I recently attended a taping of 'Michael and Michael Have Issues' in NYC. The following will be a recap of the taping, as spoiler free as possible.
The theater seated about 100 people, and the set was simple and small, looking like a cross between a therapist's office and a side of a living room in an expensive New York apartment, with large art deco-esque windows and blue lights behind them implying sky. There were two brown chairs in the center of the set, with strange props framing them for ambience, such as a cluster of ancient bowling pins, and a white bust of someone. I knew nothing about the show (beyond the title) going in, and figured seeing the set would answer some questions. It most certainly didn't, but after everyone was seated, Michael and Michael came out and did.
They explained the format of the show, all the while ragging on each other to get the crowd loose and laughing. It's kind of like Mr. Show, in that you have stuff in front of an audience, filmed sketch shorts, and a basic overall plot to the episode. On Michael and Michael, the stuff in front of an audience is them discussing topics that bug them, then introducing a filmed sketch short that deals with the subject. The plot aspect involves them getting into arguments or competitions for attention behind the scenes of the show, which spills into their home lives, and into how they behave when introducing shorts.
They told us we'd be seeing a few shorts, as well as them introducing the shorts. The behind the scenes stuff they hadn't shot yet, but they described the plot of the first episode (which I won't spoil here) and it's very Stella-esque absurd, and sounded very funny.
The shorts we saw were hilarious, and very similar in style to The State shorts, with a little Kids in the Hall vibe in there too. Each were no more than 2 or 3 minutes. Obviously the meat of the show will be the behind the scenes stuff.
The introductions to the shorts were equally as funny. If you've ever seen them live, or Stella live, you know the style of their banter. They also taped a bit where they didn't introduce a short, but instead had a little slideshow presentation for the audience. This bit brought the house down. Absolutely hilarious, very obscene, and will be mostly bleeps when it airs on Comedy Central.
After they shot everything, they came out and said very genuine thank you's to the audience. It was a hilarious night, all in all about two hours of taping. Anyone who is a fan of the Michael's, The State, Wain, Stella, all of that will be very pleased. It feels way more accessible than Stella, and I'm sure will do a lot better as a result.