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Comic coal! Mike Birbiglia mines jokes from despair

The Brooklyn Paper
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If self-deprecation had a crown, Mike Birbiglia would be wearing it.

The “This American Life” regular has gained fans for his long-form narrative jokes, which mine his awkward adolescence and other embarrassments — personal, career or otherwise — much to our amusement.

On the heels of his 2009 one-man show, “Sleepwalk with Me,” which is also now a book and, in the works, a movie, comes Birbiglia’s much anticipated new one. Titled “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” it opens Off-Broadway in time for Valentine’s Day, fittingly, but the comedian’s been workshopping it all over town lately.

Next up is Union Hall. The Park Slope venue and frequent stage for the comic hosts Birbiglia for two nights, on Dec. 27 and 28, during which he’ll share some new and not-so-new stories. That should include the one that gave him the name of his forthcoming show — a nod to his popular bit where he tells the story of his first girlfriend, a not-so-nice girl who already had a boyfriend, unbeknownst to our comic. That is, until he meets both the boyfriend and his parents one day.

“It’s a very strange thing, meeting your girlfriend’s boyfriend’s parents for the first time,” says the comic in his usual droll, contemplative delivery. “Part of you is angry for obvious reasons, and part of you still wants to make a good first impression.”

The endearing thing is, you know exactly what he means.

Mike Birbiglia at Union Hall [702 Union St. near Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 638-4400], Dec. 27 and 28 at 8 pm. Tickets $20 (standing room only). For info, visit www.unionhallny.com.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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