An Interview With Eugene Mirman, Volume 5

Eugene Mirman Sub Pop
The comedian Eugene Mirman describes himself as America's "Master of the Noticing." Shawn Brackbill

Eugene Mirman is a comedian who lives in Brooklyn, best known for his avant-garde stand-up, a supporting role as the adventure-obsessed Gene on Bob's Burgers, and as Bret and Jemaine's landlord on HBO's beloved Flight of the Conchords.

His third comedy album, I'm Sorry (You're Welcome), is an absurd nine-volume, seven-LP opus ranging from "A Guided Meditation to a Thoughtful Body" to an "Introduction to Spoken Russian" to "Over 45 Minutes of Crying," which features him—you guessed it—crying for over 45 minutes.

As such, Mirman's interview with Newsweek will come in nine volumes leading up to the album's release date, October 30. Here is Volume 5, entitled "Cry Me a River."

How did you make yourself cry for 45 minutes straight on this album? Were you thinking about sad things, watching The Notebook or using the experience as catharsis?
It was moderately cathartic. In general, I have a lot of videos that have me crying. So feeling it's sincere crying is pretty funny. Along with regular crying. Yeah, with that it was a lot of like, I'm recording, and I can't fail. I can't do it again. So just do it, and try to make it different. [It was] a combination of thinking of sad things, but make sure the sound is accurate to crying.

There's some acting story—I can't remember who it is—talking about method acting and all of the things they do to get to a place. And like the other actor, maybe Laurence Olivier, said to them, "Have you tried acting? You can just pretend to be that sad. You don't have to get to a place where your heart is actually that sad." I think it was because it was so long, it's everything you think a person would do. It's "I'm thinking of sad things," "I'm just trying to make the noise that sounds like sincere crying," and it's a range of all of it. And for that, I'll say I'm sorry. You're welcome.

I think it's interesting, because we're at a point where crying is pretty destigmatized.
Yes. It's true. There's nothing weird about saying, "A sad thing made me cry," and I think it must have been stigmatized at one point. But I don't feel that way at all.

Have you hit up Justin Timberlake about this crying portion?

Because of his hit song "Cry Me a River."
I did not know that. What's the song? I know the expression.

It's a jam from 2002.
I've probably heard it in a cab or a bodega, or a dance-y thing.

Something your crying LP made me think of immediately was the NYC Crying Guide. Have you seen that?

It's a Tumblr where people post photos of and comment on the best places to cry in public in New York City. I've never been in any other city where you can be sobbing on the street and no one bats an eye.
It's a New York crying guide? Like where you go to cry?

Oh, that's great. That's really earnest.

Check out Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4 of Newsweek's interview with Eugene Mirman.