Mike Birbiglia: What I Should Have Said Was Nothing ★★★

So before I watched this, I first saw Mike Birbiglia's film 'Sleepwalk With Me' and his standup special 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend'. And in that context, this seems less polished. Which is appropriate given it came a few years before either of those. Like a promising first time director or a high draft pick rookie athlete, you can see the raw talent is there, it just needs some refining. The self referential jokes that Birbiglia is so good with in his later material is actually here, but the show itself is more a string of unconnected stories than a whole piece, so the jokes aren't as effective and neither is the end result. It's still better than your average standup, but the movie and 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend' are both streaming on Netflix right now in addition to this and I would recommend starting with one of those first.