what's your yarn worth? w/ andy farnsworth

Walking, docu-style conversations with interesting people around New York City.
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Now displaying: 2016
Jul 1, 2016

A harrowing camp story and comedian and actor Sharron Paul. You might recognize her once we start talking. She’s the voice of the mom, Francine, on the kids cartoon Fanny Fun Facts on Amazon, and she’s also in a webseries called “GhostedBusters."

Sometimes I get a little nervous talking to guests, especially the part right there at the beginning. The hello. The handoff from being alone to being in someone’s company. But I was good with Sharron and we had a pretty epic conversation. Here’s us talking back in May in Prospect Park.

WYYW Website

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Next week we’ll be on the Staten Island Ferry with Comedy Central writer Tim Duffy. He tells some pretty amazing tales of the Hudson and we talk fat guy clothes.

Have a good 4th.

Jun 17, 2016

SN2:EP4 "Emotional Graffiti w/ Tim Racine & Athena Desai"

Tim Racine and I on: cats that try to separate us from our lovers; frozen gummy bears; and lying about Pantera. Also, former NPR reporter Athena Desai ties a bow on a 14-year-old audio clip mystery I've been trying to get my head around since I left WBUR in 2002.

@TimRacine / Shit Lit /Athena Desai : @brighteyeslife / whatsyouryarnworth / @yarnworthpod

Jun 4, 2016

SN2:EP3 “Something w/ Jeff Simmermon”

I’m releasing this on a Saturday morning just to see what happens. It feels right to me. Herein is a tiny documentary on what it's like to be in a friend's apartment when they're not there. Followed by me and Jeff talking about: people who don’t wring out the kitchen sponge; getting way deep into the nature of storytelling (he helps coach me through an impossibly climax-less story I keep insisting on telling). He comes over and cooks me the mushrooms I helped watch for him one weekend in March. 

Jeff’s a real heavyweight and it was an honor to have him on. He's “a storyteller, standup, and the guy behind "'And I Am Not Lying,' a variety show that combines stand-up, storytelling, burlesque, sideshow and music on the second Friday of every month at UCB East."

He’s won a bunch of Moth StorySLAMS, And you may recognize him from stories on This American Life, The Moth's podcast, and some things he’s written for  The Paris Review Daily. (I pretty much just ripped that off from his website.)

He also teaches a storytelling class that actually gets going tomorrow, Sunday, June 5th. "It’s a six-week workshop for experienced comics and storytellers, to teach the structure and technique of comedic storytelling." If you’re interested go to his site and contact him at 

I know you listen to lots of podcasts and everybody asks you to go on iTunes and review their show, but that would really be a big help.Had a couple people say some nice things already. but two reviews on iTunes is sort of embarrassing so come on help us out. You could also  support the show at ,but I realize that’s a monthly recurring thing and it’s a bit of a commitment so I’m trying to work out some other veiled form of digital patronage, also known as begging.

Regardless, we're at Check us out there for more details. To hear about music used in the show and check out the artists that make this thing sound alive. Also @yarnworthpod on twitter.

Oh and at the end of the show I play one of the stories he told on the moth. With thanks and attribution to the moth podcast there. That’s from their show on the week of August 5th, 2015. Go there.

Next week on the show is Tim Racine who comes up with a potential new name for the show. He’s a solid, funny dude and I had a great time walking around the park with him.


May 18, 2016

Beginning with a sort of mini documentary of me getting a colonoscopy (I'm healthy. It's a long story, explained within.), this episode is likely one of the first podcasts to provide an audio chronicle of what the day before one of those things is like. Maybe one of the last to do it as well. 

This week my walking companion is Katina Corrao. Much has been written about her positivity, but what is sometimes left out is just how much loss she has experienced in her life. We bond over the grim and I marvel at the horsepower of her attitude. I hate the word "attitude," but she helps me accept it again. 

This episode was recorded on January 27, 2016 and February 22, 2016 and is one of the longer ones I've done with a guest. And for good reason. Hang in till the end or just treat it like two back to back episodes, maybe. 

Check out Katina's album Hot Date that debuted at #1 on iTunes or stream the live performance here. I enjoyed having her part my clouds for a while. 

Music this week by Aaron Campbell, A guy drumming at the West 4th Stop, and Direwires 

Katina on twitter: @KatinaCorrao

WYYW on same: @YarnWorthPod

Support the show on Patreon

May 9, 2016

Welcome back to what’s your yarn worth? w/ me, your host, andy farnsworth. I’ve been sort of reverse-groundhogging my way back into the world this Spring. Hope you're good. Margaret Dodge is my traveling companion this week.

Recorded in two parts: October 25th, 2015, on a visually and aurally beautiful day in Central Park; then, deeper into our respective issues and into the belly of her new apartment/feral cat cave at the end of February 2016. Basically, this episode bookends several months of substantial emotional fermentation. 

Anyway, I’m making some progress and Margaret has become a good friend and has been pretty helpful with that. She's funny and easy to talk to. 

twitter: @dodgecityradio

Check out Dodge City Radio: Friday nights at 7pm on @radiofreebk 


Mar 12, 2016

This week I visit Eric Aleman, owner of the storied King of Kings Barber Shop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I’ve been going to him for a couple years and it's always an odyssey which begins on my scalp and ends in my heart. 

Eric, like a lot of good barbers, is able to step in and out of conversation. He’ll talk if you want to talk. Or he’ll just step back and keep working on your hair. That’s part of why I like him. 

He’s not only a really solid barber, he’s also a talented lyricist, hip-hop artist/ whatever you want to call it.  He’s a founding member of BLKLYST. Who you can check out playing at Littlefield’s or here on youtube

If you listen real close here you can hear him shaving my neck at one point. It’s pretty hard to talk w a knife to your neck, but I did my best. 

King of Kings Barber Shop

Support What's Your Yarn Worth? here on Patreon

#Barber #EricAleman #KingOfKings #HipHop #SunsetPark #WYYW #Patreon #NYC #WNYC 

Feb 4, 2016

It's one thing to be invited into the home of a comic, but to see them in the thick of motherhood is, to me, like the spotted owl of documentary conversation. Today's episode is a sort of extreme form of eavesdropping. An audio portrait of the sacred struggle to get a kid to bed with comic, mom, and brilliant facebook satirist Julie Kottakis. 

I first saw Julie perform at the New York Fringe festival last year in her solo show "Does This Dress Make Me Look Alone" which she called an "Alone Woman Show. She did address the circumstances surrounding the conception and birth of her daughter, what it's been like to care for her on her own, but I hesitate to bring that up because there's a danger in thinking this was just a mom doing a one-woman-show about being a single mom. That sells it way short. Her performance spanned the range of comic and tragic registers and she laid out some rawness in a way I don't remember seeing before. Not tell it like it is stuff. Afterbirth type stuff. Literal and metaphorical. Frankly, I wish more comics packaged their jokes less and did more of what Julie is doing. 

As you'll hear in this episode she offers her life with abandon and pushes nothing. Frankly, I was surprised she allowed me to put some of this audio in here. Having wireless mics on people makes them forget they're on tape sometimes and that yields some very candid moments. The moments people don't talk about like a 5 year old kid that still asks to breastfeed sometimes. Take a listen. I've received permission to use all of it. And I'm so grateful to Julie for that because it's stuff people need to hear I think. 

It's a very real, very earthy, and absolutely beautiful and generous look at something a lot of us who don't have kids take for granted. And if you don't laugh at this, rot in hell.

Also, if you're in NYC, go see Julie in the Venus / Adonis Theater Festival this coming Feb 8, 10, 13, Details here: 

Friend her on facebook (Julie Kottakis) if you can because that's where the really good stuff happens. Also @theweirdjulie

Episode 8 Credits:

Find out how to support what's your yarn worth? w/ andy farnsworth at

More detailed information about Episode 8 here:





Music this week:

"When the Saints Go Marching In" - Marysville Marimba 

"Glockendoodle" - Aaron Campbell (@banjoporkchoppy)

Technical Help from:

Vince Fairchild at WNYC (@vincefair)

Doug Shugarts at WBUR in Boston 

Consulting Producers:

Tasha Matsumoto

Ali Pearl 

#Julie Kottakis #Bedtime #Kids #Breastfeeding #WYYW #WNYC #WBUR #NYC 


Jan 15, 2016

It's impossible to tell the story of how I know comedian and psychologist Marc Gerber without getting into a host of sordid and vulnerable-making trauma from my past. He offered some perspective back in June that changed my life and comedy.

Gerber is an atypical hybrid of a professionally funny and employably empathetic person. He and I met when I performed on a show at the PIT called Relationshit where he served as on stage therapist for a story I told about a piece of material about my own childhood sexual abuse. In this episode I play the recording of that performance along with another version I did more recently at a recovery show in New Jersey. The revision of this bit over time is the best example I have of how my perpetual over-disclosure has unintentionally helped saved my life.

He also opens up about his own struggles and offers a much needed and practical solution for quelling loneliness, a call to 1-800-Contacts.

Check out his weekly show at Comic Strip Live on Mondays called Three Day Weekend.



#WYYW #NYC #Flatbush #UES #Abuse #Recovery #Comedy #ChineseFood #Relationshit