News broke late yesterday that comedian Mike Birbiglia landed a recurring role on Orange is the New Black, the original Netflix dramedy – “comedy” if you’re submitting it for Emmy consideration – that has been universally heralded by critics as one of the best shows in the history of ever. In this case, I happen to agree with that assessment. It’s one of very few shows of which I watch every single episode as soon as it’s available. And when I say it’s one of very fews shows of which I watch every single episode as soon as it’s available, what I mean is that Archer is the only other show in that category.
So, the fact that Birbiglia has been cast (and not just as some throw-away, one episode character) excites me a great deal— and not just because I truly love this show but because Birbiglia was one of the first comedians I ever covered, one of those comedians that sort of inspired me to launch a Website just about comedy in 2005. Birbiglia has been a tireless workhorse since that time, releasing new hours of comedy, appearing in movies and television and touring; he’s currently in the midst of his Thank God For Jokes tour, which, for now, ends on Dec. 31 in Seattle.
And while Orange is the New Black producer Jenji Kohan has not and likely will not reveal any details about Birbiglia’s character, that doesn’t mean we can’t fake cast him. So, let’s think about Birbiglia’s comedy and his personality and see how Kohan might use him in a show – nominated for 12 Emmys! – about an upstate New York women’s prison.
So, how would you like to see Birbiglia cast?
Or, just listen to my interview with Birbiglia from late last year: