Hi, my name is Mike Birbiglia, and I feel terrified about being Conan O'Brien's friend.
Ring the bell. Brand new shoes walking loose on the first two books and come back and we are going to be friends. Shocking to me. Hello there and welcome to Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend podcast where I use whatever power I have left in show business to make people literally make people that I admire be my friends, joined, as always by my compatriots, my assistant Sona Move session. Yes. Am I saying that correctly? Obsession. Yeah. I'm hoping after 12 years you've learned how to pronounce me like me.
Konan it's more of session, I believe. More session. Yeah. Why are you saying you believe. But that's not your real first name is it. No, we've talked about this. It's Torline. Thanks for reminding me. And yeah, that's not my real name, but it's my middle name while Conan is not my real first name. So there you go. Oh, what's your first name? Bruce. I am Bruce O'Brien. I wish Bruce O'Brien would be cool.
Now, it's not a good name. Bruce O'Brien. My my first name saved my ass because it's like that song, that Johnny Cash song, a boy named Sue, where his dad calls him Sue. And then he turns into this amazing fighter because everyone wants to fight him. But the fact that my name was Conan meant that I had to develop some kind of quick physical strength or a quick sort of wit. I don't think I developed either.
But I did have to be quick on my feet in various ways. And so I do think my name saved my ass. What about you, Matt Gawley, producer extraordinaire? Do you like your name? Do you like Matt?
I it's kind of boring and I always got girly instead of girly when I was a kid. I might have talked about that before. And then when I went to Ireland to visit my old, like family homestead, I said, Hi, I'm McCallie. And he goes, no, it's girly. And he they were right all along. All those bastards in elementary school. Yeah.
And you know what? Even if it wasn't, the Irish would love to tell you it was girly, even if maybe that's what they're doing. They're just they love to take the piss out of you.
I'm back and I have a few extra things to say. Yes. Quite a few extra things to say. How did he get back in here? I hated this experience. How did he get back in? I can get him whenever I want to in the past could. Oh, my God, this is it. Ladies and gentlemen, let me explain what's happening. Our guests for today's podcast, Mike Birbiglia, has finished his interview. He signed off because we're doing this in a covid safe way.
So he's in a secure bunker somewhere in the state of Massachusetts Scott. True. All true. Another one of your classic lies, everything on his whole podcast is a lie. So then you burst back in, you signed off. You're supposed to be gone. This is the part where I pretend I haven't talked to you yet, you prick. And now you've ruined the illusion. How do you feel now, Birbiglia and what? I had a nice time.
And then I thought about it. And then I logged off and I thought about it and I thought, You know what? They're laughing at me. They're not laughing with me. We were laughing at you, Mike. Since you're here, why don't you just take the introduction to yourself? Mike, here's the deal.
You you've ruined what I thought was a beautiful illusion. I mean, first of all, this isn't just I know you do a podcast and like many podcasts, you just throw something together and serve it out. Mine is nothing like that. But go ahead. This is a beautifully constructed Swiss watch. It's it's it's a it's a gorgeous mechanism. A lot of thought goes into this. And what we like to do is have this chat first and then talk to the guest.
Now, in reality, we already talk to you, but then you come busting back in to our zoom session while we're recording this and you ruin everything. How do you feel about. Yeah, let me ask you this, Koenen has anyone other than you ever described the podcast as a Swiss watch?
No, I was oh yes. I was talking to a Swiss watchmaker, know about six weeks ago and he and I was complimenting him on his craftsmanship and he said it's not unlike what you do, what this is. It's a Swiss accent, said the guy who has no idea what he's doing. He said, this is like, what do you do with your podcast? Oh, I am never be. You will never be welcome in Switzerland. Conan O'Brien.
Oh, what do I care? In which they're like, we're putting up Conan with borders. We don't want to ever see him. Look, I didn't have time. I didn't have time yesterday to do that.
Today is hilarious. Comedian, writer, director and actor who's performing in front of audiences worldwide. His bestselling book, The New One, is out in stores. His podcast, Working It Out is available wherever you go for podcast. I'm thrilled he's with us today.
Mike Birbiglia, welcome. I would have introduced you so much better than you introduced yourself. I don't think I should be me introducing. I think my equity goes way down with the.
Not even close. I'm anxious. I'm anxious genuinely, because I was analyzing this today. I was very anxious about about about doing this because I was an intern on your late night show on NBC in the 90s. Yeah. And so you were my you're technically my boss, even though we didn't really interact.
And and then I think that dynamic never goes away. No. Nor should it look you a bunch of people.
Mindy Kaling, John Krasinski, Mike Pence, we're in. I'd heard I'd heard Tenso had done late night. Yeah. Yeah, he was on he was an intern in ninety four. Ninety five. Ellie Kemper. Ellie Kemper. That's that's another one. JJ Walker, there have been so many people who are experts on the show. You mean Jimmy JJ Walker, Minturn and it was late night with Conan O'Brien. Yes. And it's awkward because it was long after good times and he was in his he was in his early 60s.
And I remember it. It was just awkward for all of us at that point. His catchphrase was dynamite. It was Dindo maybe. Yeah, exactly. But once an intern for Conan, always an intern for Conan. Now, you said we didn't have any interactions. It's all a blur to me. The 90s, man, we were all doing some well, doing so much coke. Yes, there was so much coke. There's just Coke flying everywhere around that night.
Did we have interactions?
Did we have we didn't we didn't we were told during our intern orientation that we should not speak with you.
However, however. But there's a huge caveat because for good reason, because there's so much going on in your day. So it's like so so everyone's busy. Everyone has their own job. But they said if you want to make an appointment to meet with Conan, to talk about your career and you're like, he's totally open. Yes, I have done that many times. And then I made my appointment and I and then I got mono. Oh, you're kidding.
And I had to leave the show. Oh, wait. Oh, my God.
Halfway through the summer. And so we never had our sit down. So maybe this is our city. You know what? This is our rescheduled down. Can't believe Mike Birbiglia, an intern on my show, was scheduled at the time. You must have been, what, early 20s, right? I was nineteen nineteen. OK, yeah. And you were scheduled to work. And that was going to be the conversation where I told you all the stuff that I told Krasinski and Kaling and Kemper, the stuff that made them stars.
That's what I was going to tell you. All the secrets and you got and you got a motto, you know, and that's set your career back years. You were going to be like, you're going to be like, don't take the part they offer you. That's the lead. Be the person at the desk that seems like they're a side character. And then later they sort of become everyone's America's sweetheart. Yeah, exactly. That's what I was going to tell you.
But you got mono. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. OK, well, I'm glad that's very infectious. I'm glad we didn't have this disease. Yeah. Got out. You listen. What's with the you have had so many health issues which you have. Yeah. I don't want to say turn to your advantage but I'll say exploited you if you have used. I think both of those mean the same thing. You've harvested your illnesses.
Kohnen That means the exact same thing. You have taken these things and turn them towards your own purpose to aid and abet you. It's almost like you don't want to see me in a positive light. I think here's my impression. A lot of people say and listen, you know that you are beloved. You are a hilarious comedian. The work you've done, Mike Birbiglia, that's a guy who gets a lot of topnotch respect. But I and people say the great thing about Mike is that he's taken all these things that have happened to him that other people would be sort of crippled by or or it's, you know, sidelined by.
And he's used them in his comedy. And I say, no, the people I respect are the people who go through terrible, terrible things and just shut up about it and don't use it for any creative purposes. FDR didn't do stand up nights. He didn't do open mic nights was like, you know, and I got polio, you know. You didn't hear him saying that he just shot. Yeah. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but how dare you mock one of our greatest presidents?
I'm not mocking him. I admire him for what he did. I admire that he decided not to turn all that stuff into a killer stand upset. He. Just shut up about it. He beat the Germans in World War Two. That's what he did. But no. And you could have done that. You could have sublimated all that pain and all that suffering. And instead you had to go into comedy. Yes. It's a hook. I mean, yes.
So the things that you're referencing are I have a sleepwalking disorder, which is serious to jump through a window. I had cancer when I was 20. Oh, my God. I had Lyme disease like 10 years ago. I mean, I have I had type two diabetes, a reverse that I've had a lot of stuff you've had. I got to get the vaccine. If you know anybody, come in. If you know anybody. I don't understand why you don't have the vaccine.
If you feel like someone, you'd be at the top of the list because you have had the list of things that have happened to you. Stunning to me. It's a lot of stuff.
And then on top of that, I have like a family history. That's ridiculous. Which is my dad had a heart attack when he was 56 and his dad had a heart attack when he was 56. And so I'm just setting aside that year and I'm getting an Airbnb by the hospital and I'm keeping a flexible schedule. I mean I mean, what are the odds I don't have a heart attack in fifty six. Well, OK, first of all, I have some questions and let's pretend I'm a doctor.
Are you on a statin right now? I'm actually not, but I because I reversed my, I reversed my type two. I'm trying to avoid the statin. Do you take a statin. Yeah, I've been taking a statin since long. When it was experimental. I was taking a statin in 1964 at the age of one. I was taking a statin when it was intravenous and it caused a high fever. So I don't know why you're not on a statin.
I want you want to start and immediately I want to want to you know, I have that. And by the way, you and I, you and your armchair diagnosis, you and I both have we our parents are both doctors. My dad's a retired neurologist. Yeah. My doctor. My doctor. My dad is funny that I can't call him my dad. What is that?
I call him my doctor. I have no warm feelings towards my father at all. My dad is a microbiologist and. Wow. So he and what's interesting and I don't know if it's the same for you, but when you're when you grow up and your father is a doctor, what happens is they're dismissive of any ailment that you might have.
And so I don't know if it's the same for you, but specially when your mom has it.
Yeah, well, I'm serious. Like, I would go with anything we said to our father, he'd be like, er, the body heals itself mostly. Yes. That's what he would say. He would say totally. And so you could maybe con other parents that you shouldn't go to school. And my dad kept those tubes with the throat cultures in them, you know, the stuff that everyone's getting jammed up their nose now. Yeah. Yeah I do that.
He fed you those he jammed those into the back of our throat. Oh my God. And he is not a dextrous man. So he acted like Jackie Gleason with a pool cue and he would just jam it back there and scrape it around and we would gag and be like he'd lose his temper, go and settle down, and then he'd pull it out with chunks of throat on it and flash. And we didn't want to go through that. So we just shut up.
And we went to school and that was so he started to did that as an activity instead of like soccer. Yes. His thing, his activity was jamming sticks down her throat. And that's year for each year for you at the game. Yeah, exactly. And then nobody, none of us wanted to complain about an illness. So I was originally I lost eight brothers that way to various easily curable illnesses.
So I lost eight brothers to diseases that were largely cured in the eighteenth century, like palsies and fluxes. And I'm finding this line of humor very offensive.
I hope you are. I hope you are. But I can't believe I'm speaking of illness. Like when I was I was moved by your fresh air interview when you said that you were sort of later in life diagnosed with some level of depression, but you always thought you didn't have it because your friends would be like lying. You couldn't get out of bed kind of depression. And I was I was actually I related to that because I've always been like, no, no, my friends had depression, but I don't have depression because I get stuff done.
I get out of bed and I work hard, though. But it's like I think I'm in your universe of that. Yeah.
It was a big I mean, for years and years I used to say I'm not depressed. Depressed people can't get out of bed. And I have great empathy for people that have had real depression. When you read accounts of it, this the idea of existing is horrifying to them. They're that. And I never had that, but I was highly anxious all the time, like wake up in the night, wander around the third floor of our house as a kid, just high levels of anxiety.
And that lasted for years and years and years and years and all through my early comedy career. And I just thought, well, that's just anxiety. And then it took a while actually going and seeing a professional who said, well, no, anxiety is kind of a subset of depression. Yeah. And so I didn't I was the same as you, though. And I think there is kind of an Irish thing. I know that your mom is Irish and my mom's Irish.
Yeah. There is an ingrained Irish thing that I know I have, which is no, I'm good. I don't have that. I'm all right. I don't have that. Like, I don't I'm fine. I'm good. And I'm it's almost unbecoming to complain sometimes about an illness or focus on yourself in that way. Yeah, especially about mental health. But as you know, Conan, I use that to my advantage. Well, you I think in a very calculating way.
You've I mean, lucky you with the cancer. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. The second I was the second you were diagnosed, you were like, yes, that's finally that's finally an angle. That's an angle I can use. Doc, doc, help me out. Can you find anything else. It's really it's fascinating to me because you had these things happen to you which are quite unusual. The rest of us are like, I think exaggerating what we are.
I'm a big exaggerator, as you can probably imagine. And I've had some real kooky things happen to me. But I've exaggerated also. And I was stunned that, like you were, so many things have happened to you were exaggeration was not even necessary. Yeah. You know, no, no. That's IRA Glass has always said that about me with because he's worked on two movies with me and a bunch of stories for this American life. And he's like he's like, you can't follow your own sleepwalking story for the rest of your life.
You jump through a second story window in your sleep like there's no there's nothing you can do. That sort of a better story. Can I ask? Because that was one thing that confused me is I always thought even if you're sleepwalking, there'd be some part of your brain that wouldn't let you do something that would imperil you.
Do you know what I mean? That's the tone. And that's what that's what your dad told you. Yes. You mean my doctor. I know, but I'm serious, I, I do you think it was your brain thinking it was doing something else when you jumped out the window? Yeah. So my brain thought the dream was that there was a guided missile headed towards my motets. Right.
That's right. I Laquinta in and Walla Walla, Washington. Yeah. And I jump out of bed to go. What's the plan. They said there's missile coordinates are set on you specifically. So in my dream and then it turns out because I've read behaviour's order, it was in my life I jumped through the window so as to detonate outside the window when the guided missile hits me for the sake of the platoon. And so then I jump through the window, through the glass, like the Hulk.
And I land on the front lawn and I'm and I get up and I'm running and I'm running slowly realizing I'm in the front lawn. And this is actually, to this day, my favorite part of the story as I'm people always go like, when did you wake up? And I say, as I'm running, I'm realizing I'm on the front lawn of Laquinta in. And I was for an instant relieved that I hadn't been hit by the missile.
I was I was thinking that would have been a disaster. Yeah. At least times I'm still in the game, but I'm bleeding, you know, and I've like glass in my legs, all this stuff. I have to walk to the front desk and be like, I just had an incident. I'm staying at the hotel. I jump to the window. And so I went to the emergency room. They took glass out of my legs. But that yeah, I mean, it's horrible.
But I've even had it. I had sleepwalking the other night. I mean, I was still doing it.
I do it every particularly. And maybe I'll end up getting some emails from doctors and folks because I whenever I talk about it, people always chime in and they go. The answer is, you know, and it's always like some kind of herb or some kind of you know, it's always like no more carbs.
And I'm like, I don't know if it's no more carbs, but maybe, you know, and it always seems to happen in December, January, if I look at my card, I put it I oh, whenever sleepwalking happens, I put on my calendar and it's been happening and it's happening in a little bit. February, it's been happening a lot lately. And I think it's the anxiety of the election and the inauguration. Everything. I mean, it's just like it's just been stressing me out and it's nothing like jumping through a window, but it's like waking up like in in my bedroom hallway kind of thing.
But, you know, all of these things can be a gift. And one of the things that's I think and I remember thinking this when you when I saw Sleepwalk with me, that when you describe this, what I remember thinking is. In your subconscious, you were in a dangerous situation and you behaved valiantly brave thing, yeah. To try to save others. And what occurred to me is all of us are always wondering how would we measure up in a situation like that?
And part of me is suspicious that if I was sleepwalking and thought and was in a similar situation, I would try to sacrifice someone else around me. Yes, yes, yes. So what we know through this terrible event that you went through was, yeah, you got some glass in your leg and it was very traumatic. But we know that you're a brave, selfless person because of that. You you you would have knocked on Matt's door and said, I'm going to throw you through a window.
I would have said, yes, I would have if I would have been sleepwalking, I would have said, Seona, come to the second floor of the pizza and bring Matt Gorley with you. And missile's headed this way, but it's filled with candy and embrace it when it hits you. I will be I will be in my car several miles away, but it's filled. Trust me, it's just a pinata. You'll be fine. So I hope you and I hope you don't find this offensive.
I find that to be calculating damage. So you're saying that maybe, maybe, maybe you and I have more in common than I have I ever imagined?
You know, I saw I saw your last live show. I remember you came. I came. And I was so thrilled and I saw you in the audience because you're a big man. You know, it's so funny because I didn't think I never think people can see me in the audience. And I forget that basically I'm I look like Jane Lynch, you know? I mean, she's much more attractive than me, but I'm I'm a very tall, attractive woman.
And what and so people can I have a big balloon head and so people see me. But I saw I saw your your one man show and I saw it in downtown Los Angeles. And I absolutely loved it. And I had this weird feeling of because I had I knew that, you know, we've talked about it before, but I knew that you had interned with me. And I had this sort of feeling of pride like my my old friend is doing well, like if someone if someone if someone who had any.
And then I realized I did nothing to you, it so, you know, who am I? I mean, literally, it's like I rode a bus with you and I was sitting up towards the front and you were in the back. And then later on you went on to big things. And I'm like, I'm proud of him.
You know, you're you're a role model. And you you've always been so nice to me. You've had me on the show for years. And then I know that we never had our meeting. But I will say that that summer changed the course of my life. Because you're writers, Brian Stack. All right. Brian McCann Kiley. Like a handful of writers, I would ask them, I would go like I want to be a writer. I want to be like a writer for this show, like what should I do?
And some of them said, do standup. Some of them say, I did standup. Some of them said I did improv. I went back to college. I learn how to do standup. I learn how to do improv. Look, I just went all in on essentially everything your writers said. And I will say, like it's from the top down that was like one of the nicest group of writers you could ever imagine. In addition to being so funny, you know, it's nice as we've always been blessed with really good people.
I mean, here we are, what, at twenty seven, twenty eight years later, which is unbelievable. But to even contemplate but to a person, the writers I work with now are really amul back me up on this seona because you know them as well as I, they're just really moral good people and I should pay them.
But we have some similarities, you and I. But then we there are some differences.
When you were growing up, you considered becoming a priest. And I have to tell you, yes, not for a second did I ever think priesthood and I grew up in a very Catholic family. What was that all about, do you think? What was the law? I was yeah, I similarly I mean, I was going to say you're in Somerville, but you weren't. I was in Brookline, Mass. You grew up in Brooklyn and I grew up in Shrewsbury Washroom, which is outside of Worcester.
And and Worcester is where all my people are from. We're all from Worcester. Oh, really? Yeah. My my parents just I think they were chased out of Worcester and had to flee to Brooklyn, but literally my entire extended family, like on both sides, they're either in Worcester or Millbury or, you know, and every and every single person went to Holy Cross College.
First of all, my dad went to Holy Cross College and that's how we ended up there. Second of all, I think the only way to leave Worcester is to be. Chased out, it's the chase, it's chase down 95. I mean, I got the crap out of me by kids in Worcester when I was like I like I remember in ninth grade, I went to St. John's in Shrewsbury, which had a ton of kids from Worcester. I mean, they just saw me as a mark.
They were like this guy. They're like, we're going to we're going to practice punching on this kid. I love how there's no end to the pettiness of turf wars meeting, meaning, you know, you can contemplate like, oh, a West an L.A. gang might have a problem with with a New York gang. But when people from Worcester are saying, look at him, Shrewsbury, let's get out. What are you talking about? Frank Shrewsbury on a map.
What are you so mad about?
So you grew up on the same ad campaigns, Jordan's furniture, Jordan's furniture wall fam. Yes, yes. And Waltham, Nashua, Avon and Redding. I used to listen to all the ads, insisted on mentioning every single town in Massachusetts. And so my childhood was constantly hearing at Danbury, Needham, Newton, Brockton, Braintree, Burlington. And you were just like, you don't have to name them all. We got it. We know we'll find it.
We'll find your store. Just don't name every single place to go to get back to the precinct. I went to St Mary's School for six years, and the joke I always make is I was an altar boy as a kid. And the answer is no, I wasn't. And I think it's because they knew I was a talker. I have that look about me, but I look but I was I really was lucky. Like I mean, it happened a lot and I was lucky.
But I always remember being on the altar and watching the priest and going, like, I want to be up there. And I feel like you'll relate to this part because I thought he's killing. Yes. Yes. I mean, this priest, they kill with nothing, no material.
Our priest at St Laurence, he used to prowl the stage like a stand up comic. And this is the 1970s. And he'd prowl the stage and he'd be making jokes and killing with the crowd, the crowd, the parishioners, the crowd, the crowd queuing at the club.
I mean, Christ's home.
And but then he would when he would do this thing where he he had this kind of Jimmy Cagney wise guy attitude and he'd keep his hands in his pockets and he'd be jingling the change in his pockets and going, yeah, I tell you. I tell you. And, you know, talking about whatever leper's Jesus, Jesus and water into wine and stuff like that. But then he would end the way a Catholic priest is supposed to end the whole when when the service is over, he says, go in peace to love and serve the Lord, you know, and this guy would go live in peace to love and serve the Lord.
And he got here like love and peace, to love and serve the Lord. Have a nice day. Have a nice week. See around.
Oh, my God bless me. You know, like he's ending his vacation. Have a nice day. Have a nice week. See around.
And you're like and I used to see my brother. Yeah. Go ahead. My brother Joe was always more the class clown growing up. And so we would sing that song which was Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. And we'd be I'd be sitting with Joe at like Christmas mass and he would do like spoof version. He would go, Christ has lied, Christ was in prison, Christ will come at ten. And that's pretty witty.
Christ will come at ten is a solid joke. Even as a grown I that's pretty good. You know, he was like the weird al of church. Well, I have to say I don't know about you, but you you were not a class clown, right? No, no. My whole thing is like I, I was the kid growing up where I would look at the class clown. I would be so confused by why people were laughing because he he'd walk and be like, you're fat, you're gay.
I'm out of here, you know, and I was always a little fat and a little gay. Like I never got along with that guy and man that was bad. I don't know. Your problem is I love that guy. I wish I'd kill for material like that. I remember the class clown literally like in gym class, like to be I'm being crude, but it was real. He'd pull his dick out and he would whack people with it like it was a wet towel and people would be like, Kenny's hilarious.
I'd be like, he's not hilarious. No, that's not funny. This is my point. You're making my point for me and beautifully, which is I was not the class clown. I was always horrified by the class clown. Class clown was the guy who would get up when the teacher was out and move the clock around ahead. Fifteen minutes so that class would end earlier and. The class clown would be doing all this outrageous stuff and I would think you can't do that, that's stuff that we've that that's a timepiece you can't alter a timepiece, you know, whatever.
I have said this before, but class clowns always die in a motel shootout when they're like 20. Oh, my God. I mean, that's but it's true. They're like, you know, they start up in the classroom, tells you. Yeah. They end up. I love that you doubled down on that detail. You go, no, no, Mike. It's true. It's true. Look it up. Anyone who's ever been a class clown, if you're if you're beating people with your penis in gym class, it's only four more steps to I've got a sawed off shotgun.
I'm crouching behind the ice machine and I'm shooting it out with the Braintree police. Like that's just a number of steps and it's not that many steps. I feel like you and I have a thing in common, which is like when I relate to you most, when I see, like your movie, Conan O'Brien can't stop. What makes you what you what do you relate to in that part? I have a chapter in Sleepwalk with Me, the book, which is called Literally I Can't Stop.
And it's all about it's that same thing. It's like it's when I see you talking, you just have this thing of like it's right after your show and off the air that you went on to write up. And it's like, no, no, I got to I got to keep entertaining people. That's what I do. That's my whole thing, you know. And and I have the same exact instinct, which is like I've been doing virtual shows in the pandemic.
A lot of comics don't do it. And I'm like, well, of course we do. That's what we do. We do entertain. However we do it. It it it's kind of an old school. First of all, it's not a choice. It's just know, it's, I think who we are.
And my wife all through pandemic, my wife Lysa has been saying, we've got to get you an audience. This is so sad.
And literally, I should put my wife on this right now to talk because your wife and my wife should have a conversation sidebar right.
About us that I think would be healing. Yes. For them, yes. And it would probably help our marriage. Well, also, my wife's tired of my material. Your wife's tired of your material. And so what I'm talking about is like a couple swap. That's not sex at all. What I'm talking about is a couple a couple swap where I OK, I'm listening and I'm like, no, no, there's no sex. There's no sex.
Trust me. No, I'm listening. Keep going. Tell me more about this, we're swingers, but what it how it works is I your wife has to listen to my material and my wife listen to material. That's how it works.
And so which which is which pivots me to my one of my main questions for this podcast for you, even though I'm not supposed to have questions, which is if we're friends like the podcast, then you need to do you need to give me your email address.
Oh yeah. You're going to my email address. OK, great. I'll give it to you right now and they'll edit it out.
I'm going to write it down. I'm not kidding. This is real. I'm going to email you, I think we'll sell it. We'll set it up, we'll set up the Zarno. But, you know, OK, this is a true story. We have two dogs and one of them is quite old and he's got this arthritis. And so there's a woman who's a terrific vet who comes by once in a while and just checks on his hip and works on his hip a little bit and does a little ultrasound.
And then he's much better for like two weeks. And she comes by every now and then. And I'll just I'll throw a name. But their name is Dr. Heather and we just call her doctor. Heather names Heather and she's terrific. And she comes by and asks for pandemic occasionally. Once a month or so, I'll see her out in the yard working on our dog, Bosko. And I happen to know that she's she's really funny and she's got a great sense of humor and she's a really good laughter.
So whenever I see her out there, I practically run out into the yard with my mask on and she's got a mask on. And I'm like, Hi, Dr. Heather. And she's like, Oh, hi, Conan, good to see you. I'm like, Yeah, good to see me go to see anyway. And she'll start to trust me, substitute like some actual funny stuff in there. And I will be, I will do forty minutes and people have to come and take me away.
And so yeah. So that was the, that was, that was the thing that actually affected me too when I was, I was a control room intern at late night in the 90s for that summer. And so I would see you warm up the crowd and your warm up. And I don't think anyone knows this because they never see the warm up unless they come to the live show Rock Center. You are like you're like a vaudeville entertainer. You're doing songs.
You're doing jokes, you're you're playing guitar. You're doing everything. Yeah, it was crazy because I had to tone it down in the early days of late night, 93, 94, 95. I was I don't know if it's insecurity or just not knowing what the fuck I was doing. I would go out and I would do a full show before the show.
And the crowd loved the show before the show, I think because it was all about them and I would give one hundred and ten percent. And often when I look at if I happen to look at a show from 93 and 94, I can tell in the monologue I'm out of breath from the from the on air warm up where I was singing and juggling and doing all this stuff. And then I learned later on, it's not good for the show if you give them the best ten minutes up front.
And then that's it's the same thing. By the way, if your audience is Dr Heather. Exactly. I'm just throwing it out. You blow if you. Yeah. If you blow the strongest ten minutes up front with Doctor Heather, you got nothing to call. Doctor Heather has a restraining order against me. She's like, I hit him again and I'm like, and it's just because she's such a good audience. And I'm that's I think that's my favorite that's my favorite kind of laugh in the world.
My daughter's five now, and that's like such a good age for the hardest. Laughs at the dumbest joke, right? You have one child, is that right? Yeah. Yeah. Oonagh, she's she's five and she's actually almost six is five and three quarters, if you want to get specific. It's amazing. And like one of the things that I discovered recently is that knock knock jokes are endlessly hilarious to five year old.
So it's like like so I. So if I, if I just made one up, I go like, knock, knock.
Who's there. Conan. Conan, who can I can anyone open the door.
I'm freezing out here. It's like and she's it.
I'm telling you my daughter loses her mind. It's great. And also your she's you're you're doing deconstruction comedy. Yeah. And a five year old loves it. I also love when they tell jokes and I remember I think it was my son when he was like four or five got into I can make up jokes and they don't kids jokes make no sense. No, no. They're alike. They would kind of get the rhythm of it and it'd be like, yeah, what a big guitar say to the antelope.
And you go like, I don't know. Beckett what did they get to say to the antelope?
You've got some nerve. That's not your soup. And you'd be like, well, there's part of me that also loved. They kind of have the rhythm. And who's to say that? Yeah. Yeah, great joke. She's yeah. It's so funny because whenever I, whenever I talk about my daughter, everyone always thinks that she's still one year old because in the show and in the book, she's one year old. And so I have to constantly be like, no, no.
She's like, things are great. And she's five. And because she's she's at that age right now where everything she says is adorable, like the other night I said, mom is going. They put you to bed tonight. She said she's not your mom. She's my mom. That's my therapist. Because if you think about it all, all toddlers have a Boston accent.
They're like, I'm tired of Boston and Boston are like, I will get tired. That's true. The Boston accent, right. Boston accent is just a child's accent that never matured. That's what it is, right? Yes. That's fantastic. So are you doing. I know you're doing stuff, obviously on Zoome and you're doing it. Yeah. I mean, you're doing I'm doing literally I'm doing five shows, Valentines Weekend that are all different, all new like all new material.
Right. And it's like the live version of my podcast. My show is called my podcast is going to work. Right. Right where I work out material with other comedians and I hope to see you on it very soon. I will I would I would have your email. I would love to do that.
Seriously. I would be honored. OK, so by working on new material and then I do it in these live shows, I'm doing it Valentine's weekend five shows and then the final show. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to regional food banks because food banks are just doing the Lord's work, right? Yes, unbelievable.
I worked with a and work with a food bank that's run by no relation, but a really close friend of mine, Father Paul O'Brien, which is in Lawrence, Massachusetts, which is like per capita, the poorest one of the poorest urban areas in the United States. And he told me once, years ago, if you're trying to get a kid, a young person to not do drugs or, you know, not commit a crime, if you're trying to get them on the on the right path, you can't make any headway if they're hungry.
The first thing you have to do is feed them.
So he mobilized a bunch of people and put together this amazing food bank in Lawrence, Mass. Called Khanum. And it's fantastic because people are serve. They don't serve themselves. They're served with a lot of dignity. And it gave me a real respect for like that's the first thing you have to do is feed people. Yeah. Like, you can't get you take care of that in the hierarchy of needs. That's number one.
I'm going to write that down core, UNAM. I'm going to have that be one of the food banks that we give to with the with the Valentine's Day. Seriously, that would be really great.
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
But if you found out then that you looked into it and then I'd made it up to make myself sound like a good guy, like you looked into it, they're like there's no Khorosan in Lawrence, that is ENSO and Lawrence. And it's like and then they went, were you talking to Koenen? And then you're like, yeah. Oh no, no. He just says that Conan does that new that's new Hollywood. Hey, man. New York and New York.
Conan used to give to food banks Hollywood Koenen. He just has made up stories about how bad food banks that don't exist. And he's always saying he cured a disease, that we looked into it and that disease never existed either.
But I know you're doing a lot of work also for comedy clubs and you're doing this thing that I just wanted to give a shout out for, because I think you do, though. Yeah. Roy Wood Jr., which is you launched this thing, tip your waitstaff dotcom, which is a way to help people. And I know that Gary Coleman's been Nikki Glaser, John Mulaney have been helping out with this. That's a great way to help keep these places going at a time when they've all been shut down.
Yeah, we started that in March because I was I was driving to Buffalo Helium Comedy Club and I was listening to the radio and the scientists and I was going, oh, I think I should be heading home now. Right. Right. And and then I drove home and and I've been in ever since. But then the first thing I was talking to Raywood Junior and we were like, well, what what are the comedy club staffs going to do?
Because comedians could make it for a few weeks, a few months.
But a lot of the wait staff is week to week. And so we did this thing called Tip Your Waitstaff, and we raised, you know, probably three quarters of a million dollars different go. It was a go fund me site that all our houses don't tip your waitstaff dotcom and are still there. So if you can go and you can put in your zip code and find your local comedy great idea, that's a terrific your stuff. What I'm going to do is launch something that sounds like that, but the funds go to me.
That's what I'm going to do it. I love making you do this. I do this all the time.
I think of what's the worst thing I could be caught doing. And then I like what's the worst behavior, you know, that I could exhibit. Yes. And me. Me. So that's the kind of thing, Seona, you're familiar with this? I will go on at length at work about. I could start a charity and then they could find out that the money goes to my goals to be so sealed so I can buy Arabian ponies and and then the pictures of me in the press being like.
Completely unrepentant, like screw you, you know, you said you are helping lepers and I'm entitled to an Arabian, I don't know why it's a sick thing, but you are legitimately doing wonderful work.
And I'm I'm just you know, usually these tend to go very quickly or they feel like they go very quickly.
And you've been you and I've been talking for quite a while and it's just flown because you're such an easy person to talk to. And in many ways such a I feel like such a kindred spirit. I think our minds work in similar ways.
And so why don't you do one of your stupid commercials and then wrap it up? Jack, why don't you do when you're done commercial and get out of my room. This is my private office. I see what you're doing. You're making me hate you so I can you're I see what you're doing. You're nagging me so I break up with you. That's your classic classic Irish Catholic move. All right. No, I got I got to bring it back.
I'm sick of you. I hate you, no, I hate you, Mike Birbiglia, and I don't want you or any of your wonderful endeavors to help the needy.
Oh, God, no. I so appreciate. And I've I mean, again, I have a but you're you're my boss for the rest of time. So even if you were like Mike, if you if I came on the podcast today and you were like, Mike, a position just opened up to be an intern on my iPod, it would be like an unpaid intern on my podcast. I'll be like, I'll be on the next plane to Los Angeles.
Wow. What terrible, terrible business instincts.
I don't know. But I'm going to email you and the email is going to be striking up a friendship that will be long lasting. And I will glean all of your wisdom and I will use it against you until you die. Conan O'Brien, which I will eventually in one hundred and ten years, as the devil assured me when I got the late night show. Hey, listen, Mike, this was an absolute joy. And thank you so much for taking the time to do this.
And I look forward to doing your podcast and being kind of a prick on it. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to be things I'm going to be saying. I'm going to sort of be sort of monosyllabic on your podcast and not and not and not helpful. That's my plan.
She says, well, I want to thank Matt and Seona because you're doing you're doing God's work listening to this gasbag go on and on and on.
When does he stop? I mean, he made a documentary about how he can't stop. I feel heard instead of having to hear.
And the rest of you on this doing we're not even going to say your name. They're just all sitting there figuring out a way to monetize it. That's what they're doing. I'm talking to you, Adam, and you, Aaron and Joanna and Jen. We're all judging you in real time. This will not be edited. Hey, is that a sheet hanging up behind you? Yeah. I mean, it's all like this is all like I mean, I have sound.
I mean, I've I'm surrounded by like by like pillow, you know, in in the sixth sense that in the sixth sense that little thought that the kid makes to hide from the scary monsters that it looks like that's where you are right now. Well, that's what I that's so funny is by my daughter made it with me and we call it for the for the podcast. We call it the pillow. There you go. And IRA Glass made this point, which is the only practical skill from growing up in childhood that applies to radio is building for.
And that's why that's why my voice sounds like that's why this is a perfect voiceover for security.
It's thing that you're selling.
Is it the weighted? I don't know. I don't even know what we're selling. They add it later. You're at your ads. I'm like, I was listening to your ads. You're absolutely I was like I was like, he's giving them away more for their money than their.
Yes, I do that. I tend to like like that's a two minute ad of Conan O'Brien doing a sketch for this.
Yep. For Halliburton. You know, it's not it's how it's always me. I always forget, like, what the product is. And then later on I'm like, oh right. Yes, they make they make machine guns. I did. But I did find it unfortunate when you did that that ad for Enron.
I think they got a raw deal. And you know what? If their checks clear, I'll read the copy. Enron, it's time for a second look. I say, hey, Mike Birbiglia, you are a scholar and a gentleman and I admire you and I'm glad to know you. And I can't wait to know you better. You too. Thanks, Koenen. Thanks for being my new friend.
Last week, we did a segment on the show called Big Dick History. Oh, for God's sake. Yeah. And even though we're recording this before that comes out, the reviews have been raves. People are clamoring for more Big Dig history.
Really? OK. Yeah, well, you know what happened and I'm reticent. You know me. I only like to operate on the highest levels, never get in the gutter, but I'm always dragged down by my compatriots. We were chatting about history podcasts. I love a history podcast. I cited some of the ones I listen to revolutions. I listen to Dan Carlin's hardcore history. I always like to try and learn something by finding out more about history.
I know, Matt, that you enjoy a history podcast from time to time. And we were talking about that. And then I was at Sona who who introduced the concept in my defense, you brought up Rasputin. I just said I brought up I was talking about Russian history of the early 20th century. I started talking about the revolution Tsar Nicholas. I brought up Rasputin. And the minute I said Rasputin, son was like he had a big dick.
I said what everybody was thinking.
And I mean and I mean, Seona was in like you weren't even listening. You had gone into because we're doing this over. Zoome I could see that your eyes, your eyes were like almost fully closed.
You were almost completely checked out because Matt and I were chattering on about World War One.
The increasingly dire position of Tsar Nicholas and Tsar Nicholas Seona was out like a light.
And then I just said, of course, and then there's Rasputin and you went into a big one and suddenly you weren't just awake, but you had superpowers. You could have lifted a Volkswagen over your head in that moment. Yeah.
And then you started firing off names of other historic figures that you believe probably had were well-endowed and the penile department.
And that started one of you miscreants, foul mouthed wretches saying, hey, we could have a we could have a show called Big Dick History. Yeah.
And then I changed my tune because then I realized, wait a minute, these history podcasts are kind of a big deal.
Yeah. And then six podcasts are a big deal. They're these aren't these two women that discuss sex on a podcast. Huge. You know, and there are various sexual podcasts. And that got me thinking I felt like Eddison in that moment.
Oh, discovering the light bulb or Tesla inventing the electric car. The Tesla. Oh, Tesla.
Huge dick. And alternating current. I love that people don't think Tesla just invented the Tesla and not alternating current. But anyway, my point is I thought, wait a minute, this could be and know this no pun here. No pun this could be huge.
This could be massive. Yeah. This could be engorged. This could be OK. This could be a giant podcast because you'd get history fans. Yeah. Gigantic podcast.
This is a back door pilot for the pilot that will spin off of this and eclipse the other Gertha pilot for flying.
It'll be a throbbing podcast. Yeah. Yeah, turgid podcast.
I mean, this thing is just salute and full tilt DeVone podcast with a flag just flying on it.
I hate both of you, I think you're awful people if you guys take it too far in that direction, it invalidates it. I see the way it has to be as I. I have to keep this on the straight and narrow, so to speak. I have what I have to do is keep it somewhat rooted in history. So you just love your filthy talk. Yeah, but I think that if we really did talk about, hey, you know, who historically was known to have maybe a large member and then maybe we talked a little bit about their careers and maybe how their penis influenced the success or their failures, that that could be a real podcast that satisfies both constituencies.
Right. OK, yeah.
Don't you think I see where that makes sense? Yeah. Yeah.
You act like you're above it. But when I brought up Rasputin, you're like, yeah, Rasputin, the monk, blah blah blah. And he's like and he had a big Kakeru is what I think you said at the. I don't talk that way. And that is exactly what you said, Matt. I'm sure I didn't say that. And you'll now play a tape to disprove that. That was said.
I'm sure it's going to be you in the voice going Kakeru.
I said, Kogod, that's how I can that's how easily I can be lured. I'm trying to be above it all and and a scholar. And then you guys, if you all you have to do is is get me a little bit and I go, oh, that guy had a real Occoquan. Oh, my. I honestly don't know who I mean, Seona, you brought up John Dillinger, I know he had a giant penis and I actually know the story behind that, which is in after he was shot and killed.
They let the press like into the morgue and it looks like he has a giant penis underneath the sheet. But from the other angle, you can tell that it's his hand and which is in the you know, so it was his hand pushing up on the sheet. But the problem is, whenever I whenever I try to say to Seona, know, that guy I don't think really had a big penis here. So that legend got started. She accuses me of trying to of having penis envy.
About you immediately had that explanation, like, you know a lot about John Dillinger, but you also know that his penis was not as big as people said it was. I actually have read someone dispute that. And so I you know, it's an interesting thing to read about him.
What about Milton Berle? Milton Berle?
Everyone knows he had a massive, massive penis.
He and also Forrest Tucker is also famous for having a large member force.
Tucker was on F Troop on the TV show F Troop.
Does that famous show business story where I mean, famous story where Milton Berle and Forrest Tucker are at some event together, swordfights and everyone knows they both have massive penises and they someone is trying to egg them on into comparing their penises to see who has the bigger one.
And they're about to do it. And famously, I don't know if this is an apocryphal tale or not, but famously, a friend of Milton Berle said, hey, Milty, just take out enough to win me.
Oh, it was so big that all he had to do was take out like a third of it and he would win. Oh, there we go.
We've done it. That's Big Dick history. I really hope that would have got into a sword fight like a dick sword fight now. All right, Dick.
OK, I'm sorry. I want this to be a better podcast then. Come on. Where it is right now, Delarue.
Do you realize if we ever had any chance to win like a prestigious award for this podcast, like something really prestigious? Because I do think we have a really good podcast and people really do seem to enjoy it. It would it's all going to go to shit once big tech history hits the airwaves. And I'm and I'm the I'm the logo. The logo is me winking and going.
I can't hide who I'm never going to get, you know, a piece of a march, the Mark Twain or the Peabody or all those things are out the window. Come on.
Peabody is the perfect organization to give this podcast's an award.
The part of the body that PS Peabody, you get a dick that's so lame, man, that's lame, you know, because that was just childish and silly and wordplay and beneath you.
Well, I can have my cake and eat it, too.
How come I hate this?
This is this these these prestigious awards are now lost to us because you guys have me on tape several times saying I Coccaro. Someone is behind you taking your Emmys, every award I've ever won is going to be stripped from me. I'm going to be like someone who was found to be doping. Except I wasn't doping. I think I tried to conduct myself well in my career and I did win some nice awards. And now all stripped because the committee discovered that I have a podcast that I produced called Big Tech History.
And at the opening of the show was me saying, hey, guys and gals, strap yourselves in because you're going to see a real big I coccaro.
Everything I've tried to do in my career is gone.
Oh, my God.
You leaned into it, though. Yeah, you're reinventing and leaned into it. You're bringing big dark energy to podcasting and it going to tell you something which is never tell you something.
Yeah. I do think this could be a huge moneymaker. I think this could be an I Adam success genius behind all things. Get in here. Don't you think you're a very respected on the podcast community big tech history. Is that a is that a moneymaker?
I think it can be really huge. Yeah, I think we can make a lot of money. I see major research potential now.
I see much potential. But what about advertisers?
Are their advertisers are going to want to be and think we're going to be getting a call from Román like tomorrow, bro?
Oh, yes. And when we know that when we did this last week, Aaron already registered the domain big tech history. So we're good. Yeah, Aaron, is that true?
Did you register the domain big dick history? We own Big Dick history dot com. Wow.
I can't believe it was available. Turns out Seona tried to buy it five years ago, but then she got high and forgot she's the only the other.
The other trend in the industry now is that there's a lot of derivative opportunities. People look at podcast's as pilots for a potential derivative. So I could see this being a, you know, a documentary series maybe on HBO IMAX.
You're not thinking the BBC for this BBC. Good evening and welcome. I'm the ghost of Peter Ustinov. Tonight, big tech history. You've all wondered, did Genghis Khan, what was he packing? Well, today we packed whatever lies between us and Ganga's robbing member to find out the truth. But before we begin, of course, it's always customary for Conan O'Brien to come out and say his signature. Mr O'Brien, come out here, please. Yes, thank you, sir.
Just enough famous ghost, please. Mr Obeid. Continue. Yes, thank you. Here we go. I Kogod. Did they fly you out to England just for that, he's a ghost, you don't have to fly me anywhere and if you don't have to fly to meet a ghost, you just appear anywhere.
Oh, I'm sorry. OK, I didn't know the ghost rules.
No, you're not wrong, though. Justina's ghosts afraid to fly. He's on a no fly list. He takes trains. I love a ghost. It's afraid to fly commercially.
I'll try to not. You're a ghost. You can just materialize in Conan's home in Los Angeles. No, seriously, I don't enjoy flying. It's very frightening. You're a ghost. You died twenty five years ago.
Please, I'd rather not fly. I'll just stay here. Also, why do you need to get paid here a go?
Well, that concludes another distinguished episode of Big Dick History Cockatoo.