3 Things: Maggie Smith, Chris Gethard, and Elizabeth Jameson / by Chris Duffy

Happy 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.

Upcoming Shows

The newest episode of You're the Expert features Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin, a neuroscientist who teaches panelists Josh Gondelman, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Dylan Marron how our parents' lives affect our brains. Link

You can now pre-order my wife's very funny, interesting, and great book "No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work" Link

Sunday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m. at Caveat. It's the final You're the Expert live taping of the year! Featuring Wyatt Cenac, Maeve Higgins, and Dr. Rebecca Brachman. Link

As always, you can find my schedule with all upcoming dates online here.

This week’s list

As I watched the midterm election results this week, I was thinking a lot about realism versus optimism.  I find that sometimes fiction or poetry or comedy can ground me in what's important and remind me of the big picture. It's important to keep imagining the world you want even as you fight to change the world as it is. Maggie Smith's poems have been helping me with that over the last couple days. Especially her poem "Good Bones," which you may have seen before, but is definitely worth revisiting. I also love "Sky" and "Invisible Architecture." You can read Maggie's work and find out more about her on her website: Maggie Smith, Poet 

(Side note: not many poems also have excellent viral comedy videos referencing them, but "Good Bones" does. Gotta love how Evan Kaufman uses her work to get a perfect final joke in the newest episode of his webseries "Dude Turned Dad")

There is no comedian who has inspired me more than Chris Gethard. He is hilarious and kind and creative, but he also never stops taking big risks. When he started The Chris Gethard Show in a basement theater in NYC, he promised the audience that each week would be memorable. He personally guaranteed that it would either be hilariously good or disastrously bad. They would never accept just okay. Geth's new book is called Lose Welland it's partly essays, partly self-help and inspiration. 

Here's Geth talking about the book and telling a very funny story to Seth Meyers and here's a classic clip from 2013 when The Chris Gethard Show had just hit 100 episodes on public access, before it was picked up to cable and got an actual budget. It's Geth trying to give an earnest, emotional speech while his crew uses speech-jamming technology that makes it impossible for him to talk. (The video is cued up for you to the right spot in the monologue)

Elizabeth Jameson is an artist and writer living with multiple sclerosis. She wrote an essay for the NYT about how her condition has led her to find new forms of intimacy with her friends. It's a reminder that in any situation, there are beautiful discoveries and moments of connection. Also, I am very inspired by her idea and down for any friend who needs a partner for a 2-hour pastry eating session.  "Losing Touch, Finding Intimacy" (h/t Sara Mansur). 

Thanks for reading! If you like these emails, please forward to a friend or come say hi at a live show. If you're reading this for the first time (maybe someone forwarded you this email?), you can subscribe here.

Enjoy your weekend!