People Features

The secret is out on comic Mike Birbiglia

By April MacIntyre Sep 14, 2007, 20:05 GMT

The secret is out on comic Mike Birbiglia

“What if I am the Kenny G of comedy?" Worries Mike Birbiglia, in his ambivalence over Jazz music and fitting in onstage at an inappropriate gig.

“Celebrity Golf” opens Mike Birbiglia’s show, taken from his secret public journal, his “blog”, which recounts his miserable comedy set that was before a raffle and after a tearful 11 year old Leukemia survivor's speech, then NFL Hall of Famer Phil Simms who got a standing ovation at a charity golf event in New Jersey. 

“Birbiglia had no business being at this event,” Mike declares.

Early requested hotel wakeup calls, many of them in staccato five-minute interval order plague the sleep loving comic who would rather dream of Ferris wheels made of pizza with his sleep persona, Carl.

Owner of a single pair of pants, Birbiglia tries to maintain his “One outfit for everything” motto. 

Bad entourage choices plague him, his brother Joe a nattering joy kill for the ride.  Apologies are proffered to the unsuspecting golfers Mike and Joe are paired with, as they wonder out loud who their celebrity golfer will be. 

“I’m in the future also,” laughs Birbiglia, as he contemplates using the cancer card to entertain his audience who he realizes is not his crowd.

Boston kid Mike Birbiglia is a thousand times more endearing and funny than Dane Cook.  His humor is smart, sweet, edgy and resonates with a wide swath of audiences.  I fell in love with him after seeing his childhood art and letters whipped out on stage during a set.

Birbiglia has been plagued by name butchering throughout his career, his name being morphed into a Polish version, then Scottish, admitted he even had trouble with it for a while.

In “OrangeAsianTigers,” “Glamazon.com” gets a shout out as Birbiglia tells the tale of the broken television, and the subterfuge and veiled email threat campaign insinuating future fodder for his stand up if the behemoth corporation didn’t play ball.

“Catholic School Sunglasses” is hilarious.  His Catholic parents who naively open every email and attachment to Mike’s dismay get a mention too; they are Italians who eat at the “Olive Garden,” and substitute the word “fun” for “Hell”. 

“For Catholics, Hell is fun,” declares Birbiglia. 

Birbiglia tells his third grade Parochial school tale of missed chances for Aviator sunglasses.  Young Mike from St. Mary’s school trudging through his suburb, pimping knick knacks for Diocese fundraising.

“Something happened with the computer,” a distressed mother Birbiglia calls her son, after dildo icons and horrific porn images fill her desktop.  In “Porno for Parents,” he exposes his parent’s dismal navigation of all modern technology.

Recorded at the Columbus Funnybone, Birbiglia's second Comedy Central Records CD "My Secret Public Journal Live" is a collection of his best "My Secret Public Journal" entries, which are featured on http://www.comedycentral.com.

The CD closes with an acoustic ballad entitled, "Put It On Paper," a call to action for listeners to write down their most embarrassing moments to keep things in perspective.

Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Tour" traveling to over 30 cities nationwide.  Tour info is available at http://www.birbigs.com.

Birbiglia also plans on doing some unannounced shows available only to people who sign up for "Secret Public Journal" on his Web site.  Mike's "Secret Public Journal" originated as a weekly blog that the performer emailed to 30,000 fans and broadcasts to millions on the nationally- syndicated radio show "Bob & Tom." These personal autobiographical diary entries, which evoke the nostalgic tone of David Sedaris and Bill Cosby, have truly defined Birbiglia's public persona.



 



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