Mike Birbiglia is back with his latest album, Sleepwalk with Me Live, which is a recording of his very popular off-Broadway show. The Massachusetts native is an interesting case of a man with a sleep disorder who happens to be a comedian. Mike sleepwalks, and his sleepwalking leads to some problems, which often involve falling from various heights. Fortunately for Mike, he can take his challenging disorder to the stage, much to audience’s amusement.
On Sleepwalk With Me Live, Mike Birbiglia is your everyman comedian, and his humor is easily relatable. He has no agenda, accept to be funny. He’s not out to offend or shock or question authority. His style is very soothing and carefree, almost like your older cousin coming over to tell you a funny story. He puts the audience at ease, so there is no surprise at what he’ll say next, but it will probably be really funny. Beginning with his first doctor visit and then touches on hanging out with his mom while high, and migrates to his awkward time in high school. In between, he covers his ex-girlfriend and what it’s like to withstand a bear attack. He also remarks on his profession “when you’re a comedian and people don’t like it, it means they hate you, as a person.”
Birbiglia’s strength is his life experiences can be retold as a silly story. It begins with discovering that he has a malignant tumor in his bladder when was 19, wherein he finds out what a urologist really does. He then details his struggle to find interest in reading about Peter Rabbit while in elementary school. The character of the rabbit interests him, just not reading the book. While the other students read, Mike imagines Peter Rabbit trying to move away from his rabbit past and become a big city lawyer. As he explains it, “while I was thinking about all that, the other kids read the book.”
The intrigue of his humor is the audience remembers when they were in the exact same position. He explains the awkwardness of being a math nerd in high school, especially one that isn’t good at math. Birbiglia has a skill for easily dissecting even the most dull childhood experience into a laugh-out-loud story.
Birbiglia talks about his first time having sex, and the adventure that is, well – having sex. He has his 80’s movie references, and the fact he was more often than not playing Molly Ringwald’s character when with a girl. In high school, he was constantly confounded with the concept that his friends are having sex, ”People we know are having sex? But how?’
He used to have anxiety because his girlfriend wanted to get married. Marriage, to Mike, is like the excitement of first going to school, and then realizing you have to be there for another 17 years. If the people who invented marriage knew it would last 40 years, they never would have done it.
Sleepwalk With Me Live is out now! Visit www.birbigs.com for more info about Mike.