Michael Schur was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Warren M. Schur and Anne Herbert, and was raised in West Hartford, Connecticut. Michael Schur first became interested in comedy when he was 11 years old, when he read Without Feathers, a 1975 collection of humorous essays by Woody Allen. Schur said he found the book on his father's bookshelf and stayed up reading it until 4 a.m.
Schur attended William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut. Schur graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an A.B. from Harvard University in 1997, where he was a president of the Harvard Lampoon.
Schur wrote for six seasons on NBC's Saturday Night Live until 2004. Soon after, he became producer and writer for The Office on NBC, for which he wrote ten episodes. Schur appeared on The Office as Dwight's cousin Mose in the episodes "Initiation," in which Dwight takes Ryan to his beet farm, "Money," in which Jim and Pam spend a night at the farm, "The Deposition", "Koi Pond", and "Counseling." He also co-wrote The Office: The Accountants webisodes with Paul Lieberstein.
In 2005, Schur served as a co-producer of HBO's The Comeback and wrote two of its thirteen episodes.
Schur also wrote for "Fire Joe Morgan," a sports journalism blog, under the pseudonym "Ken Tremendous." Schur resurrected the pen name on March 31, 2011, when he began writing for SB Nation's Baseball Nation site. Ken Tremendous is also Schur's Twitter username.
In April 2008, Schur and Greg Daniels started working on a pilot for Parks and Recreation as a proposed spin-off of The Office. Over time, Schur realized Parks and Recreation would work better as a show if they made it separate from The Office. While Parks and Recreation received negative reviews in its first season, it received critical acclaim in the second much like The Office.
Schur collaborated with The Decemberists on their music video for Calamity Song from the album The King Is Dead. This video is based upon Eschaton, a mock-nuclear war game played on tennis courts that David Foster Wallace created in his 1996 novel Infinite Jest. Schur wrote his undergraduate senior thesis on the novel, and he also owns the film rights to it.
With Daniel J. Goor, Schur created the Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which premiered in fall 2013.
On September 19, 2016, the Schur-created sitcom The Good Place began airing on NBC.
In 2016, Schur co-wrote the teleplay of "Nosedive", an episode of the television anthology series Black Mirror with Rashida Jones from a story by Charlie Brooker.
Schur is married to Jennifer Philbin, who was formerly a writer on The O.C. and is the daughter of television star Regis Philbin. Their first child, son William Xavier Schur, was born on February 18, 2008. His middle name, Xavier, is in honor of Regis' confirmation name. On July 14, 2010, Philbin gave birth to their daughter, Ivy Elizabeth Schur, in California.