St. Mark's alumnus and award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and director Mike Birbiglia '96 will be this year's Prize Day speaker. The 1996 Lion recognized Birbiglia for his "Great Sense of Humor!", foreshadowing his subsequent successful career.
Mike Birbiglia made his television debut on Comedy Central's Premium Blend in 2001. Over the past decade he has starred in three Comedy Central specials, and he has made more than forty appearances on shows hosted by the likes of David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Bonnie Hunt, Craig Kilborn, and Craig Ferguson, including 29 episodes of Last Call with Carson Daly.
Birbiglia has also made a trio of comedy albums. His 2007 release, My Public Journal Live, was named one of the best comedy albums of the decade by the Onion AV Club, and Sleepwalk With Me Live (2011) made its debut at #1 on the Billboard Comedy Charts.
In 2008, Birbiglia opened Sleepwalk With Me, a one-man show, off-Broadway. The show was presented by Nathan Lane and the New York Times called the show "simply perfect." Time Out New York named it their "Show of the Year" in 2009. In 2011, Birbiglia's second one-man show, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, ran for four months off-Broadway and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show.
Mike Birbiglia's first book, Sleepwalk With Me & Other Painfully True Stories, made both the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller lists for non-fiction in 2011, and was a finalist for the coveted Thurber Prize for American Humor. The following year, he wrote, directed, and starred in a film version of Sleepwalk With Me. Premiering at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, it won the Best of NEXT Audience Award there, and at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX, it was selected as a "Festival Favorite."
A Monitor and St. Marker Editor in his VI Form year, Birbiglia also played Varsity Soccer and Varsity Tennis during his three years in Southborough. He then went on to Georgetown, where he performed as a member of the Georgetown Players Improve Troupe.
On Monday, May 28, St. Mark's will welcome back perhaps its funniest son, Mike Birbiglia, Class of 1996, to give the Prize Day address.