Musing with Michael (Mike) Schur is a bit like playing chess with Garry Kasparov. No matter what conversational move you make, he has a counter that will likely stun you. No wonder his book is called How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question…

In this episode, host Charlie Bresler is musing with Mike Schur. Creator of the critically acclaimed NBC comedy The Good Place, co-creator on Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn 99, and Rutherford Falls, writer on The Office and Saturday Night Live, Michael has a long history of being both very smart and very funny.

Events in young adulthood led him to read philosophy as a way of understanding himself and those around him. In particular, a seemingly very minor incident that got a bit out of control caused Mike to question the morality of what he was doing. 

Fortunately for all of us, this spiraling minor incident ultimately led to the television show The Good Place, a show that tackles the question of how we judge if a life has been “good” or “bad.” 

Moral dilemmas also produced the book How to Be Perfect. In his book, Mike talks about the principle of umbuntu, a concept in many parts of Africa that is described as the philosophy of “I am because you are.” 

“Our happiness depends on the happiness of others and vice versa,” he explains. And in many ways, he says, it’s almost the opposite of one of the central precepts here in the west: “I think therefore I am.” It’s not a commonly known idea here in the west, but, says Mike, it might be an antidote to some of the selfishness that individualism often leads to.

We strongly recommend you read or listen to How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question. You can find out more about Michael Schur on IMDb: Michael Schur––IMDb. We also hope you’ll share, rate, and review this podcast so others can find us more easily.


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