3 Things: Alix Pentecost Farren, Matt Kirshen, and John B. Goodenough / by Chris Duffy

Good morning!

Every week, I send out an email with my show dates and recommendations of things I think you might enjoy. This week, I've been thinking about when I first moved back to NYC several years ago. I was trying hard to make anything happen with my comedy.

One of the first shows that I was excited about was in a basement room at my friend Isabella's Italian restaurant. I booked a lineup of actual professional comedians and I was going to host. But on the night of the show, only two audience members showed up: my mom and dad. It was genuinely more embarrassing than if no one had come at all. One by one, the comics got there and, humiliated, I had to tell them the show was cancelled. When Jo Firestone showed up, I told her, and she was like "Well, let's at least have some pasta." So my parents, Jo, and I all had dinner together in this empty basement. The night went from being a terrible cancelled show to a hilarious meal.

This past Thursday, Jo and I performed together at a sold-out Lincoln Center as part of this Pop-Up Magazine tour. My mom and dad came and we snapped a photo of the four of us. From two audiences members to 2700. The only thing we were missing was the pasta. Maybe next time.

Upcoming Shows

Tonight! Saturday, October 12th at 7:30 pm at the Athenaeum Theatre. It's the final night of Pop-Up Magazine's Escape Issue. SOLD OUT

Monday, October 14th at 8 pm at Littlefield. I'm telling jokes at my favorite standup show in NYC, Butterboy, hosted by Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla, and Maeve Higgins. Link

Wednesday, October 23rd at 8:30 pm at the Echo Park Swan Boat House. Squatmelt Comedy Crawl is a walking tour with stops for stand up sets. No tickets. You just show up. Check host Howard Kremer's twitter for details: Link

This week’s list

Alix Pentecost Farren is an illustrator and visual artist. I'm a huge fan of her work. I don't know nearly as much about visual art as I'd like to, so I lack a lot of the vocabulary I'd need to describe why her work is so good. But it's... very good. Me love to look at it. See for yourself: Alix Pentecost Farren (and here's her Instagram)

Matt Kirshen is one of the first comedians that I've met and become friends with in LA. I lucked out because he's also one of the smartest and funniest people around. This standup set is from a few years back, but he absolutely destroys with jokes about his experiences in America as a Brit and the mysterious engineering of planes. Matt Kirshen at Just for Laughs 

Dr. John B. Goodenough became the oldest recipient of the Nobel Prize this week. At 97 years old, he's already revolutionized technology once with his development of lithium-ion batteries. Now he's making progress towards more stable solid-state batteries that could transform the electric car industry. Not only does he have an incredible name (I love learning more examples of nominative determinism) but my friend Tom, who worked at UT-Austin down the hall from him, says he has a great sense of humor and a laugh you could hear across the building. Here's a fascinating interview Dr. Goodenough gave a few years back about his life and work. To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old (h/t Tom Murphy)

Thanks for reading! If you like these emails, please forward to a friend or spread the word. If someone forwarded you this email but you're not yet on the list, you can subscribe here.

Have a great day,