Michael Clayton McCarthy
February 2, 1959-April 9, 2020
Michael was a native of Cleveland, OH, and graduated cum laude from Ohio University. He worked as a writer for SNL from 1983 to 1985. He later returned to Chicago where worked as an improvisor at Second City, first in the touring company, and later, on the mainstage. McCarthy performed alongside Steve Carell, Amy Sedaris and other rising talents in five Second City revues: Truth, Justice or the American Way, Economy of Errors, Winner Takes Oil, Ameri-Go-Round and America Lite.
As a journeyman writer and actor in Los Angeles in the late ’90s and early 2000s, he appeared on TV series including Curb Your Enthusiasm, According to Jim and The Gilmore Girls. In 1995 he co-founded The Cat Laughs, an annual comedy festival that continues to this day in the Irish city of Kilkenny.
In recent years he was active as a writing teacher at Second City, iO and DePaul University, and his students included Tina Fey and Jon Favreau.
Michael was known for his dry sense of humor, his kindness, and his generosity.
Survivors include his wife, fellow Second City actor Susan Messing; stepchildren Liam Maxwell Conner and Sofia Mia Canale, and siblings Patrick McCarthy, MaryEllen Davis, Matthew McCarthy and Soren McCarthy.