Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Watching the comedians #1: Mike Birbiglia

Back on July 22nd of 2011 I read a post by Chris Salierno on his blog, The Curious Dentist, about 5 Comedians That Will Make You A Better Public Speaker. They were: Louis C.K.,  Mike Birbiglia, Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, and Patton Oswalt. I wasn’t familiar with them, but eventually I began looking at YouTube videos of them all  to collect some examples that might help speakers learn.

In Comedy: A Means to an End you can see how Mike Birbiglia uses gestures and both variations in volume and rate to tell his stories. He also mentions how different oral storytelling and books are.

Watch him tell a profane story regarding a big mistake he made during a speech at the baseball MVP awards. The simultaneous translation for the deaf gets very curious after about two minutes.

Back in 2008 Mike also did an eight-minute routine on the Conan O’Brien show. He describes being examined and operated on for a bladder tumor when he was just nineteen. Mike turns a very serious topic into comedy, with some profanity. Watch how he describe a cystoscope by using the microphone stand as a prop.  

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