the prize money to their parents.

The show’s tagline reads, “If bite-size chicken can grow up, so can you!” drawing our attention to the mascot of the series, KFC bite-size chicken. They’re like if fried chicken was boneless. But it’s not boneless fried chicken. They’re bite-sized chicken that you can shove easily in your mouth while you are too busy to take multiple bites because you’re unemployed. So if I think about this literally which KFC and Comedy Central most likely don’t want me to do, the tagline means that this new generation of recent grads was once a bunch of happy-go-lucky processed chicken nuggets and now that we’re making the transition into the real world, as chicken nuggets we need to make the transformation into bite-sized fried chicken covered in a crispy, delicious batter of malaise. I don’t think I fully understand because I haven’t completed my transition into a KFC bite-sized chicken bite yet.

Regardless of my bad analysis of their fried chicken metaphor, I think this is a very nice and timely thing KFC and Comedy Central are pairing up to do. Check out the first episode of the show below, featuring Koechner’s thighs.

- Laughspin


"Comedy Central teams up with KFC for David Koechner web series (Video)"

By Samantha Simon

KFC and Comedy Central have teamed up for an original Web series and contest, which has been titled Growing Up And Getting Out. The series follows comedian Michael Palascak as a 20-something who moves back in with his parents after graduating college, much like 85 percent of his classmates. (I hope you didn’t hear my heavy sigh through this article or last night’s fried chicken dinner, now cold, as I type from my parents’ kitchen.) Huh?

Oh, sorry.

David Koechner (Anchorman, The Office) plays Michael’s dad who has turned Michael’s old room into a “thinking space” (namaste!) and Mo Collins (MadTV) plays his mom. Steve Rannazzisi of The League hosts the whole thing.

So, where does the contest come in? Well, each week fans are asked to share pictures and stories about moving back in with their parents over at freereentcontest.com where the show is hosted. At the end of the contest, which ends Aug. 20, five winners will receive rent for the year in the form of $12,000 cash. Some math here: if you’re renting an apartment that’s under $1,000 that should cover you for a year. Winners will also receive an additional $500, $600 in KFC chicken checks (only applicable to KFC products or KFC catering). Winners are encouraged to give at least $100 of the prize money to their parents.

The show’s tagline reads, “If bite-size chicken can grow up, so can you!” drawing our attention to the mascot of the series, KFC bite-size chicken. They’re like if fried chicken was boneless. But it’s not boneless fried chicken. They’re bite-sized chicken that you can shove easily in your mouth while you are too busy to take multiple bites because you’re unemployed. So if I think about this literally which KFC and Comedy Central most likely don’t want me to do, the tagline means that this new generation of recent grads was once a bunch of happy-go-lucky processed chicken nuggets and now that we’re making the transition into the real world, as chicken nuggets we need to make the transformation into bite-sized fried chicken covered in a crispy, delicious batter of malaise. I don’t think I fully understand because I haven’t completed my transition into a KFC bite-sized chicken bite yet.

Regardless of my bad analysis of their fried chicken metaphor, I think this is a very nice and timely thing KFC and Comedy Central are pairing up to do. Check out the first episode of the show below, featuring Koechner’s thighs.

- Laughspin


"NBC ships campaign DVDs to Emmy voters"

May 6, 2011 | 12:28 pm

Universal Media Services has sent its Emmy DVD campaign mailer to the 14,000 members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The contents are listed below with episode titles on the web. What's new: Each package contains a code for voters to view additional episodes of TV shows in contention. Showtime pioneered that approach last year and now it's catching on across the industry. Compare this year's DVD campaign mailer to the one UMS sent out last year.

Note: Though Universal Media Services produces mostly NBC programs, it also produces "House M.D." on the Fox network.

DRAMA DISK NO. 1
"Law & Order: SVU" – "Behave"
"Parenthood" – "Do Not Sleep with Your Autistic Nephew's Therapist"
"The Event" – "I Haven't Told You Everything" (Pilot)
"Law & Order: L.A." – "Silver Lake"

DRAMA DISK NO. 2
"House" – "Family Practice"
"Friday Night Lights" – "Always" (Series Finale)

COMEDY DISK NO. 1
"30 Rock" – "When It Rains, It Pours," "TGS Hates Women"
"Parks and Recreation" – "Flu Season," "Harvest Festival"
"The Office" – "Andy's Play," "PDA"
"Community" – "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons," "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"

COMEDY DISK NO. 2
"Outsourced" – "A Sitar Is Born," "Todd's Holi War"
"Perfect Couples" – "Perfect Exes," "Perfect Wedding"

LATE NIGHT
"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" – Featuring Bruce Springsteen
"Last Call with Carson Daly" – Featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Metalocalypse, Jimmy Eat World
"Saturday Night Live" – Host: Zach Galifianakis. Music guest: Jessie J
"Tonight Show with Jay Leno" – Featuring Steve Carell, Jane Lynch, Michael Palascak - The Envelope-The Awards Insider--Los Angeles Times


"Palascak’s act draws laughs with real-life connections"

By Emily Sedlak

With the semester just beginning, CAB has already supplied a dose of pure entertainment.

Making his debut on television shows such as Jay Leno and Comedy Central, comedian Michael Palascak made his mark at Ashland University the first weekend of the spring semester.

Although the joy of a three-day weekend shines throughout each student, the idea that many will soon pack their bags and head home is a primary concern when planning major events on campus.

Luckily, the event turned out to be a major success, cramming in about 150 or so of AU's student body into Redwood.

Palascak, the 28 year-old comedian from Chicago, Illinois, connected with the students as he related each joke to his own personal life, from buying his first vehicle, to the embarrassment of still living at home with his parents.

"Just do it, write down new material; once you do it, you don't have to do it right, just have fun with it," Palascak said to aspiring comedians.

Performing for crowds since he was in college, Palascak says that his biggest support comes from his family and was influenced at an early age by comedian Tommy Johnagin.

Although the job requires plenty of traveling and a minimal amount of sleep, the comedian says that he loves writing new material, performing and making people laugh.

The event brought tears of laughter to many who attended the event. Most students left telling their friends, "Wow, he was really funny!"

After his debut at Ashland, Palascak is off to the next open-mic night and will soon be performing on the David Letterman Show, Friday Jan. 21.

Palascak‘s performance was the first event to kick off the semester and was a major success.

One can only predict how the rest of the semester's events will turn out at Ashland University.
- The Collegian--Ashland University


"Palascak’s act draws laughs with real-life connections"

By Emily Sedlak

With the semester just beginning, CAB has already supplied a dose of pure entertainment.

Making his debut on television shows such as Jay Leno and Comedy Central, comedian Michael Palascak made his mark at Ashland University the first weekend of the spring semester.

Although the joy of a three-day weekend shines throughout each student, the idea that many will soon pack their bags and head home is a primary concern when planning major events on campus.

Luckily, the event turned out to be a major success, cramming in about 150 or so of AU's student body into Redwood.

Palascak, the 28 year-old comedian from Chicago, Illinois, connected with the students as he related each joke to his own personal life, from buying his first vehicle, to the embarrassment of still living at home with his parents.

"Just do it, write down new material; once you do it, you don't have to do it right, just have fun with it," Palascak said to aspiring comedians.

Performing for crowds since he was in college, Palascak says that his biggest support comes from his family and was influenced at an early age by comedian Tommy Johnagin.

Although the job requires plenty of traveling and a minimal amount of sleep, the comedian says that he loves writing new material, performing and making people laugh.

The event brought tears of laughter to many who attended the event. Most students left telling their friends, "Wow, he was really funny!"

After his debut at Ashland, Palascak is off to the next open-mic night and will soon be performing on the David Letterman Show, Friday Jan. 21.

Palascak‘s performance was the first event to kick off the semester and was a major success.

One can only predict how the rest of the semester's events will turn out at Ashland University.
- The Collegian--Ashland University


"Exclusive - Michael Palascak - Most Painful Thing in the World"

Michael Palascak points out that food and comedy don't always go well together. (video in link) - Comedy Central


"AU Brings in Comedian for Homecoming Event"


By Melissa Beneke
October 14, 2011 8:27 p.m.
Standup Comedian, Michael Palascak, entertained students with a lineup of jokes about family, life experiences and relationships on Thursday evening in the University Banquet Hall.

The night started out a little rough with a few technical difficulties: a broken microphone and speaker. However, the rough start did not stop the audience from having a good laugh.

Right away, Palascak started the night off right as he thanked everyone for inviting him to come out and made a joke about the broken speaker.

Palascak’s jokes enticed AU students Thursday Oct. 13, at 10 p.m. He was energetic and funny. He had a great variety of jokes that the crowd really enjoyed.

Loud bursts of laughter could be heard throughout UBH. Here is a sample of Palascak’s act:

“Oh Michael,” Palascak joked as if he was one of his friends. “I met this really pretty girl that I went out with and then we decided to be just friends and I thought of you.”

Palascak jokes that his relationship with women consists of meeting a beautiful girl and hanging out with her, but they never actually start dating. They only remain friends. His experiences are not uncommon to many young adults.

If you missed Thursday night’s comedian, check out his website.

Links to his comedy routine on the Late Show with David Letterman and to his profile on Comedy Central allows you to catch up on what you might have missed. - The Spartan Chronicle--Aurora University


"Michael Palascak's Best Tweets"

Congrats @chelseavperetti! I can't wait to see a baby cry sarcastically

Rented a car. Kia Soul. Does anybody have a hamster costume I can borrow?

My dad referred to Grumpy Old Men four times today before I realized he was talking about No Country for Old Men.

I want to change the way I sleep. Right now I sleep on my side. I want to sleep on a pile of money.

Lady and the Tramp on Blu ray? How clearly do you need to see animated dogs making out

@nottjmiller larry the clark gable guy says "frankly my dear I don't think it'll get done"

In the movie Up in the Air, how did George Clooney's character know that lady's address?

Car drove by blaring Gotye hit. Someone's amped about their breakup.

On Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight!

There are no ugly Christmas sweaters.

If you ever feel lonely, you should just buy something.

I love flying because I can wear a backpack and not have people think, "Oh, look at the little boy."

Saw a guy in a robe going through security. I remember when wizards were way more discreet.

I want to see Batman but I'm bad at accepting that things I love end. I've avoided the Full House series finale for over a decade.

I'm reading Great Expectations. Exceeding my expectations

it's weird that broccoli look like trees and then when I eat them raw it sounds like I'm chopping down a forest.

Me figuring out my set list for special http://t.co/91fxNeok

Andrew Bynum led LA last night with 30 rebounds. Kanye West came in with 1.

NFL lockout still going on?! NFL Players should just threaten to go play in college. Decent wages there.

Bears!

I'm a comedian. here's a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQe5zcfEGQI
- Favstar


"Let’s Talk About Snacks: Michael Palascak"

Let’s Talk About Snacks: Michael Palascak
July 27, 2012 by Kristin Clifford

Michael Palascak is hilarious and super nice. We could talk to him about snacks forever. He might be the healthiest stress eater we’ve ever encountered – he stress eats broccoli, for reals. Yes. Stress-eats broccoli. That’s adorable and practical.

You might have seen Michael in one of his late-night appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham (where he discussed a deeply disappointing bag of potato chips), Late Night with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (where his set is bookended with jokes about snacking on apples and donuts). His half-hour special was just released as part of Comedy Central’s the Half Hour series, and you can also catch him at a comedy club near you. Check his website for dates.

We discussed snacking on the road, eating with celebrities, and the perfect snacks for having company, among other things.

You’re a pretty healthy guy. What types of snacks do you prefer, and do you try to make healthy choices?

Well, snackwise when I am on the road and I am going to be in the town for a couple of days, I will go to the grocery store and buy broccoli, lettuce and apples. Then, whatever I eat during the day, I can have those at night, and I usually buy some sort of chip. Not potato chips, but corn chips, nacho chips, because it just somehow feels better.

People make fun of McDonald’s, but when there’s nothing else around, you can get a salad or two at least and that’s pretty healthy. Applebee’s and TGI Friday’s are also usually open until 12 or 1 and you can order sides of broccoli. So, I will order what I want, with broccoli as a side, and if I don’t I finish it I can bring it home. So at least I can have them later.

You’re on the road a lot and often in your car for long stretches of time, or the airport. What are your go-to snack choices when you’re traveling?

If I am in the airport and I want a snack, I get bagels and cream cheese – I am a big fan of that. Pretty much, there will be times when I have a flight and then another flight – so I will have cereal at the first airport, then a bagel and cream cheese at the second airport, and a fruit cup when I land.

You’re like, the healthiest traveler ever. There’s so much broccoli involved!

I know! But it’s not like I eat like this all the time. I eat milkshakes and stuff too. It sounds stupid but it’s something – if I eat milkshakes, I try to make it break even. Especially if I have to work at night, or I want to go for a run. I just feel better Kristin, if I eat healthier I just feel better.

I also like getting a piece of pizza, which goes against everything I just talked about.

However, I have heard it’s healthier to eat more meals, and I feel like a piece of pizza is a good small meal. When I see a Sbarro, at an airport, it’s a good small meal, and it makes me feel happy. Two out of the three things I am trying to accomplish. I’m not sure what the third thing is. Maybe getting where I am going.

What’s the worst gas station or diner snack choice you’ve ever made? The best?

I got a gas station chicken or something sandwich. It was really really, really, salty and not good quality, I wish I had a better story. Pretty much, not only did that sandwich not taste good, it was not good for me.

After that experience, I decided that if I am going to eat dinner I think I am going to find a place that specializes in the dinner experience. A place where food is like their number-one priority, and not a side business.

A different time, at a gas station, I was getting breakfast so I went to get cereal and milk, and there were not any spoons. The woman opened up the cabinet where spoons are stored, and instead of opening a new package of spoons, she just scrounged one up from the bottom and told me to use that one. No. No thank you.

Do you have any regional snacks you particularly look forward to?

In California – they have these IT’S-IT things and it is like these two oatmeal cookies with raisins with dark chocolate poured over it. My roommate from college yells at me if I am in California and I haven’t eaten one in a week. They are really good, and only like 8 to 12 grams of sugar so not bad. That’s what stands out.

Also, when I was in Indiana about a year ago, there was a gas station that had donuts that were made in the donut shop from my hometown of Wabash, IN, the Wabash Donut Shop. That brings back childhood memories, and I also enjoy their donuts, I am a huge fan. So that was a bonus.

That’s the other thing that is great about food – sometimes it is associated with happy memories, and that is a fun thing to have. Food can make you so happy.

If you’re entertaining, what are the snacks you always buy?

When I invited Justin Bieber over to watch my Comedy Central special with me and my friends, that was one of the first times I had people over. I just wen - The Snackpot


"Crowd warms to Palascak, comedian’s real life delights"

by Brad Smith

A small, enthusiastic crowd watched over an hour of Michael Palascak’s performance Wednesday, April 11 in the Student Center Ballroom.
Palascak covered a wide range of topics in his performance, including college dating and his misadventures traveling around the United States to perform stand-up.
Palascak made several jokes about Arkansas, including some topical jokes about former University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino.
“It’s fun to finally be in the state I learned to pronounce last,” Palascak said.
The small audience of about 30 people laughed constantly during Palascak’s routine.
Palascak largely focused on his experiences in college and high school.
While never outright vulgar, he was also not completely family friendly.
Palascak’s routine was aimed at the college students he constantly performs for.
His choice to wear a UCA Bears T-shirt also made him seem more like a college student than a stand-up comedian in his late 20s.
Unlike many popular comedians, Palascak’s routine was based more in reality.
If he wasn’t making a topical joke, he was making funny observations about seemingly normal occurrences in his life.
His delivery, more than his topics, made the audience laugh at his jokes.
Most of Palascak’s jokes felt as if they really happened, unlike many standup comedians who make up the majority of their stories.
Part of his routine focused on his experiences staying at hotels when he travels around.
He talked about a clerk who said she did not have the power to check him out late.
Palascak said he did not realize it was a power and talked about the hotel staff’s attitude in dealing with customers, which Palascak said was rude.
Palscak joked about a less than affluent athletic performance in school.
He said a bad record marred his high school football career, with his team losing a game 86-0.
“I wanted to set records, but not that way,” Palascak said.
Palascak said while his brother played college football, his career in football was not as promising.
Palascak’s low-key style put the audience at ease during the performance. His stand-up felt laid back, which helped him to connect with the audience.
His jokes about his own life were observations about things that could happen to anyone in college or who grew up in a small town.
The part of Palascak’s routine that received the most laughter was about him using a waterslide at a gym.
The crowd loved Palascak’s story about asking a lifeguard to come and watch him go down the slide more than once to comply with gym rules.
Senior Christina Riddle enjoyed Palascak’s show.
“It was just really fun,” Riddle said. “He had a wide variety of topics.”
According to his website, Palascak “moved to Chicago after college to pursue a career in comedy and is living with his parents.”
Palascak has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “Live at Gotham” on Comedy Central.
Palascak also filmed a 30- minute special for Comedy Central that will air later this year.
- The Echo, University of Central Arkansas' Student Newspaper


"Comedian Michael Palascak is doing his own laundry, moving up the laugh-making ladder"

By Mark Wedel Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO -- Comedian Michael Palascak moved out of his parents house, eventually.

He was a college graduate living with mom and dad in their Chicago suburban home, and doing standup.

He had a bit on the perks of living with his parents: "They have an awesome washer and dryer. It's like top of the line technology. Here's how it works -- I put my clothes in the washer, and they come out folded on my bed."

Palascak said from his new home in Los Angeles, "Eventually they came to a show, and my Mom was like, 'that's not happening, anymore.'"

He told her, "but I need this, for my career ... This is way bigger than all of us."

It was a big part of his act, and he can't just lie to people. "How can she not support me like that?"

In Jan. 2011 he did the living-with-parents routine on "The Late Show with David Letterman." So, ultimately, it was his manager who told him to move out. He went to live in L.A. a month later.

If you go

Michael Palascak

When: 9 p.m., Friday, March 30

Where: Rhino's Hometown Pub, 107 S. Main St., Plainwell

Cost: $15, reserved seating

Contact: 269-685-2220, rhinospub.com
Also:

When: 9 p.m., Saturday, March 31

Where: The Richland Pub, 8253 N. 32nd St., Richland

Cost: $15, reserved seating

Contact: 269-629-4511, richlandpub.com



Palascak was an English major at Cincinnati, Ohio's Xavier University. In the summers at home with his parents, bored, he read a book on standup. That led to him doing open mic nights, and improv at Chicago's Second City, IO and Annoyance.

He was "just writing stuff, going out and saying that stuff to people, and if they laughed at that stuff, I'd go out and say it again."

In 2007, he started doing comedy festivals, and won a few contests. In 2008, he got on TV for the first time, and ended up on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and Letterman. He also toured the college comedy circuit.

He kept catching his mom saying things like, "Sometime, you'll have to leave." Luckily for his career, he did. In L.A. he's doing his own laundry, and is moving up the comedy ladder. He just recorded his first Comedy Central half-hour special, to air this spring.

Now he's getting material about living in L.A. and experience on the road into is act. Like how he recently stayed at a bread-and-breakfast.

"There was this creepy crib in my room." There was an old black and white photo of a baby above it. He told the caretaker, "This is not something I requested when I checked in ... a place for a ghost baby to sleep."

Palascak has a Midwestern, relaxed, one could say lackadaisical, personality. On stage he's himself, not some edgy, in-your-face character.

"One thing you can expect from Michael Palascak, it's not being in-your-face," Palascak said. He likeliest to describe his style as "Really, really funny ... relatable to people, but also at the same time, very true to me."


- M Live, Kalamazoo Gazette


"Comedian Michael Palascak is doing his own laundry, moving up the laugh-making ladder"

By Mark Wedel Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO -- Comedian Michael Palascak moved out of his parents house, eventually.

He was a college graduate living with mom and dad in their Chicago suburban home, and doing standup.

He had a bit on the perks of living with his parents: "They have an awesome washer and dryer. It's like top of the line technology. Here's how it works -- I put my clothes in the washer, and they come out folded on my bed."

Palascak said from his new home in Los Angeles, "Eventually they came to a show, and my Mom was like, 'that's not happening, anymore.'"

He told her, "but I need this, for my career ... This is way bigger than all of us."

It was a big part of his act, and he can't just lie to people. "How can she not support me like that?"

In Jan. 2011 he did the living-with-parents routine on "The Late Show with David Letterman." So, ultimately, it was his manager who told him to move out. He went to live in L.A. a month later.

If you go

Michael Palascak

When: 9 p.m., Friday, March 30

Where: Rhino's Hometown Pub, 107 S. Main St., Plainwell

Cost: $15, reserved seating

Contact: 269-685-2220, rhinospub.com
Also:

When: 9 p.m., Saturday, March 31

Where: The Richland Pub, 8253 N. 32nd St., Richland

Cost: $15, reserved seating

Contact: 269-629-4511, richlandpub.com



Palascak was an English major at Cincinnati, Ohio's Xavier University. In the summers at home with his parents, bored, he read a book on standup. That led to him doing open mic nights, and improv at Chicago's Second City, IO and Annoyance.

He was "just writing stuff, going out and saying that stuff to people, and if they laughed at that stuff, I'd go out and say it again."

In 2007, he started doing comedy festivals, and won a few contests. In 2008, he got on TV for the first time, and ended up on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and Letterman. He also toured the college comedy circuit.

He kept catching his mom saying things like, "Sometime, you'll have to leave." Luckily for his career, he did. In L.A. he's doing his own laundry, and is moving up the comedy ladder. He just recorded his first Comedy Central half-hour special, to air this spring.

Now he's getting material about living in L.A. and experience on the road into is act. Like how he recently stayed at a bread-and-breakfast.

"There was this creepy crib in my room." There was an old black and white photo of a baby above it. He told the caretaker, "This is not something I requested when I checked in ... a place for a ghost baby to sleep."

Palascak has a Midwestern, relaxed, one could say lackadaisical, personality. On stage he's himself, not some edgy, in-your-face character.

"One thing you can expect from Michael Palascak, it's not being in-your-face," Palascak said. He likeliest to describe his style as "Really, really funny ... relatable to people, but also at the same time, very true to me."


- M Live, Kalamazoo Gazette


"Michael Palascak Invites Justin Beiber Over to Watch His Comedy Central Special"

by Jacob Tender
In addition to our Stand Up Tuesdays column, we like to occasionally fill you in on some new comedic talent via our news feed.

So today, we’d like to introduce you to Michael Palascak (pronounced Pal-a-sack) who is a stand-up comic from Wabash, Indiana. He was the winner of HBO’s Lucky 21 Stand-up Contest and Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fight in Chicago.

This friday, May 11th, Michael’s 30 minute special on Comedy Central will air at 11:30 E/P, 10:30 C. So be sure to check that out if you like comedy or have no social life.

Inside, we have a few videos of Michael doing his best to make you laugh. Will he succeed? - Under the Gun Review


"Interview Michael Palascak. The local stand-up on pilot season, living with his parents, and CMT’s Next Big Comic contest"

by Marah Eakin
March 8, 2011
Chicago stand-up Michael Palascak seems like, for lack of a better term, a stand-up guy. He’s nice, charming, and—by virtue of still living with them—is close with his parents. He’s been working the local scene for a bit now, but has been garnering national recognition as of late, including spots on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Night With David Letterman. Now, Palascak is one of four finalists in CMT’s Next Big Comic contest, which ends March 14 and whose winner is determined entirely by fan voting. The A.V. Club talked to Palascak about why he needs everyone’s votes, and what he’s currently doing in L.A.

The A.V. Club: How did you end up as a finalist in CMT’s Next Big Comic?

Michael Palascak: There’s this website, Rooftop Comedy, and they have a bunch of different cameras in comedy clubs around the country, and then they put that content on their website. They’re doing this project with CMT and picked 12 of their favorite comedians as finalists. They e-mailed me in February and said, “We really like you and think you’re one of the best, if not the best”—well maybe not that part—and that they wanted me to be a part of the contest.

AVC: And now it’s you and three other guys, and people need to vote for you.

MP: Yes! Now it’s me and three other guys. That’s the main way—well the only way—for me to win, is if people vote for me. I’m lobbying for votes constantly. Like, I’m in a restaurant and I meet someone new, and we start talking, and sometimes it just happens to slip into the conversation, like, “You know you can go online and vote, or text to vote.”

Plus, I can vote for myself, so I never feel like I’m wasting time anymore if I don’t have anything to do. That’s really American, actually, that there’s unlimited voting in this contest.

AVC: Do you have any idea how you’re doing?

MP: I feel like I’m winning, but I need a lot of people to vote a lot. That’s the only way to know for sure.

AVC: And what do you get if you win?

MP: You get to know that you’re the next biggest comic. Like, what happens when the current big comic decides not to show up for work? It’s a big deal. This year, I’m in a comedy contest on a country TV channel, and next year I’ll be on QVC.

AVC: Do you think your comedy is especially “country”?

MP: It’s not the Next Larry The Cable Guy contest, if that’s what you mean. I don’t know. I don’t think if I win this, it’ll change me into a country music person, but if it makes a bunch of people buy tickets to my shows, that’ll be fantastic.

Actually, there are really prizes for the contest. They work on a comedy special for you, and developing your comedy. You get a guest star spot in this show CMT has, Working Class, if that gets picked up for another season. There are other prizes too.

AVC: One of the jokes on the CMT website is about you driving your dad’s old car. Now that you’re semi-successful, are you actually still driving your dad’s old car?

MP: I had to buy a new car. My dad actually made me. He was okay with me living at home, but when it came to driving his beat-up, old car, he said it had gone too far. Plus, he does my taxes, so he can literally see that I could afford a new car. Like, if I’d try to argue with him, he’d just be able to say, “Well, maybe you can’t afford your iTunes addiction instead.”

AVC: Do you still live at home, though?

MP: I do still live at home. I’m in L.A. for a month right now, though, auditioning for TV shows.



AVC: What happens if you get one? Is that going to tank a lot of your current jokes about not being successful and living with your parents?

MP: I’d have to at least come home in the summer to maintain comedic residency. As long as I go home for the summers, I figure, I can still talk about it. It’s like Harry Potter.

AVC: How is it like Harry Potter?

MP: He had to go home to his family for the summer so the death eaters wouldn’t kill him. He would stay protected.

In all seriousness, though, I have a lot of material. I could write new stuff in L.A. Like, all the stuff I talk about when I talk about living at home, that’s all on TV already, and I’ve done it at a bunch of shows, but people still want to see it.

I’ve been doing comedy for a while now, so I have a full stage persona now. I think people like me because I’m a real person.

I could be the next biggest comic. You don’t know.

AVC: Are you in L.A. for pilot season?

MP: Yeah, I’m auditioning. I’ve had some good callbacks. It’s pretty cool to be in the room with some people I’ve seen on TV and stuff.

AVC: Like who?

MP: I don’t know if I should say. Oh, whatever.

I auditioned for a pilot with one of the networks, and the first round, I read with the casting director. Then they called me back for a reading with the executive producer, and some other people. That producer was Christopher Moynihan. Oh, and you know that show Two Guys, A Girl, And A Pizza Place?

AVC - The A.V. Club


"Xavier alumnus Michael Palascak appeared on Comedy Central's new show "The Half Hour""

05/14/12

Xavier alumnus Michael Palascak, 29, was one of 12 comedians featured on the premiere of Comedy Central’s new show "The Half Hour" on Friday, May 11. Palascak appeared in the second of two episodes at 11:30 p.m.

Palascak made his television debut on WGN at the age of 9, appearing on “The Bozo Show,” according to his bio on the Comedy Central website. After graduating from Xavier, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy while living at home with his parents.

He took sketch and improv classes at The Second City in Chicago and launched his one-person sketch show, "Pursuing Happiness," which he describes as "a bunch of scenes about people that moved out of their parents' house, got a real job and got married—performed by a guy who didn't."

Most recently he appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman.” This past summer he debuted on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and performed at the TBS LOL Lounge in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Chicago. He also has performed at Caesar's Palace in The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and was the winner of HBO's Lucky 21 Stand-Up Contest.

Palascak won the Chicago region of Comedy Central's "Open Mic Fight" and went on to make his Comedy Central debut on "Live at Gotham." He connects to the youthful innocence in everyone as he tells his stories onstage. From growing up in a small town to buying his first car, his stories allow everyone to laugh.

Palascak's performance on "The Half Hour" show can be viewed on the Comedy Central website. More samples of his comedy can be viewed online. Palascak also was featured in the Summer 2010 issue of Xavier magazine.
- Xavier University, University News


"Xavier alumnus Michael Palascak appeared on Comedy Central's new show "The Half Hour""

05/14/12

Xavier alumnus Michael Palascak, 29, was one of 12 comedians featured on the premiere of Comedy Central’s new show "The Half Hour" on Friday, May 11. Palascak appeared in the second of two episodes at 11:30 p.m.

Palascak made his television debut on WGN at the age of 9, appearing on “The Bozo Show,” according to his bio on the Comedy Central website. After graduating from Xavier, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy while living at home with his parents.

He took sketch and improv classes at The Second City in Chicago and launched his one-person sketch show, "Pursuing Happiness," which he describes as "a bunch of scenes about people that moved out of their parents' house, got a real job and got married—performed by a guy who didn't."

Most recently he appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman.” This past summer he debuted on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and performed at the TBS LOL Lounge in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Chicago. He also has performed at Caesar's Palace in The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and was the winner of HBO's Lucky 21 Stand-Up Contest.

Palascak won the Chicago region of Comedy Central's "Open Mic Fight" and went on to make his Comedy Central debut on "Live at Gotham." He connects to the youthful innocence in everyone as he tells his stories onstage. From growing up in a small town to buying his first car, his stories allow everyone to laugh.

Palascak's performance on "The Half Hour" show can be viewed on the Comedy Central website. More samples of his comedy can be viewed online. Palascak also was featured in the Summer 2010 issue of Xavier magazine.
- Xavier University, University News


"Xavier alumnus Michael Palascak appeared on Comedy Central's new show "The Half Hour""

05/14/12

Xavier alumnus Michael Palascak, 29, was one of 12 comedians featured on the premiere of Comedy Central’s new show "The Half Hour" on Friday, May 11. Palascak appeared in the second of two episodes at 11:30 p.m.

Palascak made his television debut on WGN at the age of 9, appearing on “The Bozo Show,” according to his bio on the Comedy Central website. After graduating from Xavier, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy while living at home with his parents.

He took sketch and improv classes at The Second City in Chicago and launched his one-person sketch show, "Pursuing Happiness," which he describes as "a bunch of scenes about people that moved out of their parents' house, got a real job and got married—performed by a guy who didn't."

Most recently he appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman.” This past summer he debuted on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and performed at the TBS LOL Lounge in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Chicago. He also has performed at Caesar's Palace in The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and was the winner of HBO's Lucky 21 Stand-Up Contest.

Palascak won the Chicago region of Comedy Central's "Open Mic Fight" and went on to make his Comedy Central debut on "Live at Gotham." He connects to the youthful innocence in everyone as he tells his stories onstage. From growing up in a small town to buying his first car, his stories allow everyone to laugh.

Palascak's performance on "The Half Hour" show can be viewed on the Comedy Central website. More samples of his comedy can be viewed online. Palascak also was featured in the Summer 2010 issue of Xavier magazine.
- Xavier University, University News


"Best of Chicago 2008--Stand-up: Michael Palascak"

In performance, Michael Palascak fashions himself a slacker without means or ambition. Thing is, he’s always busy performing—in city and suburban showcases, on the radio, in competitions and festivals. Earlier this month he appeared on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. The I-still-live-with-my-parents shtick may be a chestnut, but he explores it as thoroughly and cleverly as anyone. He explains the “top-of-the-line technology” of his folks’ washer and dryer with boyish glee: “Yeah, here’s how it works—I put my clothes in the washer, they come out folded on my bed.” And when his parents remind him he can’t live with them forever, he replies with concern, “Well, I don’t even wanna think about you guys dying.”--Ryan Hubbard - Chicago Reader


"Palascak Packs a Laugh"

The group of women surrounding comedian Michael Palascak after his performance on Friday proves that girls still love a guy who can make them laugh.

For Palascak, his performance in Marty’s was just one stop among many. The comedian tours across the country, even though he still lives with his parents in Chicago.

“I travel a lot,” said Palascak. “There’s no stopping me. Luther today, Letterman tomorrow.”

Comedy comes naturally for Palascak, and his performances are mainly improvisational.

“I wanted to do standup, so I started,” he said. “My family moved to Chicago, and I didn’t know anyone. So I started doing open mics when I came home from college.”

Palascak’s laid-back college attitude is one reason why SAC Spotlight co-chairs Jolene Mockler (‘08) and Josh Pettersen (‘08) decided to bring him to Luther.

“I liked that he does a lot of college humor,” said Mockler. “He’s younger and can relate to students.”

Mockler and Pettersen chose him after viewing video clips of some of his acts.

“We have a few booking agencies that we go to,” said Pettersen. “We hadn’t done a comedian yet this year, and when we watched his video clips that his agency sent us, we really liked him.”

His clips were not the only reason Palascak was hired.

“We do a lot of musical performances at Luther and it’s always a great change to have a comedian,” said Pettersen. “They are always fun and do well.”

Palascak provided a warm respite from the frigid month of February.

“It is especially nice to have a comedian in the winter,” said Mockler. “It cheers people up, and you can just walk across campus and have a good time.”

Palascak had the right combination of jokes to fit a college audience.

“College students are all over the board in the humor that they like,” said Pettersen. “We are moving a little more away from crude humor and appreciate more mature comedy, but we’re still young at heart.”

Students who attended the performance showed appreciation for Palascak’s humor.

“I really liked the farmer jokes because we’re from Iowa,” said Emily Allen (‘09). “It was fabulous and I laughed at everything.”

Overall, Palascak’s demeanor also intrigued students.

“I liked that he was awkward, and it made it funnier,” said Emily Wrobel (‘09). “Everything was very relevant because he’s not too long out of college.”

Students who enjoyed the performance expressed their interest in more entertainment of his kind.

“A couple more comedians a year would be nice,” said Natasha Madhoo (‘08). “Some haven’t been as good [as Palascak], but he was really funny.”

The next SAC Spotlight event is at 8 p.m. March 7. A musical group called Ha Ha Tonka will be performing in Marty’s, and their sound is a mix of genres, with a unique indie/rock/country sound.-- Jeanette Muske, Staff Writer

- Luther College Chips


Discography

Comedy Central's The Half Hour
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
The Late Show with David Letterman
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Bob and Tom
TBS' The Very Funny Show
Comedy Central's Live at Gotham
The Kevin Nealon Show

Photos

Bio

Three years ago Michael Palascak (Pal-a-sack) blew up on the late night television circuit as he performed stand-up on both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman in the same year. This was a nice follow-up to Michael winning multiple stand-up comedy contests including a national HBO talent contest at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas--The Lucky 21. In May 2012, Michaels Comedy Central half hour special debuted to rave reviews on Twitter. Also, Michael has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Michael grew up in the Midwest, specifically the small town of Wabash, Indiana. When Michael went to college, his parents moved to Chicago. Michael spent his summers there working at a warehouse, playing baseball, taking improv classes at Second City, and doing stand-up comedy. After college, he moved to Chicago to pursue both comedy and living with his parents full-time. This led to the development of his hit one-person sketch show-- Pursuing Happiness: A bunch of scenes about people that moved out of their parents' house, got a real job, and got married. Performed by a guy who didn't. Two summers ago Michael reprised the role of the post-college son living at home in the Comedy Central web series Growing Up and Getting Out. Michael also has trained as an actor in Chicago at The Acting Studio, Act One, and Victory Gardens and in LA at Lesly Kahn.

Michael is a biographical comedian--from growing up in a small town to buying his first car, Michael's stories allow everyone to laugh a lot. Audience members quotes: "Really good job" and "...funnier than Cosby or Seinfeld..."