By Hollister Dixon
I’ve been a very big fan of Mike Birbiglia since I started getting into stand-up comedy. I started with Dog Years (an album that, when listing his works, Birbiglia himself doesn’t even include), a self-released rough cut of the more polished Two Drink Mike, and quickly embraced the comedian he grew into over the proceeding 8 years. Since then, he’s released three more specials, each of which aren’t as much stand-up specials as one-man-shows, each centering on a different aspect of his life. This culminated in Sleepwalk With Me, a feature length film based on his show of the same name, which he directed and co-wrote with This American Life‘s Ira Glass. His last special, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, premiered on Netflix late this summer, which debuted to outrageously good reviews. In the coming months, Birbiglia will be touring a new act, called Thank God for Jokes, which he considers to be an attempt at returning to more typical stand-up – even if, in the end, it still has a loose narrative. This tour will be stopping at the Newmark Theater here in Portland for two shows on January 24th, with another in Eugene on the 25th – tickets can be bought right here.
I had the immense pleasure of spending some time chatting on the phone with Birbiglia this week to promote these shows, and it proved to be one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve ever gotten to have at 5:30 am on a Thursday.