NBCUniversal’s Michael Swanson talks comedy and TV production on With a Side of Knowledge podcast

Author: Ted Fox

With a Side of Knowledge cover art, featuring the show's title over a Notre Dame monogram waffle

With a Side of Knowledge is a podcast produced by the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame. It brings listeners informal interviews with fascinating scholars and professionals from both Notre Dame and elsewhere that take place over brunch.

The show’s seventh episode, “On (TV) Comedies and Not Messing With the Magic,” was released Thursday, August 23, and features Michael Swanson, an Emmy Award-winning movie producer as well as a vice president of production at NBCUniversal. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1993 and was back on campus in June for the University’s annual reunion weekend.

Swanson has been involved behind the scenes on some of the most acclaimed comedies in recent years, including Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Good Place. In this episode, he and host Ted Fox discuss the table reads he remembers most, the studio production system that moves a show from the initial pitch to air, and the evolving TV landscape of broadcast networks and streaming services. They also talk about the independent entertainment production company, Faith Filmworks, Swanson founded with director and writer Christine Swanson, his wife.

This is a special “live show” episode of the podcast, recorded not over brunch but in front of an audience in Notre Dame’s Duncan Student Center.

You can visit provost.nd.edu/podcast to learn more about the podcast, including how to find it on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher. You can also search “With a Side of Knowledge” in your favorite podcast app or listen to the episode with Swanson using the player below.