You have probably read his name in the cast of several TV shows, but do you know his face? Michael Koman stands behind all those funny scenes in “Saturday Night Live” that you laugh at, and you’ve probably seen his wife in “The Office”. Who is Michael Koman, and on what other popular TV shows has he worked?
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Early life and Education
Michael Koman was born on 2 February 1977, in San Diego, California USA. Not much is known about his earliest years and education, but according to Geni.com, his father is Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Koman.
Michael loved comedy ever since he was a kid, and his favorite comedy sketch show was “Second City Television” – also known as “SCTV”. He was a regular visitor to the University of California, San Diego library, where he listened to the comedy albums recorded on vinyl. He landed his first job working after school in “The Comedy Store Club”, where he answered the ‘phone calls, made reservations, and occasionally did stand-up comedy performances as well.
After matriculation from a local high school, he moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a college education.
He occasionally performed at the local “The Improv” together with his friends Todd Glass and Steve Rosenthal – the trio wrote and produced comedy sketches.
Koman was invited to join the “MADtv” crew as a screenwriter in 1999, after one of his and Glass’ plays – “Todd’s Coma” – gained publicity. The manager of one of the actors in it, Fred Willard, sent Koman’s tape to “MADtv” producers, who were looking for a new, young writer.
One of Koman’s colleagues on “MADtv” was Greg Cohen, the former writer for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”.
Cohen gave Koman a work recommendation, and as a result Koman started writing for this show in 2001. It was Koman who, joined by writers Andrew Weinberg and Brian Stack, created recurring characters and segments such as “Hannigan the Traveling Salesman”, and “The Interrupter”. Koman also created the concept of “Walker, Texas Ranger Lever”, a list of sketches that was the most reprised segment in the show at the time. He wrote the satire “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”, a comedy-drama series made by Aaron Sorkin as a parody of a “Saturday Night Live”, that he entitled “Studio 6A”, a reference to a television studio owned by Conan located in 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Koman didn’t work just as a screenwriter on the show. He was a common guest of on-air sketches. One of his most famous performances happened in 2004, when he portrayed an accountant who proposed a silly solution to the ongoing debate on gay marriage. This lead to many controversies, and Koman made headlines in the US media. At around this time, he started working with the writers’ staff intern, Ellie Kemper, who also became a regular performer on his sketches. Another popular sketch that Koman was a part of was the fake iPhone commercial from 2007, which was written with the intent of showing the flaws of the device.
For his contribution to the show, Koman won the Primetime Emmy Award in 2007.
Career after “Late Night”
Koman left the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in 2008, after seven years of collaboration. It was this year that NBC wanted to launch “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”, a transition that would require the cast to move from New York City to Los Angeles.
That same year, he wrote a few episodes of “The Colbert Report”, but didn’t find himself inspired enough to continue creating for the show.
Instead, he started working as a head writer for his former colleague Demetri Evan Martin’s “Important Things with Demetri Martin”; his co-writer on the show was Canadian comedian and actor, Nathan Fielder.
In 2011, Koman once again joined forces with Weinberg to do the screenwriting job for Jason Woliner’s TV series, “Eagleheart”. Koman remained on the show until it ended three seasons later, in 2014, after which he was invited to write a pilot for the TV series “Nathan for You”. After the episode was completed, he was joined on the show by his sister-in-law Carrie Kemper, and Fielder, and all of them remained on the show until 2017, when Fielder decided it was time to end the series.
We're back up and running, folks! pic.twitter.com/FsUUtyjATa
— Late Night Archives Project (@LNwCOBArchives) May 9, 2020
Concurrently, Koman was also involved in creating “The Jack and Triumph Show”, as well as its spin-off, “Triumph’s Election Watch 2016”.
In 2017, Koman started writing for Lorne Michaels’ “Saturday Night Live”, and is still writing for the show as of May 2020.
During his fruitful career, Koman has earned nine Emmy Award nominations and six awards from Writers Guild of America. He won the WGA Award for Comedy/Variety in a Sketch Series for his work on “Saturday Night Live” in 2018.
Marriage with Ellie Kemper
Sometime after their initial meeting in 2007, Koman and his co-worker Ellie Kemper started dating.
Ellie Kemper is also a comedian and an actress, who is known for her portrayal of Erin Hannon in the NBC series “The Office”, and for her acting contribution to movies such as “21 Jump Street” and “Bridesmaids”. Their engagement was announced in the episode of “Late Night” that aired on 7th December 2011.
The couple tied the knot on 7th July 2012, and in 2016 welcomed their son, James Miller. Two years later, their second son, Matthew Miller, was born. Despite being Jewish, Koman has agreed to raise their children in the Roman Catholic faith, as Kemper is Catholic.
Koman is active on several social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, but he is most active on Twitter, where he has more than 4,200 followers.
Koman has earned most of his money from his career as a screenwriter, although he also occasionally worked as a stand-up comedian and an actor. As of April 2020, his net worth is estimated at around $2 million. On the other hand, his wife Ellie has a net worth of reputedly $4 million.
Koman has brown hair and blue eyes that he covers with rectangle glasses, which have become his signature. His exact height and weight aren’t known, but his wife, Kemper, has a height of 5ft 4ins (1.65m) and a weight of 128lbs (58kgs). He is a lot taller than her, and has a slim figure.