3 Things: Joan Didion, Los Espookys, and Happier in Hollywood / 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. This week's edition is all about dreams: the dreams we have when we're young, the surreal comedic visions of Ana Fabrega and Julio Torres, and the promise/reality of life in Hollywood. Personally, I'm dreaming of being done with all the logistics of moving and being able to get back to performing and writing again. I can feel how close it is, there's just a mountain of cardboard boxes I have to scale first. I hope wherever you're reading this email, it's a fully unpacked, extremely stable location. If not, I feel your pain and I'd raise a glass to you, but I don't know which box the glasses are in.

Upcoming Shows

NOTE: I'll be doing a big West Coast tour at the end of September and an East Coast tour in early October. Details are still being finalized but that should be announced soon. 

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

Thursday, August 8th at 7:45 p.m. at Beer Basement. I'll be doing a short standup set atThe Setup, a great comedy show. Last time I was in town and did the show, there was a documentary crew filming three famous Norwegians visiting the US for the first time. I spent my entire time onstage asking them about Scandinavian canned fish and it was a joy. Maybe that will happen again! Link

You'll be able to find ticket links for all upcoming shows as soon as they are announced online at my website here.

This week’s list

So much of my nostalgia for places I've lived has to do with that particular time in my life more than any city or state. Before New York, I loved living in Massachusetts. I would ride my bike everywhere, have spontaneous potluck dinners with friends, get drinks with teachers on Friday and laugh about the wild things our students had said. But those weren't ever really Boston specific, they were about a place in time. I don't think any writer has captured that feeling better than Joan Didion. I finally read her famous essay about her twenties in New York City. First there was the magic, the buildings, the parties, the feeling of endless possibility, and then the realization that she's no longer the same person she used to be. Goodbye to All That (h/t Eliza Cossio) 

A few months ago, I wrote how excited I was for the HBO show Los Espookys to premiere. I just finished the season and it was even better than I'd hoped. Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega are two of the most inventive and unique comedians and they made a show that no one else could have. It's a bi-lingual comedy about a group of friends who form "a business that conjures thrills and chills for a variety of clients." The episodes take surreal twists, including everything from the American ambassador getting trapped inside a cursed mirror to an energy drink pyramid scheme where the CEO personally comes to collect his debts. The show is amazing and it just got renewed for a second season! If you don't have HBO, the full first episode is up on YouTube. El Exorcismo 

If you're looking for more Julio and Ana, I strongly recommend their videos from when they wrote for The Chris Gethard ShowJulio and Ana

Even though I've been making a podcast for over a decade, I don't listen to them all that much. But Mollie introduced me to the Happier in Hollywood podcast, which has great advice for television writers (or really everyone) and I've listened to every episode. It's hosted by Liz Craft and Sarah Fain, two extremely successful showrunners who have been best friends since high school. They're smart, funny, and charmingly Midwestern. But they also know a ton about living in Hollywood. I am a loyal fan of the show even though I'm pretty clearly not the target demographic (a fair amount of their advice is solidly directed at middle aged women). I love it anyway. Happier in Hollywood

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Have a great weekend,