Episodes
Mike welcomes back old friend and Working It Out hall of famer Tig Notaro. They discuss the inevitability of finding your own comedic voice, how Tig had to come out as gay to her own children, and the time her brother fell into her stepfather’s grave. All that, plus tales from Tig’s lesbian party bus with Sarah Paulson and Allison Janney. Please Consider Donating To: World Resources Institute
Published 07/22/24
This week Neal Brennan returns to Working It Out in celebration of his new Netflix special, “Crazy Good.” Neal and Mike go deep on what to do when friendship isn’t reciprocated, what all comics have in common with Seinfeld, and the irrelevance of the question “Is Kevin Hart humble?” All that, plus the listener email Mike received in response to his joke about joining a cult.
Published 07/15/24
Published 07/15/24
Hasan Minhaj Returns: Good Boy Syndrome (Recorded August 2023) 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...
Published 07/08/24
Jesse David Fox is one of the definitive voices in comedy history and analysis. He’s written for Vulture and New York Magazine and now he sits down with Mike to discuss his new book Comedy Book, which covers among other things the comedy boom of the past 20 or so years. Mike and Jesse break down what it’s like to write *about* comedy, and why Mike trusted Jesse to document his creative process in the Peacock documentary Good One, based on Jesse’s podcast. Plus, Mike holds Jesse’s feet to the...
Published 07/01/24
In celebration of his new special “Terrified,” the Impractical Jokers star Sal Vulcano joins Mike for what starts as a normal interview and then turns into a podcast full of stories stranger than the last: Sal’s prank on an overbearing TV executive, how Sal ended up with *multiple* photorealistic tattoos of Jaden Smith, Sal’s never-ending eBay dispute, and how Sal put his foot in his mouth irrevocably with Rachel McAdams. All that, plus a few more stories that have Mike ending the podcast...
Published 06/24/24
Comedian Janine Harouni and Mike have a lot in common. They both survived severe car accidents, they have similar relationships with their parents, and they both value the quality of being vulnerable on stage. Mike and Janine discuss the process of turning a traumatic experience into a comedic story, and how Janine’s recovery from her car accident helped her better connect with her parents and inspired her to start doing comedy. Plus, jokes and stories about what it’s like being married to...
Published 06/17/24
From the studio of Pete’s podcast, You Made It Weird, Pete and Mike record an all new episode of Working It Out. Pete brings new and improved roasts of Mike while retroactively responding to Mike’s roasts of Pete from their previous episode. Plus the two comics have one of the most pure Working It Out sessions of all time as they create jokes in real time about their complex relationships with their dads. Through the jokes and the burns Mike and Pete ultimately attempt to answer life’s big...
Published 06/10/24
Working It Out hall-of-famer Rachel Feinstein returns to the podcast on the heels of her hit Netflix special Big Guy. Rachel explains why her firefighter husband loves being roasted in her special and why he pronounces the word “cash” like “quiche.” Rachel shares an absurd road story featuring Kevin Hart and Keith Robinson and discusses why you should never ask a comic how *they* felt about their show. Plus, new material about God getting sober, normalizing spa days, and Rachel attempting to...
Published 06/03/24
Ramy Youssef Returns: You Already Love Him (Recorded October 2023) 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...
Published 05/27/24
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...
Published 05/20/24
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...
Published 05/13/24
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....
Published 05/06/24
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.
Published 04/29/24
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...
Published 04/22/24
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.
Published 04/15/24
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: https://www.sefaria.org/texts
Published 04/08/24
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.
Published 04/01/24
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?
Published 03/25/24
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.
Published 03/18/24
This week Mike responds to listener questions. How many of your stories are true? Who is your dream guest? What’s your greatest piece of comedy advice? All these and more.
Published 03/11/24
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.
Published 03/04/24
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:...
Published 02/26/24
Jim Gaffigan: Dark Comedy From the Cleanest Comedian (Recorded July 2023) 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...
Published 02/19/24
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...
Published 02/12/24