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Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia Comedian, actor, writer

Comedian, actor, writer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Comedian, actor, writer
Countries United States of America
Occupations Actor
Type Film, Television, Stage, and Radio
Gender male
Birth 20 June 1978 (Shrewsbury)
Education Georgetown University, St. Mark's School
The details

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. He is of part Italian descent. Birbiglia attended St. John's High School, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts for one year, and graduated from St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts in 1996 and subsequently graduated from Georgetown University in 2000. 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 and Sleepwalk With Me Live debuted at #1 on the Billboard Magazine Comedy Charts.

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

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

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. It was selected in the "Festival Favorites" category at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas and also appeared in the Nantucket Film Festival where it won the award for best writer/director. 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.

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, 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. 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. My Girlfriend's Boyfriend was featured as the number one stand-up special of 2013 by Vulture, Paste, The Laugh Button and Laughspin. It was also named one of Time Out New York's Best Comedy Specials of 2013. Flavorwire listed the special as one of the top 20 funniest stand-up specials of all time.

On This American Life

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

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.

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


As actor

  • Going the Distance (2010) - Toby the Waiter
  • Cedar Rapids (2011) - Trent
  • Your Sister's Sister (2011) - Al
  • Sleepwalk with Me (2012) - Matt Pandamiglio
  • Girls (2012, one episode: "Vagina Panic") - Brian
  • Inside Amy Schumer (2013, one episode: "Slow Your Roll") - Dan
  • The Fault in Our Stars (2014) - Patrick
  • Adult Beginners (2014) - Braden
  • Annie (2014) - Social services inspector
  • Digging for Fire (2015) - Phil
  • Hot Pursuit (2015) - Steve
  • Orange Is the New Black (2015) - Danny Pearson
  • Trainwreck (2015) - Tom
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) - Blonde CMZ Reporter
  • Don't Think Twice (2016) - Miles
  • Tramps (2016)

As director/writer

  • Sleepwalk with Me (2012) - Director, writer
  • Don't Think Twice (2016) - Director, writer, producer

Standup Specials

  • What I Should Have Said Was Nothing: : Tales From My Secret Journal (2008)
  • My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (2013) - also released as a comedy album


  • 2004: Dog Years (out of print) (self-produced, winner of the "Just Plain Folks" comedy album of the year)
  • 2005: Invite Them Up (Comedy Central Records compilation CD of NYC indie comics)
  • 2005: My Secret Public Album, Volume 1a (weekly guest spots on The Bob and Tom Show)
  • 2006: Two Drink Mike
  • 2007: My Secret Public Journal Live
  • 2011: Sleepwalk with Me Live
  • 2013: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

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 Outstanding Solo Show TBA

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