Those of us who were priviledged to see Mike Birbiglia at the Overture Center this past weekend learned quite a lot from the comedian, filmmaker and storyteller.
For one, Birbiglia emphasized the importance of timeliness, beginning his show right at 10 o’clock on the dot. He then proceeded to question and harass anyone who arrived late, creating a valid argument that their lateness was not acceptable. (“You live in Madison, right? And you knew you had tickets to this show, right?”)
Birbiglia also taught us the importance of avoiding being a creepy person, and how decent people want to do what creepy people do, but choose not too (i.e. staring at a pretty bus driver).
Birbiglia highlighted how one must stay true to themselves, addressing a time when he made his wife watch his favorite childhood movie, Top Gun, premising it with “THIS IS WHO I AM,” despite having watched the movie for nearly twenty years.
Birbiglia explained how necessary it is to know your audience, and to watch what you say in public, describing the time when he opened his set at a Muppet’s show by jogging on the stage, noticing how he forgot his chair, and promptly yelling “Fuck!” before jogging back off the stage. He then ended his set with a request from the audience.
We laughed. We cried. We all got to know each other a little bit better. Thank you Mike Birbiglia.