The Best Birthday Gifts I’ve Ever Received

This post isn’t that funny. Today’s my birthday and I thought it would be good to show some gratitude for some of the great gifts I’ve gotten over the years.

Life (and Michelangelo’s Nun-Chucks)
For my first one, my Mom and Dad gave me life. That’s an underrated gift. Without that, none of this other stuff would be possible. They then followed that up with being the best role models and sacrificing so much of their own lives to make sure mine was great. Also, lots of cool Ninja Turtle toys.

A Brother
For my second birthday, they gave me my brother Greg. We were born 11 months apart. We’ve been best friends ever since, inseparable whether he’s supporting me coming to comedy shows or we’re texting about how bad the Giants are playing. Though as a kid it pissed me off that my little brother’s birthday (August 10) was three weeks before mine (August 31). I’m older so mine should go first. How is that legal? I tried to hit them with a subpoena to have it changed when I was 6 to no avail.

A VHS Tape of a Basement Wrestling Match
2002. My final night before going off to college, my brother Greg and I hold a wrestling match full of DDTs and pillow “chair shots” in my parents’ basement. I even cut a post-match promo challenging my Dad to a match at Thanksgiving (Greg did the job that night and put me over. I told you, he’s a great dude.) My sister Amy got the whole thing on camera and gave me the tape to take to Virginia Tech. If I ever get famous that’ll probably get online somehow and I’ll have her to thank for that.

Birthday Usurpers
Cut to 2011. Get an early call from Mom. Turns out my sister in law Erica is going into labor with my twins nieces Lily and Maya. Jim took her to the hospital so can I go let their dog Poogan out to pee? I called out of work and sped over to their place, alternately excited and nervous. I wanted to help more, but what could I do? I would’ve been no help to the good people at the hospital. “Excuse me sir, can you wait outside and put down that stethoscope? This is a sterile environment…no, we don’t need someone to hand us a scalpel. That’s surgery, dumbass.”

That’s me as Santa, by the way, a few months after their first birthday. Intriguing one and horrifying the other.

Anyway, the girls were born, I got to spend the day with my buddy Poogan, and I couldn’t have asked for a better set of birthday buddies. Saying being born prematurely can be challenging for babies and their parents is an understatement, but these kids have the resolve and toughness of someone 10 times their size and age. They’re 5 now (can’t you do math? I just told you it was 2011!) and every time I see them I’m amazed at how awesome they’ve become. Funny, full of personality, and sweet. Thankfully, the exact opposite of Uncle Mike in every way.

A Batman T-Shirt
2014. I get the Batman t-shirt featured here from the two gents pictured to my left and right. They’re my nephews Shawn and Dominic (or as I call the three of us: the Buzzcut Brothers). Greg and my sister in law Allison adopted them through foster care and despite all they’ve been through, they are the happiest, sweetest kids you could meet. Like my nieces, they’re pure inspiration and they don’t even know it. Every time I’m confronted by a challenge I think of those two jokers. Batman and Superman have nothing on them. The only thing that annoys me is they always beat me at checkers. I gotta step my game up.

Two movie tickets, a bucket of popcorn, and a big ass Coke
2016. This chick is taking me to see a movie. I can’t think of a better way to ring in my Jesus birthday than by sharing a bucket of popcorn with my teammate. Despite my myriad flaws and imperfections (calling them “numerous” would be an insult to quantifiable numbers), she never fails to back me with unconditional love and support. Also if I tell her a joke and she doesn’t think it’s funny she won’t fake-laugh. Every time I make her laugh, I’ve earned it. And let me tell you, hearing that laugh of hers is quite a motivating factor.

An Oscar, Apparently
Lastly I’d like to thank the Academy. Seriously, what am I doing? I turned 33, I didn’t win a Nobel Prize. No but seriously, to all my friends, family, or even people who watched me tell a joke or perform in a sketch this year or any year before: thanks for being there for me. I appreciate you.


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