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.
Taylor Tomlinson: She's Not Like Us
(Recorded March 2022) 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 to 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.
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.
Jack Antonoff: Jokes Are The Melodies Of Comedy
(Recorded May 2021) Mike welcomes Jack Antonoff who, in addition to writing the music for this podcast, is a Grammy Award-winning musician and frontman for the band Bleachers. He has collaborated and co-written songs with Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen, and today he collaborates with Mike on jokes about death and mortality as the two old friends dive deep into the afterlife crisis, what defines “a herb,” and what it means for an artist to “dare to suck.” This episode is packed with jokes, heavy on craft and sprinkled with love.
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.
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Ira Glass: The Highly Anticipated Return
(Recorded December 2020) Since Ira Glass was Working It Out’s inaugural guest in June 2020, listeners frequently requested his return. In December of 2020, the podcast welcomed 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.
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.”