3 Things: Austin Kleon, Chris Fleming, and James Leprino by Chris Duffy

Hi friends,

It's Saturday! Every week, I send out an email with one thing I think is great, one thing that made me laugh, and one thing I found interesting. Feel free to spread the word and share these emails with friends. If you're checking this out for the first time, you can see the archive and sign up to get these emails here.

 Upcoming shows

EVERYWHERE:
Three comedians try to guess what a leading scientist does all day and then find out why their research is important and exciting on You're the Expert.  Link

Explorer airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel. This week, Ted Danson hosts. Link

On The Payoff, Antonia Cereijido and I learn how to be better with money.  Link

NYC:
All dates for my Living Room Comedy Club tour are sold out! Thank you to everyone who's been to a show or gotten tickets. If you missed out, I'll likely do another round at the end of the summer.

Saturday, June 3rd at 7:30 p.m. at The PIT. My variety show and audience prize giveawayYou Get A Spoon! is back with jokes from Myq Kaplan, music from Dear Georgiana, one fantastic spoon, and so many prizes. Link

SOMERVILLE, MA:
Sunday, June 4th at 4:00 p.m. at The Rockwell. You're the Expert is live with an unbelievably cool scientist and three hilarious comedians. Link

CAMBRIDGE, MA:
Sunday, June 4th at 7:30 p.m. at ImprovBoston. Come join me for an hour of standup and surprises. Link

SAN FRANCISCO:
Wednesday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m. at The Lost Church. I'm coming back to the Bay Area with my variety show You Get A Spoon! Comedy, music, prizes, and the world's greatest cutlery. Mark your calendars! 

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:


Austin Kleon is as well-known for his writing about creativity and inspiration as he is for his actual (very good) art itself. Around this time of year, I'm a sucker for a good commencement speech. Even if I'm not graduating myself, I find it very useful to hear how successful people think about approaching the world. Austin put up some thoughts for "graduates, or anyone broke, or in between things, or living at home." They're five smart ideas that "will make your life better and won't cost you very much." Austin Kleon's Advice for the Recent Graduate

(I know that I created the framework of just one great thing here, but I can't resist sharing my all-time favorite commencement speeches in case you want to go on an all-day inspiration bender: Neil GaimanConanDavid Foster WallaceZadie Smith, and Maria Bamford)
 

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:


There is no one like Chris Fleming. He's a chameleon who can morph into any character but also has some of the sharpest and funniest observations about the world around him. His funniest bits are when he skewers a particular subset of well-meaning Blue State America. His webseries Gayle is a classic (he names his daughter Terry Gross Waters-Waters. "My husband and I had the same last name but I forced him to hyphenate it anyway!"). But I think his videos where he just riffs on a particular character trait he's noticed are even funnier. This is one of his all-time greats: Teens Who Drink Coffee

(And if you like that, check out his latest video: about couples in open relationships)


1 Interesting Thing:

Chloe Sorvino has a fascinating story in Forbes about the "secretive billionaire" behind a pizza cheese empire. He's incredibly wealthy but has never been photographed. I would have never guessed there was somehow an edge-of-my-seat story in a man ruthlessly consolidating the pizza cheese business. But Leprino's been able to control "as much as 85% of the market for pizza cheese and somehow sell simultaneously to a set of customers — Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, and Little Caesars —  that try to cut each others' throat in every way that doesn't involve where they buy their milk products." This Secretive Billionaire Makes The Cheese For Pizza Hut, Domino's, And Papa John's


Have a great long weekend!
Chris

3 Things: Sarah Kay, Branson Reese, and Janelle Shane by Chris Duffy

Hi friends,

It's Saturday! Every week, I send out an email with one thing I think is great, one thing that made me laugh, and one thing I found interesting. Feel free to spread the word and share these emails with friends. If you're checking this out for the first time, you can see the archive and sign up to get these emails here.

 Upcoming shows

EVERYWHERE:
On this week's episode of The Payoff, Antonia Cereijido and I figure out the basics of investing. Like the very basics: what is an IRA and how do you put money in it?  Link

Three comedians try to guess what a leading scientist does all day and then find out why their research is important and exciting on You're the Expert.  Link

Explorer airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel.  Link

NYC:
Nearly all the dates for the Living Room Comedy Club are sold out or about to sell out, but there are a couple spaces left. The first few shows have been so much fun and truly weird. This Tuesday (5/23), there are a few seats open for a show we're doing in an artist commune / loft that's most often used as a backdrop for "boudoir photography." I strongly encourage you to come. It's guaranteed to be memorable. Details on that show (and all the others) here: Link

SOMERVILLE, MA:
Sunday, June 4th at 4:00 p.m. at The Rockwell. You're the Expert is taping an episode and you can be in the live audience. Link

CAMBRIDGE, MA:
Sunday, June 4th at 7:30 p.m. at ImprovBoston. Come join me for an hour of standup and surprises. Link

SAN FRANCISCO:
Wednesday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m. at The Lost Church. I'm coming back to the Bay Area with my variety show You Get A Spoon! Comedy, music, prizes, and the world's greatest cutlery. Mark your calendars! 

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:


Every once in a while, I sit down to write one of these emails and I'm astonished that I haven't recommended someone's work yet. I went back and checked the archives three times but somehow I haven't included Sarah Kay until now. If you don't know her, she's one of the most talented and successful spoken word poets alive. She tours the world selling out shows across the U.S. and abroad, and she's changing ideas about what it means to be a poet. I am an enormous fan. She's a model of how to connect with a huge amount of people while staying personal and vulnerable and always growing as an artist. Whenever there's turbulence in the outside world, I find myself turning to her work, especially this poem: Jakarta, January

You can see more of Sarah's work on her website here, including her TED Talk that's been viewed 10 million times.
 

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:


Branson Reese is a cartoonist with a dark and demented sense of humor. My most frequent reaction to seeing one of his comics is to laugh very hard and then say "Oh no!" He's got a gift. Who else is writing jokes about the twisted engineers who made Thomas the Talking Train one minute and then experimental jazz the next? The Internet's Weirdest Artist, Branson Reese


1 Interesting Thing:

Janelle Shane is a research scientist in Colorado, who plays with neural networks for fun. Basically she tries to teach computers how to think creatively. Janelle tried to get a neural network to write new recipes based on old cookbooks and the food they came up with is unreal. I can't stop laughing every time I think about the recipe for "Beef Soup with Swamp Peef and Cheese." Recipes Written By A Computer (h/t Alex Franks)


Have a great day,
Chris

3 Things: Bill Wurtz, Laurel Braitman, and Terry Gross by Chris Duffy

Hi friends,

It's Saturday! Every week, I send out an email with one thing I think is great, one thing that made me laugh, and one thing I found interesting. Feel free to spread the word and share these emails with friends. If you're checking this out for the first time, you can see the archive and sign up to get these emails here.

 Upcoming shows

EVERYWHERE:
Jeff Goldblum is back again as host on this week's National Geographic Explorer. Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern. Link

Antonia Cereijido and I learn how to be better with money on The Payoff, new episode out this Wednesday.  Link

Three comedians try to guess what a leading scientist does all day and then find out why their research is important and exciting on You're the Expert.  Link

NYC:
Living Room Comedy Club: Over the next two months, I'm doing a comedy tour of NYC's living rooms. I'll be performing at birthday parties, in a "boudoir photography" studio, for an apartment full of senior citizens, and at several homes where I truly have no clue what to expect. If you want to join in the adventure, tickets are free, but the shows are selling out fast. A limited number of tickets are still available by signing up here: Link

SOMERVILLE, MA:
Sunday, June 4th at 4:00 p.m. at The Rockwell. You're the Expert is taping an episode and you can be in the live audience. Link

CAMBRIDGE, MA:
Sunday, June 4th at 7:30 p.m. at ImprovBoston. Come join me for an hour of standup and surprises. Link

SAN FRANCISCO:
Wednesday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m. at The Lost Church. I'm coming back to the Bay Area with my variety show You Get A Spoon! Comedy, music, prizes, and the world's greatest cutlery. Mark your calendars! Tickets will go live in about a week.

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 

 This week's list
1 Thing I Think Is Great:


Bill Wurtz is the mysterious genius behind History of Japan. His website is out of this world and everything he puts on social media is inexplicable and amazing. I don't think there's anyone whose work I enjoy more. I've been waiting for months for him to finish a new video and he just released one this week. It was worth the wait. History of the Entire World, I Guess
 

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:


I saw Laurel Braitman at a Pop-up Magazine show and her story about a fishing town in Alaska that's completely overrun by bald eagles brought down the house. It's hilarious and fascinating and the photos and video she captured are unbelievable. "In a community of just over 4,700 permanent residents, there live an estimated 500 to 800 eagles. They stare judgily down from light posts, peer intently in people's windows, eat foxes and seagulls while perched in the trees next to the high school, and sit on rooflines like living weather vanes." She interviews one teenager who had an eagle steal his pepperoni pizza and a woman who keeps getting attacked by eagles when she goes to the post office. I won't give too much more away, I'll just say you have to click this one for the photos and videos alone.Dirty Birds


1 Interesting Thing:

NPR's Fresh Air turned 30 this week. Radio producer Mooj Zadie put together the "Terry Gross Question Generator" to show off some of Terry's best work. An example, when she was interviewing Jay-Z: "Can I ask you a question you might find weird - but since part of your goal in the book is to kind of explain your generation and explain the music to people. You know how a lot of hip-hop artists, when they're on stage, they kind of like, grab their crotch? How did that start? Like, who started that, and why is that?"

Mooj wrote that he put together the generator to celebrate Terry, but also as a reminder to never forget to be human during an interview, and that following your genuine curiosity often leads to the best surprising questions and moments. The Terry Gross Question Generator


Have a great day,
Chris