3 Things: Cole Escola, Email Pro, and Ben Folds / by Chris Duffy

Hi friends,

It's Saturday! Every week, I send out an email with my upcoming shows, 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

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

On The Payoff, Antonia Cereijido and I try to learn about money from a team of financial experts.  Link

My living room comedy tour is over, but Tessa Kramer took footage from a bunch of the shows and made it into a short film that's online now. Check it out:  Link

Thursday, July 27th at 8 p.m. at The Wild Project. My variety show and Oprah-style audience giveaway, You Get A Spoon, is back with jokes from me, a reading by best-selling author AJ Jacobs, a presentation by The Good Liars, and more surprise guests.  Link

Wednesday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m. at The Lost Church.  You Get A Spoon comes to one of the most beautiful venues in the Bay Area. Jokes and stories, a reading by Joe Wadlington, and music from Lily Stern. Plus a chance to win the world's greatest spoon!  Link

Saturday, July 22 at 6 p.m. at The Kennedy Center.  Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, and I are telling jokes as part of the District of Comedy Festival. This show is free and open to the public. Link

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:

Cole Escola is one of the most deeply original comedians I've ever seen. He disappears into a variety of characters but always maintains this clear and absurd point of view. It's a joy to watch him perform live. He also makes videos that latch onto small details of absurdity and skyrocket them into hilarity. One of my favorites is a video he made parodying the coworker and neighbor interviews they always have in serial killer documentaries. It makes me laugh so much, especially when Cole's second character, the coworker's sister, comes in. The New York Times is onboard with Cole's work now too. They just published a great profile of his work. He's Got a Good Wig on His Shoulders: Meet Cole Escola

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:

Like most of you, I just delete spam emails and move on. But Ivan Anderson is a connoisseur of marketing-speak, tech jargon, and email lingo. He culls the best and most bizarre sentiments and structures from his inbox and social media and uses them as inspiration for his digital performance art project called Email Pro. It's very hard to describe what Email Pro is. It's a parody of internet speak, a long term character study, an immersive comedy experience, or just a bunch of very weird digital messages. Ivan says that he's trying to build a business where people pay him to send them emails, but I think that's a joke (I'm not totally sure).

What I am certain about is that Email Pro makes me laugh very hard every time I read one. Once he sent all subscribers a chapter of a book called Hogwartz Medical, which seemed to be based on Harry Potter but was actually about a man named Hogwartz returning home from Vietnam. This morning, I got an email with the power rankings of every movie in 1998, that started out normally but ended as a cry for help from a man trying to figure out the bathroom code in a Chipotle. If you're intrigued, I strongly recommend signing up. I'm told everyone receives a mixture of personalized content and mass emails, so you never know what to expect. Even the website is hilarious and inscrutable: Email Pro 

(You can also see a live performance / email workshop in NYC on July 20)

1 Interesting Thing:

As someone without a musical bone in my body, I'm always fascinated by how musicians create songs and melodies. Ben Folds performed at the Kennedy Center in DC recently and composed a song live for the National Symphony Orchestra in only 10 minutes. It's so cool to watch his mind work and see the music develop live in front of you. Also, the end result is surprisingly catchy. This performance was part of an initiative exploring music and the mind. Ben Folds Composes a Song Live

Have a great weekend,