Wings or a gourmet meal?

Mike Birbiglia interview. He's asked, "How does it feel different to you, performing in that more personal style and with a purpose with more at stake?"

I wanted to pick my favorite things about one-person shows and my favorite things about standup comedy and merge them into a thing that is personal and, hopefully, knock on wood, as funny as a regular comedy album, but then also leads up to a point and has like an emotional weight to it in that, in some ways, I’m kind of giving something to the audience...

I always think of it as I like serving a full meal for the audience, as opposed to, like, chicken wings. That’s what I think of jokes — they’re chicken wings or pizza or ice cream or something. I love those things; I’d be the first to line up for all of those foods, but if a chef can deliver you a full meal, that to me is sort of euphoric. And that’s how I want people to feel about it. I want people to feel satiated from it. And I want it to kind of simmer in them. For them to be thinking about it the next day, like, “Oh, remember when we watched that thing?” [Laughs.] That’s really the hope.

I like the wings vs. a full meal analogy. Do you want to give 'em something fast and greasy? Or do you want to give 'em a gourmet meal they'll remember down the road? Both have their pros and cons. Also, it'd be weird if chefs had to prove they could cook wings first before they're allowed to do a gourmet meal. 'Cuz that's what it feels like with standup.


myq said...

From your archives:


Matt Ruby said...

New Food Network show: "Cooking with Birbigs/Comedy Advice."

Alex W. said...

I don't think the best comics serve chicken wings. Folks like Patton Oswalt and Louis CK manage to serve full meals entirely through standup comedy.

Birbigs basically lived off the same material (from Sleepwalk With Me) for about 8 years, shoving it into every possible form of media. So if that is what it takes to get a full meal served from him, I'd prefer sticking with standups who can deliver new, full meals regularly.

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