Meet the faces behind some of your favorite TV shows at Real Characters, a regular series hosted by Andy Ross (contributor to The Onion and writer and performer of the one man show “Melancomedy”) featuring some of New York’s best humor writers, stand-ups and performers. This month’s lineup includes Bruce Eric Kaplan (Girls, The New Yorker, author of I Was a Child: A Memoir), Allison Silverman (The Colbert Report, Portlandia, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Issac Oliver (Ars Nova Theater, author of Intimacy Idiot) and Sandi Marx (The Moth).
Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers, 52 Prince Street (Soho).


It’s just another day in high school for the main character of Armada, by Ernest Cline—you know, going to math class, Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 2.15.36 PMgetting bored in math class, staring out the window, observing a UFO flying by… of course, he thinks he’s going crazy, until he realizes the flying object is straight out of his favorite video game, Armada. (Retro flashback nostalgia moment: anyone else remember the Space Armada Intellevision game??) Anyway, the game in the book has a similar goal: protect the earth from impending alien invaders, and the kid realizes those afterschool hours spent in front of the TV weren’t just rotting his brain after all– his skills, as well as those of millions of gamers across the world, are needed to save the world from what’s about to befall it. Pick the brain behind this sci-fi yarn at Barnes & Noble Union Square.
Thursday, July 23, at 7.m. Barnes & Noble, 33 East 17th Street (Union Square). 

Speaking of childhood and video games of our youth, The Moth is looking for would-be storytellers to take the stage with five-minute stories about the simple days of childhood. “Running through the rain, chasing ice cream trucks, playing make believe” and “a time you were just plain silly” were all given as examples of potential topics. We’ve heard the show before, and we would also suggest that, you know, probably a plot should be introduced somewhere there along the line, too.
Thursday, July 23, doors at 7 p.m. Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street (NoLIta). 

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 2.12.47 PMFRIDAY
“Join us in the ______ for an awesome _______ !

laundromat, prison riot
speakeasy, bubble bath
Is the enticing invite from Strand Books, though they said they know you can do better than that if you come to their boozy Cards Against Humanity Party. With complementary Shmatlz beer, Sigmund’s pretzels, and the most inappropriate board game ever to hit the shelves of toy stores, chow can you go wrong? Plus entry is a $20 gift card to the store, which means really you’re gifting yourself a book and treating yourself to a night of nerdy fun. “Round up your wittiest, most hilarious friends—or even your most mediocre ones, to make you look smarter!” the bookstore suggests. Sounds like solid advice.
Friday, July 24, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Strand Books, 828 Broadway (East Village). 

Finding Masculinity - Female to Male Transition i-large.jpgSATURDAY

 And don’t miss a night of readings from Finding Masculinity, a new collection of essays from scientists, teachers, fathers, veterans and artists who share how being visible as the masculine humans they identify as has developed, changed, and evolved their sense of masculinity. The book focuses on the many facets of life that are affected by transitioning to a transgender man, including one’s career, emotional and spiritual life, family, medical community and relationships.
Saturday, July 25 at 7 p.m. Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street (Lower East Side).