3 Things: Kate Willett, Birthday Pranks, and Zahra Hirji / by Chris Duffy

Happy Saturday! Every week, I send out an email with my show dates and recommendations of things I think you might enjoy. 

Personally, I spent almost all this week trying to buy a car for the first time in my life. The things that I had to haggle over were wild. At one point, a used car salesman earnestly told me, "Floor mats are supposed to smell bad," and I had to be like "I don't think that's true." I did end up getting him to agree to give me both keys to the car for no added charge though. After visiting about a dozen places, I ended up with a solid Camry (fingers crossed that it doesn't explode as you're reading this). And the color? You better believe it's officially listed as... "Creme Brulee." As soon as I heard that, I immediately starting saying "Grab a spoon, crack the top" (That's a catchphrase for the car that I'm trying to make happen. So far, unsuccessfully.)

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

I'm on a national tour with Pop-Up Magazine this fall for their Escape Issue. "A night of live storytelling, music, art, and performance devoted to escapes big and small, daring and mundane, physical and mental."

San Francisco: Friday, September 20th at the Sydney Goldstein Theater
Oakland: Saturday, September 21st at the Paramount Theatre
San Diego: Monday, September 23rd at Observatory North Park
Los Angeles: Thursday, September 26th at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel
Vancouver: Saturday, September 28th at the Vogue Theatre
Washington, DC: Monday, October 7th at the Lincoln Theatre
New York: Thursday, October 10th at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall
Chicago: Saturday, October 12th at the Athenaeum Theatre

Tickets go on sale this Tuesday (8/20) at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET and will sell out very quickly, so mark your calendars!

This week’s list

I loved this interview with Kate Willett. She's able to combine insightful political commentary with very funny personal jokes. She talks about getting her start in experimental theater, the difference between audiences in San Francisco and New York, and finding her place as a standup comedian. Kate Willett Feels at Home With Intense New Yorkers

Whenever people ask about my favorite jokes, I have answers I can give them about the standups I most admire and the bits they've perfectly crafted. But if I'm honest, most of the jokes that have made me laugh the hardest are just regular people messing with their friends. This is a perfect example. It's an idea so brilliant and so perfectly executed, that I can only bow down in awe. Cleveland Man Donates T-Shirts With Friend's Face to Area Thrift Stores in Surprise Birthday Prank (h/t The Ann Friedman Weekly

Zahra Hirji continues to put together incredibly well-written and moving investigative reports for Buzzfeed News. Her latest is about Ciara Newton, who took on Shell Oil in court. "The oil and gas industry is one of the last bastions of male-dominated work, with nearly four times as many men as women. Several of the biggest companies, including Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, have launched splashy campaigns over the past decade to recruit more women and close the gender gap. But these efforts haven't accomplished much. There is little doubt, lawyers and women in the industry say, that sexual and gender-based harassment remains rampant. And yet Big Oil has received surprisingly little scrutiny." After Being Harassed and Pushed Out of a Shell Oil Refinery, Ciara Newton Pushed Back

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 weekend,