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November 08, 2002 - Image 114

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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BEAN DUDE

In his HBO show, former Detroiter Mike Binder
reveals what married men are really thinking.

ALICE BURDICK SCHWEIGER
Special to the Jewish News

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Dangerous Wind'

Considering his acting, comedy and
writing credits, he has done a lot right.
Raised in Northwest Detroit and
Birmingham, Binder's aspirations to
go into show business began in child-
hood. As long as he can remember, he
wanted to be like Woody Allen.
"When I was younger I used to write
short stories, and I even wrote a mono-
logue," recalls Binder, who went to
Hampton Elementary, Covington
Junior High and Seaholm High School.
With a special interest in comedy,
Binder, 44, started in stand-up.
"I played at a few clubs in Ann

etroit's Mike Binder wanted
to create a television show
that pushes the envelope,
and he did.
His The Mini Of The Married Man,
seen on cable's HBO, takes a daring look
at marriage from the male perspective.
"I wanted to do a show about how
men talk when their wives aren't
around," says Binder, the show's creator,
producer and one of its directors. "It
makes some people uncom-
fortable seeing a show . about
men and their sexuality, let
alone married men.''
In The Mind of the Married
Man, which is set in
Chicago, Binder plays
Mickey Barnes, a Jewish
political newspaper columnist
who is conflicted about stay-
ing faithful to his wife.
Barnes, the father of a
small child, wants to be a
devoted husband, yet he has
sexual fantasies about other
women and struggles with
commitment. His married
office buddies are plagued by
the same emotions.
"My character wants to be Mike Binder on "The Mind of the Married Man"
"We know it pushes people's buttons and sometimes
in his marriage but is deal-
it's
hard for couples to watch together. But to make it
ing with a lot of his own
less
uncomfortable wouldn't make it a good show."
problems," explains Binder.
While last year's episodes
Arbor, including the Blind Pig, but
drew some negative attention, Binder
says audiences are now coming around. there wasn't much of a comedy scene
in Detroit back then," recalls Binder.
"Last year was our first season and it
"So when I graduated from high
was a little abrasive and women weren't
school,
I moved to L.A."
comfortable watching, but we devel-
Once on the West Coast, he
oped the female characters more this
enrolled at Los Angeles Community
year," says Binder, whose brother Jack
College and landed a job as a door-
Binder is one of the show's producers.
man at the Comedy Store.. On ama-
"Still, we know it pushes people's
,
teur night, Binder would try out his
buttons and sometimes it's hard for
stand-up routine.
couples to watch together. But to
"Norman Lear saw me there one
make it less uncomfortable wouldn't
night and put me in an ABC-TV
make it a good show.
series called Apple Pie," he says. "And
"As Chris Albrecht (CEO of HBO)
that gave me exposure."
said, 'If you do this show and every-
As Detroit started to develop a corn-
one likes it, you're not doing it right."'
edy scene, Binder would return home
and perform.
Private Life
"There was a group of us from
Detroit who were into comedy, and we
In his own life, Binder doesn't have to
are still good friends," he says. "One is
worry about doing it right.

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