3 Things: Jad Abumrad, Michelle Buteau, and Bill Browder / 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.


The newest episode of You're the Expert features Dr. Brooke Flammang teaching comedians Dillon Stevenson, Maeve Higgins, and Emmy Blotnick about sharks and the fish that suck onto them. Link

TOMORROW! Sunday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at Dynasty Typewriter. I am in LA for one night only, hosting a live taping of You're the Expert with panelists Aparna Nancherla, Max Silvestri, and our expert Jess Phoenix, who studies VOLCANOES. Tell your friends and don't miss this show! Link

Friday, October 5th at 10:00 p.m. at the Brooklyn Comedy Collective. I'm doing improv on Carley Moseley's show MONSTER MASH. Carley is the best and she's assembled some of the funniest improvisers in the country from SNLSecond CityComedy Central, and more. Link

Saturday, October 20th at 7:30 p.m. at National Geographic. I'm doing a live taping of You're the Expert with panelists Jo Firestone, Josh Sharp, and an incredible scientist who is named Dr. Jennifer Lopez (this is real). Link

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

This week’s list

It feels appropriate that today is the official last day of summer. On Monday, I head back into work on Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas after a few months spent working on my own projects and catching up with friends. I've been racing around this past week trying to finish all the writing and audio editing that I promised myself I'd get done while we're on hiatus. I even managed to cram in one final (probably ill-advised) trip to the West Coast, so I could go to a friend's wedding and perform in LA tomorrow before taking the redeye home. 

All of which is to say, I'm feeling myself kick into that familiar "back-to-school" mode. I bought a fresh notebook, I'm ready to hear about everyone's vacations, and I've been listening to a kind of Schoolhouse Rock for grown ups. The album is the brainchild of Jad Abumrad, co-creator of Radiolab and host of More Perfect, a great podcast that "explores how the Supreme Court got so supreme." As a special project, Jad and his team commissioned 27 tracks that dive into and explains each of the 27 amendments to the Constitution. It features some incredible talent (including Dolly Parton and Sarah Kay). 27: The Most Perfect Album (h/t Cassandra Horii)

Michelle Buteau is everything I think a great comedian should be. She's hilarious. She's smart. She can talk about big important issues and make you laugh or talk about complete nonsense and make you laugh. Whether she's hosting a podcast or doing standup or on TV, she brings the show to a higher level. And she's a lovely, kind human being as well. Michelle is a master of the craft and she shared her secrets with Atelier Dore.  Things I Learned from Standup Comedy 

(If you've never seen Michelle, there's no substitute for one of her live shows, but this NSFW clip from 2 Dope Queens is a good preview)

To round out our back-to-school Learning Edition of this newsletter, how about we learn more about the person Vladimir Putin hates most? If you want to understand what's going on in Russia, you could do worse than reading Bill Browder's memoir Red Notice. (NYT review here). Browder was, at one point, the largest foreign investor in Russia. But after he uncovered government embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars, he was kicked out of the country, framed, and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was tortured and killed. Browder has spent his life since then seeking justice for Magnitsky by freezing the international assets of corrupt Russian officials. (This is supposedly what the Russians wanted that infamous Trump Tower "adoption" meeting to lobby against). Browder's story has so many twists and turns and it's obviously ongoing, but it's eye-opening. Or if you prefer ear-opening, there's a great interview with him on Preet Bharara's podcast.

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?), but you want to sign up, you can subscribe here.

Have a great start to Fall!