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"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"'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
"'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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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 "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
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
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
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
See it if you enjoy an intelligent stand-up performance. There isn't much important underlying content, but there are laughs.
Don't see it if you want rapid-fire jokes. This is storytelling...and some of it drags a bit. MB is sufficiently engaging, though, to pull it off.
See it if You want to see a very funny stand-up show. Hilarious and insightful!
Don't see it if You want to see theatre. I knew he was a comedian, but expected it to more like a one-man-show. It's really just a stand-up routine.
See it if you like comedy, Mike Birbiglia, or an enjoyable, low-key, 90 minutes with no intermission. He also tells an anecdote about President Obama
Don't see it if you don't like comedy shows, Mike Birbiglia's style, or have young kids. It's not family unfriendly, but I don't think they'd enjoy it much.
See it if you want to see a master class in stand-up comedy. simple, but incisive and genuinely funny. socially relevant themes.
Don't see it if you're not aware that you're seeing a stand up, not a traditional play or musical!
See it if You enjoy Mike Birbiglia and/or like listening to long-form stand-up comedy.
Don't see it if You disliked Mike's piece "Sleepwalk with Me", don't enjoy comedians, or if you'd rather see a traditional play.
See it if you like stand-up comedy, you like Mike Birbiglia, you want something light and fun that goes down easy.
Don't see it if you want a tightly-crafted show, you expect more of a performance monologue with a narrative arc or thesis statement.
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.
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.