New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

Thank God For Jokes

From 21 critic and 73 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Intelligent

About the show

Culture Project presents a limited Off-Broadway engagement of award-winning comedian Mike Birbiglia with his one-of-a-kind storytelling style. More…

Mike Birbiglia declares that a joke should never end with ‘I’m joking.’ In his all-new comedy, Birbiglia tiptoes through the minefield that is modern-day joke-telling. Mike learns that the same jokes that elicit laughter have the power to produce tears, rage, and a whole lot of getting yelled at. Ultimately it's a show that asks, “How far should we go for the laugh?”

Bob's Theater Blog

"His ingratiating, slightly self-deprecating persona, his skillful ability to seamlessly incorporate the audience into his monologue and the effortlessness with which he picks up motifs from earlier in the show and deftly weaves them into the performance make time spent with him a thoroughly rewarding experience...The 85 minutes flew by with very few moments that did not grab my attention...He is a master of the monologue and we are lucky to have him back onstage." Full Review

The New York Times

"Humor is on Mr. Birbiglia’s mind...There is not an ounce of pedantry in his 85-minute monologue, an indescribably ridiculous collection of anecdotes and asides that miraculously blend into a whole…Mr. Birbiglia is hiding some serious ideas beneath the laughter. This isn’t just an enjoyable performance; it’s also an admirable piece of writing, so funny and yet so smart." Full Review

As Her World Turns

"My sister and I saw this show last weekend and just loved it. We’re big comedy fans — especially my sister — and we like Mike Birbiglia’s work. His show is even better than I’d hoped; it’s a mix of engaging, humorous stories and legitimately good crowd work. He took us on a ride for 80-ish minutes that I enjoyed every second of. If you can see him in person, do it, because each show is unique (i.e. because of the crowd work) and he’s so comfortable telling stories on stage." Full Review

Center on the Aisle

"It’s like attending a college course in comedy, taught by a lovable and disheveled professor. He moves between hilarious anecdotes, audience interactions, and thoughtful observations…He creates an instantaneously friendly rapport and by the end, you not only feel like you’ve seen a hilarious show but that you’ve become friends with this goofy, witty man...One of the most human and community-inspiring comedy shows this writer has seen." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"You can't help but leave the theatre grinning…He casts a stark light on the thousand and one absurdities underpinning modern life…While you're laughing, you barely have time to notice how neatly he slips a few serious thoughts into the discourse…It's hard to not be moved by the deep feeling he displays for his hard-won talent and the laughter he shares." Full Review

New York Post

"Stand-up Mike Birbiglia has honed his latest piece on the road, and it shows: 'Thank God for Jokes' is incredibly effective. Yet it doesn’t feel over-rehearsed, thanks to the comedian’s laid-back demeanor — the show’s diabolically well-constructed but he looks as if he’s riffing off the top of his head." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Comedian Mike Birbiglia tells stories, mostly about himself, which usually end with him being embarrassed or humiliated. And the more embarrassed and humiliated he gets, the funnier he is...Birbiglia delivers all this in a low-key, deadpan fashion, although he clearly enjoys making himself the butt of his jokes. And that enjoyment proves irresistibly infectious." Full Review


"It’s a common belief that analyzing what’s funny is not particularly funny. Mike Birbiglia proves the exception to the rule in his new solo show. The show places him among the top tier of smart-funny comedians whose humor comes from a sly, subversive and introspective place." Full Review

Epoch Times

"Birbiglia shows himself to be a master of the art of storytelling. He often takes a roundabout route to get where he’s going, but always has a masterful payoff...Filled with material guaranteed to make you alternatively groan and roar with laughter, the work never fails to stress the importance of being able to laugh at oneself, in the right circumstances of course. 'Thank God for Jokes' offers a rib-tickling and thought-provoking experience." Full Review

Front Row Center

"'Thank God For Jokes' is a carefully crafted ramble where every destination is appealing and all roads eventually converge and lead to a satisfying destination...It is Birbiglia’s verbal peregrinations that enchant. In this consistently funny and smart show he seems to tangentially wander topic to topic, but this is a very carefully mapped out journey — one where the various stories all tie together to make a point about the sanctity of the free speech that are jokes." Full Review


"In his previous solo shows 'Sleepwalk with Me,' and 'My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,' Mike Birbiglia showed two really uncommon traits: a willingness to let theatergoers in on some extraordinarily embarrassing moments in his life, and the ability to keep audiences smiling, if not laughing hysterically, for nearly 90 minutes. So, it’s nice to report he pulls off this rare hat trick with 'Thank God for Jokes.'" Full Review

Out Magazine

"Hilarious new show in which he discusses just how far we should go for a laugh, all while looking adorably rumpled in a flannel shirt and engaging in easygoing, wry commentary that captivates the crowd. He takes us through weird but fun jokes that arose out of his meeting the President, being arrested for having a suspended license, and appearing with the Muppets...Birbiglia is pretty hot himself. Catch him whenever you can—because he’ll never be in a David O. Russell film." Full Review


"'While Thank God For Jokes' lacks the cohesive, narrative depth that sustained Birbiglia's previous one-man shows, it is uproariously funny, marvelously absurd, and intellectually satisfying. The central premise—of comedy's consequences in an interconnected world—is a sturdy hook on which Birbiglia hangs his whimsical array of hilarious stories, and by the end my face was sore from laughing." Full Review

The Associated Press

"Consistently funny, slightly chaotic and thoroughly entertaining…The dramatic arc is slow to form, but becomes reinforced with each riotous sketch…'Thank God for Jokes' may not possess that characteristic underlying theme that seems to linger beyond the choruses of breathless laughter. But in the end, for this warm tribute to the power of jokes, breathless laughter is enough." Full Review

Time Out New York

"While the material lacks 'Sleepwalk's' emotional punch, the writing and delivery is as sharp as ever...When he throws crowd work—admonishing latecomers—the teasing is quite endearing. Longtime fans might miss the more radio-friendly material, but Birbiglia makes a compelling argument for regular usage of the word fuck and earns forgiveness for straying from a reputation that was not always true to him." Full Review

New York Daily News

"Sheepish self-effacement about questionable moves is an appealing Birbiglia hallmark....'Jokes follows Birbiglia’s Off-Broadway solo shows 'Sleepwalk with Me' and 'My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.' It’s not quite up to those works, but it's always fun to be on-board when Birbigs, his social media handle, drives his clown car." Full Review

Theater Jones

for a previous production "Birbiglia is above all a superb stand-up comedian. He may be telling tales, but they are super dense with funny lines. He’s a top-tier humorist—no wonder he was a Thurber Prize finalist—who possesses excellent delivery. Great waves of laughter rocked the Paramount. Not titters or chuckles or even reactionary guffaws, but deep satisfying belly laughs. At times people were gasping for breath and laugh-until-you-cry tears were streaming. My face hurt." Full Review

Metronome Charleston

for a previous production "It’s hard to remember things verbatim when you’re enjoying yourself so much...He’s comfortable, charming, and genuine. How often do you find that in a comic’s stage persona? And is it even fair calling it a persona? One has to believe that when it comes to Birbiglia, what you see is what you get — pure comedy Myrrh." Full Review


for a previous production "The thoughtfulness, vulnerability, and continuity of 'My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend' was Mike Birbiglia at his very best. While the content of 'Thank God for Jokes' doesn’t currently rise to those heights, the best of Birbiglia remains- it is incredibly funny and brilliantly crafted. Birbigs gets his audience invested in his experiences and, subsequently, their experience in a way that only the best of writers can do." Full Review

The Huffington Post

for a previous production "It may sound like heavy stuff, but 'Jokes' remains surprisingly nimble...It's a seamless show and an impressive career move...Ten years after his first, it feels like he's on the cusp of making a second major performance breakthrough and unleashing some of that long-hidden anger onstage. When he does, chances are it will be Birbiglia's best material yet." Full Review

Owl and Bear

for a previous production "Birbiglia’s unassuming nature and ability to develop a rapport with the crowd were his greatest assets...Birbiglia’s voice is distinctive — stifled like a yawn and ending each sentence on a soft fadeout — and he uses that delivery to subtly tweak the pace and tone of his shows. That proved mostly effective on Friday, though the energy did wane a bit as the night neared its end...A hilarious, successful performance." Full Review

Exquisite, Funny, Hilarious, Original

See it if You are a fan of intellectual humor that takes a little more thought to find a joke funny

Don't see it if You do not enjoy stand up comedy, are not a fan of dry sarcastic humor

Delightful, Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if not a funnier comedian in sight.

Don't see it if prob not best for kids

Clever, Delightful, Edgy, Funny, Intelligent

See it if You welcome a bit of reality and heartbreak with your humor. Mike has an understated charm and honesty which is just unparalleled.

Don't see it if Subtle, slice of life humor is not your bag.

Entertaining, Funny, Clever

See it if You're a fan of standup and Birbiglia. Very funny set.

Don't see it if You don't care about humour and how it works.

Clever, Funny, Great writing, Hilarious, Refreshing

See it if you are a fan of clever storytelling (think "This American Life") and/or stand-up comedy.

Don't see it if you prefer an ensemble piece (this is a one-man show).

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Hilarious, Intelligent

See it if You want to laugh your ass off. So fun and charming.

Don't see it if You are easily offended by jokes

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if Like comedy. Mike birbiglia is great. I heartily recommend it.

Don't see it if You are easily offended.

Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You like great story telling and sarcasm

Don't see it if You don't like dry humor or are scared to be the butt of a joke

Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if you enjoy humor that goes beyond the surface and examines the very nature of what we find funny and why.

Don't see it if you're easily offended. A Christian couple walked out during this performance due to "jokes about Jesus".

Funny, Hilarious, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if So funny. Well thought through. Delivery with perfection.

Don't see it if You don't like one person comedies.

Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Must see

See it if You've liked any of his jokes, or if you've never heard of him. Go see it!

Don't see it if You hate to laugh, particularly to the point of abdominal pain

Funny, Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent

See it if Long live Birbiglia!

Don't see it if It was really smart and funny. So I guess if that isn't who you are then....

Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you want to see one of our finest comedians at the top of his form.

Don't see it if your idea of humor runs to one-liners.

Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent

See it if You like to laugh and think and don't feel like taking out a third mortgage to see 'Hamilton'.

Don't see it if You prefer filthy, misogynist, banal humor.

Clever, Funny, Ambitious, Edgy, Intelligent

See it if you like comedy developed from real life, told in warm and funny stories, by a pleasant appealing personality, enjoy laughing

Don't see it if you have no sense of humor

Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if you're a fan of Birbigs, you want to be taken on a journey through great storytelling, and want to laugh, cry, cry because you're laughing.

Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows, and prefer traditional plays for storytelling.

Original, Clever, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you love comedy

Don't see it if You need a plot

Edgy, Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if you like mike bribiglia and love good jokes

Don't see it if youre easily offended

Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if Birbiglia at his best. Funny throughout and the whole still manages to be better than the sum of its parts

Don't see it if You don't like or get jokes

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy comedy by the hilarious and ever-entertaining Mike Birbigs - his story-telling and comedic ticks can make almost anyone laugh.

Don't see it if You dislike being called out for being late to a show.

Delightful, Clever, Funny, Hilarious, Quirky

See it if you like stand up comedy and to laugh

Don't see it if you need a story and are offended easily

Entertaining, Quirky, Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy Mike Birbiglia. The show is very similar to his other stand up, but with the simple staging and message it becomes something new

Don't see it if you get easily offended or if you tend to show up late (trust me on this, there is a whole section on this)

Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Raunchy

See it if you like stand up comedy. This one, not at all crude, has some sex jokes, some drug jokes, and one bit which uses "adult language".

Don't see it if you're looking for a conventional theatrical production.

Delightful, Funny, Hilarious, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you enjoy cleanish standup that has a lot of heart.

Don't see it if you don't like standup comedy.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you would enjoy clever observational PG-13 humor told by a relatable storyteller and comedian.

Don't see it if you don't like stand-up or The Moth-style stories.

Cast & Creatives (8)