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March 3rd Non-Motivational Speaker Series: State of the Sitcom

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns to The Gallery at LPR on March 3rd with a night devoted to perhaps the most non-motivational art form out there: the sitcom. Saul Austerlitz, author of Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community; and Jennifer Armstrong, who wrote Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted and has a forthcoming book about Seinfeld; will be joined by Slate's television critic Willa Paskin in a roundtable panel discussion. Please provide your own laugh track.

Read Gelf's interview with Austerlitz here.

Image Description

Graphic by Mister Lister

Event Details:

The Gallery at LPR (Official site, map)
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan St. and Thompson St.)
New York, NY 10012
Blocks from A/C/E/B/D/F/M/N/R/1/6 trains

Doors open at 7.
Event starts at 7:30.
Attendees must be 21 or older, as per Le Poisson Rouge rules. (Email if you are under 21 and would like to attend. The farther in advance, the better; no guarantees.)

Questions? Suggestions for future events? Email

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A Very Special Non-Motivational Speaker Series, Nov. 26

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns on Tuesday, November 26, and it's Singles night -- Kindle Singles Night, that is. By now just about everyone has heard of Kindle Singles -- even the New York Times! But how do these digital mongrels (not quite a book, not quite a magazine story) actually work? Come hear three writers talk about the new form and their own Singles. Jason Zinoman will read from his Searching for Dave Chappelle. Craig Fehrman will read from his Home Grown: Cage the Elephant and the Making of a Modern Music Scene. Rachel Corbett will read from A Killing in Iowa: A Daughter's Story of Love and Murder. Each Single is also available on Amazon for $2.99 or less. And at those prices? Everyone's going home happy.


August 16: The Non-Motivational Speaker Series Returns

Everyone and their nightly news anchor knows Brooklyn is a modern-day Shangri-La. But are there drawbacks to $8 espresso pours? And can there ever be too many 80s dance parties? We're not sure, but for this Non-Motivational Speaker Series we've enlisted the help of comedians and Brooklyn-based web series creators Rob Michael Hugel (I Hate Being Single) and Sue Smith and Eric Silver (Brokelandia) to find out. Clips will be shown at the event.


March 15: The Non-Motivational Speaker Series Returns

The celeb memoir: butter on the publishing world's triscuit, or somber literary catharsis? On Thursday, March 15 in New York, join CUNY Professor and Bruce Springsteen biographer Marc Dolan, Thomas Dunne Books editor Peter Joseph (steward of Steve Guttenberg's forthcoming autobiography, The Guttenberg Bible), and Mark Sam Rosenthal, star/writer/producer of off-off-Broadway production I Light Up My Life: The Mark Sam Celebrity Autobiography, for a fun night of pathos and self-reflection.


August 23: The Non-Motivational Speaker Series Returns

Can a delicious d├ętente be reached between food trucks and restaurants? Chew over the future of New York eating at the Non-Motivational Speaker Series, this month in panel form. Panelists include David Weber, head of the NYC Food Trucks Association and owner of the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck (and Bar); Midtown Lunch street food correspondent Brian Hoffman; and Irene LoRe, head of the 5th Avenue Business Improvement District in Park Slope and owner of Aunt Suzie's restaurant.


June 23: The Non-Motivational Speaker Series Returns

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns with a tribute to NYC's men of modest achievement. Learn about the relatively smooth path to minor success from unicycle advocate and Colbert Report "Enemy Within" Kyle Petersen; author of How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide Aaron Goldfarb; guerrilla foodie and organizer of "The World's Biggest Jerk-Off" Matt Timms; and Roy Preston, proprietor of the world's only Big Lebowski apparel shop.


March 10: Gelf Goes to the Movies

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns to Brooklyn on Thursday, March 10 for a very special cinematic event. Join us in a screening of cult classic The Room, considered by experts and non-experts alike the worst movie of all time, at the reRun Gastropub Theater, New York's only movie theater/bar hybrid. Door opens at 9; movie at 9:45.


September 30: The Non-Motivational Speaker Series Returns

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns to Brooklyn on Thursday, September 23, at 7:30 p.m to dissect the best in bad (and baaad) film. A corps of experts—all of whom have forfeited not a small part of their lives in service of the ultimate chuckle—will present their conclusions.


May 27: The Non-Motivational Speaker Series Returns

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series re-ups on Thursday, May 27th to deconstruct The Wire. Speakers include philosophy professor Harvey Cormier, author of the paper "Bringing Omar Back to Life," and Stephen Janis, former crime beat reporter at the Baltimore Examiner and current senior reporter at Investigate Voice, a muckracking news outfit in Baltimore.

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