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 Hey there,

First of all, thanks so much to everyone who tuned in to this week's fundraiser for Basmeh and Zeitooneh! Thanks to you, we were able to raise more than $22,000 to get Syrian kids access to remote education while they're living in camps in Lebanon. That money is going to go a long way. The fundraiser is still open for a few more days if you want to donate.

The audience comment that made me laugh the hardest was my friend Tala seeing my beard for the first time: "Why is Chris doing a fundraiser for Syrian refugees if he converted to ISIS?" Another friend compared my beard to that toy with magnets where you shake it and little iron shavings attach to his face. (Apparently that toy is called Wooly Willy, a name I do not approve of at all). A thing that I genuinely love about comedy is getting roasted by friends and I'm so glad that if I can't get it in person, I can still get it over Zoom. And for what it's worth, I'm keeping the beard at least until the election is over. I will let the nation's voters decide. 

Upcoming Events

- There are only 17 days left until voting is over! Get your ballot in early if at all possible. Here's a nicely designed and clear state-by-state guide on how to do it.

- Wednesday, October 28th at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET
HIDDEN EXPERT. I’m hosting the second show of this new storytelling series for LabX and the National Academy of Sciences. More info here.

This week's list

I love a good Grub Street Diet. It's so fun to get to be able to spy on what a person eats and snacks on over the course of a week. Jiayang Fan's edition is particularly great. She describes Muscadine grapes as "like a summer boyfriend," sleeps all day and works all night, and special orders 50 packets of hot sauce from Taco Bell. In other words, she lives exactly the life that I want a great writer to live. Jiayang Fan Misses Chinatown's Muscadines (If you're not already familiar with Jiayang's writing, here's an incredible essay about her mother that she's adapting into a book.)

Mandy Patinkin and his wife Kathryn Grody are so delightfully themselves. As quarantine started, their son Gideon moved in with them and started filming their day-to-day interactions and posting them online. Those videos became big hits because they're just so funny and charming. Here's Mandy and Kathryn talking about whether they'd trade age for youth. Or here's Kathryn and Gideon making fun of Mandy's pants and then truly baffled when Mandy starts responding in a British accent. The best part is, they've used all the social media attention to get out the vote and fundraise for lesser-known down ballot candidates. Their PSAs are the rare celebrity PSAs that are actually good. And here's an interview with Mandy about his career and newfound social media presence: Mandy Patinkin Is Still Singing

I just finished reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun. I read Americanah a few years back and loved that too so now I think I'm going to go down the rabbit hole and read everything she's written. Half of a Yellow Sun takes place during the Biafran War, which is a piece of history I knew nothing about. Something I've been thinking about at this dark moment in the United States is how, when countries don't learn about or reckon with the crimes and violence in our past, they keep resurfacing in new ways. And that's why writing like Adichie's, beautiful and moving, can provide an opening for learning and discussion. 

Ok, that's it for this week! If you're enjoying 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.

Thanks for reading,

I'm Chris Duffy, comedian, TV writer, creator/host of You're the Expert, spoon enthusiast, a former fifth grade teacher and former fifth grade student.
Copyright © 2020 Chris Duffy, All rights reserved.

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