October 15, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

The story of Eugene Mirman is the standard one for almost any Russian immigrant: a hardscrabble life in Boston that culminated in a laughable degree in comedy from Hampshire College, thus beginning a long and arduous career of stand-up in an improv studio on the third floor of a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge. But what sets Mirman apart, aside from a last name that suggests he was born of the sea, is the hipster cred: Conan and VH1 appearances begat opening slots for cool-cred bands du jour like Modest Mouse and the Shins — and now a debut album, The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman (due Oct. 12), which showcases his random ”Deep-Thoughts-on-‘ludes” routine. Like many Russians, he also likes to drink. So we invited him out to New York City’s Pioneer bar along with his drinking-cum-comedy pal David Cross, Mr. Show‘s caustic funnyman and cast member of the Emmy Award-winning Arrested Development, whose own newish album, It’s Not Funny (the irony!), was released in May. The two broke the Guinness Five Rounds record, going for six, with belches.


Critical Mass

L2T, Heineken

How long have you guys known each other?

MIRMAN, Dewar’s neat

I moved to New York four years ago, and we met maybe a year after that.


So why’s David here tonight?


I’ve guided him through hard times — but more specifically because I opened for him in D.C. for the recording of his album, and he did the liner notes for mine.


Home Sweet Home

MIRMAN, Irish Car Bomb (a shot of Baileys and Jameson dropped into a pint of Guinness)

We drop the glass in here?

CROSS, Irish Car Bomb

Then chug. [Drinks] Belch.

L2T, Irish Car Bomb

You opened for the Shins, right?


Yes. I toured with Modest Mouse, too, and I’m about to do a tour with Yo La Tengo.


How’d Modest Mouse go?


Fun. Most audiences were cool. I do a lot of videos, so people are hesitant, but then you do a video and they pay attention, then people are excited. On one, I edited myself into the Mötley Crüe Behind the Music. So it’s Mötley Crüe talking about how f—ed up everything is, and then I’m like, ”I woke up with 17 girls inside my d—!”


From Russia, With Love

L2T, Irish Car Bomb

When did you move here from Russia?

MIRMAN, The Macallan neat

When I was about 4…I’m pretty drunk.


I heard the Von Bondies did this Five Rounds thing and didn’t even drink all their drinks.


Fit to Print

L2T, Heineken

What albums should someone buy if they wanted to fake being a hipster like you guys?

CROSS, Heineken

Get one electroclash CD, whatever it is, then pretend you don’t listen to it anymore and you hate it. And you have to have something on the Vice label, the Streets or Death From Above 1979.

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