An Interview With Eugene Mirman, Volume 9

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

Eugene Mirman, a comedian who lives in New York's Brooklyn, is 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.

Mirman's third comedy album, I'm Sorry (You're Welcome), is a nine-volume, seven-LP absurd 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. This marks the final edition, Volume 9, titled "Wildcard!"

OK, so here is the final volume of the interview. I am letting you choose what we do here. Categories include more questions, you can ask me questions, we can play M.A.S.H. or we could play Would You Rather.
I guess more questions? I vaguely know what that means.

Cool. So on the comedy portion of this album, you have a crazy story about being held up in Mexico with Michael Stipe. You mention thinking about calling John Hodgman during your trouble. Is he the person you always call to get out of a pickle?
I don't know if he would be who I would call, but I definitely think that he would be a person with a bunch of good, practical suggestions. Like if I was in a situation where I could call someone, there's a bunch of people I could call, but he would be like, "Here's two or three things you could do that could help your situation." So I do think that he's a good problem solver.

In the same comedy special, you mention going to Kinko's and trying to photocopy dozens of zines and the staff freaking out. What kind of zines were they?
It's not that they freaked out at the content. They were freaked out because I had cut out a bunch of things and taped them to the pages, so you have to take that copy and copy it. So I said, "I need about 200 copies tomorrow or the next day." And the reason I was so surprised is, in North Carolina a year before, I had gone to one and they had done it in two hours.

So when I went to this Kinko's, and they were like, "We don't have 800 pink pages here!" And I said, "OK, some can be blue or green." And the amount they panicked was as though they didn't photocopy and staple things as one of their things. It was really, I mean... Their reaction to what I had asked was as if I had asked if there was a whole other industry or an emergency. It was really funny, because there was an agreement that there was no way.

They seemed pretty stressed out, from what it sounds like.
They seemed legitimately, comically overwhelmed. As though I asked, "Who here can land a plane?" But it was logical for them to do.

What was in the zine itself?
I took a bunch of stuff, pictures. I think you can still get some on my website. I put a bunch of stuff to sell on a tour I was doing, so I made a zine with photographs and little notes and lists. You know, a zine that I probably would have made in high school.

Did you?
With a friend. There was a sort of parody zine of our paper. I made it in high school, yeah.

You have some very handy Russian phrases on this album. "You are a very pleasant idiot" is good to know.
It's accurate.

I imagine it is. What language would you love to learn that you don't already know?
I would love to learn Chinese. Mandarin.

Why is that?
I think partially because I love authentic Chinese food, and the idea of exploring that would be neat. And there's some huge number I could communicate with. No, it's just that I really like Chinese food. I could probably learn Spanish, but the amount of effort to learn Chinese would be incredible.

In the spirit of Bob's Burgers, what's the best burger you've ever had in your life?
Oh. There's a place called Bareburger that has really good burgers. Offhand, so far, yeah.

Check out Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6, Volume 7 and Volume 8 of Newsweek's interview with Mirman. We're sorry. You're welcome.