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Mike Birbiglia tells Stephen Colbert he's only 'Olive Garden' Italian

The comic opens up about bombing in an Italian-themed comedy night on 'The Late Show.'
Mike Birbiglia
Mike Birbiglia was named comedian of the year by the Just for Laughs festival. Photo by Scott Kowalchyk / CBS

Mike Birbiglia will take home the coveted Stand-Up Comedian of the Year award at Just for Laughs comedy fest later this month, but the Montreal show hasn't always been such a welcoming place for the Shrewsbury comic.

The “Don’t Think Twice” and “Trainwreck” star stopped by the “The Late Show” on Wednesday night to chat about his big honor with Stephen Colbert. Birbiglia revealed to the late-night host that one of his toughest gigs ever occured during an Italian-themed comedy night at a past installment of the Canadian fest.

“It was at a period of time where themed nights in comedy were a big way to sell tickets,” the 39-year-old comedian told Colbert. “They stuck me in the Italian show, but I’m like Olive Garden Italian. I’m not real Italian.”

Birbiglia added that he was a “big letdown” for a lot of the audience members who were expecting a funny version of Tony Soprano.

“I just do these long, elaborate stories like, ‘I was sleepwalking,’ and they’re like ‘What’s Italian about that!’” Birbiglia joked. “I was just a letdown. But it’s nice to go back with my own show and my own thing.”

We’re guessing the Massachusetts native just hasn’t spent enough time in Boston’s North End.

Birbiglia took an even bigger trip down memory lane while talking with Colbert about another award in his trophy case: He earned the Author of the Month honor while in the third grade. The comic showed off the adorable photo-filled award, which was taken during his time at St. Mary’s school in Shrewsbury.

“I was one of the more sunburned authors in history,” Birbiglia said of his tan complexion in the image, which prompted Colbert to reply, “John Updike never had a tan that good.”

Check out Mike Birbiglia’s full chat on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” below.

 

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