3 Things: Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Joe Pera, and Suleika Jaouad / by Chris Duffy

Happy Saturday! Every week I send out an email with some upcoming performances and three things for you to enjoy. This newsletter only grows by word of mouth, so feel free to forward it and tell your friends. This week, I'm trying to hold multiple truths in my head at once. It's the start of my favorite season, filled with light, swimming, eating outdoors, and family vacations. It's also a terrifying moment when America seems to be on the brink of another pointless and deadly war.

So I'm reminding myself that you can be happy and scared at the same time. You can push for the country and the world to be better and more just, and it's also okay to take a break from the news to laugh at some online videos. At least that's what I've been telling myself. My summer 2019 vibe is crying into a hotdog. 

Upcoming Shows

Both full seasons of Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas are streaming online and on HBO Go. Link

You can listen to all the episodes of my podcast You're the Expert on any podcast app. Three comedians interview a scientist about her work and why it matters. Link

TONIGHT! Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Liz and Mollie are reading from their book No Hard Feelings and answering questions about emotions at work. Check out this great Seattle Times interview with Mollie and come join me in the audience. Link

Tuesday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Theater. I'll be performing at this Pop-Up Magazine show. SOLD OUT

July 29-31 at The Wild Project. A short play that I wrote is going to be performed as part of this year's Cherry Picking festival, which celebrates "new work, creative risk, and prosecco." Tickets on sale soon here

You can find ticket links for all upcoming shows as soon as they are announced online at my website here.

This week’s list

When I recommended Taffy Brodesser-Akner's writing here once before, I got deluged by excited emails back from her fans. Taffy might not be the most famous writer on the planet, but everyone who does know her is obsessed. Or as this article puts it, she's "every other writer's favorite writer." Personally, I know that if she started a cult, I'd ask where to sign up and what color clothes to buy. Her food diary for Grub Street is the perfect combination of my interests: food, comedy, and things that Taffy has written. Taffy Brodesser-Akner Loves a Good Breakfast Salad (h/t Meredith Gringer)

I went back and rewatched all the episodes of Joe Pera Talks With You recently. They're relatively short, so they don't take up too much of your time, but the show is brilliant and different from anything else on TV. They pioneered a new genre: soothing, Midwestern comedy. It's almost certainly the only show on television that's devoted two full episodes just to helping you go to sleep. Jo Firestone is great as the love interest in this show, but you can also see her influence behind the scenes as head writer. I'm glad that the Jo(e)s got to make this show and I'm excited for season two. In the meantime, let Joe Pera Talk You Back To Sleep.

Suleika Jaouad is a writer, teacher, and activist. I first came across her work when I read her column in the NYT, "Life, Interrupted," about being diagnosed with leukemia at 22. Now in remission, she just gave a beautiful talk about "the porous border between sick and well" and how the hardest part of her recovery was once the cancer was gone. What Almost Dying Taught Me About Living

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Have a great weekend,