I'm actually a comedian. I directed and starred in movie called Sleepwalk With Me- sleepwalkmovie.com. 100+ Theaters this weekend. I'm currently on a tour of America with my new one man show. birbigs.com/tourdates Next week in Santa Fe, Mesa, and Lancaster, CA.

Ask me anything. I'll do my best.

Comments: 2240 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

my_names_nate1593 karma

I wonder who our celebrity is doing the AMA today? I hope it's someone really famous.

birbigs1476 karma

hahaahahaahha. this is great. if you don't get this, look up the track "celebrity golf" on "My secret public journal live." it's free on spotify or expensive on itunes.

yeaaabuddy14892 karma

Who would win in a fight, you or Daniel Tosh?

boxing and/or street fight?

birbigs2188 karma

Tosh would destroy me. Also, because 15 frat guys would see him beating me up and join in.

onbran573 karma

this. front page.

birbigs985 karma

yeah! how do we do that?! i don't know how the hell this things works!

birbigs540 karma

what other podcasts should i try to go on? can i ask YOU questions?!

downwithlevers305 karma

You Made It Weird w/ Pete Holmes

birbigs279 karma

this one too! i love pete holmes and we've definitely gotten weird. tweet at @peteholmes and tell him to have me on!!!

birbigs208 karma

it's @peteholmez actually

Jkins20221 karma

Not a podcast but I'd recommend Beyonce's album "4".

birbigs1425 karma

i'm trying to do a collab with Beyonce but she won't return my shouting at her in parking lots.

nobd127 karma

Mike and Tom Eat Snacks!

birbigs185 karma

i want to go on this one. i'm gonna call michael today!! tweet at @michaelianblack and tell him to have me on!!!

thebryguy490 karma


birbigs1008 karma

That I'm American? I have a birth certificate and a letter from St. Mary's school in Shrewsbury that says that I was "Author of the Month" in 3rd grade.

jrodisme87417 karma

Have you enjoyed the process of making an independent film? Do you think you'll do it again?

What does Ira Glass smell like?

birbigs798 karma

Ira Glass smells like tote bags.

And yes, I love him. He's a mentor and friend and I learn so much from him whenever we work together.

He says I tricked him into making the film. this is a hilarious vid about how he never should have produced the film.


MrNekro316 karma

How's Joey Bag of Donuts?

birbigs511 karma

he's good! he's coming to indianapolis with me this Friday. we're doing some Q and As there. The real question is, "how much can joe bags drink?"

birbigs282 karma

You guys, thank you for having me to this IAmA. Such good questions. So fun. I think I have carpal tunnel.

if you want to know about my tour look on http://www.birbigs.com/tourdates


To find out the 200 theaters my movie is in, go to: http://www.sleepwalkmovie.com/sleepwalk-by-state

Joe Bags set it up so you can search by state. Who does that?!

See the movie this weekend if you can. Tweet about it. Facebook about it. Post here about it. We're a super small movie with a super small ad budget, so our only way of getting the word out is through you guys. And we're REALLY PROUD OF THE MOVIE. Love you guys and I'll see you out there.

Signing off, Mister Girbigaboo
@birbigs http://www.facebook.com/birbigfans

bestlaidplans213 karma

Hey Mike, I don't have a question. I just wanted to let you know that your comedy (specifically the album "Two Drink Mike") got me through a really shitty time in my life. I just wanted to thank you for that, and to wish you the best in your future ventures. You've a lifelong fan in me.

birbigs293 karma

this means so much to me.

auwekama208 karma

How was it making the transition from Senator to POTUS?

birbigs525 karma

I like both but POTUS is more fun because I get to ride in crazy ass helicopters.

DBoyzNumbahOneGun77 karma

Have you had sex on Air Force One yet? This is getting to be a pressing issue here.

birbigs252 karma

Who hasn't? Secret service better know how to keep a secret.

rseymour192 karma

I saw you perform in DC, then saw your movie a week later. Congrats on all of your recent success.

Damn, I have no question... but yeah, rock on.

birbigs1110 karma

thanks, but you really missed the point of this whole thing.

birbigs165 karma

  1. Joe Bags' character was replaced by a sister character in the film. but he's fine with it- he cowrote the script!! imdb.com

  2. Dude, Worcester is wicked close to 495. Feb. 8th! http://www.thehanovertheatre.org/shows/showDetail.php?showID=396

breakingrecords139 karma

Hi Mike. Huge fan.

1) When you started comedy, how difficult was it get on the college circuit?

2) I've heard about your relationship with Mitch Hedberg, of whom I am also a huge fan. Did you guys hang out? What did you do together?

3) I also would like pizza until I fall asleep. How do you think we could make that a reality?

4) I live in a place that makes it difficult to se your movie, but I have listened to "Sleepwalk with Me Live" to the point of near-memorization. What are the key differences between the standup and the movie, plotwise?

Thank you, and congratulations.

birbigs302 karma

Thanks Breaking Records,

  1. it wasn’t easy to get on the college circuit, but I managed to hook up with a college agent in NY who put me on road. Not unlike what happened in my movie. I went to a lot of NACA conferences- which were really fun. if you are reading this and work for NACA, have me headline the 2013 NACA Nationals! I love it there!

  2. I met Mitch because I was the feature act for him. We did hang out a bit. For some reason I traveled around with some old bowling shoes and I invited him and his wife to go bowling during the day. I was really bad, and at one point he turned and said to me, “When you said you wanted to go bowling, I thought you would be good at bowling.” We both laughed a lot at that. He had a point. I looked up to hi a lot. there's a chapter about him in my book called "My Hero."

  3. Pizza until you fall asleep/Biden 2016.

  4. I don’t want to go into plot differences in detail, but there were a lot of choices that had to be made to focus the story for a movie. i'd say all the sleepwalking is true and the relationship stuff in a general sense, but not really the parents.

[deleted]122 karma

Hey cracka! Thank you ever so much for doing an AMA (and responding so quick I might add)

  • If you could be a bear, what type of bear would you be?
  • Favorite song to play on the guitar?
  • How would 8 year-old Mike respond if you told him he was going to grow up to be a comedian.
  • I bought your book... But I bought the e-book version. Is there any way you can sign it for me through the Internet?
  • Have you ever watch the show Doctor Who?
  • best piece of wildlife to dance with?

Have a great day!

birbigs199 karma

  1. brown bear.
  2. i'm the worst guitarist, so my own song "the oatmeal song" or "guitar guy at the party"
  3. he'd go "ok, mom." and then he'd continue eating extra cheese pizza from shrewsbury pizza.
  4. i'll sign your laptop if you bring it to a live show! i've done it before and posted photos on FB. 5.i love dr. who. grew up on it. haven't seen the recent ones.
  5. my cat ivan is an excellent dancer.

src125119 karma

Are you as awkward in real life as you are on stage? Because it's excellent.

birbigs466 karma

ha. sometimes, yes. if people see me, the best thing to do is walk by me and say, "hey mike!", wave, and keep walking. it lets me know you like me, which is awesome- but doesn't allow me to let you down in the conversation. because i will!

adamwk110 karma

Have you heard from Dennis Eckersley since your story about the MVP awards?

birbigs206 karma

I haven’t, but I would love to. Incidentally, I haven’t heard from Roger Clemens either.

real_pure100 karma

Any plans for a podcast? I'd subscribe.

birbigs222 karma

No. Just planning to be on every one.

listen to my recent NERDIST. my favorite podcast appearance i've ever done. gets deep, dawg.

birbigs163 karma

this is it: http://www.nerdist.com/2012/09/nerdist-podcast-mike-birbiglia-3peat/ it started a huge conversation in the comments section about breakups and relationships! really cool.

BonJarber73 karma

How did you get noticed by Ira Glass/This American Life? What is it like to work with Ira?

birbigs133 karma

Ira is very passionate and very sharp and SUPER FAST. he's also very funny. i think he could have been a comedy writer if he didn't want to become a radio icon.

cokobunner40 karma

and did you think his appearance matched his notorious voice?

birbigs159 karma

he dresses up a lot in nice suits. snazzy dresser. always looks better than me. when we hang i look like his delinquent nephew.

Supacaboose72 karma

Hello mike. I am a huge fan and I have been for a long time. Do you have any plans to do stand up in places like Missoula or anywhere in Montana?

birbigs380 karma

i don't. i wish i did. truthfully, some places that i love have so few people that not enough people would know who i am to make a show. as the great mitch hedberg once said, "I'm not a household name. i'm an apartment name."

Supacaboose55 karma

That blows.

birbigs79 karma

i agree.

birbigs103 karma

most likely way to get me there is to have a local college book me.

ThatGuysAwesome69 karma

How much did you pay them to feature Sleepwalk With Me in the iPhone 5 presentation just now?

birbigs185 karma


i just heard about that. our ad budget is absurdly low- which is why that iphone 5 thing is such a lucky break for us.

part of the reason we're booked in 200 theaters, btw, is you guys. people tweeted #bringsleepwalk to their local art houses and we went from 24 theaters to over 200!!!

it's been REALLY REALLY exciting to see it all happen and be a part of something that i've never witnessed with movies- which is fans demanding to see the film as opposed to studios cramming bad movies down our throats.

so thank you guys. it means a lot to all of us who made the movie.

SnackPodcast62 karma

Hey Birbigs,

I consider Sleepwalk With Me to be a work of art, and I'm not just blowing smoke up your ass. I'm serious, there is no other standup performance that can have me laughing my ass off, then turning on the performer, then laughing again, and by the end of it I'm crying... but I've got those classic Father/Son issues, so that's why it gets to me.

My question is about that. Why did you decide to leave the moment between you and your dad out of the movie? For me, the relationship between you and your dad was the heart of the album. This isn't a criticism, I was just wondering what your thought process was.



birbigs95 karma

good question. it was a huge discussion actually. ultimately the dad became a smaller character in the film b/c in film you have to be where your characters are. in other words if the movie was going to focus on the father/son they'd have to live in the same house or near each other. that's why a lot of movies are about GOING HOME. it's a good thematic approach but also an easier cinematic conceit for why two people are in the same room together. phone calls in movies tend to be boring. it waters down the conflict. does that make sense, brendan? hope it's not too ramble-y.

birbigs69 karma

and thanks for the compliment on the album, brandan. i'm really proud of it. glad you like it.

irondeepbicycle58 karma

Given your style of telling stories about people you know, do you ever get in trouble with people in your life for sharing too much information?

Somebody else asked this in the request thread, but I don't see it here yet.

birbigs182 karma

I don’t get in trouble, but it can be a topic of silence around the table at Thanksgiving.

BardtheBowman94 karma

"Topic of silence" is a really freaking deep phrase. I'm going to use that.

birbigs122 karma

thanks. joe bags came up with it.

[deleted]57 karma


birbigs78 karma

thanks, redline!!!

i'm only famous to like 17 people. they will not ruin my perspective.

thanks for plugging FA22F2F

i love terry gross- my favorite podcast is fresh air.

slacksalot54 karma

Do you ever miss Shrewsbury? I ask as I spent my first 10 years then Shrewsbury and now live just past the White City bridge, so whenever I hear you make a joke about it I feel like I can appreciate it just a bit more than most.

birbigs116 karma

i do. i always love going back. my friend matt beaton still lives there. he's a state rep. that means we're adults now, right?

jamesiscoolbeans161 karma

I just wanted to apologize for yelling SHREWSBURY! when you played Bonnaroo in 2008. You seemed really confused; especially since we were in the middle of Tennessee.

birbigs235 karma

ha. i remember that.

thunderbeach34 karma

What are the chances that Sleepwalk With Me will be shown in Canada?

birbigs59 karma

We are so working on this. It pains me and Ira that we're not there. It'll be soon though. keep following me on @birbigs or on facebook.com/birbigsfans. will have info soon.

Carrie_Nation33 karma

Who is your favorite Victorian author?

Edit: I am a huge fan, and I had to ask. Thanks for doing the AMA!

birbigs102 karma

I like the Bronte Sisters. Probably Wuthering Heights is my favorite. Heathcliff is a badass. plus he has a song about him by Kate Bush- so he has crossed the generational divide!!

zerocolorado31 karma

How did you end up on Girls? What was that experience like?

birbigs39 karma

lena dunham is my friend and she asked me to play that part. it was so much fun- one of the best directors i've ever worked with and by far the most fun. she's a genius. and also, a really sweet and kind person.

mattisafriend27 karma

Thanks for letting me high five you outside the Nuart. I still haven't washed my hand.

birbigs86 karma

gross hand, dude.

WillTheThril126 karma

Those stories you tell on stage, do they actually happen? Do they? Haha just kidding.

Thanks for doing this, You're one of my favorite comedians. I know you're busy with Sleep Walk With Me but do you have a new stand-up coming int he future?

Also Are you starting new acting roles since Sleep Walk With me?

birbigs75 karma

Thanks Will!

A few years ago, when my brother ordered me a tv from Amazon.com (Glamazon as it was later described on SPJ Live CD) that came broken, he was writing this crazy letter to them, and explaining what happened, and trying to get my money back, and get my tv replaced.

And Joe and I were at our parents’ house at the time, and my mom picked up and read a printout of the letter, and she laughed, and she said, “This story is going to be worth more than that tv.”

My mom is smart!

ShetlandJames26 karma

Thanks for doing this! Who are your favourite comedians?

birbigs65 karma

doug stanhope maria bamford kathleen madigan henry phillips kristen schaal jessi klein louis ck OTHERS

olives4me24 karma

Is there any advice you got from established comedians when you were first starting out that really stuck with you? Likewise, what advice do you give to up-and-coming comedians who seek your advice?

birbigs76 karma

first, see the movie if you haven't. sleepwalkmovie.com (obvious, pluggy- sorry)

second, and this goes for all forms of art or any passion projects:

keep going.





just make sure you're learning something each time and taking constructive criticism from people you respect. the people who are still working as comics from when i started aren't the people who were most talented out of the gate- they're the ones who stuck with it and were committed to improving.

ohblair18 karma

Hello Mike,

I saw the movie opening weekend at the IFC theater with you and Ira Glass. I wasn't brave enough to ask a question because clearly you guys ran out of time (I was at the pizza pillow showing where someone brought you a pizza pillow pizza from robertas.)

I was just wondering, in the scene you did with Marc Maron, in real life was Marc actually that comedian to inspire you to talk about your life, or was it someone else, if so then who? What influences did that comedian have in your career and how quickly did you life change after that in your "real life?"

I love you and proudly own one of your t-shirts, your movie was great by the way.

birbigs21 karma

thanks blair!!!

marc was one of the comics who inspired me for sure.

Raw-Shark14 karma

Which comedians do you enjoy watching?

birbigs53 karma

My favorite comic to watch hands down is Doug Stanhope. 2nd fave: Chris Rock- because when he works a small room, he works subtle and when he works a big room he works BIG. it's fascinating to watch.

BlackbirdSinging1112 karma

How has been touring for Sleepwalk With Me been treating you?

Also, about three years ago you did a show at my school in Fort Wayne, IN (IPFW). Not sure if you remember it, but it was genuinely one of the most entertaining and just perfect shows I've seen in person. Thanks for being awesome.

birbigs38 karma

I had so much fun in fort wayne. i LOVE performing at colleges. i ask my agent to book at me at them constantly. his name is mike berkowitz. he's a brilliant guy and asked me to give him a shout out in this session. so here it is. bug your student activities committee to bring me to your college and have them call mike berkowitz at APA. (212) 687-0092

michael931911 karma

First off, thanks so much for doing this, much appreciated.

  • Have you considered doing a European tour?

  • Charles Dickens or Emily Brönte?

Huge fan by the way, so much that my inner dialogue is beginning to sound an awful lot like you.

birbigs28 karma

  1. i just got back from London and boy is my U.S. currency tired. that said, i hope to return ASAP. i love it there.
  2. i like bronte just because dickens makes me fall asleep. it's so beautifully written but so loooooooooooooooong.

Stinnett9 karma

What are the best/worst nicknames you've ever had?

birbigs35 karma

worst: math jockey.

(i say this on sleepwalk with me live album but...) in high school kids called me that in math class, and it was sad b/c i wasn't even good at math- which means i just looked like i was good at math. which means...i wasn't the sex jockey.

honestly i HATED that nickname...but now people laugh when i tell that story, so i think it all works out.

if people are mean to you--just remember that you will laugh about it later. and they won't. they will just be sad and empty. good night!!!

KurtSchrute6 karma

First of all, you're one of my favorite comedians. I won't bombard you with questions, but I do have a few: 1. Did "Glamazon.com" ever retaliate with a lawsuit? 2. What is the secret to the perfect english muffin pizza? 3. Has anything ever happened to you that was MORE embarrassing than unknowingly mocking a blind man on stage? 4. Do you hate having to repeat (due to boredom, over-repetition) any of the stories you became famous for? Do you hate it even more when random people on the street try to flatter you by reciting parts of your act? Best of luck on your tour!!! Will you be hitting Philly at any point?

birbigs6 karma

  1. apparently people at amazon think "glamazon" is funny. who knows.

  2. don't mess with a winning team. cheese, marinara, English Muffin. Done. Perfect game.