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Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out
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Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out

Author: Mike Birbiglia

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Comedian Mike Birbiglia welcomes a different comedian or creator each week and together they work out original, untested material. And, occasionally, uncomfortable topics. Join them as they work it out.
122 Episodes
Mike’s new special, “The Old Man & The Pool” is finally on Netflix and he brings on an all-timer to celebrate. Pete Holmes returns for a third Working it Out, and he and Mike roast each other as hard as only old friends can. Mike and Pete discuss Pete’s new Netflix special “I Am Not For Everyone,” the problem with Micheal Jackson’s nickname “Wacko Jacko,” and what secrets Pete has in store for his next hour of comedy. Plus, Pete literally won’t stop doing impressions: Bill Burr, Jerry Seinfeld, John Mulaney, and of course, Mike.Please consider donating to: Homeboy Industries
Jo Firestone joins Mike for her second appearance on Working it Out. In addition to just being named the head writer of the newest late night show on network TV, Jo just published a comedic murder mystery called “Murder on Sex Island” and proclaims she is *nothing* like the book’s protagonist even though the similarities are striking. Jo also explains why there’s so much dust in her purse, and posits that the scariest part of haunted houses aren’t actually the jump scares, but rather the promise of nudity.Please Consider Donating To: UNICEF
Taylor Tomlinson Returns: She's Not Like Us(Recorded March 2022) The last time Taylor Tomlinson was on "Working it Out," she had just released her first Netflix comedy special Quarter-Life Crisis. Now, Taylor returns on the heels of her latest special Look At You. Mike and Taylor discuss why Look At You is even more vulnerable than Quarter-Life Crisis, and how many years it takes to become yourself on stage. Plus, they work out new jokes about Mike’s irrational goal to seem “cool” to his parents, why Taylor thinks only pregnant women should take selfies, and what would have happened if Darth Vader was a good father.Please consider donating to LA Food Bank
On the heels of the release of his new special “Domestic Shorthair,” Todd Barry sits down with Mike this week for a conversation about his 35 years in comedy. The two talk about whether or not Todd invented crowd work, if Bill Burr was right when he said Mike was “doing” Todd when Mike was first starting out, and why Todd can never do another prom show. Plus, Todd reveals the problem he has with Mike’s cat, Mr. Moustache.Please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders
Jorma Taccone: The Lonely Island's Comedy Revolution(Recorded March 2023) Mike and Jorma Taccone are old friends and former next door neighbors. Jorma also just so happens to be an acclaimed screenwriter, director, actor, and member of the legendary comedy team “The Lonely Island” with Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer. The Lonely Island made the Saturday Night Live classic digital shorts D*ck in a Box, Natalie Portman’s rap, Laser Cats, and literally a hundred others. One time Jorma even made Mike wear a wig to play a TMZ-type reporter in his film “Popstar." Jorma goes deep on the scrappy, DIY nature of the early Lonely Island SNL short films and how sometimes it’s better to show someone your absurd idea than to explain it to them.Please consider donating to Food Bank for New York City
Ramy Youssef was one of the first and most popular guests on Working It Out back in 2020, and now he’s back with updates to some of the same very material he worked out the first time around. Mike and Ramy discuss which Death Cab For Cutie songs make Ramy cry, unfriendly encounters in Jacksonville, the perils of public restroom keys, and Ramy’s not-so-secret “secret marriage.” All that and why Ramy wants Mike’s next special to be called “The Arab Dad.”Please consider donating to Karam Foundation
25 years ago, Mike won Georgetown University‘s funniest person on campus contest. This week's guest Gary Simons won it three years ago. Now, Gary has been opening for Mike’s new tour and has a lot of questions: How do I get an agent? How do I go from doing 5 minutes to doing an hour? Any relationship advice for comedians in love? Plus, Pete Holmes calls in and offers his own advice.Please Consider Donating To: Connecticut Foodshare
Comedian Greg Warren is one of Mike’s oldest friends in comedy. Greg and Mike often work out jokes on the phone but today they bring their collaborative friendship to the podcast for an hour-long discussion on setups, punchlines, and what makes a good partner to work out jokes with. All that plus Greg discusses his new special “The Salesman” directed by Nate Bargatze and Greg recalls the story of when he introduced Mike to his new wife Jenny and somehow got written out of the story.Please consider donating to St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Nick Kroll: Old Friends(Recorded March 2023) Nick Kroll and Mike met in college and started doing improv and sketch comedy together. Since then, Nick has become a comedy superstar, from his Comedy Central series Kroll Show, to Oh, Hello, to the animated series Big Mouth and Human Resources, to roles in films like Don’t Worry Darling and the Hulu series History of the World Part II. Now the old friends sit down for a candid conversation about Nick’s new projects, memories from their college improv days, and how comedy benefits from silliness. Plus, Nick shares a gem of a story about F. Murray Abraham from his and John Mulaney’s legendary Oh, Hello Broadway run.Please consider donating to the Natural Resources Defense Council
Mike and Gary Gulman have been friends for a long time, but what kind of friends? Real friends or just work friends? Gary returns to the podcast and he and Mike evaluate the true level of their friendship. Plus they discuss vulnerability in comedy, unhappiness vs. depression, and the advice that Gary got from Larry David.Please consider donating to Give Well
Comedian Nimesh Patel joins Mike this week for a joke-filled conversation about how to find your comedic voice, how to turn your saddest stories into standup, and whether or not Buddhism and comedy can peacefully co-exist. Plus, Nimesh goes deep on the infamous time he was yanked off stage at Columbia University for making what he didn’t think was a very controversial joke. Please consider donating to South Asian Americans for Change
Hasan Minhaj was one of the first guests on Working It Out back in 2020 and it remains one of the most popular episodes because of Hasan’s natural inclination to work out bits. Off-air Mike and Hasan often trade notes and ideas and today it spills into the podcast. Hasan compares comedy craft to Steph Curry’s approach to basketball, explains what it’s like to interview Barack Obama, and confesses to the guilty pleasure of watching couples argue in public. Plus, is Hasan going to host The Daily Show?Please consider donating to: Vituity Cares
Joe “Joey Bag O’ Donuts” Birbiglia returns to the podcast. Last time, Mike and Joe broke down what it’s like to work together as brothers. Now, in honor of Mike’s upcoming Christmas shows in Boston, they share their favorite Christmas and Boston memories—from the time Joe broke the news about Santa to Mike to their time as busboys in high school when Joe came up with the idea for The Busboy Olympics™. Plus, America’s Guest breaks the news to Mike that they’re going skiing in March while Mike does shows in Colorado.  Please consider donating to:
Mike lost his mind laughing at Kate Berlant’s new comedy special “Cinnamon in the Wind.”  So he dropped her a line and asked her to discuss it on the podcast. Mike and Kate discuss working with director Bo Burnham, the looseness of the special, and how the special almost didn’t come out. They discuss Kate’s solo show “Kate” which was an off-Broadway sensation and is now heading to London at the exact same time that Mike brings “The Old Man & The Pool." They talk about Kate’s comedy special with John Early called “Would It Kill You To Laugh?” that was just nominated for an Emmy. They discuss how Kate has always been suspicious of “cool” people but now- between her three hit shows and appearing in movies by Quentin Tarantino and Boots Riley- she may have become one of them.Please consider donating to DIGDEEP
Mike met Jim Gaffigan in 1997 when he cold-called Jim’s New York City landline. Jim appeared as a guest on Working It Out in 2021 and now, between touring with Jerry Seinfeld, releasing his 10th comedy special “Dark Pale,” and raising money for the Georgetown Scholars Program, Jim sits down with Mike in-studio for his second Working It Out chat. The old friends go deeper as they work out material and discuss how Jim actually *doesn’t* like hot pockets, what item of clothing comedians should never wear, and why being married to a comedian is like having a roommate who is a conspiracy theorist. Please consider donating to The Georgetown Scholars Program:
British comedy sensation Liz Kingsman has brought her acclaimed show ‘One Woman Show’ from London’s West End to New York City, just as Mike is preparing to bring ‘The Old Man and the Pool’ to the West End. Mike and Liz discuss parody vs. earnestness in comedy, why cotton candy is sometimes called fairy floss, and how Liz manages to be funny despite her perfect Australian childhood.Please consider donating to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust:
Each week on Funny Cuz It’s True, Elyse Meyers sits down with her favorite creators, friends and comedians to find the stories that have stuck with them and changed their lives in small ways.Mike Birbiglia’s stories about his life are the epitome of “funny ‘cuz they’re true.” He joins Elyse to talk about his new Broadway show “The Old Man and The Pool,” and how he makes a show about death and mortality funny. Mike gets into his creative process around joke writing, like how he got underneath the meaning behind a joke about his car accident and a drunk driver, and also tells Elyse why he thinks performing comedy is like stripping.To hear more of Funny Cuz It’s True, head to
Mike welcomes comedian, author, and podcast host Tom Papa. The two old friends get candid about a bump in their relationship and how they reconciled. They also share advice about the best ways to tell stories about real people in your life, and when profanity is and isn’t necessary. Plus, jokes and stories about Colin Quinn, loud Italians, and writing comedy books.Please consider donating to City Green
Elyse Myers has exploded into long form storytelling from a short form platform: TikTok. She tells funny and personal stories to millions of people on TikTok and Instagram and on her podcast “Funny Cuz it’s True” but doesn’t really tell stories on stage. That’s Mike’s focus today. He tries to convince Elyse to make a guest appearance on one of his new material shows and it seems like she *might* take him on it. Plus, discussions about balancing work and family, the time young Elyse used a penny to fake a fever, and why sometimes elevating something from good to great can ruin something good.Please consider donating to the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC)
Ira Glass was the first guest on Working It Out back in June 2020, and now he’s back for the 100th episode. The two friends and collaborators discuss Ira’s most famous pieces of advice for creatives, and Ira attempts to “work out” Mike’s life. Plus, a final version of Mike’s “cancer story,” which he has been working on, with Ira’s feedback, since episode 1.Please consider donating to Oxfam International
Comments (20)

Adrian Appleman

Amazing podcast. Deep, intellectual, moving, and even kinda funny once in a while. Love both Hasan Minhaj episodes, all three Ira Glass Episodes, the Roy Wood Jr. episode (true classic), and the Tig Notaro episode, but the one I found to appreciate the most was the Chris Gethard episode. Mike always says to subscribe to his mailing list for show dates and I've tried to several times but it never works. I assume the internet thinks it's spam from Helix mattresses and deletes all the emails immediately. Also patiently awaiting the "Slow Round" conversational board game... Would love to use that to get all my friends who are into comedy to actually open up and stop doing bits... Thanks, Birbigs. Fix your dang email server.

Sep 4th

Big Ball of Yarn and Depression

This was a great conversation to listen to! I spent some years living in an Idaho college town, and whenever Ryan Hamilton mentions Idaho, I feel a kinship with his experience. And of course, he is hilarious!

Feb 1st

Ryan-Allen McKinney

so excited you had a DC show but it is the one week I am out of town. Bummer. not going to be able to see this show live.

Feb 21st

Michael McConnell

get bill burr, Matt stone, trey parker on your podcast

Nov 3rd


Yes, my celebrity crush is here! True story, my six year old son once saw Stephen Colbert on TV and said "Mom, that's the guy you said you're going to marry if dad dies!" 😂 To be clear, I have no memory of saying that, but I'm not calling my son a liar.

Oct 18th

Steve Glickman

Gaffigan can't seem to finish a sentence, his thoughts ping pong all over the place, almost incoherent. Couldn't finish it.

Sep 25th

Rebecca Watkins

If the figurine was glass, it was not a Hummel. Hummels are ceramic and produced in Germany, not China.

Sep 4th


Randall Park is very talented and I love seeing everything he's been in! He's hilarious in his appearances in the Marvel universe and I hope that his character is given more screen time in future projects!

Aug 30th

Erik Hansen

This episode was the BEST! I've been listening to a ton of various stand-up on Pandora, and have gotten to hear a lot of Jim Gaffiigan's bits. Really fascinating to hear the depth of his thoughts on the history and evolution of stand-up as an artform.

Aug 25th


I read Hoot with my kids this summer and then we watched the movie together. I was delighted to see Brie Larsen in it! My son said "Captain Marvel saved the owls!"

Aug 2nd

Shane Lee

Jesus christ. you think this dude is gay? his voice is like nails on a fucking chalk board. hard no.

May 23rd


please note this is a re-release, not a new episode

Mar 29th

Nellie Fly

my fave Massholes💕🔥

Oct 6th


this podcast helps me take my mind off things

Sep 30th


Does it feel like he rushed through this episode? of course the black female comedian gets the shortest episode.

Aug 19th

Ryan-Allen McKinney

very interesting to hear great comedians discuss their different processes and give each other feedback.

Jul 13th

Sondy M

I was absolutely thrilled to learn Mike Birbiglia is doing a podcast. As a long time fan who's driven for hours to see him live, I could not be happier about having Mike and his witty friends keeping me company at work. I've listened to every episode (twice for Ira Glass) and am anxiously awaiting the next installment. Thanks for all you do, Mike, and thanks to you and your wife for your wonderful book The New One.

Jul 7th


loving Mike Birbiglia's new podcast

Jul 3rd

Josh Forsythe

This has quickly become one of my favorite podcasts- love the creative process discussions, and it's FUNNY.

Jul 1st

Connie Bossenmeyer

I Love this podcast. Mike is so genuine and his guests are fun to listen to. I listened to every one of them, back to back....can't wait for the next episode! Keep working it out Mike! Really good!!

Jun 27th
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