image credit: Joan Marcus

image credit: Joan Marcus

My husband and I were able to see Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre earlier this week, and I highly recommend folks try to catch the show by this Sunday, September 29th! It’s a funny and surprisingly touching show, more confessional one-man-show than regular comedy routine. Here are five reasons to check it out before he heads to his next stop.

  1. He loves marriage and his wife. I’m used to comedians poking fun at marriage (obviously the divorced comedians do this) or roasting their spouses, but Mike Birbiglia is positively uxorious in his utter praise, fondness, and adoration of his wife, NYC-based poet Jen (Jennifer Hope Stein, whom he inexplicably but hilariously calls “Chloe”-rhymes-with-“doe”) throughout the show.
  2. He’s candid about his issues. OK, so all comedians are self-deprecating, but many also give off an egoist vibe in a way Mike does not. He seems utterly genuine and earnest about the various medical and psychological challenges he has (and continues to face). He has a rare REM behavior disorder that is fascinating and dangerous, and survived a malignant tumor as a young man. Mike is honest about how all of these health issues have affected him in a poignant and funny way.
  3. His take on parenting. Spoiler alert: Mike never wanted kids. In fact, he admits he and his wife were crystal clear on the subject… until at some point in their late 30s, his wife started “craving a baby.” Mike shares everything from his massive reservations, their struggle to conceive, and the difficulties of being a new father.
  4. He’s a lovable guy. Some comedians are edgy and controversial, but Mike’s not trying to shock anyone or make them uncomfortable. Sure, some audience members may not relate to his disinterest in becoming a parent, but he shares his truths in a vulnerable and appealing way.
  5. It’s a quick one. For parents with sitters waiting or people who want a short-and-sweet night at the theater, Mike Birbligia’s The New One is ideal. It’s only 80 minutes with no intermission. There’s also not a bad seat in the house at the National, and you’ll probably see someone famous in the audience. We saw award-winning comedian/actor/writer John Mulaney and his makeup-artist wife Annamarie Tendler when we went. We also had time to hit District Taco after the show and still made it home by 10:15PM.

new one

He’s made you laugh in Sleepwalk With Me (it was a play presented by Nathan Lane, then a movie, THEN a book), My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and Thank God for Jokes. (He was also really funny in that one season of Orange is the New Black. And in Billions. And Broad City.) Now he’s direct from Broadway, telling a new story in a new way with the same heart and humor we’ve come to expect. Lin-Manuel Miranda called THE NEW ONE “as perfect a night as you’re gonna get.” Do not miss THE NEW ONE. Some people say it’s his best one. (It was John Mulaney. Also Vogue.)

Watch a clip about the show:


  • THE NEW ONE runs at the National Theatre from Sept. 24th through Sept. 29th
  • Run time: Approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.
  • Recommended age 13 & up; children under the age of four are not permitted to attend the show.
  • Click here to purchase tickets, which range from around $39 to $104 (prices may vary depending on day/time of performance).