Mike Birbiglia Hosted an A Cappella Concert with Nick Kroll While Stoned
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Mike Birbiglia Hosted an A Cappella Concert with Nick Kroll While Stoned

-Welcome back, my friend.
-How are you? Thanks. Thanks for having me.
-I’m really good. I’m always very lucky — because we both live
in New York City, obviously, we run into each other
every now and then. -Yeah.
-We last saw each other at our friend Nick Kroll’s
birthday party. -Yeah.
-And you and Nick — who’s a very funny guy — you were in the same
improv troop in college. -We were. We were in — We were in
the same improv group. And we once hosted —
went to Georgetown, where a cappella,
at least at the time, was as big as is in the movie
“Pitch Perfect.” -Yeah.
-Like, it’s straight out — -There was a moment…
-Huge — it’s huge. -…where it was a huge deal
on college campuses, yeah. -Huge. And we hosted
this a cappella festival once. And — And then,
at the intermission, he said,
“Do you want to smoke pot?” And I was like,
“Yeah, sure, that seems fun.” And I didn’t — I didn’t —
I’m not good at smoking pot. -Uh-huh.
[ Light laughter ] I’m like the guy who,
if you’re smoking pot, who’s like,
“Do you guys hate me?” [ Laughter ]
Like, “What is it? Who’s at the door?
Who’s at the door? Why does my heart hurt?”
you know? [ Laughter ]
And…so it was bad. He was — He was better. And then, well, we went onstage,
and we stared at — imagine this, right? —
we stared at the audience. There were 700 people
in the audience. We stared at the audience
for 30 seconds waiting for them to talk. [ Laughter ] Just like…
-[ Laughs ] -And then,
eventually, we were like, “Oh, I guess it’s us.
We’re the hosts of the show.” And, yeah, and I was —
And he told me this recently. I told him that story recently,
and he pointed out, “Also, Mike, you were wearing
a space helmet.” [ Laughter ] “You told me it would be
a great idea in the intermission that you’d wear a space helmet,”
and then, yeah. -I like — what I like is that
you did it at intermission, which means
that everybody else — if you just
started the show like that, people might have thought,
“Oh, you’re weird.” But because
you did it at intermission, they all knew you got stoned. -Yeah, yeah.
[ Laughter ] -You set up a baseline.
-And the — And the joke is totally on us.
-Yeah. [ Laughter ]
-I never did that again. I — people —
sometimes, when I perform, people think,
at neutral, I’m stoned. People probably think
I’m stoned right now. I’m not.
This is my neutral. -Yeah.
-But I — But — But, yeah, I can’t smoke pot
when I perform. It’s a terrible thing.
-Well, that — And that’s very kind of you
to have the space helmet as a way
of letting people know… “If I’m wearing
the space helmet, then I’m — that’s —
I’m actually stoned.” -Yeah, yeah.
It’s my — It’s my tell. -Congratulations…
-Thanks. -…on Broadway.
That’s so exciting. -It’s nuts.
-Obviously… [ Cheers and applause ]
Cheers, thank you. It’s insane.
-You’ve been a stand-up forever. You’ve played big rooms.
So — But how is Broadway? How is that actual
physical location of Broadway different for you?
-I had that thing. The first — The first week,
I walked up to the theater. And it was one of those sort of
like, you know, grand moments, where I — my —
my face is on the marquee. And — And I — And it seemed
like the birds were chirping. And these two —
this couple walked past me. And they look up. And they go,
“Who’s Mike Birbiglia?” [ Laughter ] And I interrupted them. I go, “I’m Mike Birbiglia.”
[ Laughter ] And they were — they were like,
“All right, now we know.” I mean, so it’s really
one couple at a time that I’m raising awareness.
[ Laughter ] But the first week —
it was embarrassing. I clogged the toilet
not once, but twice, because you know what it is — it’s these big Broadway [bleep] Is — Is…
-Right. ‘Cause you’ve been off-Broadway, and that —
that flushes right away. [ Laughter ]
-You saved that joke. That’s why you’re Seth Meyers,
and I’m Mike Birbiglia. -From the marquee. -I know, yeah, from the…
-Yeah. -“Who’s Mike Birbiglia?” But, yeah, there was one
this weekend that was eventful. There’s two people
in the front row. The third row —
I’ve never seen this happen — dead — dead asleep.
-Wow. [ Laughter ]
-Dead asleep. And I have to say, like, I — I’ve had people be asleep
at my shows before. And I make a whole thing of it. Like, I’ll stop the show.
-Yeah. -I’m like, “Hey, guys. Let’s, like, prank this person
who fell asleep.” ‘Cause there’s people
with narcolepsy — whatever the thing is. In this case,
because so many people — the show’s about
how my wife and I had a child despite the fact that
I never wanted to have a child and all this stuff. So there’s a lot of couples
who come to the show who just had a kid,
and so they’re exhausted. So this was the first time
where I was just like, “We should just let them sleep.”
[ Laughter ] Like, these poor people.
[ Laughter ] Like, if this
is where it has to happen, let that be my contribution. -Yeah. That’s very kind.
-I get it. Don’t you get it? -Yeah, I also get that,
in that moment where you first have a kid,
you’re so tired, you feel so disconnected
from your spouse. -Yeah. -And you say something like,
“We — We have to go out. We have to force ourselves
to go out.” And then, you get there, and you realize
all you wanted to do was sleep. -This was a huge mistake.
-Yeah. -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-This was a huge mistake and — -You made that mistake twice.
-Yeah. -And…
-I do — we have two children. -You have two children.
-You have… -One.
-You have one. -Oona.
-Oona. -Our daughter’s name is “Oona,”
which means one, as in we’re only having one.
[ Laughter ] And… -Oona had her —
told her first joke, I heard. -She’s a —
She’s a very funny child. -Is she — Is she 3?
Almost 3? -She’s 3 1/2 years old.
-Okay. -And the other day, I was explaining
to her babysitter, Hannah — I go,
“She goes to school every day. Oona, you should tell Hannah
how you go to school.” And [Laughing] Oona goes —
Oona goes, “Da–” She goes, “I drop Mama and Dada
off at school, and then I go to work.”
[ Laughter ] That —
That’s a solid joke structure. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] It’s really not bad.
-It’s just a reversal. -Yeah.
-It’s a simple reversal. And — But it was strong,
and it — and it killed. [ Laughter ] -My son Ashe — his thing
that’s been killing with us is we’ll — he’ll say,
“Daddy, get that.” You know,
the book’s right there. He knows where the book is.
-Yeah. -He’ll be saying,
“Daddy, get the book. Get the ‘Little Engine’ book.” And I’ll say,
“Why don’t you get the book?” And he’ll say, “I’m too busy.” [ Laughter ]
And… Like, I’m here.
-Yeah, yeah. -Like, he’s got to —
“I got to roll calls.”


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