3 Things: Cheryl Strayed, Roy Wood Jr, and Parkageddon 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:
The latest episode of The Payoff is about travel tips and consumer rights. We talk about the whole United fiasco, but also the many ways customers can stand up for themselves with Laura Lyons Cole from Consumer Reports.  Link

As always, all episodes of You're the Expert are online for your listening pleasure.  Link

CAMBRIDGE, MA:
TOMORROW Sunday, April 23rd at 4:00 p.m. at the Brattle Theater. I'll be hosting You're the Expert live with Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, and Marina Franklin. Our guest is an actual MacArthur genius and it's going to be incredible. Only about 10 tickets left! Link

NYC:
Saturday, April 29th at 7:30 p.m. at The Magnet Theater.  I'm the monologuist for The Armando Diaz Experience. I tell stories and then NYC's funniest improvisers make up scenes based on them. This show is always incredible and you should come. Link

Thursday, May 4th at 9:00 p.m. at UCB East. I'm telling jokes on Fresh Out! a great standup show hosted by the hilarious Ashley Brooke Roberts and Jim Tews. Link

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:


Cheryl Strayed wrote a bestselling memoir, Wild, and Reese Witherspoon played her in the movie. But Chery's success is also built on her honest, heartfelt advice. Tim Ferriss interviewed her about her career and the lessons she wished she'd known as a younger writer and artist. Full disclosure: it's a very long podcast and I don't love Tim Ferriss (4-hour diet, 4-hour workweek, maybe try a different time unit once in a while?), but the section that resonated with me and I'd recommend is about "the gift of failure." It's 9 minutes long, from about an hour and 21 minutes in until 1:30:00. How to Be Creative Like A Motherf*cker - Cheryl Strayed (h/t Mollie)
 

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:


Roy Wood, Jr. is unbelievably funny. If you have a chance to go to one of his shows, take it. Roy is about to be too famous for you to afford tickets anymore. He's killing it onThe Daily Show and his new special, Father Figure, is extraordinary. You can get the special on iTunes or watch some clips here. Roy was a guest on Colbert to promote the show and their conversation was great. Roy Wood Jr. Casts Doubt On Trump's Claim That 'Black People Love Me'


1 Interesting Thing:

You know those trick drawings that have a hidden message in the clouds or the leaves of a tree? It's invisible until someone points it out to you and then you can't stop seeing it. That's how I've felt after reading this article in The Economist about parking lots. I'd never thought twice about them but now I see how where we decided to leave our cars has profoundly changed all of our lives. You'll never look at an empty spot the same way. Parkageddon: How not to create traffic jams, pollution, and urban sprawl


Have a great weekend,
Chris

3 Things: Kurt Vonnegut, Todd Barry, and Meghan O'Hara 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:
The final You're the Expert episode of this season just got released and it's one of my all-time favorites. Dr. Nancy Pokrywka tells us about all about the surprisingly beautiful mysteries of the fruit fly.  Link

It's Tax Day, and if you're looking for some IRS-related jokes and information, you know I have you covered. The latest episode of The Payoff is all about a tax mystery and the advice I never knew I needed to know. Link
 
CAMBRIDGE, MA:
Sunday, April 23rd at 4:00 p.m. at the Brattle Theater. I'll be hosting You're the Expert live with Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, and Marina Franklin. Link

NYC:
Thursday, May 4th at 9:00 p.m. at UCB East. I'm telling jokes on Fresh Out! a great standup show hosted by the hilarious Ashley Brooke Roberts and Jim Tews. Link

Tuesday, May 16th. Time and location TBA. I'm leading a walking tour of NYC's most hilarious signs and graffiti as part of a series put together by filmmaker Bianca Giaever.

WASHINGTON, DC:
Saturday, July 22nd at the Kennedy Center. Tickets aren't on sale for this yet, but mark your calendars because Jo Firestone and I are opening for Aparna Nancherla at the Kennedy Center and it's going to be an incredible night.

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:


I've had time this week to get back to my own writing and work on some projects that I'd been meaning to finish for quite a while. Anytime I get stuck, I find myself going back to Kurt Vonnegut's advice for writers. I love his books, but he was also so thoughtful about his process and generous in sharing what he'd learned.

This is a response he sent to a high school English class who'd written him. "What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow."

Read that whole letter here  or another favorite, Vonnegut's "How To Write With Style" (note, this is a PDF). 
 

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:


Todd Barry is understated and hilarious, a master joke writer, but also just as good at improvising and working a crowd. I just finished his new book, Thank You For Coming To Hattiesburg, a travel diary of "secondary markets," all the slightly off-the-road places he could find to perform. Todd's so good at seeing very strange details and making them hilarious. A perfect example of this is the section on his website he maintains as a "Receipt Museum." It makes me laugh so hard. It's basically Todd roasting weird receipts that he's gotten from restaurants. Make sure to scroll down and read them all. Todd Barry's Receipt Museum


1 Interesting Thing:

Meghan O'Hara's documentary The C Word is out now on Netflix. It's both a personal story of her diagnosis with cancer and a very interesting look at the factors influencing illness and health in America. The topic sounds like it could be depressing, but it's not, and I was amazed at what she uncovered. I had no idea that Philip Morris and other tobacco companies own and produce nearly all the processed food in the US. It's unbelievable when you see the similarities between how they sell Kraft and how they sold cigarettes. If you have Netflix, it's definitely worth a watch. If you're still not sold, Morgan Freeman narrates. The C Word

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend,
Chris

3 Things: Mike Ward, Chop & Steele, and Eden 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:
There's a new episode of The Payoff online now all about student loans. Antonia and I interview Undersecretary Ted Mitchell, who ran the entire federal loan program from 2014 to 2017, share our own stories, and learn about the best way to tackle our debt. Link

A new episode of Explorer airs Monday at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. We take a look at El Salvador's strict reproductive laws, talk with Scott Pelley about journalism, and have Dave Coulier from Full House investigate the return of the mullet. Watch a preview here: Link
 
You can listen to episodes of You're the Expert here:  Link

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
Thursday, March 30th at 7:00 p.m. at National Geographic. You're the Expert takes over NatGeo's Grosvenor Auditorium with Aparna Nancherla, Maeve Higgins, and an amazing scientist. Link

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:


This is a classic comedy bit that I keep coming back to year after year. It never stops being funny. Only five lines and barely any words, but I believe Mike Ward has truly created a masterpiece. E-Mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying To Give Out Over The Phone
 

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:


Local morning shows have a tough job: lots of airtime to fill and not a lot of time to prep. As a result, sometimes they don't really have time to vet their guests before they're on air. That can lead to magical results, like professional strongmen Chop and Steele. The duo sent out a "press release" and successfully appeared on three morning shows across the country. You have to watch the incredible television that resulted. Fake Strongmen Prank Morning News Shows

(Chop and Steele are actually Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, the hosts of the Found Footage Festival, which is so much fun and hilarious. These guys are great.)


1 Interesting Thing:

A reality show where the contestants are totally cut off from the outside world and try to rebuild civilization from scratch. It's an interesting idea, but honestly, not the most original. But the story of Eden, which just finished taping in the Scottish Highlands this week is more bizarre than anyone could have imagined. The first few episodes aired and got bad ratings, so the network canceled the show. But no one told the contestants. So they've just been living in the wilderness for months. They're about to walk out of the woods to find out about Brexit, Trump, and the fact that they were barely even on television. It might not be a TV show, but it's definitely a great premise for a movie. TV Show Contestants Spend Year in the Wildnerness – With No One Watching


Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend,
Chris