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This week Mike is joined by British comic Nish Kumar and they discuss Brexit, the craft behind building a one person show, and the time Nish was told by a heckler to “go home” when he was pretty close to his home. Nish divulges his lifelong goal to not be Batman or even Robin, but rather the other guy. The sidekick of the sidekick. Find out why Nis…
 
Bowen Yang joins Mike this week for an episode that is as hilarious as it is honest. Listen as Bowen and Mike discuss everything from gay conversion therapy and googling yourself to high school theatre fails and psychedelic shrooms. Bowen and Mike work out standup bits and potential sketches you may be seeing on SNL soon. Plus, Mike announces his “…
 
Mike welcomes his comedy idol and former boss Conan O’Brien whose hit podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” prompted Mike to demand that they actually be friends and that Conan come on Mike’s podcast. What results is a magical discussion of Conan’s early political aspirations, why the class clown never becomes a professional clown, and the contagi…
 
In anticipation of this week’s “Worldwide Comedy Pizza Party” Mike welcomes one of the most uniquely funny people alive and the two comics go deep on deep dish. Jo explains her controversial take on eating pizza crust first and builds on Mike’s already over the top “onomatopizza” pun. Along the way Jo tells the story of the time she put on a comedy…
 
These two comedy nerds discuss the elements of math, science, art, and music that go into constructing the perfect joke as they trade collected wisdom about writing from Steve Martin, Mary Karr, Robert Lowell, Philip Roth, and Anne Lamott. They also dig into the rule of 3s, growing up in Massachusetts, the difference between “book smahrt” and “stre…
 
Mike discusses Hannah's award winning Netflix special “Nanette,” her new special “Douglas” and together they dig deep into the solo show process and how her new show may end up including a “spectrum gazelle.” Sponsored by Samuel Adams. Please consider supporting: https://www.safehorizon.org/
 
Mike and Fred have a candid chat about the secret rules of Portlandia and the comedy writing lessons of SNL. Fred describes how they arrived at the title for “Portlandia” and Mike describes how he arrived at his brand new solo show title that he debuts in this episode. All that and Fred shares his Mike Birbiglia impression, his Ira Glass impression…
 
Aubrey Plaza is a beloved comedic actor for her role as April on Parks & Rec & many acclaimed indie films including "Black Bear" which she not only starred in but also produced. The two discuss their shared love of indie film, Aubrey’s gloriously awkward talk show appearances, & why she'd make the perfect Oscars host. We learn who makes Aubrey laug…
 
Mike is joined by Broadway legend Nathan Lane who just so happened to have changed Mike’s life 13 years ago. 1 month after they met Nathan was the witness for Mike’s wedding at City Hall…and then 4 months after *that* Nathan presented Mike’s off-Broadway debut Sleepwalk With Me. Nathan has hilarious stories about working with Matthew Broderick on T…
 
In anticipation of Pete’s March 24th appearance at the Worldwide Comedy Pizza Party (tickets at birbigs.com) we are re-airing one of the most popular episodes we’ve ever done. The highlights? Pete does a pitch perfect impersonation of Mike and Mike feels comfortable asking Pete for advice about Jesus. These two old friends crack each other up and t…
 
Taylor Tomlinson is only 27 and already has her own hit comedy special on Netflix called “Quarter-life Crisis.” Mike bonds with this prolific joke writer over her unique introduction into comedy when her dad signed the two of them up for a stand-up comedy class at church when she was 16. Mike and Taylor have a candid talk about panic attacks, thera…
 
Mike welcomes the great Randy and Jason Sklar as they trade jokes about how to say I love you to your parents without sounding like you’re in the Mafia, the difference between outsourcing and ‘Mom-sourcing,’ grandmothers owning sex robots, and what it really means to go skiing with Joe Bags. Listen as these three joke nerds come together and create…
 
Prolific, raw, and hilarious comic Nikki Glaser shares childhood memories of her mom in the Slow Round that she’s not yet willing to tell on stage but is willing to say on a podcast. Nikki and Mike both admit that their level of honesty with even their own diaries doesn’t hit 100%. Nikki declares herself the Taylor Swift of comedy and Mike declares…
 
Jacqueline and Mike have toured together for years and Mike recently produced Jacqueline’s Off-Broadway hit Get On Your Knees. They get nerdy on joke structure: setups, punchlines, tags and secants. They also dig into memories of Jacqueline’s childhood friend getting eaten by a garage door and what “blinking man" means at a crosswalk. Find out why …
 
Yoda. Miss Piggy. The Muppets Take Manhattan. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. These are just a few entries in the IMDB of Frank Oz. Mike welcomes the show business legend for a candid talk about Frank’s collaborations with Jim Henson and his approach to directing. They also discuss Frank’s new film In & Of Itself, an adaptation of Derek DelGaudio’s brilli…
 
Keith and Kenny Lucas join Mike for an episode that alternates between utterly serious & supremely silly. They discuss their moving Vulture essay "Our Brother Kaizen," as well as jokes in process about "twin discrimination," and the difference between writing a will and meeting Will Smith. They also discuss the devastating loss of their mutual frie…
 
The award-winning co-creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rachel Bloom joins Mike as the two of them crack into a format never explored in this podcast—the musical! Mike leaves his prepared material behind and pitches a concept for a musical. In turn Rachel pitches Mike her first comedy special—an idea she has never discussed publicly. They also…
 
Mike trades jokes with the great Tig Notaro. They discuss winning back ex-girlfriends in your favorite shirt, washing food during the pandemic, Billie Eilish's parents, and perhaps the most unlikely comedic run that involves both the Kiss and Indigo Girls. Do they also mention Ani DiFranco? Yes, they do. Please consider donating to: https://www.sup…
 
Maria Bamford has been one of Mike’s favorite comedians for a long time. Maria discusses the time she cold-called a Catholic priest even though she’s not Catholic, stories about Air BnBs, why Domino’s might be more helpful than a suicide hotline, unorthodox covid vaccines, and the recipe for grilled cheese. Don’t miss this one. Please consider dona…
 
A comedy extravaganza featuring Sarah Cooper, Hasan Minhaj, Tig Notaro, Jimmy Kimmel, Maria Bamford, John Mulaney, Ira Glass, Jon Laster, David Sedaris, Pete Holmes, Jon Favreau & Tommy Vietor, Jacqueline Novak, Bowen Yang, & Natasha Lyonne. The perfect episode to share with friends or enemies who haven’t dipped their toes in the Working It Out wat…
 
Since Ira Glass was Working It Out’s inaugural guest in June 2020, listeners have frequently requested his return. This week the podcast has its first return guest and its first *second draft*. We also learn what it takes to get a story on “This American Life” and whether Mike’s new story about learning he had cancer at age 19 has what it takes. Ir…
 
Mike welcomes the great Natasha Lyonne, co-creator and star of the hit Netflix series Russian Doll. Natasha opens up about her own process as well as the best advice she’s received. Natasha holds Mike’s feet the fire about his new material—so he scraps his prepared jokes for some personal stories he wasn’t planning to tell. This episode is like pla…
 
This fall Matt Berninger from The National released a brilliant solo album called Serpentine so this week Mike celebrates the release of that album with a re-post of this special episode which featured Berninger along with his wife and frequent collaborator Carin Besser as well as Mike’s wife the poet J. Hope Stein. (Their book "The New One" is in …
 
Mike welcomes award-winning comedian Ramy Youssef. The two friends discuss the unexpectedly controversial elements of his hit series “Ramy.” They also work on jokes about bad wedding speeches, getting kicked in the balls, and the time Ramy told people in Jacksonville that he was Muslim to which a woman replied, “We don’t do that here.” Well, the go…
 
Mike is joined by the co-creator and co-star of the comedy classic “Broad City.” They discuss the show’s origins, why we should all hope to “fail flamboyantly,” and why you might quit your job after getting an email from Amy Poehler. Along the way they work out material about why Mike hates magic and Abbi’s crippling fear of running into her ex-gir…
 
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