Exclusive - Mike Birbiglia Extended Interview

August 11, 2016 - Mike Birbiglia 08/11/2016 Views: 4,783

Mike Birbiglia discusses his film "Don't Think Twice," which examines how an improv troupe deals with the success of one of its members. (7:19)

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Please welcome Mike Birbiglia.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Thank you, guys.All right.

This is such an honor.

-Welcome to the show.-Holy cow.

-Oh, cheers, cheers.-Cheers.

Not-not everyone picks upthe cup. Cheers, cheers.

Thank you very much.It's Rio poo water.

-Hope you enjoy it. -It's sostrange seeing that clip,

because I wrote this movie

before Donald Trumpwas a candidate.

-Are you serious?-Yeah.

Wait, what... No, no... Beforehe was a candidate at all?

-Yeah. -Like, beforehe came down the escalator...

-I wrote this movietwo and half years ago.

And we're shooting it...I swear,

and we're shooting it, like...

Well, that wasback when he was just

sort of the most hated manin New York City, not...

-The most hated man in theworld. -Not the most hated

man in the world, but, um...

And-and it was, uh, you know,we were running it, uh,

in rehearsal,and Gillian Jacobs,

who's one of the starsof the film--

a few days beforeshe goes, "Mike..."

This is last, uh,this in August last year--

she goes, "I thinkthe Trump candidacy thing,

"I think it might not be a joke,

I think it might be real."

And I said, "Silly actors.

"With their wild ideasabout politics.

L-Leave the heady stufffor this guy."

Um... And, uh, here we are.

I mean, it is justthe... it's madness, right?

It's-it's such madness that,uh, I, like, uh, I know that

you don't consider yourselfa "political comedian."

-Yeah. -And yet even youstarted tweeting about Trump.

Well, how can you not? It's...

But that's... this isan interesting conversation.

No, this is an interestingconversation, because...

-(cheering, applause)-...because what was funny was

I saw your tweetand then people--

you tweeted about Trump--and then people were like,

"Hey, Mike, why don't youalso tweet about Hillary?"

I know. Well, they go...they got so mad 'cause I tweeted

that Donald Trumpwants to be president

the same way dumb high schoolguys want to have sex

but they're not qualified to be a dad.

-(cheering, applause)-Right? Sort of...

It's sort of...

It's a light...it's a light touch.

And then, uh,and then people were like,

"How come you're notgoing after both sides?"

And I said, "There...He isn't on a side,

he's the algaethat's stuck to the side."

-He's not! I mean, we haveto admit -He's not a side. Yes.

that, like, it's not...it's not...

This-this whole kind of fairand balanced fallacy

is-is... does not apply to him.

-He's his own thing.-I always say that Donald Trump

-is not a side. That's... Yeah.That is true. -He's not a side.

Um, let's talk about the moviethough.

I don't want to spoil your timewith Trump.

Um, I've heardit's a really funny movie.

It's growing,which is fantastic.

You started out really small,really indie film.

And, uh, just to give...for the people out there,

it's-it's a fantastic "inside"comedy film,

because it shows the journeyof a group of friends

who are in a sketch troupeand they're all auditioning

for different roles, but thenone of them gets a job on SNL

and everything starts to fallapart in the friendships.

Easy, Trevor. A Saturday Night Live-type of show.


I don't want to get in trouble!

-It's, uh... it's, uh...-All right. All right.

it's-it's called Weekend Live, and, uh...


-It's, uh...-Oh.

And, uh... and it's aboutwhat happens in friendships

when-when...as Keegan-Michael Key,

who's one of the starsin the movie, says,

what happens when your dreamscome true for someone else.

-Yeah. -'Cause it's aboutthe bitterness and-and jealousy

that the guys feelin the troupe, and it's, uh...

it's like... You know,it's a movie, really...

I mean, it's about the business,

but it's alsojust about friendship.

Yeah, and how... Uh, you know,I-I heard a quote--

I don't know where it was from--but they say, um...

they say, "Oh, your friends,you'll see your best friends

in the darkness, in thedark times." I go, "No, no, no."

You will always find yourtruest friends in your success,

because if your friendscan be happy for you,

-that's-that's true friendship.-Oh, that's nice.

-That's really what it is.-Yeah.

-That's interesting.-'Cause it's easy... it's easy

for people to be like,"Oh, chin up, Mike," you know?

But then when Mike is winning,then it's like, "Oh, good job,

-Mike, you got the jobI wanted," you know? -Yeah.

That's what I felt in the film.It was... it was bitterness

but it was friendship,it was love. How do you...

Like, that balance. Did you takeany of that from the real world?

Were there any comediansthat inspired you for that?


We're gonna go to commercial.Um, no, I...

It... The movieis autobiographically, uh...

-autobiographical in its themes.-Yes.

Uh, I know what it feels like...

I like how you don't wantto get sued by anything

-or anyone.-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Everything's me dancing around.It's, uh...

No, I mean, I know whatit feels like to be jealous

and just go like,"How come that person...?

-Yeah. Yeah. -I mean,even in life, you go,

"How comethey have an in-ground pool,

and I havean above-ground pool?"

You know what I mean?Like, jealousy is just...

I like how for white people,that's, like, the thing.

Well, in-ground pool versus anout-ground pool. -(laughter)

-I like that. That's likeyour... -I have... yeah.

-"Oh, man. Oh, man."-(applause and cheering)

Oh. Um... but it's, uh...

Yeah, but it's... but it's...You jealousy is...

-Yeah. -I admit. I admitthat it's a shameful thing

that I... that I deal with.

-I think we all doto some extent. -We all do.

But-but it's been a weird week.

I'm out on this whirlwind tour,and,

uh, with the movie,you know, 'cause it's...

it's opening this weekend in70 theatres, which is exciting

-for a small little movie likeus. -That's really exciting.

-And, um, but Suicide Squad came out last weekend. -Yes.

And I was in... I was ona morning TV show in Denver.

-Like, Wake Up, Denver!, orwhatever the thing. -(laughter)

-And, uh, I don't know.-That's exactly how it goes.

Yeah, and, uh, I thinkDanny Tanner was the host.

-And, uh...-(laughter)

(applause and cheering)

Little Full House reference,but it was, uh...

And they showed Suicide Squad, and then they...

It was like someone shoot...literally shooting up,

like, ten peoplewith a machine gun.

And then they're like,"That's in theatres, PG-13."

And then they're like,

"Don't Think Twice is rated R."

-And I'm like, "What?!"-(laughter)

Like, how come ours is rated R?

All we have isadult human beings

smoking pot, like, once.

-(laughter) -Nobody killsanybody! -Yes, but what...?

But, Mike, I think you haveto be honest with yourself

and ask yourself the question,

"How many people have beenkilled because of weed?"


And how many peoplehave been killed

because of violence and guns?

I know. That's right.

Yeah, and that's...I got to look...

-I got to dig deep.I got to dig deep. -(laughter)

-(applause)-You know what the truth is.

But, you know, I looked... I...It's, you know, the MPAA...

The MPAA rating system isvery strange, and it skews...

It's very friendly to violenceand very unfriendly to...

-Yes. -...to fun drugs, um...

-(laughter) -And...-Because violence is natural.

-Yeah.-But carry on.

And so, but I looked, um...

You know, on the poster,it says, "Rated R," and...

You've got a picture hereif you... Yeah.

And, uh, but look closer.

If you look at the fine print,uh, it says,

"R based on friendships, humor,explicit truths about life,

someone smokes pot,realistic male shirtlessness..."


"...no murders and a studiowon't make billions." So...

-(laughter)-At least they're being honest.

(applause and cheering)

-And at leastyou won't get sued. -Yeah.

-Thank you so much.-Trevor, it's an honor.

-Don't Think Twice. -(applause and cheering)

Very funny film.Go and support it.

70 cinemas,select theatres worldwide.

And... coming out on August 26.

Mike Birbiglia, everybody.We'll be right back.

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