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Michael Schur

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Michael Schur
Schur at the 2012 Peabody Awards
Michael Herbert Schur

(1975-10-29) October 29, 1975 (age 48)[1]
Other namesKen Tremendous
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Occupation(s)Television producer, director, and screenwriter
Years active1997–present
(m. 2005)

Michael Herbert Schur (born October 29, 1975[1][2][3]) is an American television producer, writer, director, and actor. He was a producer and writer for the comedy series The Office, and co-created Parks and Recreation with Office producer Greg Daniels. He created The Good Place, co-created the comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine and was a producer on the series Master of None. He also played Mose Schrute on The Office. In 2021, he was one of three co-creators of the Peacock comedy series Rutherford Falls.

Schur's comedies typically include large, diverse casts; breakout stars have emerged from his shows. He features optimistic characters who often find strong friendships and lasting love,[4][5][6] through plots that showcase "good-hearted humanistic warmth".[7] As of September 2021, Schur has been nominated for 19 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two for his work on Saturday Night Live (1997–2004) and The Office.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Schur was born in 1975, at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan,[2][9] to a Jewish family.[10] His parents are Warren M. Schur and Anne Herbert. The family moved and he was raised in West Hartford, Connecticut.[3][11]

Schur attended William H. Hall High School in West Hartford.[12] He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English from Harvard University in 1997, where he was a president of the Harvard Lampoon.[13] Schur's father, Warren, also attended Harvard.[14]



Starting in 1998, Schur was a writer on NBC's Saturday Night Live.[15][16] He became the producer of Weekend Update in 2001; his first show in the new role was Saturday Night Live's first episode after the September 11 attacks.[17] In 2002, he won his first Primetime Emmy Award as part of SNL's writing team.[8] Schur left Saturday Night Live in 2004.[18]

Soon afterward, he became producer and writer for The Office on NBC, for which he wrote ten episodes and won the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Schur appeared on The Office as Dwight's cousin Mose in several episodes, including "Initiation", in which Dwight takes Ryan to his beet farm; "Money", in which Jim and Pam spend a night at the farm; "The Deposition"; "Koi Pond"; "Counseling"; and "Finale". He also co-wrote The Office: The Accountants webisodes with Paul Lieberstein. In 2005, Schur served as a co-producer of HBO's The Comeback and wrote two of its 13 episodes.


In April 2008, Schur and Greg Daniels started working on a pilot for Parks and Recreation as a proposed spin-off of The Office.[18] Over time, Schur realized Parks and Recreation would work better if they made it separate from The Office. While Parks and Recreation received negative reviews in its first season, it received critical acclaim in the second, much like The Office.[19] Schur also wrote for Fire Joe Morgan, a sports journalism blog, under the pseudonym "Ken Tremendous".[20] He resurrected the pen name on March 31, 2011, when he began writing for SB Nation's Baseball Nation site.[21] @KenTremendous is also Schur's Twitter handle.[22]

Schur collaborated with The Decemberists on their music video for "Calamity Song" from the album The King Is Dead.[23] This video is based upon Eschaton, a mock-nuclear war game played on tennis courts that David Foster Wallace created in his 1996 novel Infinite Jest. Schur wrote his undergraduate senior thesis on the novel[24] and once held the film rights to it.[25] With Daniel J. Goor, Schur created the cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which premiered in fall 2013 on Fox. The show was moved to NBC in its sixth season. In 2013, Joe Posnanski and Schur created The PosCast, which is now hosted by Meadowlark Media. The podcast primarily discusses baseball but meanders into other sports, subjects, and drafts of random items, and prides itself in being meaningless. The podcast has featured notable guests and co-hosts such as Linda Holmes, Ken Rosenthal, Nick Offerman, Ellen Adair, Stefan Fatsis, Brandon McCarthy, Joey Votto, and Sean Doolittle.


On September 19, 2016, the Schur-created sitcom The Good Place began airing on NBC.[26] The supernatural series concerning philosophy and being a good person, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, became a surprise critical and commercial success,[7] concluding its four-season run on January 30, 2020. In 2016, Schur and Rashida Jones co-wrote the teleplay of "Nosedive", an episode of the television anthology series Black Mirror, from a story by Charlie Brooker.[27]

In 2019, Schur joined other Writers Guild of America writers in firing their agents as part of the WGA's stand against the ATA and the practice of packaging.[28] In 2019, he began development of a scripted comedy, Rutherford Falls, starring Ed Helms.[29] The series premiered on the streaming service Peacock on April 22, 2021.[30] He worked on several projects on IMDb TV.[31] He also re-upped his overall deal at Universal Television.[32] In 2022, Schur released his first book, How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, which provides a humorous take on the ethical philosophy questions he studied while writing and producing The Good Place.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Schur is married to J. J. Philbin, who was formerly a writer on The O.C. and is the daughter of Regis Philbin. Their son was born in 2008 and their daughter in 2010.[34][35]

He is a vegetarian.[36]


He first became interested in comedy when he was 11 years old when he read Woody Allen's 1975 collection of humorous essays Without Feathers. Schur said he found the book on his father's bookshelf and stayed up reading it until 4 a.m.[37] He has also cited other influences as Monty Python, David Foster Wallace, and The Simpsons.[38]


Television work by Michael Schur
Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1997–2004 Saturday Night Live No Yes Yes Wrote 138 episodes; produced Weekend Update
2005–2014 The Comeback No Yes Yes Wrote 2 episodes
2005–2013 The Office No Yes Yes Wrote 12 episodes, appeared in 13 episodes
2006 Totally Awesome No Yes No Television film
2009–2015 Parks and Recreation Yes Yes Exec Co-creator, wrote 19 episodes, directed 9 episodes
2013–2021 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Yes Yes Exec Co-creator, wrote 2 episodes, directed 2 episodes
2016 Black Mirror No Yes No Episode: "Nosedive"; Co-wrote with Rashida Jones
2016–2020 The Good Place Yes Yes Exec Creator, wrote 5 episodes, directed 4 episodes
2020 Single Parents Yes No No Episode: "Yarn and Pebbles"
2021–2022 Rutherford Falls No Yes Exec Co-creator

Executive producer only

Acting roles

Year Title Role Notes
1998–2001 Saturday Night Live Various roles 3 episodes
2006–2013 The Office Mose Schrute 13 episodes[39]
2007 The O.C. Paul Episode: "The Case of the Franks"
2008 Miss Guided Male Teacher Episode: "Pool Party"
2015 Parks and Recreation Non-speaking cameo Season 6 episode: "Second Chunce"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2001 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Saturday Night Live Nominated [40]
2002 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Saturday Night Live Won [40]
2003 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Saturday Night Live Nominated [40]
2006 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series The Office Won [41]
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series The Office - "Christmas Party" Nominated
2007 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series The Office Nominated [41]
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series The Office - "The Negotiation" Nominated
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series The Office Nominated [41]
2011 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Parks and Recreation Nominated [42]
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Parks and Recreation - "Win, Lose, Or Draw" Nominated [42]
Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama or Variety Series Parks And Recreation: April And Andy's Road Trip Nominated [43]
2013 Writers Guild of America Awards Comedy Series Parks and Recreation Nominated [44]
Episodic Comedy Parks and Recreation - "Leslie and Ben" Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama or Variety Series Parks And Rec In Europe Nominated [45]
2015 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Parks and Recreation Nominated [42]
2016 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Master of None Nominated [46]
2019 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series The Good Place Nominated [47]
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series The Good Place Nominated [47]
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series The Good Place - "Whenever You're Ready" Nominated
Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series The Good Place Presents: The Selection Nominated [48]
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Hacks Nominated [49]
2022 Writers Guild of America Awards Comedy Series Hacks Won [50]
New Series Hacks Won


  • Schur, Michael (2022). How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781982159313.


  1. ^ a b Biodata, tvinsider.com. Accessed June 16, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Schur, Michael (2022). "12". How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question (ebook ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 432. ISBN 978-1-9821-5933-7. I was born a healthy white dude in America in 1975, [...]
  3. ^ a b "Jennifer Philbin and Michael Schur". The New York Times. October 9, 2005. Retrieved September 15, 2008. Mr. Schur, 29...
  4. ^ Hannemann, Emily (September 15, 2018). "The Magic of Michael Schur's Sitcoms: Why 'The Good Place,' 'Parks and Rec' & More Are So Rewatchable". TV Insider. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Leishman, Rachel (September 17, 2018). "Mike Schur's Shows Have The Most Relatable Characters on Television". TheMarySue.com. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "The Chemistry of Cluelessness in Michael Schur's Sitcoms". PopMatters.com. July 12, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Anderson, Sam (October 4, 2018). "What Makes 'The Good Place' So Good?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Michael Schur". Television Academy. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  9. ^ Schur, Michael (October 29, 2021). "I'm Mike Schur, co-creator and showrunner of the hit NBC television series Parks & Rec. I also helped create the musical force that is Mouse Rat, whose album, The Awesome Album, is out on vinyl today. AMA". Reddit. Retrieved October 13, 2022. Maybe I'll make it to U of M -- I was born there! University hospital! 46 years ago today! (It's my birthday.)
  10. ^ Grisar, PJ (January 8, 2020). "What 'The Good Place' says about Jewish ethics". Forward.com.
  11. ^ Ken Tremendous [@KenTremendous] (February 18, 2013). "@williamfleitch I need no such reminding. I was born in Ann Arbor" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Gendreau, LeAnne (April 7, 2009). "West Hartford Guy Behind Poehler's "Parks & Recreation"". WVIT. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  13. ^ "How Harvard Remade 'The Office'". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "An Evening With the Editor". December 17, 2007.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 3, 2012). "Showrunners 2012: 'Parks and Recreation's' Mike Schur". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  16. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (January 9, 2018). "The Good Place's creator explains why not every comedy is better off as a Netflix original". Vox. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  17. ^ Schur, Mike (September 11, 2016). "Mike Schur on How 9/11 Influenced the Writing on SNL, The Office, and Parks and Rec". Vulture.com. New York. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Zap2it (August 19, 2008). "More Money for Mose at 'The Office'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Cormier, Roger (January 11, 2016). "18 Facts About Parks and Recreation". Mental Floss. Archived from the original on May 28, 2024. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  20. ^ "Fire Joe Morgan: About Us". firejoemorgan.com. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  21. ^ Buchanan, Ben (March 31, 2011). "Introducing Baseball Nation". OverTheMonster.com. SB Nation. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  22. ^ "Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous)". Twitter. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  23. ^ Carlin, Shannon (August 22, 2011). "First Watch: The Decemberists, 'Calamity Song'". NPR. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  24. ^ Hyden, Steve (August 22, 2011). "Parks And Recreation's Michael Schur talks about directing the Decemberists' new Infinite Jest-themed video". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  25. ^ Busis, Hillary. "Last night's Parks and Rec was an extended homage to Infinite Jest". EW. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  26. ^ Dodson, P. Claire (September 19, 2016). "The Good Place Creator Michael Schur Has an Idea of Who's Going to Make It to Heaven". Esquire. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  27. ^ Gelman, Vlada (July 27, 2016). "Black Mirror Enlists Rashida Jones and Mike Schur for Season 3 Writing Stint". TVLine. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  28. ^ "Patton Oswalt, David Simon, Danny Zuker, More WGA Members Post Termination Letters". Variety.
  29. ^ "Ed Helms Comedy From Mike Schur, 'Punky Brewster' Among Scripted Slate at NBCU Streamer". The Hollywood Reporter. September 17, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  30. ^ Petski, Denise (March 16, 2021). "'Rutherford Falls': Peacock Unveils Trailer, Premiere Date For Michael Schur, Ed Helms & Sierra Teller Ornelas Comedy". Deadline Hollywood.
  31. ^ White, Peter (May 3, 2021). "Mike Schur, Nkechi Okoro Carroll & Melina Kanakaredes Among Creators Developing Projects At IMDb TV". Deadline. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  32. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 6, 2019). "Mike Schur Renews Overall Deal at Universal Television". Variety. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  33. ^ Alter, Alexandra (January 24, 2022). "His new good place is writing about morality". The New York Times. p. C1.
  34. ^ "Regis Philbin Is a Grandfather!". People. February 19, 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  35. ^ Essany, Michael (2011). Regis Philbin. Hyperink Inc. p. 32. ISBN 9781614648062.
  36. ^ Heritage, Stuart (January 26, 2022). "Michael Schur: 'It's a daily gut punch that people are anti-mask'". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  37. ^ Martin, Denise (November 18, 2009). "Making bureaucracy work: How NBC's "Parks and Recreation" overcame bad buzz". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
  38. ^ "An Interview with Michael Schur". The Believer. October 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  39. ^ "Michael Schur: Playing Mose on The Office was 'a waking nightmare'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  40. ^ a b c "Saturday Night Live". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  41. ^ a b c "The Office". The Emmys. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  42. ^ a b c "Parks and Recreation". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  43. ^ "Parks and Recreation: April and Andy's Road Trip". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  44. ^ "WGA Awards 2014: Complete list of winners and nominees". LA Times. January 30, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  45. ^ "Parks and Rec in Europe". Emmys.com. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  46. ^ "Master of None". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  47. ^ a b "The Good Place". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  48. ^ "The Good Place Presents: The Selection". The Emmys. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  49. ^ "Hacks". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  50. ^ "'CODA,' 'Don't Look Up,' 'Hacks' and 'Succession' Win Top Prizes at 2022 Writers Guild Awards". Variety. March 20, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2022.

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