Mike Sacks was born in Virginia and raised in Maryland. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans.
He has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Radar, Funny or Die, MAD, New York Observer, Premiere, Believer, Vice, Maxim, Women’s Health, and Salon. He has worked at The Washington Post, and is currently on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair.
His first book, And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Humor Writers About Their Craft, was released in Summer 2009. Some of those interviewed include: George Meyer, Harold Ramis, Al Jaffee, Buck Henry, Bob Odenkirk, Stephen Merchant, David Sedaris, Jack Handey, Robert Smigel, and Daniel Clowes.
Sacks co-wrote Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk, with the Pleasure Syndicate, a comedy-writing group consisting of Scott Jacobson (Daily Show, Bob’s Burgers), Todd Levin (Conan), Jason Roeder (Onion), and Ted Travelstead (The Great North). The book was released August 28, 2010.
Sacks published a collection of humor pieces in February 2011. The book, Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason, contains pieces from The New Yorker, Esquire, Time, Vanity Fair, McSweeney’s, and other publications. The publisher was Tin House Books.
Sacks contributed to the books Esquire Rules and Esquire Presents: Things A Man Shouldn’t Do After the Age of Thirty; Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney’s Book of Lists; The McSweeney’s Book of Politics and Musicals; Keep Scrolling Till You Feel Something: 21 Years of Humor from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency; and Dear McSweeney’s: Two Decades of Letters to the Editor from Writers, Readers, and the Occasional Bewildered Consumer.
In addition, he is the co-editor of the March 2012 advice book, Care to Make Love In That Gross Little Space Between Cars?, featuring contributions from, among others, Louis C.K., Dave Eggers, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Hornby, Sam Lipsyte, Merrill Markoe, Laraine Newman, Simon Rich, Bob Saget, George Saunders, Amy Sedaris, Allison Silverman, Paul Simms, Jerry Stahl, Fred Willard, Weird Al Yankovic, and Alan Zweibel.
His 2014 book was a sequel to And Here’s the Kicker, called Poking a Dead Frog. The book contains interviews with (and advice from) Mel Brooks, Jim Downey, Adam McKay, Amy Poehler, Terry Jones, Diablo Cody, James L. Brooks, 96-year-old Peg Lynch, Kay Cannon, Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, George Saunders, Tom Scharpling, Bob Elliott (of Bob & Ray), Roz Chast, Stephen Merchant, Carol Kolb, Daniel Clowes, and many, many more. It was released June 2014 from Viking/Penguin.
Stinker Lets Loose, a novelization, was published on the 40th anniversary of the 1977 release of the movie by the same name
Stinker was turned into an Audible audiobook in 2017 starring Jon Hamm as Stinker, and also starring Rhea Seehorn, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Philip Baker Hall and more.
Randy: The Full and Complete Unedited Biography and Memoir of the Amazing Life and Times of Randy S.! was published on September 11, 2018. Randy is a thirty-something who sells his family farm and commissions an out-of-work local author, named Noah B., to write and type his memoir. A modern-day version of a 15th century biography commissioned by a wealthy Medici patron.
In 2019, Sacks published a John Hughes 1980s type novelization, Passable in Pink, that was later made into an Audible.com project, starring Adam Scott, Rhea Seehorn, Gillian Jacobs, Bobby Moynihan, Justine Bateman, Julie Klausner, Laraine Newman and Bob Odenkirk. The book is available here.
In 2019, Sacks published a parody of 1990s Generation X movies called Slouchers.
In 2022, Sacks released three books: Woodmont: A College Guide (McSweeneys), reprints of Stinker Lets Loose and Randy (Archways, Simon & Schuster)
And a satiric memoir from “the worst person in comedy” that’s called “Passing on the Right: The Skippy Battison Story”.