This episode of solo is also being published as part of Peter McGraw’s other podcast called I’m Not Joking, a podcast that looks at the lives of funny people. Today’s guest, Kristin Newman, is a comedy writer, producer, and the author of a very funny memoir, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding. Peter and Kristin talk about a wide range of fun topics including advice for solo travelers and how to pick friends to travel with, and how traveling lets you try out different personas. They also explore the value of authenticity and honesty in order to craft a good story, with Kristin revealing the times of the year that her book sales spike.
Listen to Episode #5 here:
What Kristin Newman Was Doing While You Were Breeding
My guest is a comedy writer, producer and author of a very funny memoir, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding. We talk about a wide range of fun topics including advice for solo travelers and how to pick friends to travel with. We talk about how traveling lets you try out some different personas and we explore the value of authenticity and honesty in crafting a good story. She tells me about the times of the year that book sales spike. I’m going to enjoy this conversation. This is the last of the first five episodes that I’m launching on day one. From this point on, I’ll be posting an episode every two weeks with the goal of upping the frequency if people are reading, so be sure to subscribe and rate. Please don’t be shy about telling me about what you like and what you don’t and what would you like to hear in future episodes. I’m also looking for great guests, people like the one now who are impressive, who’ve lived or living a solo life and who are making it remarkable so send them my way. I hope you enjoy. Let’s get started.
Our guest is Kristin Newman. Kristin has been writing and producing television for many years on shows, including that ‘70s show, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, Galavant, The Muppets, The Neighbors, The Real O’Neals and For The People. She has an overall deal at ABC under which she was most producing a pilot for Hulu. She also wrote the comic travel memoir, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding. Welcome, Kristin.
Kristin, if you weren’t working as a writer or a producer, what would you be doing with your life?
That’s what we all talk about constantly because we all feel like we’re all about to be out of work. We all know that we have no skills of any sorts. We have no skills that apply to anything in the world besides writing and producing. Whenever I’ve written a show that takes place in an office or any business environment, I’ll often have dialogue that says work, work. I call a friend who’s had a job anywhere and say, “What do you say? Is a fax still a thing? Do you fax things? What happens in an office?” We have no skills. What is interesting is that I have always felt like the only other thing that I can imagine doing because the only thing I’m interested in talking about is people, their stories and what they do is be not there.
That’s interesting that you say this because even the show names you have are people shows. The Real O’Neal’s, The Neighbors and Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, these are about people.
Comedy writers on TV if you think about sitcoms, they’re about people talking to each other in a normal situation that you see all day, every day. A drama is more a heightened spy, astronauts, sci-fi situation that nobody in usually or highly dramatic moments of a doctor’s life, a lawyer’s life, a cop’s life. Those things most of us don’t do all day, every day. What I found is that having written on both in a drama, you have to make sure that the people speak the way that we all speak because the situations are things that we don’t do. In a comedy, you have to have the situation feel grounded in reality and something that you did with your wife or your child or your boyfriend.
The way people speak is heightened. They’re much faster and funnier than any of us are when we’re with our boyfriends or our wives or our kids or whatever. That’s the difference. I only like to tell stories and hear people’s stories. I figured maybe a therapist, which is we’re all also crazy comedy writers. I had a conversation with my therapist about this and she told me that because she’s a therapist in Hollywood, she has a lot of writer patients. That’s what they all either do as their second career when we stopped getting work because we turned 40 or what they think they’ll do. It’s about observing human behavior, both jobs and interested in why people do what they do and why they say what they say. I already have two different former professional comedy writer friends who have become therapists now that we’re getting on.
Thinking about like the difference between ER and Scrubs so they’re both set in the same location. The tone of the show is different. The way you talk about the language of the two shows.
That’s what people say versus what people don’t say.
Scrubs is super accessible. They talk like regular people.
They don’t. They’re way funnier than regular people like every person you meet in the world says, “You should hear me and my buddies in the insurance office. If you could bring a camera to the office, you would have a sitcom.” That’s not true. That’s not how people speak. It takes a room of 12 to 14 funny people working until 3:00 in the morning to write things that are as funny as they are. When we all sit around talking to each other, we’re not that funny either. It’s a careful way to have people speak, but in dramas they sit and chat the way that people sit and chat.
The drama is elevated, but the words are what doctors would say usually and what people who are next to their dying relative would normally say. They’re not making written quips. If something feels too written in a drama, it stands out. In a comedy, you expect it to feel written. You know, that’s different though from network to streaming and cable. It’s a lot more conversational in the way people sound in real life. If you do a setup punchline, what you would do on a multi-cam like Two and a Half Men or something, it doesn’t feel right on Ramy or SMILF.
I’m working on a book. It’s taking a look into the world of comedy and what we can learn from funny people, from standups, improvisers, sketch writers, etc. One of the things that I talk about is comics are natural anthropologists. They’re observing the world. They’re noticing the things that normal people don’t notice. They’re mining that for a comedy gold for insights and so on. In your book, what I was doing while you are breathing, you have a little bit of this and especially because you’re going to all these places. You’re in Paris and Amsterdam. You go to Russia, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Israel and Jordan. You’re spending time in these other places interacting with the locals sometimes quite intensely.
Sometimes with all parts of me.
Not only intimately, but also like you had an accident in the Dominican Republic. You had surgery to repair your foot. It was awful. My heart sank when I read that part of the book.
It was gross. They de-gloved my foot is what the doctor said that will de-gloved my foot with the car. It’s still gross too. I have very callusy heels to this day.
You have a good memory. I know for a fact. I assume you do a little bit of journaling. You mentioned this.
I have a terrible memory is the truth.
How did you put all this back together then?
I have a three-year-old now and I’m old so it’s getting worse for sure. Even then I sent a lot of emails to people and keep all of those. It was a lot of going back to emails and some journaling although I hope that for prosperity, this sticks around for a long time because I want to explain to my descendants that when they find my journals and think that I was a miserable person, that they know that I only journal when I’m miserable. I don’t journal when I’m happy. I only do when I need a pep talk or to work something out. When I’m dead and you find my journals, you will think I lived a life of misery, but that is not the case. I do have the miserable moments written down and a lot of emails.
I also took people out to dinner who were on the trips with me or reached out to them. We reminisced and they reminded me of some details that I’d forgotten, which is also a good way to get people involved a little bit in the storytelling process to hopefully make them more comfortable with their lives being written about. While I changed names, there’s definitely a line. One is he is the one who kept his name because there was too much good one-word play. Is he the one? He’s the hot one and all that. That’s comedy gold. You can’t be saying, “He’s the Diego.” It doesn’t work.
Most people got their names changed and I let people name themselves. It was one thing I did to hopefully get them involved in the process and had them help tell the story. I gave them the opportunity to redline what they wanted to redline. Nobody did. It was because they were part of it and enjoyed having some of their lives put down for posterity too instead of feeling out of control of it. Once you didn’t get to read things in red line because they were ex-boyfriends, they didn’t love it as much.
We should step back for a moment because the audience is probably going what’s this book about?
It’s a comic travel memoir. Every chapter is a trip. It collectively tells the story of about twelve years of my life and all of it because I talk about the family and friends situation that led up to mostly my 20s and the first half of my 30s, maybe the first three-quarters of my 30s, let’s call it 20s and 30s.
You were in Hollywood writing. You started off struggling then started to get regular work. The nature of this business is you work oftentimes for intense periods of time. You burn yourself out and then you are released. It’s an LA thing for people to go on vacation, to leave town and go on vacation.
We say we have two seasons, pilot season, hiatus season and fire season now, the third season.
You went off to these places and sometimes very single, sometimes slightly single. You have these cultural experiences. You have a term you call yourself Kristin-Adjacent. This is a quote from you. These are not my words. These are your own words. You say, “I talk in the book about this Kristin-Adjacent creature who I am when I’m on the road. She’s less judgmental, more open, a little softer and a little sluttier.”
Those are the years that have passed. I don’t use the word slut anymore. The first sentence in my book is, “I am not a slut in the United States of America,” which is a great line if I do say so myself. I’m sad that I use the word slut in the book. There are certain things that have changed in these last few years that you already regret. It’s a judge-y word. There’s no word like that for men, who have lots of romantic adventures. There isn’t one. Have you ever heard that word used about a man? You say playboy. You say party boy. You say lady’s man.”
Man-whore is the closest.
The word, whore, in and of itself is female. It’s almost like calling a man pussy, which also means that pussy is a derogatory thing to be or throw like a girl, any of these things. It’s too gendered and the word slut is thrown around in my book by me about myself and now I little bit regret it.
Now, I regret reading your book.Single is great when you want to be single but such a bummer when you're hoping to end being single. Click To Tweet
I’m glad you wrote it because I’ve never gotten a talk about that. I’m glad I got to talk about that. Anyway, what you were talking about was Kristin-Adjacent creature and that’s true. It was the thing that was the most freeing for me about travel and why especially people who are younger or people who are single or people who are newly single after a long time in a big relationship is such a good thing because you get to step outside of yourself and be a little different. Especially in a relationship, it’s hard to change because you have this person who is this mirror all the time who is saying, “What are you doing? Are you going through something? Is there a crisis involved? You cut all your hair off. Are you unhappy? Are you trying to change something dramatically? Why are you saying this?”
You get in these ruts almost because it’s a little bit embarrassing or you get self-conscious making a change in front of somebody who’s watching you. Even when you’re not in a relationship and you’re single, you’ve got friends around you to notice too. When you go someplace and nobody knows you, you can try on a whole new thing and nobody notices because they don’t know it’s any different than what you have always been. That is when you can grow.
I like the fact that you say you’re less judgmental, but you’re also in a world that’s less judgmental because they don’t know how you were last week or last year or ten years ago nor do they care. You’re the person in front of them that you’re meeting at that moment in time.
Nobody will ask you what you do for a living. You’ll be traveling together all over the world for a week and nobody knows what you do for work. The kinds of things that we ask about right away in the United States. It doesn’t happen and it’s all about experiencing something together and much more at the moment.
You’re the perfect person to be in a dual show for my two shows, but I was more interested in how you live this solo lifestyle because I’m on the lookout for people who either are committed to a solo life. As a result, they’re living their best life or taking advantage of the opportunity the solo living provides.
It’s good for you, guys. You’re doing great.
They may think of their single life is temporary, but they do have a goal, hard, soft of partnering up.
That’s the worst way to be single. It’s such a bummer. I found that single is great when you want to be single and single is such a bummer when you’re hoping to end being single.
I don’t like this idea that being single is seen as this liminal state. What’s very clear to me is that you didn’t treat it that way. You’re like, “I am single. I’m going to make the most of this. I’m going to go on these adventures. I’m going to meet these interesting men, these interesting people. I’m going to say yes to things. It’s very improv-y of you.” I use this term in the description of the project is for the person who’s single for now or forever. There are not good resources for that person because almost all the resources for a single person is how do you achieve this state in the future as soon as possible or in some short order. The average person doesn’t have a playbook for now or forever. I like the fact that it’s bold. I like the fact that it’s unapologetic in a world where people are pushing you into that breeder category. I’d like it as a playbook.
Not to judge the people who are wanting to not be single because I certainly was not existing throughout this story or throughout my life as somebody who wasn’t looking to find somebody. I come in and out of that space certainly in the book and in my life. That’s why I can speak to how much more fun it is to be single when you’re aggressively trying to stay single versus when you’re like, “Maybe I’ve done this, can I please maybe find some love or can this person who I am chasing after perhaps notice me ever?” I’ve been to both spaces. Both spaces are super valid. I do think that thinking of singleness as a thing that you’re supposed to get over in some way is a bummer.
I’ve been sitting on the book for a long time with people wanting me to adapt it, studios and things, both as a TV show and as a book or as a movie for a long time. One of the reasons is I can’t decide exactly what to do with it. I don’t want to do it as a movie because if you have to do it in 90 minutes or 2 hours, she has to get over it and the end of where I happened to end. When I finished the book, I happened to be selling my single girl house and moving in with my now-husband, which felt like adorable by too much ending. As I was writing the final pages for my deadline for my publisher, that’s what I was doing was packing up my single girl house.
That’s how it ended. If the movie ends that way, it feels like get over your thing and thank goodness she got over it and got married. I don’t want that story. I want it to be several seasons of this valid life choice that even though you’re 35 and your eggs are drying up and all the things that are happening, that if you’re not ready, you’re not ready and that’s okay. You don’t need to be put into the panic mode of quick do it before your eggs dry up. That being said, I can also talk about two years of IVF and living in a hospital for three months and things like that to get a baby, which also sucked. I still will never be the person who tells a 35-year-old single woman, “Better get on that. You freeze your eggs. What’s happening?” That being said, I’m going to give my daughter egg freezing at 22 when she graduates college so she doesn’t have to worry.
This is often the case in terms of those deadlines is that you ought to in some ways ought to think about them earlier than you want to and you don’t know what 10 to 20 years later will look like in that sense. You are the imperfect choice for this show because of the, “Happy ending,” of sorts of the book.
There was some theory from readers. There’s some Reddit strain of people who called themselves CFRs, Child-Free people, who were all mad that I had betrayed the child-free community that I purported to represent, which I never purported to represent. Despite the title, I always wanted to have one kid when I was 50. That’s what I said when I was eight years old and my mother so it wasn’t ever that. I was like, “Never will I have children.” I didn’t want to do it when everybody told me to do it. Anyway, the CFRs are furious at me. They were furious before I even had a baby. They were furious because I inherited two stepkids and that was a betrayal in and of itself.
I have not stumbled across this subreddit yet, but I’m sure they’re going to love the show. I understand the tension. I had a question that I was like, “Has this been optioned into a movie? Given the work you do, I was like, “She could do it herself. She doesn’t need someone to come along.” I was going through my head thinking about how do you manage? It reminds me a little bit of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the movie has a different ending than the book. She stays with the handsome, kind writer in the movie. In the books, she goes off to some Saudi Prince or something like that, which is much more in character for Holly Golightly. Hollywood likes happy endings. On one hand, you have a happy ending, you found love and you found a family and you didn’t have any goals. Your life has turned out well. On the other hand, people might see it as this portrayal of this thing. To me, I don’t think it’s here or there. This is what happens in life is we have chapters. If we’re good, we’re good about closing chapters when that part of the story no longer serves us.
There was definitely in the book I write about the moment on a beach in New Zealand by myself with a beautiful waterfall and adventures around me and going like, “It’s been a lot of beautiful beaches. It’s been a lot of beautiful men. It’s been a lot of like waterfalls.” I’ve done it. There were years where every February or March I would break up with whichever boyfriend was around because hiatus was coming and I couldn’t bear to bring them with me to Argentina or wherever where this wasn’t done yet and then it was done and that’s okay that you move onto a new thing.
That’s the purpose of the book and the message of the book. I hope ultimately is that whatever you want is great. If you wanted to have kids at 22 and that’s the adventure that makes you happy, great, have that adventure. I have learned it turns out that as boring as I found parents when I was single and childless to have a child is the most interesting thing I’ve ever done by a long shot. It turns out it’s not boring. It’s boring to hear people talk about children, it’s terrible. I’ll try hard not to tell you stories about how adorable and ridiculous my child is because it’s super boring.
It is interesting to have kids and that’s the show that I’m about to pitch this week. It was a show that shows two lives and I hope that what it comes out on the side of the goal is that there is no right road and that both roads have joy. Both roads have sorrow. Do you know the Chris Rock joke? He says, “There are only two options in life, you can be married and bored or single and lonely. The people get in trouble when they want a third option. An interesting marriage is if your wife fucks your brother, that’s an interesting marriage.” In the show, I want to tell you that story but also the other side of the coin, which is you can be married and loved or single and free. There are also pros to both directions that you don’t get on the other road and you have to give up something you want desperately for another thing you want almost, not at all more but a little tiny bit more. You have to give something up.
I appreciate you saying this because what I don’t like is the idea that in a world of limitless options, when it comes to how you want to dress, where you want to live, what car you drive, what cuisine you like, what music you listen to, everybody’s like, “It’s fine to choose in the way that you want to make you happy. Here are 100 different careers. Pick the one that’s best for you.”
Unless you have no skills like comedy writers and you can only do the one thing.
It bothers me that there’s only one path to living a good life in the eyes of many people, which is getting married, settles down, has children and so on. It’s not that’s a bad path, it’s not the only one. What your story says is that in some ways you can have both of them. You stage it out and some people do it in the opposite direction. They start out with the family.
All of my relatives that live in Arizona voted for Trump and had babies at 22, they’re all like, “I’m going to go to Brazil when my kids are out of the house when I’m 50 and married. It’s not going to be the same trip.” I hope they have a different trip than I had because that’s going to be inappropriate otherwise. It’s going to be not as cute.
That’s fair. I have a friend who tells a story of being seventeen doing a hike on a volcano in Hawaii with his family and these 70-year-olds, who had spent their entire lives working and now were newly retired. They finally went to Hawaii and they were finally getting a chance to hike the volcano and couldn’t make it up. He made a vow that he was going to do it early often and later.
I’m also writing something right now about being old parents and what it means to be an old parent is to have old parents yourself. The lovely people who had kids in their twenties have 50-year-old parents to help with the kids. We have parents in diapers in old age homes and that is hard to have diapers on both sides of you at the same time instead of alternating. There’s nobody to help. That also is a trade. That’s a bummer.
I want to talk to you a little bit about the travel stuff. I also wrote a travel log called The Humor Code. It’s laid out in a similar way in which every chapter is a different place and it’s designed to answer a different question related to comedy. Your book has done better than mine. It’s funnier than mine. I want to talk to you about some secrets about like if I were to redo The Humor Code, I would pull back on the travel. I would make it much more science-y. When I foolishly look at the feedback from the book, people want more science. Nonetheless, we wrote it as a travel log and it’s a fun thing. Besides the fact that you’re a funnier writer than my coauthor and I, one of the things that are striking about your book is how authentic it is. You say things in there that must be difficult, like you talk about reading your boyfriend’s journal in it.
I had to tell somebody I cheated on them ten years earlier because I wrote this book. I didn’t mean to write a memoir, first of all. I backed into it by accident. Stacking season comes up and you need writing samples. People enjoy reading an autobiographical essay because it’s quick and gives you a person’s voice fast. People have been saying forever to write down all these travel stories that I was telling at dinner parties, but I didn’t know what the take was. I didn’t want to be like a travel sex bragger. I feel like often if you don’t write about something well until you’re past it and you can comment on yourself and laugh at yourself better than when you’re in the middle of it.
It feels big, real and valid to obsess about the things that later you’ll laugh that you obsessed over. You can’t laugh at yourself as much and have a perspective and understand what the journey was as well. Basically, the stacking season was coming up. I needed to write something to use as a new sample. What I wrote up write about this in the book. What happened coincidentally was that February before the spring of staffing season, I met my new boyfriend’s two boys, two sons, which I’d never dated anybody with kids before. My stepmother died leaving my three little half-siblings alone with my elderly dad with Parkinson’s.
They were at that point 19, 17 and 11. I got five kids on my lap the same month. I had the sudden sense that everything was over. I’d better quick write it down. I sat down to write a funny story about a trip. I sat down to write one. It was like a week and I had 70 pages and four trips. It was this big hunk that was flowing out of me in a scrapbook way, like quick before I forget about it now that it’s over, write it down almost like a person does when they’re 80 at the end of their life to pass on their stories to their descendants. To make it look more legit for stacking, I slapped a title page on the top of it that said, “Excerpts From What I Was Doing While You Are Breeding: A Memoir,” and I sent it to my agent. He said, “You’re writing a book?” I said, “No, I wrote these and wanted to make it look legit.” He said, “It’s a book.” I sent it to a book agent who said, “Yeah, it’s a book.”
They helped me put together the proposal. I took it out. There was a bitty more. I picked the people who didn’t tell me to change the title because they got it. I wrote the memoir. As I was writing the memoir, I kept writing David Sedaris-style travel stories. The editor was like, “People when they read a memoir don’t want a bunch of funny stories. They want to know why you did what you did, what family life led you to make these decisions, what was happening back at home.
You have an interesting career, write about your career. What was going on with these people? I backed into suddenly having to dig into personal, “Why are you the way you are” stuff. That was a struggle for two reasons. One, I felt like who am I at 38? Nobody to write a memoir. I’m not Hillary Clinton who wants to read about my thoughts and dreams. I have that insecurity that leads to all of the self-deprecating comic stuff that makes all of us make jokes about ourselves all the time.
Secondly, it was so personal. I spent a lot of time wanting to be honest about it because while the book is sometimes compared to Eat Pray Love, I didn’t want to write Eat Pray Love despite the fact that I related a lot of times to it because she honestly didn’t dig into a lot of things that were true. She and her husband were swingers. She never wrote about that. She publicly hid her divorce that was happening from the guy who she met in the last chapter of Eat Pray Love, because she was about to release a book on marriage.
I wanted to dig in and be super honest. I would honestly literally be sometimes in therapy in the chapters where I was writing about times that I didn’t like what I’d been doing. I didn’t feel like they were great choices because if you stop liking a narrator and a memoir, you put the book down and you’re like, “I hate her. I’m putting it down.” I wanted to both be honest, but also have people at least root for me to start making better choices rather than judge me and put the book down.People enjoy reading an autobiographical essay because it's quick and gives you a person's voice fast. Click To Tweet
If you look at both the five and one-star reviews that tend to happen on my book, the Amazon reviews that we don’t read, people either had that work for them like, “I admire that she was dishonest,” and dishonesty resonates and suddenly makes me think about exactly how I feel exactly the same way or they’re like, “She’s self-indulgent and slutty.” When you write a memoir, you always get a paragraph about the book where they judge the book and another paragraph where they judge you as a human being, which makes those reviews especially delightful to read. You get to hear that stuff too. She’s a one-star person. Maybe I give her one-star for her personality and value on this earth.
I tried to be honest. I always tell people to write a memoir even if you don’t show it to another human because of how much it helps you forgive yourself and understand. Also sit down and go, “I do have a lot to say.” I have had a lot of experiences.” Over the last several years, I have friends who have gotten married, made three humans, done all these things. I still am on another trip, having another boyfriend, having another job, trying to figure out what I’m going to write next to who I’m going to date next or where I’m going to go next. I haven’t done anything. I haven’t built anything. I wrote this book and I was like, “Look, I have done something.” Making humans and getting married is not the only way to judge. Have you built anything with your life?
Thank you for saying that because, first of all, there are nine billion of us. It’s not that hard to make them at least. To make them good is hard, but to make them is not that difficult. My argument is that you were living a remarkable life. When you think about what is it that the average person does with their fate, not many people get to go to Hollywood. I love living in Los Angeles because it’s a city of dreamers. It’s a city of people taking a shot. The average person never takes a shot. Most fail but at least they took the shot.
The people who take the shot and win to make it into a writer’s room, that in itself is remarkable. To layer onto it, leaving the country, most Americans never leave the country, let alone to go to the far ends and then being able to document it in a way that I think. This is a playbook for people, for someone who lives in a place that doesn’t quite feel like they fit in is ambivalent about starting a family or certainly is not ready for it now and wants to “live a little.” It’s fun hearing you talk about this. The fact that you were brave enough to share it because I know as someone who writes and has his share of stuff, you invite criticism. The sweet irony is the same thing that makes people love what you’ve done is also the thing that makes them hate what you’ve done.
You definitely realize when you read enough reviews that the review has much more to do with the reviewer usually and what you’ve done frames what they’ve done. We’re all that way. Everything is perception. We all judge everything based on what we’ve experienced, who we are and what we’ve done, all of that business.
I haven’t read many of my reviews for The Humor Code, but I did read some of them because I want feedback. I want to know what worked, what didn’t work and so on. The problem with The Humor Code was it’s what I call warm tea. It tries to be something for everyone. As a result, it’s never the thing for anyone. In a world of people who want hot tea or ice tea, if you try to make everyone happy and serve them warm tea, you don’t.
I’ve all kinds of people who criticize the book. They wanted it to be a straight travel log. They wanted to hear more about the places and were like, “Why is she obsessively talking about people?” I was inspired by Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia. It’s a travel book from maybe ‘20s, ‘30s about Patagonia. I read it in Patagonia in a rattily windy building. It changed travel writing because he was one of the first people to write about the people in the places he went to and the culture of the people versus the things that he saw. Talking about his own interactions with locals.
For me, the way that I’ve always gotten to know a place that having a romance with a local was as much about getting to get taken to the local places, the person’s family, the person’s friends, and get to find out what it’s like to be intimate with somebody from another culture. It teaches you about the culture and about the place in a way that it doesn’t happen when you go see the Eiffel Tower. I write about people and romances for that reason, but a lot of people are like, “I thought it was going to be a travel book.” It’s about her obsession with boys for whatever it is. People are critical.
You can’t make everyone happy. Speaking of which, I want to talk about two things about this. We can move on to other stuff. One is, speaking of the travel, suppose someone, a solo is reading like, “I want to live a more remarkable life. I’m going to go out in the world and travel.” Now, you weren’t always alone on these trips. You met people in these places and sometimes you went with your friends.
I talk about how often the people would come on trips. They’d get married. They’d disappear. I’d travel alone and they get divorced. They’d come back around for another trip or two. They get married again before I had gotten married the first time. I’d lose them again. They’d come and go as my adventurer pop up a posse. The first time that I traveled by myself was when I got single for the first time at 31 because I had two long-term relationships in my twenties and that was scary. I went for three months to Argentina and got an apartment and got an Argentine cell phone. I took Spanish five days a week and tango three days a week and plugged myself in and got to know the place intimately. That was what changed me and what made me addicted to going by myself specifically because you meet many more people when you travel alone, the least people you ever meet is when you travel in a couple.
Nobody approaches a couple. If you’re alone, especially as a woman alone, people are like, “Do you want to join us? You’re sitting right there. Come sit with us.” After this a day trip to see elephants, you don’t have anybody have dinner with come, have dinner with us and you’re approachable. Groups of girls are approachable. They meet lots of people. What’s fun I’ve learned is that having a kid traveling now that the world opens back up again because everybody wants to talk to you when you have a cute little baby running around. You suddenly meet locals that way because you’re on the playground. It’s been fun to meet people again, but going traveling for the first time with my now-husband, which is the end of the book, you meet almost nobody.
Do you have advice for the solo traveler? Do you have advice for picking your partner when you’re going to travel?
It’s important for us to not just take anybody. They can ruin it.
I’ve written down some of them.
I’m judge-y about what makes a good travel partner. Read them. I don’t remember.
One is and this is an improv-y thing is you’re open-minded. You say yes to things and that’s important. That was number one on your list. The person and you should go to places that tourists don’t go.
It’s also important. Not that you avoid necessarily the things that you want to see before you die, but dig around. That’s why you need a local.
I travel a lot and I travel alone a lot, but my big thing is I’m looking for the cafe. I’m looking for a local’s cafe, a comfortable place that feels like Paris, feels like Rome, feels like Cairo, feels like wherever it is. That becomes a little bit of a home base of sorts, a place that I can journal and I can write. I can read, I can get a good coffee and I can get a bite to eat and at least soak it in.
I would say I do that too. That’s smart.
I’m also replicating a little bit of my Boulder life from my LA life anyways which I like. I’m not trying to escape that part of my life. This is one that I might struggle with. It’s easy sleeping, eating comfort issues.
I have a low tolerance for a lot of neediness in terms of what people need. I’m not an empathetic, kind, warm, understanding person when it comes to that. I don’t know what that is about me. I could be a lot better as a person in terms of I don’t have tolerance. I need everybody to not have allergies and be able to sleep anywhere. Everybody needs to not have issues, which I know is unfair. It’s unfair. It’s me.
It certainly makes travel especially rustic traveling a lot easier, for example.
I’m not going rustic anymore. That tolerance has gone down too. Especially in the book, I talk a lot about how you can’t go to a fancy hotel by yourself. You don’t meet anybody. It’s all couples who are fancy and they don’t want to do it. Even when I could afford a nicer place, I would usually stay in hostels and get the private room with its own bathroom that costs $30 instead of $5. Be there where solo travelers are staying and meet them that way. It’s somebody who can’t do that and only wants to go super fancy. Also, the other way, if somebody isn’t in a different financial position than you are and could only afford super rustic and you’d like to splurge on this something and you can’t because they can’t do it either, that’s going to bum you out too. I feel like you have to be in the same space in terms of what your tolerance is and what your budget is.
This is another one. This is related to this, as you talk about letting your travel partner go off and do other things. You don’t have to be together 24/7. I’m the master of this, which is I’m going for a run. You don’t need to exercise. You don’t want to exercise, but I’m not going to not exercise or I want to go see this museum. I understand why you don’t go. I’ll see you at 4:00 for happy hour.
That’s good especially if you’ve accidentally ended up with somebody who takes a long time to do all of the things that I need them to be doing quickly. I’m going to sleep until noon and I’m going to take a slow bath. I’m going to eat and you’re going insane waiting for them. I’ve done that too many times. You have to go, “I’m going to leave.”
To me, there are a few others of these things of blending in with the culture, going with the flow and so on. To me, there were three overarching elements. They’re useful as a single traveler and they’re also useful if you’re a single traveler, who is bringing other people with you or together. The first one is like having some compatibility to begin with. You need some foundation. You see the world in the same way. Your beats in the day are similar. You don’t have someone who has narrow eating needs. To the degree that you don’t have compatibility, you’re comfortable saying to each other, “I’ll see you later. We’ll catch up in a mutually-compatible fashion.”
The last one is how do you treat these places and these people? A big part of it is it sounds to me, and I agree with this, is moving beyond being a tourist and moving into the world of being a traveler. That’s good. I do trips sometimes with others. I did a trip to Barcelona with two friends, both single. He lives in Switzerland and does like pharmaceutical marketing. She’s a friend from Boulder who’s in Luxembourg teaching. They didn’t know each other, but we all came together, rented an Airbnb and had a long weekend trip together in Barcelona. It worked perfectly because of the things that we’re talking about here. It’s a nice alternative. Some people don’t like to travel alone and some people don’t have a partner to travel with it. That if you can put together that team, it felt like a team.
If you don’t like to travel alone, I feel like there are all of these ways that you don’t end up traveling alone for very long. For example, sign up for day tours that are going to take you for 8 hours to do something that either it’s hard to do by yourself because it’s a long drive or because it’s an adventure thing that requires river rafting or a guide of some sort. It’s going for the day with a group because you spend 8 hours or 6 hours or something, you all meet each other. Suddenly, you’ve made friends to have dinner with and go to drinks with, which as a woman is the harder part, dinner and drinks. Bars are harder as a woman by yourself than it is for a man.
I feel like either doing that or an entire trip, like a trekking trip where you’re spending five days trekking hut to hut with a group of people. Those are often solo travelers that come together. Get the Milford track in New Zealand, that was five days and it was almost exclusively single travelers. I have friends still from all over the world who I’ve stayed with and who have stayed with me from those five days of walking. If you wanted to be five minutes behind everybody, you walked alone all day and saw them in the lodge. If you wanted to pick up the pace a little bit or slow down the pace to be walking with a group, you could chat with people all day and it was this perfect meld. I feel like little tours like that aren’t driving you around from location to location, but either day trips or adventure trips like that are a good option for solo travelers who are nervous.
I’ll add two. One is I will sometimes get on Meetup when I’m in a place and I’ll look for something that I want to do. Maybe it’s exercise, maybe it’s writing. There’s often writing groups in any major city and they meet in the evening. Everybody introduces themselves.
I’ve been sad that all of my singlehood happened before apps. Life would have been much easier and different if I could have Tindered anywhere in the world or Meetup or any of the things you can do now. It’s awesome.
That’s the second thing I was going to ask you is your book was a pre-dating app, so almost everybody you met was in real life. Nowadays the other thing is you can land in a place and fire up an app.Memoirs help you forgive yourself and understand. Click To Tweet
The flip side of that I hear is that nobody talks to anybody in real life anymore. The pickup scene has become so online that people are afraid to do that scary thing of walk up to somebody. It’s so much easier to swipe. People have stopped walking up to people, which is too bad.
That’s the downside of it all. If you’re interested in dating, that’s a possibility. In most of these places, there is some apps that probably are active.
I had to do hard things. I remember being at a cafe in Argentina and eating alone and being in love with a guy sitting at a table with another person. I wrote a note with my name and phone number on it and dropped it on the table as I left, sprinted out of the building. It was scary. That’s the thing you had to do. It was so much harder. Swiping is delightfully easy.
It’s interesting because I like meeting people in real life because first of all, they look like their pictures.
There’s chemistry there. I did a lot of online dating. I feel like 95% of the first dates, even if they looked exactly like their picture, there wasn’t chemistry. You waste so much time.
There’s something about even seeing how someone moves and seeing how they interact. As a man, I will tell you that it’s a difficult world in real life now. The problem is it’s impossible to differentiate the woman who wants you to approach her and the woman who doesn’t want you to approach her. Pre-dating apps, the women who didn’t want you to approach her knew that’s how the world was. There’s even more trepidation because you want to be respectful. You want people to be comfortable. You don’t want to make things awkward. Also, people are terrible about being approached because it doesn’t happen anymore. They don’t have the right script. They don’t exactly know how to say no in a way that feels right.
Everything is complicated now.
I have done my version of your note in real life and it looks something like this, I walk up to someone and I say, “I want to say I noticed you. If you’d like to meet for coffee sometime, I’d be happy to buy a cup of coffee.” I’d give them my card. I get out of there as quick as possible. Sometimes you hear, sometimes you don’t, but it’s my only solution to be honest. It’s as close.
You’re not bothering them if they don’t want to be approached, you’re getting out of there.
They don’t have to say no to your face. All they have to do is say, “Okay.” It’s as close to replicating Bumble in real life.
I know it’s hard and for whatever reason, I’m not a shy person, but come into eye contact, I am bad at it. It’s like the hardest thing in the world for me to consider doing. Somehow, it’s easier for me to do what seems like a bigger move of throwing a note in someone’s lap than giving them like long sustained eye contact. It’s hard for me. There was a time when I was walking through a bar once like scanning the crowd and having my walkabout, seeing who I saw, seeing who saw me, all of that. A woman who didn’t know me as I was walking by her put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Are you okay?” I said, “Yeah, I’m fine.” She said, “You looked sad.” I’m like, “My sexy eyes look like sad eyes.” I thought I was doing sexy face, but apparently it looks so troubled that a stranger felt the need to intervene to make sure I didn’t do something horrible to myself perhaps. I write a note, threw it and I left.
I have a single friend. She’s stunningly beautiful. We were talking about this thing, which is most women in a gym do not want the men talking to them. She does. I said, “Do guys at your gym talk to you?” She goes, “No, not at all.” I say, “Do you make eye contact and smile at the men who you want to talk to you?” She goes, “Of course not.” If you think about it, think about what he has to do. It’s hard to make eye contact smile, but the problem is the guys that you want. This is not guys or gals. This is the person that you want to approach you and that you want to talk to is socially-skilled.
It’s a super hard thing to do. I read once that they did a study of what it took to get a person to cross the room and speak to you for the first time. I’m going to get this wrong, but I feel certain that the number was you had to have sustained eye contact with a smile for three seconds and you had to do it fifteen times. That’s how many times. In this case, it was women making eye contact with men. It took fifteen sustained three-second smiles, eye contact. You can see that perhaps why I have that unloaded with that in my head. I’m walking through the bar. I know I have to do that. It sounds insanely hard to do. That’s probably why I looked like I was going to burst into tears probably like that’s hard. I get it. It’s hard to walk across the room.
If I could put my behavioral scientist hat on for a moment, I’ll explain why. That is what we are wired to not do that. Historically we lived in small communities so humans were small communities. The reputational effects in a small community are not trivial, which means I approached this person to have some intimate relationship with her or him. I’m rejected. Everybody knows that I’ve been rejected. It hurts my chances with the 1.5 other decent options in the community. Everything is subtle and delicate. We’re in LA County. There are twenty million people here. You go to Argentina. You go to the Dominican Republic. You go to Moscow. You’re a stranger in a strange land. There are no reputational effects that exist and yet for the average person, they still have this wired in a set of inhibitions, which is, “What if they say no?” Even worse, “What if they snicker, laugh at and point at me?” Most people don’t do that.
I feel like the Kristin-Adjacent who’s sluttier or whatever word we want to use more sexually open, let’s call it, in other countries, it’s exactly that. Even in a city of twenty million people or even in my own country, I have that ancient tiny group fear. I’m great at approaching people and throwing it out there as soon as I leave the United of America because again, there’s something about it that feels like a fearless thing. That’s probably why American girls have this reputation abroad as being an easy-open crowd is that I do think there is this like “What the hell? I’m in another country thing. That happens when you leave.” They think that we’re the same way at home, which may be plenty of people are, I’m not. I’m an example of somebody who is different outside of the country than I am at home in that regard.
The idea is we all have different identities. The way I behave when I’m teaching a class of MBAs is different than when I’m out with my mates. That’s often the case. I like this idea of thinking deliberately about what traveler you’re going to be. What is that you want out of these experiences? Some people obviously they’re not looking to spice up their sex life. Some of them are looking to have a profound cultural experience and to see an ancient world. I do think that regardless of which of those things or both that you’re doing as a traveler.
Go to Israel for both. That’s the place for both.
Go to Jordan to see beautiful sites and go to Israel to see beautiful people.
Israel for beautiful sites too, the culture, the history and the spiritual part of it, even if you’re not religious, is outrageous in Jerusalem. They are the most sexually-aggressive people anywhere in the world. If they are not religious, they are the most sexually-aggressive people anywhere in the world I would say, next to Italy.
I make a case for Tel-Aviv as a great city. It’s a city by the beach. It’s wonderful food. It’s young. It’s fashionable. That’s great. When you live a remarkable life, one of the interesting things, with the notion of the solo is when you take the opportunity and you say, “I’m going to make art. I’m going to launch a business. I’m going to get fit. I’m going to see the world. I’m going to use this time, energy and money that’s not being dedicated to children or whatever it might be. Has this ironic effect of making you a potentially better partner? Now being married and being a mom, do you find that to be the case? Do you find that your stage in life that you’re in now has been enhanced by living this remarkable solo life in your 20s and three-quarters of your 30s?
There are a few reasons. One is my husband is sweet and says he wishes we met earlier. I’m like, “No, we wouldn’t be together then for sure.” I wouldn’t have made a good choice earlier, which is him. I would’ve made worse choices. That’s good news.
You’re more ready for this style of relationship.
Yeah. I knew better how to make a better choice. That was a big deal. I thought I was going to be the person who said, “Who’s going to take my three-month-old so I can go to Thailand for three weeks.” I thought that was going to happen. Either that or that I was going to go hike Nepal with the three-month-old on my back, which is not even where you put three-month-olds. You put them on your front. These are the images I had in my head. What has been a real, I don’t if I want to call it a struggle because it honestly hasn’t been a struggle. It’s been an awakening that makes me go, “I have to figure some things out,” is that I didn’t want to do either of those things. It’s over three years old. I took one three-night trip for the first time that I forced myself to take because I thought it’s definitely time to go on a girl trip. Maybe my husband and I have gone away twice for one or maybe two nights. I don’t want to leave her and I forced myself and do it. We have taken her to Spain, Ireland, Mexico and New York and we’ve done that, which is good but also is exhausting. I cried in Ireland a few times this trip over like, “I’m tired and sad and want this to be over.”
At one point, I thought we had four days left. I’d forgotten a whole city and we had six days left. I started to cry. I’m a person who spent several thousand dollars in my life on change fees for airlines because I’m extending my trip. Often, I’ll pay that change fee three times on the same crap because I’m like, “No, I’m not ready to go yet.” A three-week trip to New Zealand turned into six weeks. This is what I do. I was like, “What do we need to pay to go home two days early, I’m going to die.” Do we want to keep traveling with her or not? It’s hard. It’s going to get easier. That means that all of the resentment that I feel like I would have when my friends go off on Safari and I don’t go because my child will get eaten. I also don’t want to go on Safari and leave her here. That would be big if I hadn’t done the adventures already. I feel like having had the experiences already is what makes it okay that I’m not wanting to do them all. They’re still having adventures and we’re still doing some stuff, but it’s different. I didn’t know it was going to change as much. I always said I was not going to be the people who gave up and went to Hawaii for six years. When you have kids and go to a hotel because it’s not my kind of travel.
It’s hard to be hopping around with a person who’s screaming at you about putting shoes on, taking shoes off and getting to the train on time and getting to the plane on time and checking in, checking out. You’re on a little boat with people screaming and you’re ruining their time. It’s a lot. She’s the queen of the pubs. This child could dance like an old drunk Irishman gave her all of the money from his pockets because she was dancing so hard and drumming so hard in a little trad sash. Still, she’s three. They make some things better. They ruin vacations, flights and dinners at restaurants. Letting of the things go that aren’t happening for a little while, I’d be sad and resentful.
You’re like, “I’m in Ireland. Why screw this up.” That makes good sense. I have one other question about that’s related to your comedy writing. Before we go off that, it’s been a while since this book has come out and you’ve settled into this in this new life. I’m curious if there are any more insights that you had about how people have reacted to it. I don’t think that there are that many good resources for single people, single women that provide an alternative narrative. Obviously, you had Sex in the City was obviously a big deal and so on. I’m curious about the attention feedback you’ve gotten. We’ve talked a little bit about some of how polarizing it is, but I’m curious if there’s anything more to it that you didn’t anticipate or this sits with you as you reflect on it.
The joy of it has been that I still am all the time getting people tweeting pictures of my book on their knees next to a cocktail on a beach all over the world. People are finding it in dog-eared copies in hostels all over the world and sending me pictures of them. It’s wonderful. Along with that, people saying, “I’m here by myself for the first time ever because I read your book.” People doing that a lot and telling me about it a lot is pretty magical. There’s also this amazing thing that happens that tells me a big story. Basically, I still have the same number of books every single week. That’s apparently an unusual thing. It wasn’t a gigantic, huge seller, but I’ve sold the same number of books every week for six years, which is apparently not a thing.
It’s a referral base. It’s what’s added up to 25 or 30 printings in five languages. It’s been translated into all these things because it’s like the same women pass. The same people are saying to somebody else, “Read it. I’m the eighth person to get this copy.” That’s been fun. There are these spikes that happen in book sales that are not the exact same number. It happens in June when people graduate, usually from college probably. People buy it before they go on a summer vacation or after they graduate and are going to start a new chapter. It happens at Christmas, which makes me happy that people are giving it as presents. It happens on January 1st, which makes me think that a lot of people broke up or are sad or trying to have a New Year’s resolution, start fresh situation and think of my book as part of that, which is amazing.
There’s a spike on Valentine’s Day, which is girls buying it for their girlfriends as like, “It’s okay, don’t be sad that you’re single.” That story tells me about how women who are reading it are relating to it, which is mostly women. It makes me happy that is part of the story. I Skyped with book clubs who read it. The last I went to Northwestern and I Skyped with a book club in June that happened to be a group of Northwestern seniors who chose the book before they found out that I went to Northwestern. When they saw that they reached out to me and so I Skyped with them and it was the week before they were all graduating. It was a group of these women and then a couple of their moms who were already in town for graduation that also read it and came to the book club that I got to Skype with.
It turned out that one of the women literally lived in my senior year house. They took a picture of all of them in their caps and gowns on my porch from my senior year and sent it. That was amazing. It was all of these women about to go travel by themselves or try to figure out how in God’s name to get into Hollywood. Northwestern is a lot of RTBF radio, TV, film people. That dialogue with women going through that and their lives has been amazing, but it’s also been book clubs of people who had kids and are married. It’s fun to read about a different life. They get to like settle happily into reading about my angsty lonely times and feel better about their choices. Everybody can find a way to feel good about their choices depending on which pages you read.
That’s been a joy. There have been a lot of people who have tried to get me to adapt it, option it and do it that way. Especially right now, there’s been another weird wave of movie studios looking for their “next Eat Pray Love.” I think that there is definitely a moment for women in this very empowered place to go do your thing that isn’t related to marriage and kids that it’s speaking to. Because you’ve talked about how there aren’t a lot of playbooks and a lot of other narratives that aren’t a rom-com that isn’t about leading to a happy ending. When I talk about trying to do it as a book, as a movie I don’t want to end with marriage and kids, but I will say that what happened in real life I’ve now been thinking of is an ending that maybe wouldn’t feel like a sellout to me, which was I finally went on my first international trip in many years with my then-boyfriend, now husband.
What happened to have happened was that the new passport that I had to get right when I took my first solo trip to Argentina and it was this picture of me sweaty after a night out with a young punk rocker in my passport photo. That passport got filled up on the prior trip before I went on an international trip with my new boyfriend. I literally had to get a new passport and put aside the passport that had been filled up with my single girl trips and get a new stamp somewhere with him. I feel like us in Cambodia, getting a stamp in a passport with somebody instead of alone maybe is going on adventures with somebody versus stopping the adventures and going home. Maybe that’s an ending I feel okay about.The pickup scene has become so online that people are afraid to walk up to somebody. Click To Tweet
I have to admit I’ve spent too much time thinking about this question because somebody even told me before I started reading the book like, “It doesn’t turn out the way you think it’s going to turn out.”
What do they think it was going to be? Just me single forever? My father will probably move to Argentina.
I don’t know. It’s to be continued. It’s this open story where you come to inner peace. You come to inner peace in a comfort, not only that you become comfortable in these other countries, become comfortable in your own skin and you become comfortable in your own life. It is that. My point is you can still put a bow on the end of it. Honestly, I wish I could say it. I don’t know the answer to it.
That’s why the TV show version works better as you can live in it.
It’s Sex in the City-ish more than it is Train Wreck. She did need to fix some things. Train Wreck is a reverse rom-com. It’s every other rom-com you’ve ever seen except the female plays the male role. The male plays a female role. It’s a funny movie and it works. As I like to say, keep pounding on it and something will happen. It seems like. I’m glad I don’t, I’m glad I don’t have that answer for you. Here’s the thing is the fact is that you are tussling with it is enough for me. Third acts are the hardest acts to write. I get it.
You talk about the Writer’s Guild strike in the book. I wanted to get any job worth doing is difficult. These comedy writing jobs are good jobs, especially compared to other comedy jobs like writing a sitcom. It’s a robust work environment for smart people. There are lots of laughs. It’s a grind. It’s uncertain. I get it. It’s like to me writers make Hollywood go. They’re the engine. We tend to think about stars, but it’s writers that make Hollywood go. The best argument for that is when the writers decided to strike. You live through that. I was away.
Maybe about to live through another one now. It’s very exciting stuff. I’m without agents because none of us have agents right now. We all had to fire our agents collectively last April. It’s an exciting time. I’m happy I have an overall deal. I’m safe either way, but that’s only until May and I’ll see what happens next. There’s a lot of people without deals who need people helping to find them jobs. It’s possible that they’re going to live through a year of having no one helped them find a job only to come up against a strike in the spring. It’s a very scary time.
For people who aren’t familiar with the Writers Guild Association, this was 2008. It’s when shows got canceled and the late-night shows started going into reruns.
People who sold pilots, they rescinded the sale.
The material dries up and it doesn’t matter how beautiful the actors are if you don’t have someone writing the words.
I lost an overall deal. They canceled. It was an expensive year.
I’m a big believer and you pay a price now for benefits later.
Benefits for the next generation too. A lot of what happens when you strike and you take the bullet is because somebody took the bullet and got us pension and healthcare in the last generation. It’s a lot. What’s about to happen is to figure out residual for streaming, which is most things and it’s going to be everything soon. Network TV is dying quickly and cable who knows even what that’s going to be. That’s what the big push is going to be for the next negotiation that may turn into a strike because the streaming wars are all beginning with all of the services. In one year, even there’s going to be twice as many. Figuring that out, if we don’t figure it out now, there will be no residual stream to keep us all afloat and the next generation float.
I hope it goes well. In the world of economics and so on, what you’re often looking for is what they call a shock. There is something random happens and you see how the world reacts. It’s a natural experiment of sorts. For a lot of people, they don’t recognize the value of writing. They don’t understand how difficult it is and how important it is. It’s something like this that then shines a light. You joke you can’t do anything else but I joke most people can’t do what you can do.
Luckily, we all have different skills. I lived in a hospital for three months and watching nurses up close and what they will do all day, every day. What I can somehow stomach is we’re different creatures. We like almost not the same species and thank God, somehow it all shook itself out that everybody’s willing to do something and collectively all the jobs get done. It’s a miracle.
At least it filters down. Last question, and this is a question I always ask for I’m Not Joking, is what are you reading, watching or listening to that stands out?
I was obsessed with PEN 15 and Big Mouth. I’m a big lover of things about middle school. Middle school was horrible for me and poignant and everyone in the world watched two stepsons go through seventh grade and collectively everyone in the house agrees. Seventh grade is the worst year of everybody’s life for every single human. Those two shows are hilarious, poignant and amazing. I watched The Boys, which I thought was a fun anti-superhero show. I live with a superhero writer so that was one that crossed over for both of us. I’m starting The Affair, which I’m enjoying as a storytelling experiment because you hear from both sides of the aisle basically, the man and the woman’s different perspectives. We were talking about earlier. I’m interested in how we see things, the same events differently. I’m reading our friend, Joel Stein’s book, In Defense of Elitism, which is super smart and I agree with it. He’s a funny guy.
That’s a lot for someone who’s producing a lot of content you’re consuming.
I helped produce a pilot for Hulu called The Ms. Pat Show starring this comedian named Ms. Pat. She has a book called Rabbit that I’ll plug that is her life story. That is one of the most remarkable life stories you will read. It’s her growing up on the streets of Atlanta in a hard environment. The story is an amazing one in terms of how a lot of black girls and women are growing up and living here in such a different way than many of us. It’s heartbreaking, but funny too. She’s funny. Check her out.
Kristin Newman, thank you so much for doing this. This is a first. I’ve never done a dual show.
I’ve never crossed over before. This is exciting.
To me, I know what I’m getting from I’m Not Joking. I know who reads and I know what the type of readers like and so on. I’m putting this show out there and I’m just putting it out there to see is it capturing something? I’m putting out there with the hope that it captures something like your memoir captured. In that way, you’ve been the perfect guest and a delight. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you so much. This was enjoyable.
- What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding
- The Humor Code
- Eat Pray Love
- In Defense of Elitism
- Joel Stein – Previous episode on I’m Not Joking Podcast
About Kristin Newman
Kristin Newman has been writing and producing television for over 20 years, on shows including “That ’70s Show,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Chuck,” “Galavant,” “The Muppets,” “The Neighbors,” “The Real O’Neals,” and “For the People.” She currently has an overall deal at ABC, under which she most recently produced a pilot for Hulu. She also wrote the comic travel memoir “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding,” which has been translated into five languages.