Aparna Nancherla

Aparna Nancherla talks about her struggles with depression and anxiety, tells a story about being catcalled and imagines the future of internet listicles. (20:42)


- Yeah I have a lot of anxiety.

I don't know.

I feel like it's weirderto not have anxiety

than to have it

'cause I feel like if you're not scared,

you're not paying attention you know.

Like I feel like if youopen a newspaper today,

skim maybe three headlines.

You're just like seems cool.

It's like what?

Everything is on fire.

Even the newspaper is on fire.

Like what are you so chill about?

And you know sometimes when you tell people

you have anxiety,

they're always like

well you know,

there's nothing to fear but fear itself.

It s like okay have you checkedout some of fear's work?


Like pretty much churning out solid gold hits,

making some great points,

rarely misfires.

And like if you don't have anxiety,

the way I would describe it

is like there's an edgy improv group in your brain.

And it just needs like a one word suggestion.


To spin like countless scenarios

that no one is comfortable with.

And the whole time

you're just like whenwill this show be over?

I just came to be supportive.


None of these thoughts have a future.

And you know, I have all kinds of anxiety.

I have social anxiety

which is ironically one of the most relatable kinds.

It's a little weird.

Sometimes mine will get so bad

I can't even talk to babies

without getting self conscious.

Yeah like the whole time

I'm just like

oh, what if I'm not an interesting shape or color?

You know,

it's like make a fist.

Try to relate.

Take out your keys.

Meet them on their level.

Yeah social interactionis terrifying.

I also hate this one.

I hate when you're goingin for the handshake,

but the other person is going in for the fist bump.

And then you realize you're in front of a mirror

and you don't know who you are anymore.


(percussive music)

My problem with dating is,like,

you have to show up and be fun?

It's like, what are you, a king?


Like, you should just be gladthat I'm real.

It's just a lot to ask.

And, you know, I've tried,uh, I've tried Internet dating,

that's big now.

Uh, I've tried a couple sites,

I've tried, um, Match,I've tried "OkCup-id," uh...

I-I, I spent a good monthon Yelp.

You know, like,I feel like I've...

gone the distance.

But, I, I even had to thinkoutside the box this past year.

Like, I, I got asked outover Facebook.

Uh, which, in and of itself,isn't that interesting,

but the thing is,it was someone I didn't know.

And they sent me a message.

They were just like, "Oh, I sawyou do stand-up at a show.

Uh, I thought you werereally funny, let's go out."

And, normally,I would be like, "No."

But I was at a vulnerable pointin my life, and I was also like,

"You know what? He didn't evenask, he just decided.

"Like, I respect

that decisiveness in a man."

And it's also like,what is that expression?

YODO, you know, "you onlydate occasionally," so...

you have to takethe opportunities

when they present themselves.

Uh, the one thing that was weirdabout him right off the bat,