The New One

Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad


By Mike Birbiglia

Supplement by J. Hope Stein

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With laugh-out-loud funny parenting observations, the New York Times bestselling author and award-winning comedian delivers a book that is perfect for anyone who has ever raised a child, been a child, or refuses to stop acting like one.

In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their fourteen-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. She said, "The theme of the stories is jealousy."

Jen quipped, "You're jealous of Oona. You should talk about that."

And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen's pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated—not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change.

So he pored over his journals, dug deeper, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. Along with hilarious and poignant stories he has never shared before, these pages are sprinkled with poetry Jen wrote as she navigated the same rocky shores of new parenthood.

So here it is. This book is an experiment—sort of like a family.


The Book Starts Here

In June of 2016 my wife, Jen, and I took our fourteen-month-old daughter, Oona, to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked us up at the Nantucket airport (which was basically someone’s backyard with planes in it), she asked if I would tell a story at the festival’s storytelling night.

She said, “The theme is jealousy.”

I said, “I don’t think I want to tell a story.”

Jen said, “You’re jealous of Oona. You should talk about that.”

There was a playfulness with which Jen was needling me, but also… she was right. The theme of the night could have been any number of things: “fear,” “change,” “fear of change,” “loneliness.” But the theme was jealousy. So that’s where I began.

That afternoon I started opening up my journals and sharing with Jen some of my deepest, darkest, and funniest thoughts about our decision to have a child. Writing is always a process of trial and error, but this was writing about my own errors, so the errors felt compounded, like I was re-living my own mistakes and failing at that too. Jen and I shared with each other our sides of what had gone down during the pregnancy and in that first year with our daughter.

I told a story that week. It went pretty well. And so it began.

Over the next two years, Jen and I continued to write about this subject.

Our work evolved into an entire show called The New One, which ended up on Broadway.

The more I performed the show, the more people told me that the stories gave them a sense of catharsis—not just parents but also people who resist all kinds of change. So I pored over my journals, dug deeper, found a lot more stories, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad. The book became something I had never expected to write. I confessed things to the page that I was previously uncomfortable confessing to myself. As I worked on the book, Jen showed me some poetry she was writing about the same themes. That poetry is sprinkled through these pages (those are my favorite parts).

So here it is. We hope you enjoy it. This book is an experiment. We figured it out as we went along.

Sort of like a family.

little astronaut

a newborn rests her head on the earth of mother.

everything else is outer space.

—J. Hope Stein

Zombie Kid-Pocalypse

My brother, Joe, used to be so cool, then he had two kids and now he’s a loser.

Well, he’s not a loser, but I will say his house is a lot less fun. Not that my life is that much more fun. It’s just that I’m comfortable. I live in Brooklyn with my wife, Jen, and our cat, Mazzy, and we have long decided that we are not going to have kids. It’s one of the things Jen and I have always had in common. Sometimes we drive away from visiting our friends who have kids and confide in each other, “Fuck that,” from the privacy of our crumb-free sedan.

It’s fall of 2012 when I wake up on Joe’s couch. I’m trudging through his living room, tripping over stuffed pigs and Pack ’n Plays, and I join Joe’s family in the kitchen.

I open the fridge and grab a jar of peanut butter, and there is peanut butter on the outside of the jar. So I’m holding a jar of peanut butter covered in peanut butter. And I think, How the hell did this happen? Did someone grab a handful of peanut butter out of the jar with their hand and then rub it on toast? And where might that person with that lack of judgment also put that same hand? I toss the peanut butter back in the fridge and sit at the table with Joe and the kids. Joe’s older son, Henry, is five. His younger son is two. The two-year-old is named Merritt, which was a name awarded to him at birth after he had achieved no accomplishments whatsoever.

I plop down at the table across from Joe and his meritless children. The moment my butt strikes the chair, I realize that I’m resting on a sticky yogurt pouch. I look around for a napkin but the table is covered in wet Cheerios and Aquaphor, which are, I believe, the opposite of napkins. I look to my left, where Joe is queuing up a video on his phone of his son Henry. I find this infuriating. I think, I have Henry live. I don’t need Henry on tape.

The video itself: underwhelming. Joe says, “This is a video of Henry picking apples. Make sure you watch until the end!”

I say, “When does it end?”

He says, “It’s about twelve minutes long.”

I think, Nobody wants to watch that. There’s so much great content out there. I was on YouTube and I saw a ninety-second video of a cat giving another cat a massage. Don’t waste my time with “Henry picking apples.”

Joe elaborates on their apple-picking trip. Something about stopping for ice cream on the way home. He fishes around in his phone for photo documentation, which I had not requested.

Joe says, “This is the best photo. It’s Henry eating ice cream!”

I think, This is a terrible photograph. The lighting is garish. The framing is so tight that I can’t even tell he’s eating ice cream.

I sit at the breakfast table doing my best to facially express supportive disinterest, and Joe presses on like an air traffic controller on his first day of work.

He says, “Henry ate ice cream even though he hates cold things!”

I think, People with children don’t know how to tell stories. That’s not a story. That’s a “detail” in a story. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. What you said is a boring, boring, and a boring, basted in boring sauce and baked at 200 degrees for ninety seconds. At best, it’s a middle. It’s a middle where you’re thinking, “Get to the end!” But there is no end. Or beginning. It’s just this constant flow of “middle.”

Joe hops up to grab orange juice from the fridge. He’s barely recognizable. This person was never supposed to become a dad. He was too cool to be a dad. He had introduced me to Public Enemy and Nirvana. He taught me how to dance alone in my room to Talking Heads and write jokes and ski off cliffs and smoke pot. Everything I knew about cool through age twenty was mainlined through Joe. Even when our sisters went off to college we continued to share a bedroom and a boom box and a dream, and his having children felt like a betrayal—like he had forgotten about all the rad stuff we had done together and caved to this mediocre grown-up existence. He was like a marathon runner who, at mile nineteen, is handed a backpack full of boulders. I don’t mean to equate children with boulders, but I couldn’t come up with a heavy, useless item that also plays video games and eats candy.

To be fair: Maybe I have a low tolerance for children because I’ve lost a lot of great friends to kids. Because parenting really is like a disease. But it’s worse than a disease because they want you to have it too. They say things like, “You should have kids too!” And I think, I’m watching you do it and I’m thinking I’m gonna not do it.

They’re like zombies, hissing, “Youuuuu should eeeaaaat brains!!!”

I’m watching you eat brains and it seems like it ruined your life.

The way you kill zombies (you probably know this from the movies) is you shoot ’em in the head with a shotgun or chop off their heads with a machete or a samurai sword, which is also the way you kill anyone.

I’m sitting with my zombie brother and his family eating peanut butter Puffins when Henry starts whacking me in the head with a foam bat.

I say, “What game is this?!” and I look over to Joe for assistance.

Joe does nothing. He’s like a World Wrestling referee. He says, “He’s not supposed to do that.”

I hobble away from the table and duck inside the bathroom. I try to pee, but the toilet has that childproof circle-inside-the-circle-inside-the-circle. Like a carnival peeing game that I’m losing badly. Henry kicks in the door and now I’m peeing into the wall, which has pee on it already.

I lock the door.

I stand there for fifteen minutes doing nothing other than avoiding Joe’s family. I pull out my phone and search for local activities. I exit the bathroom and say, “Joe, we should see this band at the Paradise.”

Joe says, “I can’t go to a concert, Mike. I have kids!”

I say, “Sorry.”

Joe says, “Don’t apologize. It’s the most joy I’ve ever experienced.”

I say, “Congratulations on your ambiguous tone!”

We don’t go out. We stay home and watch these Baby Einstein videos, which have yielded no geniuses, to my knowledge. There’s nothing about the theory of relativity in the one I saw. It was just a pig playing a xylophone and then a dog barks and a lady says, “Pillow!” and then my nephew spits yogurt on his shirt.

That’s when Joe confides in me: “He’s a genius.”

I think, I’m not seeing it, man, but sure, maybe he’s a genius.

I fall asleep that night at 7:30 p.m. because being around children makes me want to be unconscious at all times. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. with a fierce cold from sleeping in this petri dish house and a ringing foam bat headache. I stumble into a cab and hobble onto my flight and all I can think is I just want to be home with my wife and my cat and my couch.

To be clear: I love my wife and my cat, but I also love my couch.

It’s the first thing I ever dropped money on in my life. In your twenties you just get a couch on the street—which is a great price. It’s literally garbage, this mysterious lump of wood and fabric, and you bring it home to your six roommates and they’re like, “Nice.”

But then I reached an age—I was twenty-five years old and living in Astoria, Queens—and I thought, I’m a goddamned man. I’m gonna buy a goddamned couch. And I went to a department store and sat on what I believed to be the least expensive couch and then gasped when I looked at the price tag. I said to the clerk, “Wait, this one’s a thousand dollars?”

“Yes, it is,” he said.

“Is there gonna be a sale?”

“This is the sale.”

“Do you think you might go out of business?”

“We are going out of business.”

I think the reason a couch is so expensive is that it’s a deceptively sophisticated piece of technology. It’s a bed that hugs you.

A couch is accommodating: You wanna watch TV? You wanna eat pizza? You sure do like eating. But I like that about you!

Meanwhile, beds are comfy but they know it: I’d like to be called a king. I’m gonna need a box spring.

I don’t touch the floor. Get your hands off that tag! I’d like this room named after me.

Couches are humble: This is about you. You wanna take a nap? Be my guest. You wanna have sex with my arm? I’ll think about it.

In 2008, Jen and I got married at city hall in New York City, which is a great place to get married if you have the chance. Very convenient. We took the subway home. We took selfies on the subway. We ate pizza and hamburgers at this place in our neighborhood called Big Nick’s. And then we took a nap—on the couch.

And since then we’ve spent thousands of hours together on this couch. We’ve watched classic films on the couch. We’ve eaten twenty birthday cakes on the couch. We’ve laughed hysterically on the couch. We’ve cried on the couch in each other’s arms when we found out we had to put our cat Ivan to sleep. It’s soft, yet firm. Filthy, yet spotless. Colorful, yet no one can agree on what color it is. I think it’s green. Jen thinks it’s gray. I looked it up—chocolate. Which isn’t a color but feels fitting because there’s chocolate in it.

I love being home on my couch, but I travel for my job. I perform comedy in sometimes a hundred cities in a year—which is more cities than there are.

Some of them are just an Applebee’s with a dream.

I love performing, but the travel can be rigorous. And often when I return home I feel entirely empty—just bones and garbage and Diet Coke held together by those plastic ringlets that bind sodas and strangle ducks. I smell like a rental car filled with Popchip farts, Cinnabon wrappers, and Febreze. My breath smells like fast-food barbecue sauce. I use the last drop of caffeine in my veins to push my body across the finish line that is my doorstep, and I collapse on our beloved couch…

And it hugs me.

I say to my wife, “Clo…” (Her name is Jen.) “Leave me by the side of the road.”

But she doesn’t.

She revives me.

Jen has a soft, sweet voice. It has a thread count of six hundred. It’s a voice that always seems like it’s telling you a secret or saying, “I’m gonna make tea.”

Jen and I lie on the couch and she orders me a chicken kebab platter and scratches my back, and we snuggle with our cat, Mazzy, and watch a documentary about murder.

And that’s what love is.

And it all takes place…

On the couch.

I meditate on this couch/cat fantasy as I squeeze into my JetBlue seat. I notice a baby across the aisle screaming at the top of his lungs. And in that moment, and I can’t defend this, but I think, That baby doesn’t need to be anywhere. I’m wearing noise-canceling headphones. Which apparently aren’t enough. You need baby… canceling… headphones, which are… condoms… I guess.

We gotta get babies off planes. We got rid of smoking in the eighties, we could get rid of babies now. Or bring back smoking and get these babies some cigarettes because they’re so stressed out.

After an hour that feels like ten, I land in New York and take a cab to our apartment. I melt into our beloved couch and it hugs me.

I say, “Clo [her name is Jen]—people with kids are miserable.”

Jen laughs.

And I laugh.

We laugh as one.

Then she says: “But if we had a baby, I think it would be different.”

I inch away from the couch, spooked as though I had seen something supernatural but knowing that what I’m seeing is perhaps the most natural life progression of all.

I whisper to myself, “She got bit.”

I return to the couch and speak with the professional calm of an FBI agent during a hostage crisis. This is my Waco. I say, “Clo—I was very clear when we got married that I never wanted to have a kid.”

Which, by the way, gets you nothing. Being very clear is apparently useless.

She says, “I was very clear that I didn’t want to have a baby at the time but that I might change.”

I say, “I was clear that I would never change.”

She says, “If you don’t want to have a baby, maybe I’ll have one on my own and we can stay married.”

I say, “That’ll be a good look. Just you and me and this kid that’s a cross between you and some grad student jacking his way through SUNY Purchase. You can’t just have a kid on the side. You can’t tell the neighbors, ‘It’s fine! We keep him in the shed!’ People do it, I’ve seen the documentaries, but those aren’t my role models.”

Jen says, “A baby wouldn’t have to change the way we live our lives.”

I say, “Did you get less smart? You used to be so smart. You’re a poet. You’re a deep thinker, and what you’re saying right now is factually incorrect. It wouldn’t change the way we live our lives except for the part of my life where I fundamentally don’t want to have a child, which is all of it. Do you really want another me? Just this miniature fidgety, loudmouthed, attention-starved sleepwalker?”

Jen says, “The baby won’t be like you. The baby will be like me. Quiet and shy. Like a cat who reads books.”

I say, “Clo, first of all, cats can’t read.”

Jen says, “No one knows for sure.”

There’s a long pause.

Too long.

A unique detail about being married to a poet is that often she’ll say one line, and then there’s a lot of space.

I’ve never wanted to have a kid for seven specific reasons.





I feel lucky to have found my wife.

I never thought I’d meet anyone who’d put up with me. I thought I’d find someone who would pretend to be okay with me and then try to change me, fail, and then divorce me. But that didn’t happen. Jen loves me back. One time Jen was rubbing my neck and I said, “Do I feel more tense than usual?” and Jen said, “You’ve been 80 to 100 percent tense since the day we met.” And I thought, She really gets me.

When Jen and I first met, our work schedules didn’t match. Jen worked nine to six in an office building overlooking the Hudson. I was on the road about 70 percent of the time doing shows. To make matters worse, when I was in New York City, I was performing at night. So I… stay with me… showed up at her job every day without an invitation—for two and a half weeks.

In current times this would be called “stalking.” At the time it was called “stalking.” I wouldn’t recommend this tactic unless you are completely willing to go to jail and/or get married.

So I would show up at Jen’s work every day with flowers and I’d pop into the conference room or her office.

Jen would be mortified. She’d whisk me outside to Pier 60 and we would make out on the promenade. The first time this happened, Jen’s phone dropped out of her pocket mid-kiss.

Prank Calls from Fish

The first time my husband kissed me my cellphone fell out of my pocket into the Hudson River and to this day I still receive prank calls from fish.

Jen is a poet. She’s always published under a pseudonym. It’s “Allen Ginsberg.”

Actually, it’s “J. Hope Stein,” but I’ve coaxed Jen into revealing her pseudonym for this book, which means she plans to switch to a new, even more secret-y pseudonym upon its publication. So good luck tracking that down. Jen is very private. Until now she has never shared her pseudonym with family or friends, which I find maddening, so I created a pseudonym of my own who is an online superfan of her pseudonym and writes love letters to her pseudonym.

His name is Embir Bones. I’ve created a Gmail address for Embir Bones, and I write J. Hope Stein emails from that account. At one point I sent flowers from Embir Bones to J. Hope Stein and my follow-up email read:

Did u get the flowers? Was that ok w ur husband? I googled him. He’s a comedian. I’ve never heard of him. You need to lose that zero and get down with Embir.

Jen replied:

Mr. Bones,

Yes, I did get your flowers—beautiful! My cat Mazzy especially loves them since they remind her of when she was a street cat.

My husband is very secure in our relationship.


J. Hope Stein

I don’t mean to belabor this point, but a pseudonym has always seemed absurd to me. If I wrote poems as beautifully as she does, I would buy a billboard in Times Square that said CHECK OUT THESE FUCKING POEMS.

But she doesn’t.

Jen’s publishing philosophy:

you can publish when you’re dead,

says the tree.

One night Jen came home from a poetry reading. I asked her how it went and she said, “There was no microphone and because my voice is so quiet, no one could hear me.”

So for our first anniversary, I bought her a microphone and portable amplifier to bring to her readings. On the box I placed a card that read “Dear Clo, Your voice needs to be heard.”

I am obsessed with Jen’s voice, and I’m one of the few people who gets to hear it.

Jen is an introvert.

I am an extrovert.

An extrovert is someone who gets energy from being around other people, and an introvert doesn’t like you.

Well, she might like you, but her husband will have to explain why we’re leaving the party. That’s my role in our marriage. I’m Jen’s social bodyguard. When Jen is socially past her point, I need to come up with an immediate excuse for us to leave, and often the excuses are less than convincing. For example, I blurt, “WE HAVE A CAT!” and then we exit.

I didn’t enter the marriage as an extrovert. I was an introvert who, when married to an even deeper introvert, was forced to find my inner extrovert. Someone had to. Otherwise how would we leave the party?

Whenever I make these excuses to leave social events, I can see a certain look on the listener’s face. I’m not fluent in face, but it’s something like, This guy is an asshole.

And that may be, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am an excellent social bodyguard for my wife, who is a quiet and shy cat who reads books.

Jen is truly one of a kind. Nearly every aspect of Jen is anomalous. I travel for my job and she likes it when I’m away. I get tickets to cool events, she likes to stay home. She likes salad. She’s not eating it as a punishment for eating pizza. She enjoys lettuce as food. Solitude is her oxygen and salad is her sunlight.

Which is all to say—I love my marriage.

And I’m not saying it’s perfect. I think all marriages have an undercurrent of tension at all times because you have two people experiencing many of the same events at the same time, and then you have two completely different memories of the same event.

A few years ago we were in a hotel elevator in Chicago, and I remembered that on the lobby level there was a café that Jen had loved a few years before.

I said, “I just remembered you loved the café at this hotel!”

Jen said, “Who did?”

And I thought, Oh no.

Because the subtext of “Who did?” was:

A. That wasn’t me.

B. That was another woman you were dating.

C. I’m not happy about this.

We got to the lobby, and the elevator doors opened and Jen said, “Oh, yeah. I love this café!”

And I thought, I nearly died in the elevator. I almost had a heart attack two minutes ago and you just casually remembered that I was right.

So now—whenever we have a shared memory that isn’t exactly the same—one of us says the phrase “Who did?” which is our way of saying, “We’re both probably wrong.”

I love my marriage.

And I don’t fall for those wedding clichés where people say, “Two become one.” But I do feel like, if you’re lucky in a relationship, there are moments… and I mean… moments.

Like, this is a moment…

That was a moment.

There are moments where you feel as if your souls are colliding in a way that no two souls have collided in the history of humankind. And you think, How did I get this lucky?

Jen and I hate going to parties, but we love driving away from parties. A few years ago we went to our friend Katie’s birthday and this lady got up and gave a speech, which isn’t a thing. That’s why I remember it so well. She said, “Last year Katie and I went scuba diving and her oxygen tank got stuck on the rocks and I wriggled it free and I may have saved her life. I saved your best friend’s life.” Jen and I locked eyes from across the room and telepathically projected the sentence:

We’re gonna talk about this for years.

And we have.

Here’s how it comes up. Whenever Jen and I do something sweet for each other. Like, for example, I have a serious sleepwalking disorder that requires me to sleep in a sleeping bag (more on that later). Anyway, sometimes she’ll zip me up in the sleeping bag and she’ll say, “It’s time to put you in your pod.”

I’ll say, “Thanks.”

And she’ll say, “I saved your best friend’s life.”

It’s never not funny. It has literally never not been funny. I don’t want to give that up. I don’t want that to change. I don’t want a third person showing up and saying, “What about me?!”

I’d say, “We don’t even know you!”

Which is all to say I’m married to someone who gets prank calls from fish and has visited a special little café in Chicago twice


  • "Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein are the best collaborators since Emily Dickinson teamed up with her long-winded comedian friend. I'm joking because I cannot express how much this book affected me and how many times it made me cry."—John Mulaney, comedian
  • "Mike Birbiglia & J. Hope Stein have written the seminal parenting tome--side-splittingly funny from the first word to the last delicious bite. It's a page-turner, wise and wise-assed, the comic hit of the year. Whether you've been a parent or ever had one: you'll love this knockout!"—Mary Karr, authorof The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit
  • "Life is not the same after having children. It's delusional to pretend otherwise. But Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have not only survived, they're making their most hilarious and truthful art yet. This book might save your best friend's life."—Lin-Manuel Miranda, PulitzerPrize Winning writer of Hamilton
  • "Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein are the best collaborators since Emily Dickinson teamed up with her long-winded comedian friend. I'm joking because I cannot express how much this book affected me and how many times it made me cry."—John Mulaney, comedian
  • "This is a brilliant, funny, big-hearted version of he-said, she-said. Birbiglia and Stein trade jokes and poems and splendid storytelling about their roundabout stumble into parenthood. It's hilarious, humane, often beautiful, and absolutely captivating."—Susan Orlean, staff writer at The New Yorker and New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book
  • "The genius of this book is that Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have invented a totally new form. He tells incredibly funny stories. She gives a gorgeous, epic view of the same events, in poetry (she's a published poet who's been in The New Yorker). It's about what they went through together, not wanting to have kids, and then having kids, through these two very different lenses. Their diabolical writing trick: sometimes she delivers the laughs and he delivers the feelings."—Ira Glass, host of Public Radio's This American Life
  • "Fusing good humor and raw honesty with selections from Stein's evocative poetry, Birbiglia narrates his journey into parenting...Hilarious, relatable, cringeworthy, and effortlessly entertaining."—Kirkus (starred review)
  • "In a 'town where everyone is pretending to be happy and pretending to be in good marriage and pretending to be in a nice house' it takes a poet and a comedian to tell us the truth. What is this truth? That we are lost, but trying to find ourselves, that we are awkward but long for grace, we are cruel but delight at the slightest drop of tenderness. This book is hilarious because it shows us a mirror that doesn't lie. It sings because words give delight in each simplest moment. Imagine Groucho Marx and Jane Kenyon sit at the kitchen table and compose a book of days. When nothing else helps, it is a sense of humor and a beautiful song that will get us through."—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa
  • "I wish I had read The New One before having a kid. Mike confronts parenthood with the kind of devastating honesty that can't help but be funny, and Jen's poems capture what prose can't. In a better world, this book would be sold with every pregnancy test in America."—Bess Kalb, author of Nobody WillTell You This But Me
  • "If The New One on Broadway is a raucous, tumbling tour through the many roomed house that is Mike and Jen's journey into parenthood, then this book is a long, cozy weekend inside the home. Mike makes you coffee and settles in to tell his story at a wonderfully readable pace, bringing detail and nuance impossible to contain in the stage show. Jen's poetry is the big stunner, an outrageous treasure casually presented, emeralds strewn amongst crumbs across the kitchen table, a string of pearls hanging on a doorknob."—Jacqueline Novak, author of How to Weep in Public
  • "Expanded from his one-man show of the same name (and including poetry by his wife), comedian Birbiglia's rueful, hilarious take on new parenthood is a treat."—People
  • "Comedian, actor, director, and producer Mike Birbiglia explores his mixed feelings about becoming a parent. His confessional and observational prose passages are interspersed with lyrical interludes written by his wife, poet J. Hope Stein...A lighthearted and uncomfortable portrait of fatherhood."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Sex, sympathy weight, and Birbiglia's sleep disorder are all fair game in this hilariously, sometimes shockingly, and always refreshingly honest look at having a kid and becoming new one's self."—Booklist
  • "Seasoned and rookie dads alike will appreciate Birbiglia's comic riffs on family life. His memoir is a can't-miss gift that's sure to make 'em laugh."—Bookpage
  • "Reading this raw and vulnerable book was almost like opening a page into Mike Birbiglia's diary; his emotion is truly refreshing. He is a wonderful comedian who will have you laughing and crying and thinking, all in the span of a single chapter."—Bookreporter

On Sale
Sep 7, 2021
Page Count
256 pages

Mike Birbiglia

About the Author

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, storyteller, director, actor and New York Times bestselling author who has performed in front of audiences worldwide. His shows, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and Thank God for Jokes, were both filmed for Netflix. His most recent show, The New One, ran for ninety-nine shows at the Cort Theatre on Broadway.

In addition to performing live, Mike wrote, directed, and starred in the films Sleepwalk with Me and Don’t Think Twice. His first book Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

As an actor, Mike has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Girls, and Broad City, as well as in films like Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars, and Popstar. He played recurring roles in Orange is the New Black and Billions. He is a frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour and was honored in 2017 with the Kurt Vonnegut Award for humor.

J. Hope Stein is a poet, and the author of Little Astronaut. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker and Poetry International.

Learn more about this author