Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out

Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out

By Mike Birbiglia

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.

Episodes

Screenwriting Advice You’ll Actually Use with John August

For this very special episode of Working It out, Mike welcomes John August, the screenwriter behind Charlie’s Angels with Drew Barrymore, Tim Burton’s Big Fish, and his breakthrough film Go, which is celebrating its 25 year anniversary. John co-hosts the screenwriting podcast Scriptnotes with Craig Mazin (The Last of Us), which is not only Mike’s favorite screenwriting podcast, but his favorite podcast about the creative process (not counting Working It Out). John shares direct, practical screenwriting advice that you’ll actually use, whether you’re an aspiring screenwriter or you want to pursue creative work of any kind.Please consider donating to Miry's List
20/05/2450m 1s

132. Judd Apatow Returns: Hold On To That Authenticity

This week the legendary Judd Apatow returns to Working It Out for his fourth and best appearance yet. Judd tells behind-the-scenes stories from Bridesmaids and Funny People, as well as the most helpful filmmaking advice he’s gotten from other greats along the way. Judd and Mike also break apart the story of Judd’s first ayahuasca trip—and what that experience might have to do with both his parents’ divorce and his first sexual experience. Plus, jokes about how Judd somehow gained weight on Ozempic.Please consider donating to 826 National.  
13/05/241h 1m

131. Chris Fleming: He Should Be Way More Popular

In Chris Fleming’s recent Peacock stand-up special Hell, he calls out some audience members who are married and shouts, “This show is not for people who have wives. You have a wife?! Go see Mike Birbiglia!” Fleming is fearless about dragging the names of other comedians into his bits: from Bo Burham to Nikki Glaser to Bert Kreischer and more. Chris is a Massachusetts theater kid turned comedian and it manifests in stand-up comedy that is simultaneously avant-garde but also crowd pleasing. Mike and Chris sit down for a truly productive session of working out new material and they break down why Massachusetts is so darn repressed. Plus, they do no-holds-barred impressions of each other in what is one of the most unhinged episodes of Working it Out of all time.Please consider donating to Best Buddies
06/05/2457m 24s

130. Rory Scovel: Dare to Be Funny

Mike welcomes Rory Scovel, whose special made Mike laugh so hard he spit water all over himself. Rory talks about how telling the truth and being vulnerable on stage led him to his best bits, how his taking up abstract painting is similar to comedy, and how a week of fully improvised stand-up shows gave Rory a new perspective on his career. Plus, the best and most off-the-rails “Working It Out” section the podcast has had yet.Please consider donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
29/04/2454m 37s

129. J. Hope Stein Returns: Earth Day Poetry from Clo

Mike welcomes back the poet J. Hope Stein, aka Jenny, aka Clo, aka Mike’s wife of fifteen years. A frequent collaborator on Mike’s comedy specials and movies, Jenny describes her favorite type of creative feedback and why she’s most impressed by poetry that crosses over to audiences who don’t always understand poetry. The couple shares candid and embrassing stories from the early days of their romance including two stories that might make it into Mike’s new live show. Plus, Jen reads two new poems in celebration of Earth Day and announces the audiobook of her poetry collection “Little Astronaut.”Please consider donating to Children's Hospital Los Angeles
22/04/2440m 50s

The Wisdom of Chicago Improv with Liz Allen

Chicago improv performer and teacher Liz Allen taught a workshop for Mike’s college improv group almost 25 years ago. Since then, Mike and Liz have found numerous ways to reunite and collaborate, most notably on Mike’s film Don’t Think Twice. Now Mike sits down for an in-depth chat with one of his favorite improvisers about the unique roots of Chicago improv, Liz’s (in)famous teacher Del Close, and the one-in-a-million coincidence that connected Liz and Gillian Jacobs.Please consider donating to Stepping Stones NetworkCheck out https://www.lizallenimprov.com for more info about improv coaching by Liz
15/04/2443m 49s

128. Alex Edelman Returns: He Did His Best

On the heels of the release of his new special “Just For Us” on Max, Alex Edelman returns to the podcast for the fourth and best time yet. Mike and Alex break apart the story of the time Alex’s bank lost all his money, how a protestor recently disrupted his show, and what it feels like to be releasing his special after the death of his beloved director, Adam Brace. Plus, Alex’s recent and very strange run-in with Bill Gates.Please consider donating to:  Sefaria
08/04/2449m 5s

127. Esther Povitsky: What Is Your Comedy Attachment Style?

Mike sits down with comedian, actor, and writer Esther Povitsky to discuss her special Hot For My Name. Mike has a lot of questions about the time Esther crashed her fiancée's bachelor party in Vegas. Plus, Esther figures out Mike’s attachment style, and they discuss the differences between the LA and New York comedy scenes. All this, and jokes about adults dressed as babies, watching OnlyFans with your partner, and being outed as a comedian on the subway.Please consider donating to Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation
01/04/2448m 53s

126. Seth Meyers: SNL, Late Night, and a Ton of New Jokes

Mike sits down with the legendary comedian and writer Seth Meyers for a conversation that reveals who is secretly the funniest of the funniest at SNL behind-the-scenes and who was the most popular Strike Force Five host. Then, Mike and Seth work out new material about serial killers, the D.A.R.E. program, and dropping acid in Amsterdam. Plus: who will take over for Lorne Michaels after he leaves SNL?Please consider donating to Sanctuary For Families
25/03/2451m 4s

125. Ilana Glazer: Life Lessons from the Broad City Star

Mike became an instant super-fan of Ilana Glazer in 2014 when her hit series Broad City premiered on Comedy Central. This week on the podcast Mike and Ilana go deep on the origins of Broad City, Mike’s cameo on the show, honest takes on parenting, the development of Ilana’s new hour of stand-up comedy, and how *Broad City* Ilana is different from *real life* Ilana. Plus, jokes and stories about weed-induced anxiety and saying hello to strangers.Please consider donating to Out of the Closet
18/03/2453m 17s

Mike Answers Your Questions About Comedy

This week Mike responds to listener questions. How many of your stories are true?  Who is your dream guest? What is your greatest piece of comedy advice? All these and more.
11/03/2438m 1s

124. Chris Distefano: Crowd Work With The Mob

This week Mike welcomes Comedy Cellar friend and comedy star Chris Distefano. Chris’s shares important lessons in failure: how a bad set got him booked on Letterman, and the advice his wife gave him about not listening to studio executives. Mike and Chris also dissect Chris’s famous 9/11 story, and why Chris’ “worst gig” story involves an actual knife at his throat.Please consider donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation
04/03/241h 1m

123. Please Don't Destroy: SNL’s Three Sad Virgins

Mike welcomes Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy, aka Please Don’t Destroy, known for their wildly popular shorts on SNL. Mike is determined to get Martin to talk more than he did on Pete Holmes’s podcast. The group shares what they like and dislike about each other, and break down what it’s like to be both sketch writers and filmmakers on SNL. Plus, what it’s like to work with Bad Bunny in a Shrek costume and get roasted by Taylor Swift.Please Consider Donating To: Meals on Wheels
26/02/241h 1m

122. Roy Wood Jr: Perfect Jokes From an Imperfect Messenger

Roy Wood Jr makes a triumphant return to the podcast and he and Mike pick up right where they left off. The two old friends discuss the evolution of unconnected jokes into a more cohesive whole hour of stand-up. They discuss why Mike, Neal Brennan, and Chris Rock are all pressuring Roy to go even deeper with his new material about his dad. Mike and Roy break down the best bits from Roy’s new special Imperfect Messenger, and Roy shares two all-timer stories in the slow round. Plus, Roy gets candid on exactly why he may or may not be hosting The Daily Show.Please consider donating to I See Me, Inc.
12/02/241h 1m

121. Maddie Wiener: How to Find the Humor in a Panic Attack

Maddie Wiener started performing stand-up at age 16. Now, at age 25, she headlines clubs, is a fixture at the Comedy Cellar, and  she was recently a special guest on Mike’s shows at The Wilbur in Boston. Now Maddie and Mike sit down for a chat about the relationship between anxiety and comedy, and Mike helps Maddie develop a story about a panic attack. Plus, the wisdom Maddie learned from Nikki Glaser, and why “Hey, can we talk?” is the scariest text you can get.Please consider donating to Liberation Library
05/02/2453m 21s

120. Ronny Chieng Returns: Classic American Show Business

Ronny Chieng, one of the earliest and most popular Working It Out guests, makes a triumphant return. Ronny and Mike discuss the significance of Ronny’s chic onstage wardrobe, the similarities between practicing law and performing comedy, and whether or not it was Ronny who planted the Hasan Minhaj New Yorker story after all. Plus, why Ronny absolutely refuses to reveal his actual birthday.Please consider donating to APIAVote
29/01/2452m 2s

119. Rosebud Baker Returns: Pregnant with Jokes and People

Rosebud Baker’s first appearance on Working It Out was in 2021. Since then she’s become a writer on SNL, written for That Damn Michael Che, and become a parent. Now Rosebud returns to talk with Mike about how being a parent affects comedy, and they dispel certain attitudes about filming a comedy special while pregnant. Plus, the art of pitching ideas for different types of sketch shows, and why Rosebud’s daughter has to call her grandfather “Mr. Baker.”Please consider donation to the ASPCA
15/01/2447m 38s

118. John Early: A Man With Needs

John Early, recently nominated for an Emmy and a Critics Choice Award, sits down with Mike for the first time since the two of them appeared as brothers in Taylor Swift’s, “Anti-Hero” music video. The two discuss avant-garde comedy, Brittany Spears impressions, and what it means to express earnest despair in John’s new Max special, “Now More Than Ever.” Plus, the time John ran away after coming out to his best friend.Please consider donating to: National Nurses United
08/01/2453m 3s

The Very Best Working It Out Moments of 2023

We’ve created an episode for all of you making long car trips or taking long jogs or stretching out on your long beloved couch. It’s our best moments of 2023 episode! It includes Ray Romano’s take on marriage, a joke from Ramy Youssef’s funniest uncle, Rachel Feinstein’s pitch perfect impression of her husband, and deep confessional moments about Mike’s friendships with Tom Papa and Gary Gulman. Plus, Ira Glass’s diagnosis to not just work out Mike’s jokes but to work out Mike’s life.
01/01/241h 16m

117. Beth Stelling Returns: Two Skeletons Telling Jokes

Mike welcomes back to the podcast comedian Beth Stelling, whose Netflix special If You Didn’t Want Me Then is on seemingly everyone’s best of year lists, including Mike’s. Mike and Beth discuss touring together, Beth’s desire to be authentic on stage, and Beth’s dad feeding raccoons out of a trough. Plus, they explore the parallels between stand-up comedy and Beth’s new venture: professional field hockey.Please consider donating to Abortion Access Front
18/12/2346m 23s

116. Jimmy Carr Returns: The World Ordered A Comedian

Jimmy Carr is one of the most successful comedians in the entire world. On the heels of playing Carnegie Hall and heading out to hundreds of concert dates across many continents, Jimmy Carr returns for another episode of Working it Out. Jimmy and Mike discuss the benefits and pitfalls of dark humor, what Jimmy discovered from several public cancellations, and why sometimes the goal is simply to get better than you were last year. Plus, what ever happened to ordering just a slice of pizza?Please consider donating to: Feeding America
11/12/2349m 4s

The Old Man and the Pool: Spoilers Only

Mike welcomes back three-peat guest Joe Birbiglia to celebrate the premiere of Mike’s new Netflix comedy special The Old Man and the Pool. Mike and Joe discuss the four year development of the show, share memories about the Worcester, Massachusetts YMCA pool, and share the funniest jokes that didn’t make it into the special. *Should* they have made it into the special? Joe thinks so. You be the judge. Plus, Mike answers listeners’ questions about the special.Please consider donating to Rhode Island Community Food Bank
04/12/2343m 32s

115. Pete Holmes Returns (Again): The Funniest and Longest Episode Yet

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
27/11/231h 16m

114. Jo Firestone Returns: Fact Check This Episode

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
20/11/2350m 17s

113. Todd Barry: The Inventor of Crowd Work

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
06/11/2344m 39s

112. Ramy Youssef Returns: You Already Love Him

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
23/10/231h 2m

111. Gary Simons: A New Comedian Asks Mike 10 Key Questions About Starting Out in Comedy

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
16/10/2346m 59s

110. Greg Warren: Comedy Lessons From a Salesman

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
09/10/2347m 38s

109. Gary Gulman Returns: Work Friends or Friend Friends?

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
25/09/2357m 21s

108. Nimesh Patel: Comedy is Cancer Plus Time

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
18/09/2347m 18s

107. Hasan Minhaj Returns: Good Boy Syndrome

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
04/09/231h 8m

106. Joe Birbiglia Returns: You Think I Give a Care About Christmas Parmesan?

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: https://www.gbfb.org/
28/08/2336m 34s

105. Kate Berlant: The Comedy Special That Almost Didn’t Come Out

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
14/08/2352m 1s

104. Jim Gaffigan: Dark Comedy from the Cleanest Comedian

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: https://gsp.georgetown.edu/
31/07/2350m 38s

103. Liz Kingsman: The London Comedy Exchange 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: https://www.wwt.org.uk/
17/07/2344m 33s

Introducing : Funny Cuz It’s True

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 https://link.chtbl.com/funnycuzitstruewithelysemyers
06/07/2343m 40s

102. Tom Papa: Conflict Resolution with an Old Friend

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
03/07/2356m 35s

101. Elyse Myers: Telling Stories Literally Anywhere

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)
19/06/2354m 50s

100. Ira Glass Part 3: The Best Advice

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
05/06/231h 20m

6 Tips For Bringing Your Solo Show to Broadway (and the West End!)

Mike’s creative collaborator and director Seth Barrish returns for a special episode of Working It Out announcing the UK premiere of “The Old Man and the Pool” at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Mike and Seth share their excitement about bringing the show across the pond, and Mike expands on his New York Times piece “6 Tips For Bringing Your Solo Show to Broadway,” using it as a jumping off point for a discussion about creativity, writing, and performing. Plus, jokes and stories about New York City overheards, and the time Mike performed a show for 2 audience members.Please consider donating to The Barrow Group
29/05/2344m 22s

99. Craig Mazin: The Definitive "The Last of Us" Interview, Sort Of

When Mike became obsessed with the series “The Last of Us” on HBO he had questions. And he went straight to the source. This week Mike welcomes the writer/producer/director Craig Mazin, who co-created the" The Last of Us," starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen "The Last of Us," be warned, there are spoilers in this discussion. There’s also a lot of advice and insight about screenwriting and storytelling. Craig is a screenwriting sage— in addition to co-creating "The Last of Us" and "Chernobyl"— he also hosts the podcast ScriptNotes with fellow screenwriter John August, which is Mike’s favorite podcast about screenwriting. Also, if you’re interested in supporting screenwriters, now is the time. Please support the Writers Guild of America. For more information on the writers strike, visit https://www.wgacontract2023.org/strike-hub.Also, please consider donating to Be The Match
15/05/2349m 0s

98. Ray Romano: Sometimes the Setup is the Punchline

Ray Romano has an iconic sitcom and a celebrated stand-up career under his belt, so what drives him to keep challenging himself artistically? Mike and Ray, who often follow each other at the Comedy Cellar, ponder the complicated answer to that question. Plus, discussion of comedy craft, joke-writing technique, and the two separate times Ray was held up at gunpoint.Please consider donating to Harvest Home
01/05/2351m 35s

97. Bert Kreischer: Inside A Storytelling Machine

Mike and Bert Kresicher have known each other a little bit for a long time. Now they sit down for an in-depth chat about how to develop a story for standup, why Florida is so strange, and why Bert decided to change the course of his comedy career. Plus, they discuss their shared love for legendary comedic storyteller David Sedaris.Please consider donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
24/04/2350m 32s

96. Alex Edelman Part 3: The Broadway Debut

Comedian Alex Edelman returns to the podcast for a victorious third visit, as his award-winning solo show Just For Us heads to Broadway. Mike and Alex defend the merits of kids jokes as well as vaudeville-style wordplay. Plus, a heated debate about the Boston accent which stems from a simple question: How do pronounce the word “room”?Please consider donating to The Jimmy Fund
10/04/2353m 35s

95. Nick Kroll: Old Friends

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
27/03/2347m 43s

94. Jorma Taccone: The Lonely Island’s Comedy Revolution

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
13/03/2348m 42s

93. Rachel Feinstein: Don't Call Your Wife "Big Guy"

Comedian Rachel Feinstein is a comic’s comic— the type of original comic who cracks up other comics. In this episode it definitely works. Rachel breaks Mike as she tells stories about her almost-too-supportive parents to her almost-too-unsupportive firefighter husband. Plus, jokes about marrying up vs. marrying down, pushy in-laws, and what to do when your husband’s romantic gifts are mostly from Costco. Please consider donating to Friends of Firefighters
27/02/2345m 25s

92. Vir Das: Getting Cancelled Except For Real

In an age when many comedians talk about being cancelled, Vir Das was actually very nearly cancelled in a real way. When his YouTube monologue "Two Indias" went viral, a criminal complaint was filed against him in his home country of India. Vir talks to Mike about that experience and how he was able to turn the pain from the experience into the comedy in his recent Netflix special. They also discuss Vir’s journey from Bollywood star to international stand-up sensation, and why it’s important for a comedian to give the audience all they’ve got.Please consider donating to Voice of Stray Dogs
13/02/2351m 6s

91. Ryan Hamilton: Utah, Idaho, and the Clean Trick

Many people worry about getting hit by a bus. Last year, comedian Ryan Hamilton did get hit by a bus. Ryan talks to Mike about the shocking experience, his long recovery, and Ryan’s process of talking about the accident on stage. The Idaho native and BYU alum also talks about doing stand-up in Idaho and Utah, and how to be a "clean” comic without the audience even realizing it. In anticipation of Mike’s own trip to Salt Lake City, Mike also recalls a story of when people in Utah thought he was a “dirty” comedian, and the time he got caught lying in Boise.Please consider donating to the Scott Hamilton Cares Foundation
30/01/2359m 44s

90. Marc Forster: A Man Called Marc

For Mike, filmmaker Marc Forster is a rare example of making a new friend as an adult. Mike and Marc met on the new film A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks, in which Mike plays the antagonist. Since then, they’ve become good friends. Now Marc sits down with Mike to discuss his journey from Germany to Switzerland to NYU film school. Marc explains how he built a filmography so varied that it includes the zombie apocalypse blockbuster World War Z as well as the Winnie the Pooh story Christopher Robin. Plus, Marc’s advice to aspiring filmmakers, why his family calls each other “shnufi," and why the buddy system is important in creative pursuits.Please consider donating to Smiling Gecko
16/01/2351m 14s

89. Chris Redd: How to Express Your Mind on Stage

Mike and Chris Redd first met when they appeared in the movie Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Since then they’ve become friends in the world of stand-up comedy. Today they break down how to express ADHD, depression, and anxiety through comedy and how Chris arrived at the material for his new HBO special “Why Am I Like This?” Chris and Mike also discuss the relationship between hip-hop and comedy, the mechanics of crowd work, and why there’s a playlist for everything.Please consider donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
02/01/2352m 40s

88. Seth Barrish: Mike and Seth’s 15 Year Phone Call

Mike welcomes to the podcast his longtime creative collaborator, the director and actor Seth Barrish. Seth directed all five of Mike’s solo shows but that’s just one part of his varied career. Seth discusses his early days as a pianist at The Comedy Store, working with actors like Anne Hathaway, and what it’s like being a “that guy!” actor himself, including two different roles on two different seasons of The Sopranos. Seth and Mike go deep on acting process, how to deal with rage-aholics, and Seth’s near-death experience in Africa.Please consider donating to City Harvest
19/12/2256m 14s

87. Atsuko Okatsuka: I'm Here to Make Friends

When Atsuko Okatsuka first appeared on Working It Out in 2021, she and Mike were both still developing their new shows. Now Mike’s The Old Man and the Pool is on Broadway and Atsuko’s The Intruder is an HBO comedy special. So Atsuko returns for a third chat with Mike to discuss the development of those shows. Plus jokes and stories about food conspiracies, making friends as an adult, and how to stop an awkward conversation.Please consider donating to Downtown Women's Center
05/12/2247m 2s

86. Wendy MacNaughton: Putting On Your Art Eyes

Wendy MacNaughton is an acclaimed visual artist whose work you’ve probably seen and/or love. Between illustrating the bestselling cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat, drawing for the New York Times, and teaching “Draw Together” online art classes for kids, she somehow found the time to design the artwork for Mike’s show The Old Man and the Pool, as well as co-design the cover art for The New One book. Mike talks with Wendy about the process of finding one’s artistic voice, turning her car into a mobile art studio, and the relationship between writing jokes and drawing pictures.Please consider donating to Girls Garage
21/11/2247m 14s

85. Iliza Shlesinger: When You're Hot Forever

Iliza Shlesinger is one of the most prolific comedians on the planet, with six specials including her latest, Hot Forever, and a new comedic memoir, All Things Aside. Mike and Iliza bond over their hard-to-pronounce last names, Iliza explains why she doesn’t like being described as “brash,” and we learn why Iliza was born to work out jokes.Please consider donating to Team Rubicon
31/10/2243m 12s

84. Chloe Fineman: The SNL Star Who Can Literally Do Anything

Chloe Fineman’s first TV appearance was doing bird calls on Letterman. Now she plays a multitude of beloved characters on SNL and a role in Noah Baumbach’s forthcoming film White Noise. Mike and Chloe discuss how she got noticed with her celebrity impressions on Instagram and what happens when you talk smack about Chloe’s dog. Plus, jokes and stories about anesthesia freakouts and celebrity orgasms.Please consider donating to Best Buddies International
24/10/2251m 15s

83. Chris Gethard: Don’t Think Twice About Being Naked

Mike has seen Chris Gethard naked. So has the cast and crew of Mike’s film Don’t Think Twice. Chris shares his memories of being nude on set, as well as why he was reluctant to return to the world of improv for the movie. The two longtime friends tell stories about touring together and brainstorming their respective projects simultaneously: Don’t Think Twice and Chris’s solo HBO special Career Suicide.Please consider donating to the Natural Resources Defense Council
17/10/221h 2m

82. Sam Morril: What Did You Do? My Act.

Sam Morril tells well-crafted jokes but sometimes they make people angry. Sam is known for dealing with provocative subject matter but he doesn’t consider himself a provocative comedian. He and Mike dissect the difference. Then, on the heels of Sam’s new hit Netflix special “Same Time Tomorrow,” the two comics pollinate the seeds of new jokes about mink coats, resistance coffee shops, disappointing your religious relatives, and why Elon Musk has eight kids.Please consider donating to City Harvest
03/10/2246m 51s

81. J. Hope Stein: Jokes and Poems

Mike welcomes his wife, the poet J. Hope Stein, a.k.a. Jen, a.k.a. Clo, on the release day of her new book of poems "Little Astronaut.” Mo and Clo have a deeply candid chat about poetry, creativity, and what it’s like when two artists are married to each other. The couple offer a sampling of their live “Jokes and Poems” show, discuss why Jen kept her poetry secret for years, and Jen gives tips for dating a comedian. (Spoiler: don’t.) Plus, Jen’s side of Mike’s “Who did?” story, and the truth about Mike’s household chores record.Please consider donating to Everytown
19/09/2247m 15s

80. Larry Wilmore: Putting It Out There

Larry Wilmore’s credits are endless. In Living Color, The Bernie Mac Show, The Office, The Daily Show, Insecure, and more. Now the legendary writer and performer sits down with Mike to share some of the wisdom he gained from working on all of those classic shows. Larry explains why writers never argue about endings, why his family calls him The Oracle, and why conflict was the driving narrative force behind The Office.Please consider donating to Autism Speaks
05/09/221h 4m

79. Sarah Sherman: From New Faces to SNL

Sarah Sherman a.k.a. Sarah Squirm is the first and only Working It Out guest to show up wearing a t-shirt of the band Cannibal Corpse. The breakout SNL star sits down with Mike and the two comics cover everything from Kaufman-seque performance art to Sarah’s Weekend Update segments where she mercilessly roasts Colin Jost. Plus, jokes and stories about infrared saunas, getting chased by tweakers in the desert, fish eating fish, and a one-time only duet of Fran Drescher impressions.Please consider donating to Food Bank For NYC
22/08/221h

78. Jimmy Fallon: Dip It in Ranch

This week Mike literally picks up Jimmy Fallon in his car and drives him to the studio for this joke-filled and joyful episode of Working It Out. The two friends share stories about everything from camping out with their daughters to impressions of Rodney Dangerfield to Jimmy’s early days of standup when he shaved his face on stage. Plus, Jimmy explains why he couldn’t stop laughing in the legendary Cowbell sketch on SNL with Will Ferrell and how watching comedy when he was injured in the hospital led him to a revelation about the healing power of laughter.Please consider donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
08/08/221h 7m

77. Joe Birbiglia: Who Doesn’t Like Free Stuff?

Mike welcomes his longtime collaborator and lifelong brother Joe Birbiglia. They discuss what it’s like to work together as family—from differentiating between work and family phone calls to Joe being mistaken for Mike at the merch table. Joe explains the differences between “Joe Bags” the character and Joe in real life and Joe and tells his story of trying to break into the comedy world in the early 2000s, crossing paths with The Onion and The Daily Show. Plus, a fly-on-the-wall joke writing session that mirrors the way Mike and Joe write together in real life.Please consider donating to The Rhode Island Community Food Bank
25/07/2253m 42s

76. Jessi Klein: This Is the Reason For Comedy

Jessi Klein is an Emmy-award winning comedian, writer, actor, and author, with a resume that includes Inside Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live, Transparent, Kroll Show, and the voice of Jessi Glaser on Big Mouth. On top of all that, WIO listeners may remember her from Mike’s film Sleepwalk With Me where her character places a pizza pillow around Mike’s neck and then sprays him with tomato sauce. In this episode the two old friends punch up jokes and discuss why writing about being a parent can be a third rail subject. They also go deep on Jessi’s New York Times-bestselling book “I’ll Show Myself Out” and Jessi explains why the title of two of her book chapters are “In Defense of Drinking” and “Your Husband Will Remarry Five Minutes After You Die.”Please consider donating to Moms Demand Action
11/07/2258m 30s

75. Zarna Garg: Humor is a Strategy

Comedian Zarna Garg immigrated to the U.S. from India at age 16 and started performing stand-up comedy in her forties. As Zarna’s daughter Zoya explained in her New York Times-published college essay, it was not an easy path. Zarna sits down with Mike to discuss how humor has always been a strategy in her life, from escaping an impending arranged marriage to navigating life in a new country. Plus stories and jokes about upgrading her husband, trashing her mother-in-law on stage, and why Zarna approaches stand-up comedy like hosting a dinner party. Please consider donating to The Comedy Cures Foundation
27/06/2254m 51s

74. Ben Stiller: Get Some Sleep

This week Ben Stiller joins Mike  to talk about everything from leaving the SNL cast within weeks of joining to early nerve-racking test screenings for his film “Zoolander.” They also break apart Ben’s genre-bending hit series “Severance” on Apple TV plus. Ben aces the slow round with stories about growing up the child of two comedy greats, not making the high school basketball team, and the magical feeling of being backstage at “The $10,000 Pyramid.”Please consider donating to the UN Refugee Agency.
13/06/2259m 5s

73. Michael J. Fox: When Your Hero Comes on Your Podcast

This week Mike welcomes one of his all time heroes, Michael J. Fox. Not only is Michael a five time Emmy award winning actor who has starred in ‘Family Ties’ and ‘Back to The Future,’ but his foundation has raised over 1 billion dollars to help fund Parkinson’s research programs. This week Mike and Michael work out material about not getting the Hugh Jackman treatment at the airport and Michael offers profound wisdom like: “You have to accept the truth of the situation before you address it.”For a written transcript of this episode, click here.Please consider donating to: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
30/05/2237m 20s

72. Drew Barrymore: Do What You Love

Mike’s first-ever major movie role was in Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore. Now, 12 years later, Drew takes Mike through her journey from starring in E.T., to hosting SNL at age 7, to producing and starring in some of the most iconic films of the last 30 years. Drew breaks down her approach to comedy, and discusses how hosting her own talk show has allowed her to reclaim the narrative of her own life. Plus, jokes about New York City breakups, and what to do when your soul can’t catch up with your body.Please consider donating to World Central Kitchen
16/05/2256m 55s

71. Alex Edelman Returns: The 25 Word Pitch

Mike welcomes back Alex Edelman. Since his last appearance on the podcast, Alex has opened his solo show “Just For Us,” received rave reviews, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and has been nominated for an outer critics circle award. He just announced a 3rd extension of his show at the Greenwich House Theater in New York City beginning June 13. The two friends discuss how two pitch your own work in 25 words as well as as horrible nicknames, accidentally reading other people’s texts, and how to finance a burrito. Plus, Mike is concerned his daughter might be turning into an insult comic or worse, a ventriloquist.Please consider donating to Tikvah Children's Home
02/05/2252m 24s

70. Judd Apatow Returns (Again): He Has Fettuccine in His Heart

Judd Apatow returns for a record third appearance in support of his latest New York Times-bestselling book Sicker in the Head. He turns the tables and puts Mike in the hot seat for an interview tracing Mike's journey from "funniest person on campus" in college, to doorman at the DC Improv, and beyond. The two friends reminisce about about being paid in fettuccine, and co-workers embezzling money from comedy clubs. Plus, questions from a special livestream audience about self-esteem and Judd's creative writing philosophy, which he calls “getting it down, then fixing it up.” Please consider donating to:826 National
18/04/221h 3m

69. Atsuko Okatsuka Returns: How to Become Yourself

When Atsuko was first on the Working It Out podcast, Mike only knew her from her viral Instagram videos and some of her stand-up. Since then, Mike and Atsuko toured together and their "pandemic friendship" became a real friendship. Now Atsuko returns, in person, to discuss what it's like to develop her new hour of comedy, and why it takes 10 years to become yourself on stage. Plus, stories and jokes about taking your mom and grandma to a "bottomless" show in Las Vegas, and what Mike has in store for Mike and Atsuko's upcoming show in Washington DC.Please consider donating to: Downtown Women's Center Los Angeles
04/04/2259m 1s

68. Taylor Tomlinson Returns: She's Not Like Us

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 it 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
21/03/2251m 20s

67. Lynn Shawcroft: How Mitch Hedberg Wrote Jokes

Last summer, Mike revistied to the classic comedy album "Strategic Grill Locations" by his friend, the late great Mitch Hedberg. The listening experience was so transcendsnt that it inspired Mike to call Mitch's wife Lynn Shawcroft and ask if she would be open to coming on the podcast and discussing Mitch's joke writing process. The two old friends discuss daydreaming, free associating, and how sometimes jokes that feel like one-liners are actually stories unto themselves. Plus, they share stories about Mike and Lynn opening for Mitch, and the time that three of them went bowling and Mitch couldn't believe how bad Mike was at bowling. Please consider donating to: The Bail Project
07/03/221h 7m

66. David Cross: Fully Committed Dad

This week Mike welcomes David Cross, who is a legend in comedy and also makes cameos in Mike’s dreams. The two comics discuss the origins of Mr. Show, why Tobias from Arrested Development is so different from David himself, and how sometimes it’s hard to be an optimistic dad when the reality in front of you doesn’t feel so optimistic. Plus Mike and David tell each of their sides of the story of the most awkward moment ever between Mike, Mike’s mom, and an entire live audience. Please consider donating to: American Civil Liberties Union
21/02/2247m 52s

65. Jon Laster Returns: Playing Legacy Ball

When Jon Laster was last on the podcast in the summer of 2020, Mike and Jon talked race relations in America and the relationship between tragedy and comedy. Now Jon returns to discuss his thoughts on what has changed, what has stayed the same, and how his frustration led him to create an app called Blapp, which helps support black-owned businesses. Plus, stories and jokes about Jon’s mother showing up to watch Jon play basketball on a team he wasn’t on, finding a better word for "billionaire," and why Mike doesn't wear a speedo. Please consider donating to: Jara Check out Blapp and help support black-owned businesses.
07/02/2251m 6s

64. Mo Amer: The Creative Savings Account

Mo Amer started doing stand-up when he was 14, and now he's being introduced by The Rock in his latest Netflix special, Mohammed in Texas. Mike talks with Mo about that journey, growing up Palestinian in Houston and later performing in college lunchrooms. They discuss why immigrants love Nescafe, the lengths to which Mo will go to get access to a bidet, and why it's important for writers to store ideas in a "creative savings account." Please consider donating to: https://www.angelbynature.com/reliefgang
24/01/2256m 7s

63. Sarah Millican: Put The Email Address In Last

What started as a poem by Sarah Millican about a bad divorce sprouted into one of the most popular comedy careers in England in the last 20 years. Mike and Sarah discuss how hitting rock bottom can lead you to the top and what happened when Sarah’s childhood bully sent her a long letter as an adult. Plus, new bits about Sarah’s husband who may or may not be a robot, Mike’s dad’s excessive use of speakerphone, and that time Sarah got too comfortable with a sharp object. Please consider donating to: https://www.samaritans.org/
10/01/2256m 39s

62. Hannah Einbinder: The Joke’s on You For Loving a Clown

Hannah Einbinder received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her breakout performance in HBO’s “Hacks.” Today Hannah and Mike discuss what it means to be yourself in auditions, risking rejection in front of audiences, and the miracle that is crowd work. They kick around new jokes about the time Mike’s Apple Watch called the police and what it means to say I love you from the other room. All that, and some deep thoughts on deep sea fish. Please consider donating to: The Trevor Project
27/12/2154m 2s

61. John Green: The Fault in Our Birbiglias

In addition to his new hit book “The Anthropocene Reviewed,” John Green has written several novels that have debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list including “The Fault in Our Stars” which was adapted into an indie blockbuster with Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and featuring Mike in the role of Patrick the youth pastor. Mike and John recount meeting each other on the set of the movie and in the slow round John recalls getting a banana smushed in his face in 4th grade. John helps Mike work new out jokes and they end up in a rabbit hole of summer camp nostalgia. John also becomes the first guest to try to place his own Jack Antonoff music sting. Please consider contributing to: Partners in Health Check out Mike's tour dates at: Birbigs.com
13/12/211h 4m

60. Rosebud Baker: Addicted to Comedy

Rosebud Baker can make anything funny. She has jokes about the tragic death of her sister, her own struggles with addiction, and why nurses seem to be a little too cocky. Mike and Rose kick around jokes about what to do when your Uber is filling up with water, how much urine is in a public pool, and why some of us marry our dads. All that, and a story about toasting a U.S. president when she was a kid. https://www.safehorizon.org/
29/11/2157m 40s

59. Alex Edelman: A Jewish Person Walks Into a Meeting of White Supremacists

In December Mike presents Alex’s Edelman’s solo show, "Just for Us" off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre. It's an award-winning comedy in which Alex (who is Jewish) tells the story of being accidentally invited to a gathering of white nationalists & then what happened when he…showed up. Mike & Alex crack open that story as well as working out jokes about rollerblading into museums, why Socrates had a hard time at parties, & how texting the tooth fairy can backfire. https://www.childrensdefense.org/
15/11/2150m 28s

58. Jimmy Carr: Life Is Better With Laughter

Legendary British comedian Jimmy Carr begins his conversation with Mike by saying, “I wrote a book in lock-down because it was that or a podcast and I figured a book would be more dignified.” This begins an hour-long chat between friends that jumps from jokes to roasts to a genuine and vulnerable discussion of how laughter has the power to heal us. https://www.smcyouthwork.org/
01/11/2158m 11s

57. Stephen Colbert: Laughter As An Act Of Love

Fresh off his Emmy win (with stage companion Conan O’Brien) Stephen Colbert joins Mike for a discussion of comedy, anxiety, and why he’ll never run for Senate. He explains that the reason he loves improv is that there’s nothing like failing with someone else and laughing about it with your scene partner, and he explains why Bill O’Reilly was never his scene partner. https://somosamigos.org/
18/10/211h 12m

56. Atsuko Okatsuka: Her Life Should Be a Movie

Atsuko Okatsuka makes comedy videos featuring her grandmother & her husband, which Mike is convinced should be a feature film. The two comedians discuss Atsuko’s move from Japan at age 10, her grandmother’s run-in with a praying mantis, and why Mike might end up making a cameo in Atsuko’s feature film singing “Amazing Grace.” Earnestly. https://downtownwomenscenter.org/
04/10/2152m 25s

55. Sterlin Harjo: Comedy From Tragedy and Reservation Dogs

Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo co-created the smash comedy hit Reservation Dogs for FX about four Indigenous teenagers growing up on a reservation in Oklahoma. Sterlin tells Mike about the time he accidentally taped over someone's wedding video while applying to the Sundance Film Lab. He also discusses Native representation in film & how his new series may represent some sense of hope. Many laughs. Many challenging topics. A little backstrap. https://wellforculture.com/
27/09/211h 5m

54. Phoebe Robinson: Is She a Writer? Oh Yes, She Is

The last time Phoebe Robinson and Mike hung out, they were waiting to be picked up by an Uber on the side of a highway after their tour bus broke down. In this episode, they discuss Phoebe’s third book, "Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes,” the eternal question "to prenup or not to prenup," and why Mike was qualified to be a token white guy on Phoebe's "Sooo Many White Guys" podcast. https://www.girlswritenow.org/
20/09/2151m 18s

53. Pete Holmes Returns: Paperback Pete and His Soft Body

Mike welcomes back one of our most beloved guests, Pete Holmes, to celebrate the paperback release of The New One. Pete has a lot to say about hardcovers, hardbodies, and how his father asks him questions just he so can answer them himself. Mike calls this "an expert's edition" of Working It Out because the slow round and the new material all swirl into one singular soft serve ice cream comedy cone. https://cac.org/
03/09/2152m 13s

52. Randall Park: His Superpower is Turtle Figurines

Randall Park has brought his one of a kind comedic approach to Trainwreck, Fresh Off the Boat, Veep, and the Marvel Universe. Randall reveals how he and Ali Wong scored the Keanu Reeves cameo for their film "Always Be My Maybe." Mike shares a dark version of the children’s joke “Why was 6 afraid of 7?” and Randall explains why collecting turtle figurines is indeed a skill. https://www.kulturecity.org/
29/08/2152m 47s

51. Jim Gaffigan: We Met in 1997 at a Pizzeria

Mike met Jim Gaffigan in 1997 when he cold-called Jim’s landline. They went out for, of course, pizza and Jim gave him advice that Mike has not only used but also shares with others. The two comics discuss the insanity of charging large pizza prices for mediums size gourmet pies, deciding not to curse on stage, and what happens when a non-political comedian has had enough. It’s Jim Gaffigan like you’ve never heard him before. https://www.theimaginesociety.org/
23/08/211h 2m

50. Kate Micucci: Don't Think Thrice

For the 50th episode Mike welcomes Kate Micucci, another member of the “Don’t Think Twice” cast. Kate is one half of the folk comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates and her creative talents stretch from music to acting to visual art. Kate shares some of her latest cartoons-in-progress and the two friends go deep on postpartum depression and its lesser known cousin “post-artum depression.“ The episode goes from silly to serious to nostalgic the way the best friendships do. https://826national.org/
09/08/2156m 26s

49. Keegan-Michael Key: Schmigadon't Think Twice

In 2015 Mike filmed “Don’t Think Twice” where Keegan-Michael Key played a guy who got cast on a fictional version of SNL. This year Keegan hosted the *actual* SNL in a delightful case of life imitating art imitating life. Today Keegan and Mike nerd out about live sketches vs. filmed Key and Peele sketches, the wisdom of Robert Deniro, and how Keegan seems to be able to do anything, including his most recent role in the new musical comedy series Schmigadoon! https://rfkhumanrights.org/
02/08/211h

48. Judd Apatow Returns: Judd Has Notes

Judd Apatow recently saw Mike's entire new show in progress, and he's got a lot of feedback. As they break apart Judd's notes, they veer into topics like dark joy vs. light joy, why we exercise, and how many days per week it's appropriate to eat ice cream. Plus, Mike details a serious argument he had with his daughter Oona about dinosaurs. This episode is an all-timer. Judd and Mike are truly working it out. https://826national.org/
26/07/211h 8m

47. Malcolm Gladwell: 10,000 Hours of Jokes

You can hear the excitement in Mike's voice as he welcomes legendary author Malcolm Gladwell, host of Revisionist History and author of 'Outliers' as well as his latest, 'The Bomber Mafia.' Malcolm brings Gladwellian theory to why the re-telling of jokes is never as funny. They riff on evil golf courses, evil search engines, & where that YMCA pool smell might actually come from. Even Malcolm’s mom Joyce makes a cameo. This may just be the tipping point for Working It Out. https://www.yesscholars.org/
12/07/211h 12m

46. Brie Larson: Captain Marvel Helps Captain Jokes

Mike is joined this week by Academy Award-winning actor Brie Larson whose films range from Captain Marvel to Room as well as Trainwreck, where her character Kim is married to Mike’s character Tom. Mike bounces jokes off of Brie about people on the internet being angry and vocal about Mike and Brie’s characters being a married couple. The result is hilarious, honest, and ultimately lands on Brie’s joke advice that just might work! In this universe! https://thejewishmuseum.org/buy/donation
05/07/2154m 7s

45. Neal Brennan: The Comedy Whisperer

Before they became comedians, Mike and Neal both got their start working the door at different comedy clubs. Now, they sit down for a discussion of what it was like for Neal to co-create Chapelle’s Show, and the best advice that Neal received from Chris Rock on his hit Netflix special, “3 Mics.” Plus, new material about protesting yourself, macaroni and a powder intended to represent cheese, and how apologies can feel like a fade-away jump shot. Please allow Mike and Neal to show you to your seats. https://txcivilrights.org/
28/06/211h 4m

44. Sarah Silverman: A Hard Comedy Reset

Mike is a huge admirer of Sarah Silverman and in this episode Sarah brings jokes, stories, and answers to tough questions like, “Why do so many of our comedian friends die young?” Along the way they discuss “coke lyrics,” Sarah’s priceless memory of Joan Rivers, and a story from when Sarah was a kid that is so insane that you actually have to hear it. https://www.kiva.org/
14/06/211h 2m

43. Bill Hader: This Episode Has It All

This episode has it all. Bill’s time at SNL. Bill’s time at South Park. Bill’s work at Pixar. Bill’s impression of Mike and Mike’s impression of Bill. Bill’s collaboration with Mulaney and Bill’s discussion of craft in co-creating and writing and acting on the Emmy award-winning HBO hit “Barry.” It’s got jokes. It’s got stories. It even has a moment when Mike forces Bill to compare himself to The Beatles. If that’s not enough, today (June 7) is Bill's birthday. https://www.everytown.org/
07/06/211h 12m

42. Quinta Brunson: Flinging Cats, Lovingly

This week Mike welcomes Quinta Brunson, the comedian, actor, and writer who blew up from her “He Got Money” memes and viral videos. She has since pivoted into mainstream success as one of the stars of HBO’s “Black Lady Sketch Show” along with roles in “Big Mouth” and as the author of her new book “She Memes Well.” The two discuss the loss of their mutual friend Kevin, the concept of “friend contracts,” and why we fling cats because we love cats. https://mutualaidphilly.com/en/
31/05/2152m 19s

39. Nish Kumar: The Sidekick Soliloquy

This week Mike is joined by British comic Nish Kumar and they discuss Brexit, the craft behind building a one person show, and the time Nish was told by a heckler to “go home” when he was pretty close to his home. Nish divulges his lifelong goal to not be Batman or even Robin, but rather the other guy. The sidekick of the sidekick. Find out why Nish should be everyone’s hero. https://helprefugees.org/choose-love/
03/05/211h 1m

38. Conan O'Brien: It's His Birthday, Celebrate Him

Mike welcomes his comedy idol and former boss Conan O’Brien whose hit podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” prompted Mike to demand that they actually be friends and that Conan come on Mike’s podcast. What results is a magical discussion of Conan’s early political aspirations, why the class clown never becomes a professional clown, and the contagiousness of the Irish accent. https://www.corunummealcenter.org/
18/04/211h 16m

37. Jo Firestone: Onomatopizza and the Fyrestone Fest

In anticipation of this week’s “Worldwide Comedy Pizza Party” Mike welcomes one of the most uniquely funny people alive and the two comics go deep on deep dish. Jo explains her controversial take on eating pizza crust first and builds on Mike’s already over the top “onomatopizza” pun. Along the way Jo tells the story of the time she put on a comedy festival at a carwash at 8 o’clock in the morning and why she ordered 30 pizzas for the audience. Podcast is served. https://www.iamwomankind.org/
12/04/2158m 26s

36. Gary Gulman: The Joke Nerd Summit You've Been Waiting For

These two comedy nerds discuss the elements of math, science, art, and music that go into constructing the perfect joke as they trade collected wisdom about writing from Steve Martin, Mary Karr, Robert Lowell, Philip Roth, and Anne Lamott. They also dig into the rule of 3s, growing up in Massachusetts, the difference between “book smahrt” and “street smaht” and how Gary turned tragedy into comedy in his hit HBO special, “The Great Depresh.” https://donate.hki.org/
05/04/2153m 37s

35. Fred Armisen: The Secret Comedy Rules of Portlandia and SNL

Mike and Fred have a candid chat about the secret rules of Portlandia and the comedy writing lessons of SNL. Fred describes how they arrived at the title for “Portlandia” and Mike describes how he arrived at his brand new solo show title that he debuts in this episode. All that and Fred shares his Mike Birbiglia impression, his Ira Glass impression, and explains why a parody of This American Life doesn’t quite work on SNL. https://www.sweetrelief.org/
22/03/2148m 44s

34. Aubrey Plaza: A Four-Quadrant Superstar

Aubrey Plaza is a beloved comedic actor for her role as April on Parks & Rec & many acclaimed indie films including "Black Bear" which she not only starred in but also produced. The two discuss their shared love of indie film, Aubrey’s gloriously awkward talk show appearances, & why she'd make the perfect Oscars host. We learn who makes Aubrey laugh, advice she got from Amy Poehler, & how having a stroke at age 19 put her life in perspective. All that plus new pizza jokes! https://hispanicfederation.org/
15/03/211h

33. Nathan Lane: He Deserves Special Treatment

Mike is joined by Broadway legend Nathan Lane who just so happened to have changed Mike’s life 13 years ago. 1 month after they met Nathan was the witness for Mike’s wedding at City Hall…and then 4 months after *that* Nathan presented Mike’s off-Broadway debut Sleepwalk With Me. Nathan has hilarious stories about working with Matthew Broderick on The Producers and Mike Nichols on The Birdcage as well as insightful notes on the newest material for Mike’s next show. https://broadwaycares.org/
08/03/2153m 24s

32. Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis Meets Mid-Life Crisis

Taylor Tomlinson is only 27 and already has her own hit comedy special on Netflix called “Quarter-life Crisis.” Mike bonds with this prolific joke writer over her unique introduction into comedy when her dad signed the two of them up for a stand-up comedy class at church when she was 16. Mike and Taylor have a candid talk about panic attacks, therapy, and comedians resenting other comedians for the right and wrong reasons. Many jokes. Many laughs. Many confessions. https://www.lafoodbank.org/
22/02/2158m 36s

31. The Sklar Brothers: How to Say I Love You, Freshly

Mike welcomes the great Randy and Jason Sklar as they trade jokes about how to say I love you to your parents without sounding like you’re in the Mafia, the difference between outsourcing and ‘Mom-sourcing,’ grandmothers owning sex robots, and what it really means to go skiing with Joe Bags. Listen as these three joke nerds come together and create bits in real time. https://www.youngstorytellers.com/
15/02/211h 6m

30. Nikki Glaser: The Taylor Swift of Comedy

Prolific, raw, and hilarious comic Nikki Glaser shares childhood memories of her mom in the Slow Round that she’s not yet willing to tell on stage but is willing to say on a podcast. Nikki and Mike both admit that their level of honesty with even their own diaries doesn’t hit 100%. Nikki declares herself the Taylor Swift of comedy and Mike declares himself the Springsteen. This episode is raw and honest and funny. https://www.strayrescue.org/
08/02/211h

29. Frank Oz: Frank Being Frank

Yoda. Miss Piggy. The Muppets Take Manhattan. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. These are just a few entries in the IMDB of Frank Oz. Mike welcomes the show business legend for a candid talk about Frank’s collaborations with Jim Henson and his approach to directing. They also discuss Frank’s new film In & Of Itself, an adaptation of Derek DelGaudio’s brilliant stage show. Also, Frank gives notes on Mike’s new material! It’s candid. It’s frank. It’s Frank. https://www.hfotusa.org/
25/01/211h 7m

28. The Lucas Bros: Losing Their Minds Together

Keith and Kenny Lucas join Mike for an episode that alternates between utterly serious & supremely silly. They discuss their moving Vulture essay "Our Brother Kaizen," as well as jokes in process about "twin discrimination," and the difference between writing a will and meeting Will Smith. They also discuss the devastating loss of their mutual friend Kevin Barnett and how it led to the Lucas’ sobriety after years being self-described stoners. A must listen. https://ysrp.org/
18/01/211h 3m

27. Rachel Bloom: The Inception of the “Please Stop The Ride” Musical

The award-winning co-creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rachel Bloom joins Mike as the two of them crack into a format never explored in this podcast—the musical! Mike leaves his prepared material behind and pitches a concept for a musical. In turn Rachel pitches Mike her first comedy special—an idea she has never discussed publicly. They also discuss Rachel’s hilarious new book and Rachel delivers some of the best slow round answers of all time. https://feedingamerica.org
11/01/2149m 51s

26. All Jokes Considered: The Staff Picks The Best Of 2020

A comedy extravaganza featuring Sarah Cooper, Hasan Minhaj, Tig Notaro, Jimmy Kimmel, Maria Bamford, John Mulaney, Ira Glass, Jon Laster, David Sedaris, Pete Holmes, Jon Favreau & Tommy Vietor, Jacqueline Novak, Bowen Yang, & Natasha Lyonne. The perfect episode to share with friends or enemies who haven’t dipped their toes in the Working It Out waters. We are highlighting 6 food banks and Mike is donating 100% of the New Years Eve 6:30 virtual show proceeds to them. https://linktr.ee/WorkingItOutPod
21/12/2054m 53s

25. Ira Glass: The Highly Anticipated Return

Since Ira Glass was Working It Out’s inaugural guest in June 2020, listeners have frequently requested his return. This week the podcast has its first return guest and its first *second draft*. We also learn what it takes to get a story on “This American Life” and whether Mike’s new story about learning he had cancer at age 19 has what it takes. Ira gives genius notes and spares no feelings. Story nerds, gather round. It’s a must listen. Please consider donating to: https://elpasoansfightinghunger.org/
14/12/2050m 48s

24. Natasha Lyonne: No F**kin’ Around

Mike welcomes the great Natasha Lyonne, co-creator and star of the hit Netflix series Russian Doll. Natasha opens up about her own process as well as the best advice she’s received. Natasha holds Mike’s feet the fire about his new material—so he scraps his prepared jokes for some personal stories he wasn’t planning to tell. This episode is like planning your own funeral, which is also discussed. Don’t miss it. Please consider donating to: https://www.wpaonline.org/ https://www.girlsclub.org/
07/12/2059m 53s

23. Ramy Youssef: Kicked in the Golden Globes

Mike welcomes award-winning comedian Ramy Youssef. The two friends discuss the unexpectedly controversial elements of his hit series “Ramy.” They also work on jokes about bad wedding speeches, getting kicked in the balls, and the time Ramy told people in Jacksonville that he was Muslim to which a woman replied, “We don’t do that here.” Well, the good news is: we do this here. Enjoy. Please consider donating to: Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative https://www.muslimarc.org/
23/11/2050m 52s

22. Abbi Jacobson: The Broad City Makeout Party

Mike is joined by the co-creator and co-star of the comedy classic “Broad City.” They discuss the show’s origins, why we should all hope to “fail flamboyantly,” and why you might quit your job after getting an email from Amy Poehler. Along the way they work out material about why Mike hates magic and Abbi’s crippling fear of running into her ex-girlfriend underwater. On one episode of Broad City Mike and Abbi made out literally. Today on “Working It Out” they make out…with jokes. Please consider donating to: Girls Write Now https://www.girlswritenow.org/
16/11/2055m 14s

21. Bowen Yang: How Do You Write a Sketch For SNL?

Bowen Yang joins Mike this week for an episode that is as hilarious as it is honest. Listen as Bowen and Mike discuss everything from gay conversion therapy and googling yourself to high school theatre fails and psychedelic shrooms. Bowen and Mike work out standup bits and potential sketches you may be seeing on SNL soon. Plus, find out the one must-have item you’ve been missing your whole life when using a porto-potty. Please consider donating to: Clinton Hill Fort Greene Mutual Aid https://sites.google.com/view/chfgma-org/home
09/11/2059m 3s

A Letter From a Comedian To College Students Everywhere

This episode is a little different from the others. If you like it please share it with your college age friend or family member. Also, it’s worth visiting https://votesaveamerica.com/
26/10/204m 33s

20. Jacqueline Novak: 50 Ways To Get Eaten By the Garage Door

Jacqueline and Mike have toured together for years and Mike recently produced Jacqueline’s Off-Broadway hit “Get On Your Knees.” On this episode they get nerdy on joke structure: setups, punchlines, tags and secants. They also dig into memories of Jacqueline’s childhood friend getting eaten by a garage door and what “blinking man” means at a crosswalk. Find out why Mike concludes the episode by saying “You must be the first repeat guest!” A must listen. Please consider donating to: Loveland Therapy Fund https://thelovelandfoundation.org/loveland-therapy-fund/
19/10/2058m 32s

19. Beth Stelling: Dreaming About Sex With Your Dad

This week Mike welcomes Beth Stelling- the fearless star of the new HBO Max special, Girl Daddy. Beth and Mike discuss their joke nerd instincts and goal to turn pain into comedy. They trade jokes about sex in a rocket ship, middle school burns, flying weenies, and, yes, even dreams about sex with your dad. Please consider donating to: YWCA Dayton, Ohio https://www.ywcadayton.org/how-to-help/donate/
12/10/2048m 50s

18. Jon Favreau & Tommy Vietor: Pod Save Birbiglia

Mike chats with two of the co-hosts of “Pod Save America” about voting, working in the White House, getting high at Water Country, and “unf—ing the supreme court with small-d democracy.” What happens when a comedian talks candidly with President Obama’s speechwriter and one of the members of his national security team? Find out. It’s a good one. And vote! Please consider donating to: Vote Save America: https://votesaveamerica.com/donate/
05/10/2058m 38s

17. Pete Holmes: What Podcast Would Jesus Listen To?

Mike and Pete are old comedy friends, which is why Pete does a pitch perfect impersonation of Mike, and Mike feels comfortable asking Pete for advice about Jesus. If you’ve ever listened to Pete’s legendary podcast “You Made It Weird,” you know that these two crack each other up. It’s a fun ride with tons of new jokes. Don’t miss it. Please consider donating to water.org
28/09/2051m 46s

16. Maria Bamford: Your Comedy Vaccine

Maria Bamford has been one of Mike’s favorite comedians for a long time. Maria discusses the time she cold-called a Catholic priest even though she’s not Catholic, stories about Air BnBs, why Domino’s might be more helpful than a suicide hotline, unorthodox covid vaccines, and the recipe for grilled cheese. Don’t miss this one. Please consider donating to: Los Angeles Downtown Women's Center https://downtownwomenscenter.org/
21/09/2053m 0s

15. Jimmy Kimmel: This Week He Hosts The Emmys, But First....He Works It Out.

Last year Jimmy Kimmel cooked Mike meatballs and then Mike dropped them on Jimmy’s front lawn. This interview goes better than that! Join Mike and Jimmy for a candid chat about schoolyard fights, right wing hit jobs, pre-existing conditions, and people who claim to not like pizza. Also, Jimmy has listened to all the episodes AND HAS NOTES. It’s a good one. Enjoy. Please consider donating to: St. Joseph Center https://stjosephctr.org/ Children's Hospital Los Angeles https://www.chla.org/
14/09/201h 7m

14. Tig Notaro: Hot Vegan Lesbian Clickbait

Mike trades jokes with the great Tig Notaro. They discuss winning back ex-girlfriends in your favorite shirt, washing food during the pandemic, Billie Eilish's parents, and perhaps the most unlikely comedic run that involves both the Kiss and Indigo Girls. Do they also mention Ani DiFranco? Yes, they do. Please consider donating to Support + Feed: https://www.supportandfeed.com/
31/08/2052m 40s

13. Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America…and Mike Birbiglia!

Ronny Chieng is most well known for his roles in Crazy Rich Asians and on The Daily Show, but he is also one of the finest stand-up comedians today. Ronny joins Mike to collaborate on entirely new jokes about Mike’s secret superhero identity “Mildew Man,” why presidents need to leave conspiracy theories to the pros, and some eye opening observations from Ronny about the current international perception of America. Please consider donating to: Welcome to Chinatown https://www.welcometochinatown.com/
24/08/2046m 35s

12. Sam Jay: America’s Next Big Comedy Star

Sam Jay is a comedian and writer for SNL who may be on the verge of superstardom. Her new special “3 in the Morning” is filled with jokes and stories that are funny and fearless and dare the audience not to laugh. In this episode Sam teases new ideas she’s kicking around for her next hour. The conversation ranges from Sam’s cousin eating pie on the toilet to growing up black in America when you’re not given “the stuff.” Please consider donating to: Black Trans Lives Matter Youth Fund https://gf.me/u/yjmr4p
17/08/2034m 6s

11. Judd Apatow: The Cinema Mogul Tries to Ruin Mike’s Podcast

Judd and Mike are real life friends who share their real life candid observations in this loose and hilarious hour of workshopping jokes. Judd’s childhood friend peed on him as he watched Saturday Night Live and Mike puts the dental in transcendental meditation because he grinds his teeth. Together they reminisce about 7th grade Washington trips, fears from being a teenager, and fears about having a teenager as Judd helps Mike sculpt his own “This is 40.” Things get tense when Judd declares that he is more attractive than “The Rock.” Please consider donating to 826LA https://826la.org/ David Lynch Foundation https://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/
10/08/2051m 14s

10. Roy Wood Jr: From Birmingham to The Daily Show to Broadway?

Mike and Roy teamed up to raise money for comedy club waitstaffs with “Tip Your Waitstaff.” Now they work on jokes about gin vomit, stealing fancy jeans, and why being a Daily Show correspondent could put you in more hot water than having a criminal record. The episode touches on regret, redemption, and lands in an unexpected place when Mike asks Roy if he’d consider letting Mike produce his one person show. Don’t miss this one. Please consider donating to: https://www.iseemeinc.com
03/08/2054m 31s

9. Melissa Villaseñor: Mike Writes Jokes with the SNL Star in Real Time!

Mike teams up with SNL star Melissa Villaseñor to work out jokes about feminist bookstores, moms talking to themselves, and guitar teachers who are frankly just showing off. This is a true comedy jam session and there are jokes written in real time! Don’t miss it. Please consider donating to: Rock The Vote https://www.rockthevote.org/
27/07/2043m 32s

8. Hasan Minhaj: Sometimes Living Through History... Sucks

Mike and Hasan are friends who love talking about current events and comedy craft. In this episode, Hasan teases possible themes and stories for his next special, which shares some commonality with Mike’s special Thank God For Jokes. They talk about everything from macaroni and cheese to marriage and children to the time Hasan came to Mike’s apartment for a script reading and his takeaway was that Mike’s wife Jen is a better person than Mike. This conversation goes from macro to micro to personal to global. Thank God for jokes and thank God for Hasan Minhaj. Please consider donating to: NRDC: https://www.nrdc.org/ Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/
20/07/201h 2m

7. Sarah Cooper: America’s Funniest Lip-Syncer-In-Chief— In Her Own Words

Mike gets to know comedian/writer Sarah Cooper, whose Trump lip sync videos are a viral phenomenon beloved by millions. They crack open the pain of being rejected in middle school, the joy of huffing Irish spring soap, and why Sarah and Mike are both New York forever. Please consider contributing to myFace: https://www.myface.org/
13/07/2046m 48s

6. David Sedaris: Mike Trades Funny Stories With His Comedy Hero

Mike talks with his literary hero David Sedaris about clocking 90 thousand steps, dressing like a clown, and walking through Times Square after midnight in the pandemic. Please consider contributing to: Feeding America https://www.feedingamerica.org/
06/07/2050m 16s

5. Hannah Gadsby: Solo Shows and Spectrum Gazelles with a Master of the Craft

Mike discusses Hannah's award winning Netflix special “Nanette,” her new special “Douglas” and together they dig deep into the solo show process and how her new show may end up including a “spectrum gazelle.” Sponsored by Samuel Adams Please consider supporting: https://www.safehorizon.org/
29/06/2052m 2s

4. Matt Berninger, Carin Besser, & J. Hope Stein: The Poetry of Mike’s favorite band “The National”

Mike celebrates the publication of "The New One, Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad” with his co-writer and co-wife J. Hope Stein. They are joined by Matt Berninger, the lead singer of Mike’s favorite band "The National” as well as Matt’s co-writer and co-wife Carin Besser. This creative double date goes deep as the two married couples open up about creative marriages, actual marriages, and how writing poetry can feel like knitting.    Please consider supporting: 7-Inches For Planned Parenthood
22/06/2050m 5s

3. Jon Laster: Lessons from Black Lives Matter. Also, Honey Buns.

Mike discusses Black Lives Matter and turning tragedy into comedy with Jon Laster.Please consider contributing to the following organizations:NAACP Legal Defense FundUnited Negro College Fund
15/06/2058m 47s

2. John Mulaney: Shooting Hoops with the Michael Jordan of Comedy

Mike discusses the Chicago Bulls with the Michael Jordan of stand-up comedy, John Mulaney.Please consider contributing to the following organizations:NAACP Legal Defense FundParole Preparation ProjectInnocence Project
15/06/2042m 44s

1. Ira Glass: A Podcast Legend Teaches Mike How to Make a Podcast

Mike works out the concept for this very podcast during this very episode of this very podcast with podcast legend Ira Glass.Please consider contributing to the following organizations:NAACP Legal Defense FundDoctors Without BordersOxfam America
15/06/2046m 31s

Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out: Trailer

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.
30/05/201m 31s
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