The Collins Center for the Arts stage played host to two premiere stand-up comedians, Mike Birbiglia and Michael Ian Black, on Wednesday night for a double headlining event.
Black, known for his various sketch groups and TV shows like “Stella” and “Michael and Michael Have Issues,” performed first and spent a couple of minutes lampooning the introduction given by Sarah Goode, Assistant Vice President of Student Entertainment, which he thought to be lackluster.
“At least most girls fake it,” Black said.
He launched into his set by recalling an unpleasant experience he had with a clogged hotel toilet.
“It’s like my own Hurricane Katrina, only it’s worse than Hurricane Katrina because it was happening to me,” he said.
Black also discussed his honeymoon in Amsterdam, fatherhood, and things that would be unpleasant to ejaculate, listing BB’s, wasabi and a pine cone.
Birbiglia, who has starred in three Comedy Central specials and wrote, directed and starred in the movie “Sleepwalk with Me,” opened his set by talking about the hanging fake referee that the student section displays at University of Maine men’s hockey games. He said the impression it gives him is, “Like, if things don’t go our way, maybe we’ll kill the ref.”
He also talked about getting arrested for driving with a suspended license, an airline experience involving a nut allergy and the public perception of being killed by a bear versus that of being killed by a police officer.
“If a bear kills you, there’s public outrage,” Birbiglia said. “If a cop kills you, everybody’s like, ‘It’s a pretty tough job.’”
After Birbiglia’s set, Black returned to the stage and both comedians participated in a Q&A with the audience.
One audience member asked Birbiglia what he misses the most about “living in a storefront window,” referring to an ad campaign Birbiglia participated in for Downy in which he slept in a Macy’s store window for a week. He said there was a curtain drawn at night to keep the light out, but passersby who were skeptical about Birbiglia’s presence would bang on the window late at night and prevent him from sleeping.
Another audience member mentioned that Black’s show “Stella” has gained a larger fan base after its television run and asked if a revival of the show was planned. Black responded by saying, “You’ve just perfectly surmised my career to this point.”
Referring to the fans who started watching the program when it was no longer on television, Black said, “Thank you, but you didn’t watch it, because if you had, I wouldn’t be here performing in Orono, Maine.”
Despite the popularity of the two comedians, only about half of the seats on the floor level of the CCA were occupied, making this event far less attended than the stand-up comedy performances earlier this school year by Gabriel Iglesias and Bangor-native Bob Marley.
Check mainecampus.com on Monday for more detailed coverage of the show.