Michael Turzilli was genuinely an amazing person. I can’t believe that just one week ago, Michael and I were downtown filming new episodes of our silly web series, Double Homicide. And today I write, overcome with sadness, to say goodbye to my friend.
Michael was a force. I don’t remember if I met him for the first time in our improv class with Patrick Noth or if we’d been introduced in the weeks prior. I do remember that it didn’t take long to see how intelligent and funny he was. Over eight weeks, we studied improv in a class of 16 students and had so much fucking fun. As the summer progressed and our friendship grew, I was constantly in awe of Michael. His mind just worked differently than other people’s. He was operating on another level. Michael’s iPhone 7 unboxing video was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. After I watched that, I said to Megan, “Michael is a genius and I don’t think the world is even ready for him yet.” I remember being excited to watch the world catch up with Michael. I got to see a little bit of that with Off the Horn, which I know he was so proud of.
Michael was unbelievably hard-working and wrote constantly. We’re both from Connecticut and had planned to film something over July 4th weekend. He sent me a few scripts and I read Double Homicide, crying laughing by myself going through the lines. To this day, it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve ever been in. I was so happy to continue making things with Michael because he was highly motivated and consistently hilarious. This sounds insane but his video The Review blew my mind.
Michael was truly a wonderful man and friend. He was very concerned with being a good guy, although he didn’t have to worry because it came to him naturally. As we wrapped Hey Coach, a ridiculously funny sketch he wrote about a gay teenager confiding in his football coach, Michael said “This is the most progressive thing I’ve ever done.” I am thankful for every opportunity I got to work with Michael.
Michael was always there, ready to talk and even more ready to listen. He was open about what he struggled with and I admired that. We talked a lot about the terrible shit that’s happening to women in every industry, but specifically comedy. Michael had a profound understanding of what it meant to be an ally for women. He didn’t have to tell everyone about it or make it “a thing.” He just was. We were texting 2 weeks ago while I wasn’t sure about writing a Me Too post. When I asked him what to do, he said this:
Idk what that's like but I do kno for addiction even though it's uncomfortable to start the convo you may be robbing someone of the opportunity to get inspired by your post and post something themselves
Like maybe someone who's on the verge of posting it and experiencing some relief sees yours and decides to do it
That was Michael. Supportive, caring, and open. Fundamentally good.
Michael will be missed by so many. I feel lucky to have known him and to have worked with him. I’m really going to miss the random texts with just a few words–always an idea for a new video or article or a tee shirt that says “Nasty Man” (lol). I’m going to miss him saying insane shit like “with your body girl, you could be like a professional snow boarder... maybe even olympic level.” I’m going to miss all the things he’ll never have the opportunity to create. I’m going to miss my friend. I can’t express how much people loved him. In his 24 years, he impacted the lives of so many and it pains me so much to say goodbye to Michael Turzilli.