Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia
Birth name Michael Birbiglia
Born (1978-06-20) June 20, 1978[1]
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, United States[1]
Medium Stand-up comedy, theatre, radio, television, film
Nationality American
Years active 2004-present
Spouse Jen Stein (m. 2007)
Children 1
Website www.birbigs.com

Mike Birbiglia (born June 20, 1978) is an American comedian, actor, and filmmaker.

Early life

Birbiglia was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Jean (née McKenzie) and Vincent Paul Birbiglia. He is the youngest of four children.[2] He is of part Italian descent.[3] Birbiglia attended St. John's High School, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts for one year, and graduated from St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts in 1996[4][5] and subsequently graduated from Georgetown University in 2000.[6] During college Birbiglia performed as a member of the Georgetown Players Improv Troupe.

Professional work

Birbiglia has starred in three Comedy Central specials and has released three albums with Comedy Central Records: Two Drink Mike (2006), My Secret Public Journal Live (2007), and Sleepwalk With Me Live (2011). My Secret Public Journal Live was named one of the best comedy albums of the decade by The A.V. Club[7] and Sleepwalk With Me Live debuted at #1 on the Billboard Magazine Comedy Charts.[8]

In 2008, Birbiglia opened Sleepwalk with Me, a one-man show that straddled standup comedy and theater, off-Broadway at the Bleecker Street Theatre.[9][10] The show was presented by Nathan Lane, and the New York Times called it "simply perfect".[11] Time Out New York named it their "Show of the Year" in 2009.[12]

Birbiglia followed up his theatrical debut with Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories,[13] a book which debuted at #29 on the hardcover nonfiction New York Times Bestseller List[14][15] and number four on the hardcover nonfiction section of the Washington Post Political Bookworm Best Sellers.[16] Birbiglia was also a finalist for the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor for Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories.[17]

Birbiglia made his feature film debut with Sleepwalk with Me, a film based on his one-man show of the same name which he wrote, directed, and starred in. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and won the NEXT Audience Award.[18] It was selected in the "Festival Favorites" category at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas [19] and also appeared in the Nantucket Film Festival where it won the award for best writer/director.[20] The film was produced by Jacob Jaffke and This American Life's Ira Glass and stars Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, and Cristin Milioti and has cameos by Glass, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, David Wain, Jessi Klein, John Lutz and Marc Maron.[21]

In addition to starring in Sleepwalk with Me, Birbiglia has acted in the films Trainwreck, Going the Distance, Cedar Rapids, Your Sister's Sister, The Fault in Our Stars and Annie, and in the HBO series Girls,[22] as well as Danny Pearson on the Netflix series, Orange Is the New Black.

In 2011, Birbiglia mounted his second one-man show, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, which ran for four months off-Broadway and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show.[23] He toured My Girlfriend's Boyfriend around the world with tour dates in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. On June 2, 2013, Mike performed it for the last time at Carnegie Hall.[24][25] My Girlfriend's Boyfriend was featured as the number one stand-up special of 2013 by Vulture,[26] Paste,[27] The Laugh Button[28] and Laughspin.[29] It was also named one of Time Out New York's Best Comedy Specials of 2013.[30] Flavorwire listed the special as one of the top 20 funniest stand-up specials of all time.[31]

On This American Life

Birbiglia is a regular contributor to the Public Radio International-distributed program, This American Life.[32]

Personal life

Birbiglia has rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, which once caused him to run out of a second-story window of a motel he was staying in Walla Walla, Washington, while on tour. As a result of the accident, Birbiglia received 33 stitches in his leg.[33][34][35]

Mike Birbiglia is married to Jen Stein. They have one daughter, Oona.[36]


As actor

As director/writer


Awards and nominations

Year Award Title Category Result
2003 ECNY Award Stand-up comedy Best Male Stand-up Won
2009 Nightlife Awards Sleepwalk with Me Outstanding Comedian in a Major Engagement Won
Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Solo Show Nominated
Lucille Lortel Outstanding Solo Show Nominated
Drama Desk Outstanding Solo Performance Nominated
2011 Outer Critics Circle My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Outstanding Solo Show Nominated
Drama Desk Outstanding Solo Performance Nominated
Lucille Lortel Outstanding Solo Show Won
Thurber Prize for American Humor Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories N/A Finalist
2012 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Sleepwalk with Me (Film) Best of NEXT Won
Gotham Awards Breakthrough Actor Nominated
2016 Lucille Lortel Mike Birbiglia: Thank God For Jokes[37] Outstanding Solo Show TBA


  1. 1 2 Jeffries, David. "Mike Birbiglia: Biography". allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  2. "Edward-J-Patton-NY - User Trees - Genealogy.com".
  3. Lee Enterprises. "Comedian Birbiglia invites us to sleepwalk". stltoday.com.
  4. Birnbach, Lisa; Kidd, Chip, True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World, Random House Digital, Inc., 2010. Cf. p.68
  5. "Mike Birbiglia '96 Comedy Show", St. Mark's School website, Thursday, May 5, 2011
  6. Regen, Heather (October 7, 2010). "Considerate comedy from Mike Birbiglia". Georgetown Voice.
  7. The A.V. Club Staff November 16, 2009. "The best comedy albums of the decade | Music | Best of". The Onion. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  8. "Comedy Albums, Week of May 7, 2011". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  9. Scheck, Frank (2008-11-17). "For Cryin' & Laughin' Out Loud". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  10. "Theater Review: Sleepwalk With Me – Theater and Musical Production Reviews". Variety. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  11. Genzlinger, Neil (2008-11-14). "Theater Review – 'Sleepwalk With Me' – Mike Birbiglia in a One-Man Show at the Bleecker Street Theater". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  12. Borden, Jane (December 18, 2009). "Best (and Worst) of 2009". Time Out New York. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  13. Birbiglia, Mike (2010). Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-5799-2.
  14. "Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories Hits NY Times Bestseller List". BroadwayWorld.com. October 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  15. Schuessler, Jennifer (October 22, 2010). "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  16. Levingston, Steven (October 24, 2010). "Political Bookworm: Book World: Best Sellers". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  17. McCarthy, Sean (August 22, 2011). "2011 Thurber Prize Finalists: Mike Birbiglia, David Rakoff, and Rick Reilly". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  18. Rich, Katey. "Top Sundance Prizes Go To Beasts Of the Southern Wild, The House I Live In, And More". Cinemablend.com. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  19. Odam, Matthew (15 February 2012). "SXSW adds Seth MacFarlane, 'Blue Like Jazz', 'Sleepwalk With Me' and more". Austin360.com. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  20. "Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me Wins Nantucket Film Festival Award". theater mania. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  21. "Sleepwalk With Me (2011)". imdb. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  22. "Mike Birbiglia". imdb.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  23. Jones, Kenneth. "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Chad Deity, Angels, Christian Borle, Laurie Metcalf Are Lortel Winners". Playbill.com. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  24. Gans, Andrew. "Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Plays Carnegie Hall June 2". playbill. playbill.com. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  25. Fox, Jesse David. "Birbiglia Is Already Working on His Second Feature, 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend'". splitsider. splitsider.com. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  26. Fox, Jesse. "The Top Ten Stand-up Specials of 2013". Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  27. Staff, Paste. "The 10 Best Stand-Up Specials of 2013". Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  28. Button, Laugh. "The Laugh Button's Best Comedy Albums of 2013". Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  29. Gadino, Dylan. "The 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2013". Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  30. Seabaugh, Julie. "Best Comedy Specials of 2013".
  31. Bailey, Jason. "The 50 Funniest Stand-Up Specials of All Time". Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  32. "Contributors List: Mike Birbiglia". This American Life. Chicago Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  33. "Spending The Night With Sleepwalker Mike Birbiglia". Fresh Air. WHYY. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  34. "Mike Birbiglia" (podcast). The Adam Carolla Show. October 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  35. Klimek, Chris (October 9, 2009). "Comedian Mike Birbiglia returns to the scene of the crime". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on 2013-11-23. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  36. "Mike Birbiglia on President Obama's Parenting Advice – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies - People.com". PEOPLE.com.
  37. "2016 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
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