My Comedy Hero: Robin Morgan on Mike Birbiglia
- Brian Donaldson
- 24 February 2020
As the Welsh stand-up goes on tour with a show about how men can, and should, do better, he picks the acclaimed American comedy storyteller as his somewhat serendipitous icon
I like stand-up comedy that can make you cry. The first show of Mike Birbiglia's I saw was My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. I had recently gotten engaged to my now wife Jenny, and was trying to write a show about just that, when I stumbled across his show about getting engaged to his now wife Jenny: the serendipity wasn't lost on me. It's sublime.
I have no idea if it's named after Her Space Holiday's song of the same name which I spent my teenage years listening to on repeat, but even without that the show is stunning. The slow pace, the structure, the narrative, the care and attention to go into every turn of phrase: I love everything about it. I went to a Q&A showing of his film Don't Think Twice when it came to London, assuming it wouldn't get a nationwide release. It then did, and I wasn't even annoyed I spunked the money on it. I wanted to ask him a question but chickened out. It probably would have been intelligent and thoughtful like, 'do you want to be friends?'
His latest show, The New One, about having a baby, coincided with me writing a show about having a baby. It's like we're living parallel lives. If his next show is about moving back to his hometown of Cardiff and spending more time with his mum, who is called Susan Morgan, I'll start to think he's following me. And then we can finally be friends.
Robin Morgan: What A Man, What A Man, What A Man, What A Mighty Good Man (Say It Again Now) is on tour until Sunday 31 May.