Friday Links Issue 08: More Rich

Simon Rich Picks His 9 Favorite Obscure Saturday Night Live Sketches He Wrote

With FXX’s Man Seeking Woman returning for its second season last Wednesday, we asked the show’s mastermind Simon Rich to look back on his years as a Saturday Night Live writer and pick the most obscure sketches he penned.

Another set of links, another Simon Rich interview. I read Ant Farm this week, which has some pieces from when he was editor of the Harvard Lampoon. They’re not as polished as the stories in his latest book, and it’s inspiring.

It’s not exactly like looking at work in progress. It’s not a discarded legal pad, but it’s a look into how his storytelling has evolved. In Ant Farm, you’re dropped right into a scene, with the title and a couple sentences explaining the context.

In Spoiled Brats and The Last Girlfriend on Earth, he weaves those jokes into a larger narrative and the payoff is better.

I got a Hulu account to watch his show Man Seeking Woman, and it takes the storytelling even further. Elements of his short stories are put into the scenes, or sometimes brought wholesale into a scene.

Each scene could stand alone as a single sketch but they’re all part of a larger narrative. You get attached to characters. Again, the payoff is even bigger.

Even if that kind of writing ability is decades away for me, it’s great to see the steps he took to get there.

How I Used a Vacation Timer to Write a Book (or, Why I Shut Off the Internet at 9PM)

For years, I tried to start a daily writing habit. See, I had this crazy idea to write a book, and I knew I’d need a lot of time and practice to get it done. But with kids and a full-time job, there was no way I could find big blocks of time during the day.

My trouble lately has been trying to get out of the bed in the morning instead of reading a lot of Internet. I don’t actually have all that much trouble using the laptop at night.

Waking up early isn’t the problem, but reading internet right away is. Maybe I can put my phone in an electric safe and then connect that to a vacation timer.

I can also daisy chain it to all the cardboard cutouts to stave off the wet bandit.

Why Self-Help Guru James Altucher Only Owns 15 Things1

It was around 10 a.m. on a sun-drenched summer morning, and James Altucher, perhaps the world’s least likely success guru, was packing his worldly possessions, about 15 items, into a small canvas carry-on bag. “If I were to die, my kids get this bag,” Mr.

I’m a big fan of James Altucher. I like this idea that biographies are a good way to learn. Not everything will work for everybody, and there’s no point in trying to follow footsteps completely. A lot of luck comes in the play. But you can cherry pick different things as long as you make sure that you try them out and review of that working for you.

I’ve recently started his idea generating system. And it’s giving me a lot of ideas as it should. But it’s true that once you get to ideas seven or eight it starts to get hard and thinking hard to get the last two to finish up at 10 is good daily exercise for your brain. And whatever the creative muscle is.

The Best Fictional Basketball Shots Ever

I pose to you a simple question: What is the most impressive fictional basketball shot that has ever happened? Think of a movie or a TV show or a music video or anything, really, in which you saw fictional basketball being played. Think of all the shots that happened during those scenes.

Shea Serrano is one of my favorite writers. I would love to write things like this. His writing has a distinct voice. It’s just plain fun to read.

  1. I should note that I got this link through Tim Ferriss’s 5-Bullet Friday newsletter. Which of course is where I stole this idea of creating Friday links posts in the first place.