His Secret World
Mike Birbiglia’s maturation as a comic is nearly complete on new CD.
Mike Birbiglia has come a long way in the past few years, to the point
where he has another solid CD, released late last month, “My Secret Public Journal Live.” Birbiglia is genial, perhaps a bit spacey, but he
captures moments recognizable for Gen Xers.
On the track “Like Fun!,” Birbiglia recalls his mother’s habit of
saying, whenever she didn’t want him to do something, “Like fun you
are…” which made him think, “Sure. Like fun! I’m going to the mall.
There’s burgers, an arcade, and it’s fun!”
Perhaps this strict upbringing gave Birbiglia a bit of an inferiority
complex, which he plays on in other material. The CD opens with
“Celebrity Golf,” his tale of an unsuccessful attempt to follow Hall of
Fame quarterback Phil Simms as entertainment at the banquet for a
charity golf tournament. “And who can follow [Simms]? Of course, Mike
He delivers a lot of these anecdotes in a loopy, spacey voice, something
like that of comedic performer Nick Swardson (best known as the
effeminate rollerblader on “Reno 911“), only with more focus and not as
the only trick in his bag. Birbiglia puts on a few other voices at
times, like an enraged one proclaiming “batter up!” for ideas Birbiglia
voices at the most awkward times possible.
For instance, having a bed delivered to his apartment, a woman neighbor
makes a comment “a rapist wouldn’t have a bed like that.” Birbiglia
recalls, “What I should have said was nothing. What I did say was ‘You’d
Birbiglia has figured out just when to put in some variations on his
persona, in small doses, to add dimension to his act. And so “Secret
Public Journal Live” definitely will earn repeat plays in your