About 24 hours ago, comedian/storyteller Mike Birbiglia walked inside a display window of the Macy's flagship location on 34th Street in Manhattan, wearing a blue robe, pajamas and slippers, and laid down in a bed. Where he would spend the next seven days.
It's all a promotion for Downy fabric softener to prove that you'll still have clean sheets after a week. Wait. As bloggers around the world wonder simultaneously: Has that not been the case before? Also: We'd totally do this. We totally already are doing this.
Before getting into his bed on display, Birbiglia explained that he does have access to a nearby hotel room to use the facilities and freshen up whenever the need arises. There's also a collection of people in a makeshift control room directly behind the display window, monitoring him as well as operating at least three cameras so you don't need to be on the sidewalk of 34th Street to see what's going on. Although if you're visiting the special #mikeinwindow Facebook page and don't see live streaming video — or more to the point, don't see Birbiglia himself — that's because one of the cameras is above his bed looking out toward the sidewalk.
The promotional stunt began at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and for the first hour, Birbiglia spent most of his time posing for photos and giving interviews. Here is what he had to tell me. Roll it!
From now through the following Wednesday, he'll be interacting not just with the gawkers passing by the window, but also with fans on Twitter via #mikeinwindow and @birbigs, on the aforementioned Facebook page, as well as with selected guests for special events. Last night, Mike and his brother Joe held an interactive Q&A. As you can see in my video, he has his laptop computer with him, as well as a couple of books and newspapers. I know other people already have offered him gifts to waste time and/or amuse his audience.
Here's footage of Birbigs and Joe Bags from last night:
More than a foot of snow fell on NYC overnight. I'll be interested to see what it looked like from his perspective. As well as how he holds up at the end of the week.
In our interview, Birbigs also told me that he's preparing an off-Broadway run of "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" in March at the Barrow Street Theater. So you have that to look forward to, too!