Mike Birbiglia will never be nominated for Father of the Year, but he proved Thursday that he's a strong contender for the title of America's most sensational storyteller.

The comic, who previously earned praise for his one-man show about his sleepwalking disorder, is currently touring with his Broadway hit, "The New One," in which he shares his reluctance, if not outright fear, over becoming a parent.

Birbiglia, who describes himself as looking like a cross between Matt Damon and Bill O'Reilly, opened his 80-minute performance with an anecdote about buying his first couch ("a bed that hugs you"), which seemed wildly off topic.

But the comic, whose film credits including "Don't Think Twice," smartly weaved the furniture piece into an engaging tale about his long-time vow to never become a parent, confessing that when he was around his brother's children, he'd hit the sack at 7:30 p.m. because "children make me want to be unconscious at all times."

At the urging of his wife, he finally agrees to welcome a newcomer to the family, kicking off a series of medical procedures, Lamaze classes, domestic quarrels and, finally, uncomfortable moments with a baby who can only sleep to the tune of "Ava Maria."

Birbiglia's language can be brutal at times, but a certain soccer-dad decency always shines through, even when he's comparing his infant daughter to a monkey.

If you screwed up by giving out a lousy present this past Father's Day, make up for it by taking Pops to this show -- but you'll have to hurry. "The New One" is only hitting four cities and its run in St. Paul ends Saturday.

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