When several radio stations across the country decided to adopt the "Mike," "Jack" and "Wolf" formats, they turned to comedian Eugene Mirman to be their on-air face to promote the song-shuffle concept on TV ads. The ads showed Mirman, who went to Hampshire College and began comedy in Cambridge, Mass., before moving to New York City, riffing about giant burritos or about how he has a radio in his finger.
IQTV ad agency in Atlanta contacted Mirman after seeing one of his Robot Video clips online. One Mirman quip that didn’t make it on-air had him boasting that the radio station appealed to "everyone but racists." "There’s even more, but I’m saving them for live shows," he told me. "They were very nice, the people who made (the ads). They had to assume that I would make the weirdest ads I could make with them. But they asked me. There’s one in which I talk about a burrito, which I think is odd, but I heard some markets are playing it." In that ad, he boasts: "Our radio station plays more variety than a burrito filled with everything in a hardware store — and also stuff from a toy store, for variety."
Mirman had his own radio show in college, sometimes DJs and has toured as opening act for rock bands.
Later in April, he’d head off to tour with Patton Oswalt and The Comedians of Comedy. After that? "I’d rather have a TV show making something funny," Mirman said. "Or a radio show. And I’m working on a book proposal."
Mirman conceded that his own playlist as a DJ doesn’t compare to that of the radio stations. "I probably don’t play a bigger variety, but I have access to way more songs," he told me. "Mike" FM might have 10,000 songs, he said, "but they’re probably not counting all the Velvet Underground outtakes I have. Then again, I only have 4,000 songs, so I don’t have as many songs as an iPod."
His weekly New York show at Rififi, Invite Them Up, regularly has lines of eager fans waiting to pack the intimate venue. Recent praise from the New York Times hasn’t changed his perspective. He recalls his early days, when his Green Street Grill show got write-ups from both the Globe and the Phoenix. "I think four people came from it," he said. "Nothing’s like being on Johnny Carson 20 or 30 years ago."
Then make plans to see Eugene Mirman tonight with Todd Barry and the Walsh Brothers, at the Middle East. Even funnier videos and audio clips by Mr. Mirman are available on his various online homes.
Related: Eugene Mirman’s site
Related: Eugene Mirman on MySpace
Related: Eugene blogs about his radio ads — and has some of the outtakes