Michael Schur

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Michael Schur
Michael Schur 2012 (cropped).jpg
Schur at the 2012 Peabody Awards
BornMichael Herbert Schur
(1975-10-29) October 29, 1975 (age 43)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Pen nameKen Tremendous
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Alma materHarvard University
J. J. Philbin (m. 2005)

Michael Herbert Schur (born October 29, 1975) is an American television producer, writer and actor, best known for his work on the NBC comedy series The Office (2005–2013), Parks and Recreation (2009–2015), which he co-created along with Greg Daniels, as well as The Good Place (2016–present), which he created.[1] He also co-created the Fox/NBC comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013–present) and is a producer on the Netflix series Master of None (2015–2017). As an actor, Schur also made multiple appearances on The Office as Mose Schrute, the cousin of Dwight Schrute.

Schur has found success by breaking the mold of formulaic television writing through witty comedies that include large, diverse casts that lead to break-out stars. His shows feature optimistic characters who are relatable even in comical situations, often finding lasting love, and feature strong friendships,[2][3][4] through plots that showcase "good-hearted humanistic warmth."[5] Schur has been nominated for 14 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two for his work on Saturday Night Live (1997–2004) and The Office.[6]

Early life[edit]

Michael Schur was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Warren M. Schur and Anne Herbert, and was raised in West Hartford, Connecticut.[1][7] He first became interested in comedy when he was 11 years old, when he read Without Feathers, a 1975 collection of humorous essays by Woody Allen. Schur said he found the book on his father's bookshelf and stayed up reading it until 4 a.m.[8]

Schur attended William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut.[9] Schur graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an B.A. from Harvard University in 1997, where he was a president of the Harvard Lampoon.[10] His ancestry is Jewish.[11]


Starting in 1998, Schur was a writer on NBC's Saturday Night Live,[12][13] Schur 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.[14] In 2002, he won his first Primetime Emmy Award as part of SNL's writing team.[6] Schur left Saturday Night Live in 2004.[15]

Soon after, 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 the episodes "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", and "Counseling". 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 thirteen episodes.

Schur also wrote for "Fire Joe Morgan", a sports journalism blog, under the pseudonym "Ken Tremendous".[16] Schur resurrected the pen name on March 31, 2011, when he began writing for SB Nation's Baseball Nation site.[17] Ken Tremendous is also Schur's Twitter username.[18]

In April 2008, Schur and Greg Daniels started working on a pilot for Parks and Recreation as a proposed spin-off of The Office.[15] 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 collaborated with The Decemberists on their music video for "Calamity Song" from the album The King Is Dead.[20] 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,[21] and he also owns the film rights to it.[22]

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.

On September 19, 2016, the Schur-created sitcom The Good Place began airing on NBC.[23] The supernatural series concerning philosophy and being a good person, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, has become a surprise critical and commercial success.[5]

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.[24]

In 2019, Schur joined other WGA writers in firing their agents as part of the WGA's stand against the ATA and the unfair practice of packaging.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Schur is married to Jennifer Philbin, who was formerly a writer on The O.C. and is the daughter of television star Regis Philbin. Their first child, son William Xavier Schur, was born on February 18, 2008.[26] His middle name, Xavier, is in honor of Regis's confirmation name.[26] On July 14, 2010, Philbin gave birth to their daughter, Ivy Elizabeth Schur, in California.



Year Title Director Writer Producer Actor Executive producer Role Notes
1997–2004 Saturday Night Live Yes Weekend Update Yes Various roles Wrote 138 episodes, appeared in 3 episodes
2005 The Comeback Yes Yes Wrote 2 episodes
2005–2013 The Office Yes Yes Yes Yes Mose Schrute Wrote 12 episodes, appeared in 13 episodes
2006 Totally Awesome Yes Television film
2007 The O.C. Yes Paul Episode: "The Case of the Franks"
2008 Miss Guided Yes Male Teacher Episode: "Pool Party"
2009–2015 Parks and Recreation Yes Yes Yes Yes Also creator
Wrote 19 episodes, directed 9 episodes
Non-speaking cameo in Season 6 episode: "Second Chunce"
2013–present Brooklyn Nine-Nine Yes Yes Yes Also creator
Wrote 2 episodes, directed 2 episodes
2015–present Master of None Yes
2016–present The Good Place Yes Yes Yes Also creator
Wrote 4 episodes, directed 3 episodes
2016 Black Mirror Yes Episode: "Nosedive"
Co-wrote teleplay with Rashida Jones
2019 Abby's Yes


  1. ^ a b "Jennifer Philbin and Michael Schur". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 2005-10-09. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Leishman, Rachel (September 17, 2018). "Mike Schur's Shows Have The Most Relatable Characters on Television". The Mary Sue. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Chemistry of Cluelessness in Michael Schur's Sitcoms". PopMatters. July 12, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Anderson, Sam (October 4, 2018). "What Makes 'The Good Place' So Good?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Michael Schur". Television Academy. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Ken Tremendous [@KenTremendous] (18 February 2013). "@williamfleitch I need no such reminding. I was born in Ann Arbor" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Martin, Denise (2009-11-18). "Making bureaucracy work: How NBC's "Parks and Recreation" overcame bad buzz". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  9. ^ Gendreau, LeAnne (7 April 2009). "West Hartford Guy Behind Poehler's "Parks & Recreation"". WVIT. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  10. ^ "How Harvard Remade 'The Office' | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  11. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang. "Norman Schur, Lexicographer And Lawyer, 84".
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 3, 2012). "Showrunners 2012: 'Parks and Recreation's' Mike Schur". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  13. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (January 9, 2018). "The Good Place's creator explains why not every comedy is better off as a Netflix original". Vox. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  14. ^ Schur, Mike (September 11, 2016). "Mike Schur on How 9/11 Influenced the Writing on SNL, The Office, and Parks and Rec". Vulture. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Zap2it (August 19, 2008). "More Money for Mose at 'The Office'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  16. ^ "Fire Joe Morgan: About Us". firejoemorgan.com. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  17. ^ Buchanan, Ben (31 March 2011). "Introducing Baseball Nation". Over the Monster. SB Nation. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous)". Twitter. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  19. ^ Cormier, Roger (January 11, 2016). "18 Facts About Parks and Recreation". Mental Floss. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Carlin, Shannon (2011-08-22). "First Watch: The Decemberists, 'Calamity Song'". NPR. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  21. ^ Hyden, Steve (2011-08-22). "Parks And Recreation's Michael Schur talks about directing the Decemberists' new Infinite Jest-themed video". The Onion A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  22. ^ Busis, Hillary. "Last night's Parks and Rec was an extended homage to Infinite Jest". EW. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  23. ^ Dodson, P. Claire (2016-09-19). "The Good Place Creator Michael Schur Has an Idea of Who's Going to Make It to Heaven". Esquire. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  24. ^ Gelman, Vlada (27 July 2016). "Black Mirror Enlists Rashida Jones and Mike Schur for Season 3 Writing Stint". TVLine. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Patton Oswalt, David Simon, Danny Zuker, More WGA Members Post Termination Letters". Variety.
  26. ^ a b People Staff (2008-02-19). "Regis Philbin Is a Grandfather!". People. Retrieved 2012-10-31.

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