Rob Michaels is an undeniably talented writer, actor, content creator, and master of improv and sketch comedy. Rob is sharp, witty and always ready to roast his close friends, which explains how he landed a job in the writers’ room for season one of Roast Battle Canada. Rob writes regularly for his sketch comedy channel, Wishful Genies, which has millions of views through features on Funny Or Die, 9GAG, Al Jazeera, BlogTO, and CBC Comedy because of its relatable and exaggerated content. While that may seem impressive, his actual greatest accomplishment is successfully convincing his parents to act in his viral video Habib – Marvel’s First Arab Superhero. Rob’s talents have landed him work in a handful of other writers’ rooms, and he now even has his own show currently in development!!!! (Exciting!)
Rob is also notably an alumnus of Second City’s Bob Curry Diversity Fellowship, and currently teaches in their sketch writing program. Upon hearing Rob was teaching at a party, a mutual friend of ours immediately signed up to be Rob’s student the next morning. That’s the thing about Rob, once you experience him, you can’t just get enough (Black Eyed PeasTM). I first met Rob on a project and was offended I hadn’t heard of this white-named Arab comedian in Toronto before. But then it quickly became clear I would never forget him. In a sea of pretenders, Rob is one of the few contenders out there. He practices excellence in any project he takes on, contributes strongly to the creative development process and puts his heart into all of the characters and storylines he brings to life. He’s the kind of person who will spend 8 hours straight with you to help you punch up your pilot and make you laugh the entire time doing so. He’s annoyingly good at what he does and I’m excited to watch his star continue to rise over the next few years.
Salma Hindy – writing collaborator and bestie.
Which ‘hood are you in?
I live smack dab in the middle of the Entertainment District in downtown Toronto. It’s right in the heat of everything and I have my bike that takes me everywhere else I need to go. I grew up in Richmond Hill and went to school in Waterloo, but definitely feel most at home in the city.
What do you do?
I’m a writer, actor, performer, director, content creator, improviser, and so many other things, but I primarily consider myself a writer. I’ve worked in the writers’ rooms of a few Canadian TV shows including Parker Andersons, Amelia Parker, and Roast Battle Canada, I write for my sketch comedy channel, Wishful Genies, I write for mobile games, and I teach writing and improv classes at The Second City.
When I’m not working, I normally love to travel – you know, when the world is open. I’ve been to 36 different countries over the years and I’m hoping I can keep adding to that count soon so people can continue to roll their eyes when I tell them how cultured I am.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently writing for the mobile game of the FXX series Archer, and I’ll be returning to work in the writers’ room for season 2 of Roast Battle Canada. I also have a project in development I’m super excited about, but that’s all I can say about that for now. My days are mostly spent writing, editing, and writing pitch material. It’s a lot of staring at my computer.
I’ve also been digging into my roots as of late, because a lot of my recent work has centred around the Middle Eastern perspective. From pilots I’ve written to even comedy sketches on my channel, it’s become really important to me to amplify underrepresented voices and I’ve been surrounding myself with like-minded creatives to make that happen.
I’m also working on not being a workaholic. It’s hard.
Where can we find your work?
All my best work is on my website
You can watch my comedy videos and see the scripts side by side, watch videos of me performing live at The Second City, and even read some of my pilots. If you only watch one thing, I’d suggest checking out Habib – Marvel’s First Arab Superhero on the Wishful Genies YouTube channel. (That’s the big video that went viral and got me a lot of writing opportunities, as well as press from CBC Comedy, BlogTO, and Al Jazeera.)
If you want to watch some shows I’ve worked on, you can check out Parker Andersons (BYU, Superchannel), Amelia Parker (BYU, Superchannel), and Roast Battle Canada (Bell, CraveTV).
You can also follow me on Instagram at @robmmichaels