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Cover image of Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out

Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out

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.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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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

50mins

22 Jun 2020

Rank #1

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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/

1hr

8 Feb 2021

Rank #2

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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

49mins

11 Jan 2021

Rank #3

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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/

1hr 5mins

15 Feb 2021

Rank #4

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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/

1hr 2mins

18 Jan 2021

Rank #5

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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/

51mins

29 Jun 2020

Rank #6

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Pete Holmes: A Petey Re-Pete in Honor of His Appearance at the Worldwide Comedy Pizza Party

In anticipation of Pete’s March 24th appearance at the Worldwide Comedy Pizza Party (tickets at birbigs.com) we are re-airing one of the most popular episodes we’ve ever done. The highlights? Pete does a pitch perfect impersonation of Mike and Mike feels comfortable asking Pete for advice about Jesus. These two old friends crack each other up and try out a ton of new jokes. https://www.birbigs.com/ https://water.org/

51mins

1 Mar 2021

Rank #7

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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

34mins

17 Aug 2020

Rank #8

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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/

51mins

10 Aug 2020

Rank #9

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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/

1hr 2mins

20 Jul 2020

Rank #10

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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/

50mins

6 Jul 2020

Rank #11

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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 Fund United Negro College Fund

58mins

15 Jun 2020

Rank #12

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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

54mins

3 Aug 2020

Rank #13

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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/

46mins

13 Jul 2020

Rank #14

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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

54mins

21 Dec 2020

Rank #15

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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/

50mins

14 Dec 2020

Rank #16

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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/

59mins

7 Dec 2020

Rank #17

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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/

55mins

16 Nov 2020

Rank #18

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A Message From Mike and a Re-Post of Pod Save Birbiglia

A special pre-Election Day message from Mike and a re-post of one of the most popular episodes. Remember to vote! http://votesaveamerica.com/

59mins

2 Nov 2020

Rank #19

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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/

4mins

26 Oct 2020

Rank #20