What is this? Who are you? Where am I?!

Slow down, there! Take a few deep breaths! Here, drink some water.

This is Bright Spots. It’s a weekly newsletter from me, Chris Duffy. I’m a comedian, writer, and host of the podcasts How To Be A Better Human (from TED) and You’re the Expert (from me). I wrote for both seasons of Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas on HBO and I’ve been published in places like The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and California Sunday Magazine.

Since 2014, I’ve been sending a weekly email with one great thing, one thing that made me laugh, and something I found interesting. For a long time, I called that email “3 Things” because it was… well… three things. But as of 2021, I switched to Substack and started calling it Bright Spots. People who have been reading this newsletter for years tell me that it’s one of the good corners of the internet and a bright spot in their week. That’s certainly what I’m going for. So that’s what I’m calling it. But, as always, it’ll still be one weekly email with recommendations and laughs, some Bright Spots for you. (For paid subscribers, there will now also be bonus features.)

Okay, so what kind of stuff can I expect?

On a given week, the free edition of Bright Spots might include anything from a classic humor piece to a song about NASA to a poem I love or an interview with a man who lost his wig while water-skiing I try my best to put in links that I don’t think you’ll have seen everywhere else already and to include a mix of just plain funny and thought provoking. Most weeks, I also include a personal anecdote and some projects I’m currently working on.

How often does it come out?

Once a week, on Saturdays.

Is this your main job?

Nope! I write for TV, host podcasts, and do all sorts of comedy things (like hosting comedy game shows or doing standup/improv).

What is the difference between the free newsletter and the paid one?

If you can afford to pay for a subscription, you will earn my undying gratitude (which never dies!). Paying subscribers will also get access to the full archive, bonus content, the ability to comment on posts, and semi-regular surprises and treats (like a handwritten postcard in the mail or a personalized video on a topic of your choosing).

But I will always send a free newsletter too! I’m committed to making sure you can always enjoy Bright Spots regardless of whether you can afford to chip in financially or not.

What if I want to support you but I can’t afford to subscribe?

That’s totally understandable! A hugely helpful thing you could do would be to send Bright Spots to three friends you think would also enjoy it and get them to sign up for the emails too.

What are some other newsletters you like?

I’m a big fan of Edith Zimmerman’s Drawing Links (and she’s actually the one who convinced me to switch over here to Substack in the first place!). I never skip an edition of The Ann Friedman Weekly or NextDraft. I also love Ashley Brooke Roberts’ Hounds On An Island, Liz and Mollie, Suleika Jaouad’s Isolation Journals, Aminatou Sow’s Crème de la Crème, Email Pro, TerrynGrams, Carley Moseley’s Salad Days, Austin Kleon, and so many more.

Thanks for reading!

Subscribe to Bright Spots

Every Saturday, comedian Chris Duffy sends out a true story to make you laugh and then includes links to 1 great thing, 1 funny thing, and 1 interesting thing.


Chris Duffy

I'm a comedian, TV writer, podcast host, and former fifth grade teacher.