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Tuesday
Apr062010

INSIDE WITH: MIKE BIRBIGLIA

Mike Birbiglia | Photo courtesy of Mike Birbiglia

By: Keith Huang

On Thursday, standup statesman Mike Birbiglia makes his way back home to Carolines for a four-day headliner "special engagement." According to a recent Tweet, the never-not-working comic says he'll be  performing all new material. But before he launches into what promises to be a weekend of raucous laughter, The Apiary shot him some random questions for which he had some very good answers.

So I saw the Final Four bracket you filled out for the Georgetown University blog -- pretty brutal. Have you ever won a bracket pool?
You can win those things? As a Georgetown alum, I was a little biased in my picks. I will not be opening one of those $3.99/minute gambling hotlines anytime soon. Incidentally, on the one I didn’t submit, I had Butler beating Michigan State.

Who do you have opening for you these days? And who are the up-and-coming comics are on your fave list?
My friend Sean Conroy has been opening a number of shows for me lately, as well as Boston-native Joe Wong. He's a scientist-comedian. Another new comic who's great is Geoff Tate out of Cincinnati. Lots of great New York guys Joe Mande, Gabe Liedman, Max Silvestri ... others. 

Nowadays when you Google "Mike Birbiglia," what you find online could fit in the Library of Congress. Back in the day, what was one of the first things you remember finding your name in when you Googled yourself?
Mainly Google would just ask me, "Did you mean 'bibliography?'" I actually used to be a big "Ask Jeeves" guy, but then they fired Jeeves. I heard he threw a fit. Started wandering the streets answering questions people weren't even asking.

I've read that you've been spending a lot of time preparing your new book. How far along are you with the book?
I have been working hard on Sleepwalk With Me and Other Stories. I’ve written a lot of words so far, but they keep telling me it’s more than just the number of words, it’s the words you choose, and how you arrange the words. I’m like, “Eh, I’m pretty sure you just need to write enough words.”

Are you going to have a traditional book tour?
I will have a traditional book tour, with special shows, signings, all that kind of stuff. I’m REALLY excited about the book, though. I  think it’s the best writing I’ve done. But who knows, maybe people will hate it, and, by proxy, me.

How would you describe the standup scene in New York today compared to when you started? I ask this because it seems that nearly all of your contemporaries who stuck with it have gone on to do some incredible things (like yourself)...
It’s true. Almost everyone I started with who stuck with it is in every movie or television show I see. I sometimes talk about this with my friend Eugene [Mirman]. His advice for aspiring comics when they ask for advice is "start doing it and then keep doing it for like 10 years." I think that’s pretty accurate.

And, finally, what are your Top 3 Favorite Tweets of yours ever?
Here’s 4 ...

  • "did a bar mitzvah. a bar mitzvah is like a wedding except you don't have to get married. maybe tiger woods should have had a bar mitzvah."
  • "Millions of people around the world loved the movie 'Up.' One guy said, "We are so doing that, but with our child." #balloonboy 
  • "After Meet the Press, I'm planning to watch 'Meet the Press 2: 'Meet the fuckers' starring Sarah Palin."
  • (after tiger woods’ famous voicemail was released) "hey....twitter followers...if you could just pull down your avatar....my wife found out i have 25k followers. thanks. huge."

--Don't miss Mike Birbiglia headlining at Carolines starting THURS, APRIL 8 @ 8PM. He'll be performing through SUN, APRIL 11.

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