DID YOU READ

SXSW 2012: Mike Birbiglia explains his inspiration for “Sleepwalk with Me”

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It’s hard to ignore the fact that there are some pretty major parallels between the life of Mike Birbiglia and his new movie that premiered at SXSW, “Sleepwalk with Me.” Birbiglia is a successful stand-up comedian, while the film’s main character Matt Pandamiglio is on the brink of success and trying to break out in his career.

Though the story is largely fictional, Birbiglia admitted to IFC that he did draw on a lot of his own real-life experiences to write (and direct and act in) the film. While his jokes used to just be funny anecdotes, Birbiglia said he realized while performing at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen that he could get a better response from his audience if he started telling more intensely personal stories than he had been before.

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The story he told in Aspen was called “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” which is from the same one-man show that he’s touring with right now. He told the story at that comedy festival, and said the response was so great that it changed how he viewed his brand of comedy

“It’s basically about this embarrassing thing that happened in high school which is I had my first girlfriend, it was so exciting, but then she had another boyfriend, so I was like the back-up boyfriend,” he said. “And eventually she invites me to meet her parents, and it’s going really well, and then this other guy comes over, and I realize that I’m hanging out with my girlfriend’s boyfriend.”

It was a hard tale for Birbiglia to tell, but the pay-off was worth it in the end.

“It was such an embarrassing story and it was so hard for me to tell that on stage the first time in Aspen, Colorado, when I finally did it … I was like, ‘I think that what I’m doing here is I’m getting as many laughs as what I was doing before, and it’s connecting to the audience in a way that when you give the audience something, they give you something back,'” he said. “It’s something more than laughs.”

Do you prefer it when comedians tell embarrassing, personal anecdotes from their own life instead of just funny anecdotes? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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Ho Ho Ha

Xmas Miracles You’ll See At Joe’s Pub

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special Premieres December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It’s just so tempting to bah-humbug the holiday season. And while there’s much we can’t wait to put behind us, one thing left to look forward to with pure and wide-eyed joy is Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celebration in the true spirit of those splendid TV specials from the ’70s and ’80s, complete with special guests, musical numbers, awkward segues and an (intentionally) wafer-thin narrative through line.

As if you need more convincing, here are a few juicy nuggets to get excited for…

Tony Hale plying the captive audience with hot chocolate (and it working).

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Bridget Everett dressed like an ornament…

and in a state of nearly constant wardrobe malfunction.
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Matteo Lane hitting a crazy high note in a Snuggie.

Not a Slanket. There’s a meaningful difference.

Lisa Loeb creeping on Kurt Vile.

#hairlikeapony #whynotme
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Judah Friedlander getting replaced by a robot…

and it pretty much going as expected.
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Bottom line: the miracles abound. Grinches, Scrooges, and Tiny Tims alike will find their Holiday joy. And it’ll be awkward–in the most wonderful kind of way.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10p on IFC

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