Need to shed some holiday weight? 🏋🏽
START BY TOSSING THAT FRUITCAKE IN THE 🗑️
Happy National Fruitcake Day! Did you know that the earliest documented recipe for fruitcake is a Roman variation from around 500 BCE? That tracks, considering the average 2023 fruitcake tastes around 2,475 years old. Maybe we've all been re-gifting the same ancient fruitcakes to our frenemies this whole time?
Even more shocking: for a time in the 18th century fruitcakes made with butter and sugar were actually banned in Europe for being "too rich and tasty."
I'm no expert, but wanting to consume a less-palatable version of an already-dubious "treat" seems to be a prime example of literally being a glutton for punishment.
That's right, Pee-wee — gotta keep it fresh for re-gifting next year!
GIF courtesy of Pee-wee's Playhouse / CBS
Alright, before we get to those links let's acknowledge some notable events and famous birthdays from December 27ths of yore. Maybe yours! If it is, happy birthday!
• In 1831 Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he would begin formulating his theory of evolution
• In 1932 Radio City Music Hall, dubbed the "Showplace of the Nation," opened in New York City
• In 1935 Regina Jonas was ordained as the first female rabbi in the history of Judaism
• Birthday fruitcake all around (sorry kids!) for: French chemist & microbiologist Louis Pasteur of pasteurization fame (1822), actress Heather O'Rourke of Poltergeist film franchise fame (1975), singer-songwriter & keyboardist Hayley Williams of the band Paramore (1988), and French-American actor & presumed chocolate enthusiast Timothée Chalamet (1995)
• Pour one out for: French architect, engineer, and tower enthusiast Gustave Eiffel (d. 1923), singer-songwriter & guitarist Chris Bell of influential power-poppers Big Star (d. 1978), influential Tin Pan Alley singer-songwriter & pianist Hoagy Carmichael (d. 1981), and actress & author Carrie Fisher of Star Wars film franchise fame (d. 2016)
Now on to the amusing links!
Josh's asocial introverted behavior is only a problem for other people. He's not hurting anyone!
Digital creator and impressive handyperson Brandon Gentry shows how he turned a lackluster kitchen closet into a schmancy hidden bar. Everything looks so easy when it's condensed into a minute and 14 seconds!
I hear she favors pale and/or white steeds... vote Anne Thrax in 2024!✌🏼
Syd & Olivia aren't going to just stand by and let baby Brockleigh's crow's feet and worry lines progress unchecked!
5. 🔪 Oatmeal = joy!
Craig really has his morning routine dialed in — we have a lot to learn from him!
6. BONUS: 📜 The secret origin of the Bill of Rights
Normally our Wednesday emails are a strictly bummer-free zone. We started sending these link roundup emails in April 2020 as a welcome distraction from the horrors of COVID and racial injustice and all the other aspects of the modern dystopia that make just getting out of bed each morning a challenge.
Last week Boredwalk co-founder Meredith and I lost a dear friend. Neel Nanda was one of the first friends we made after moving to Los Angeles in 2013. We had moved out here to be closer to suppliers, and around the same time Neel had relocated from NYC to pursue comedy full-time.
In a lot of ways we were living parallel lives to Neel — as Boredwalk grew, his career also blossomed. He went from working day jobs to pay bills and hustling for time at open mics at night when we met — sometimes doing 2-3 sets all over LA each night, 6-7 nights per week to hone his craft — to doing comedy full-time, booking successful tours, and appearing on Comedy Central, HULU, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, among countless other credits.
In addition to being so warm, friendly, and instantly likable, Neel's talent and drive were evident to us from the very first night we met him after a set at the Lyric Hyperion, and we cherished every moment we got to spend with him over the last 11 years even though those moments became harder and harder to come by as the demands of our respective jobs got in the way.
The angry and sad part of me spent most of the holiday weekend being bitter about the fact that so many other less talented, less deserving, and less hardworking comedians received bigger breaks while Neel continued to grind on the road and in clubs here around LA.
Being a working artist is hard and one of the heartbreaking things about being close to working artists is seeing extremely talented hardworking people not get the careers they deserve, or at least not on the timeline they deserve. I always believed he'd eventually be a household name. He was so funny and so driven. I felt that way the first time I met him and still fully expected it to happen until his sudden passing last week.
Would a Netflix special or a late night hosting gig have resulted in him still being here with us? Maybe, maybe not.
What I do know is that existence is hard and I'm sad in a very selfish way that he won't be around to make me laugh anymore.
Rest in peace, buddy.
OK! We'll be back here in your inbox on Friday with more nonsense holidays to dissect, more notable birthdays (and maybe even some notable deathdays!) to celebrate, and more witty content in general. Until then...
Peace, love, and fruitcake (I guess),