If you don’t already have tickets, there are other ways to enjoy these two friends’ work: The duo’s latest project is a book, Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, which hits stores stores May 28. That title is only partially tongue-in-cheek. The book has little to do with the heartrending stories of violence they talk about on the podcast; instead it covers the more personal issues that creep in around the fringes of those discussions.
Stay Sexy is a two-handed memoir, with Kilgariff and Hardstark trading off anecdotes and threading them through a survivor’s approach to therapy and how to get by in a world seemingly designed to take advantage of women.
Each author has a different tone and perspective: Kilgariff is a comedy veteran (Mr. Show, The Rosie Show) and Hardstark is a former Riot Grrrl with a yen for snacks, cats, and Ray Bradbury. But their stories of how seeking out attention and douchey guys led to debilitating addictions and psychological darkness are used to help wounded people going through similar things find a kind of manageable peace and safety.
Counterintuitive as it could seem, My Favorite Murder also falls into that same category of quasi-therapeutic advice. Much like how Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend interrogates the patriarchy via her obsession with musicals, Kilgariff and Hardstark love true crime with a passion that crosses from fandom into something more searching, profound, and feminist, turning terrifying tales into a way to comprehend and navigate the horrors of the world. Listening to the hosts’ companionable repartee is reassuring, like heaing a good friend tell a frightening story after you've both had a few cocktails and the night is feeling oh-so-dark.
There are times when Stay Sexy’s one-author-at-a-time format has a hard time matching the crackling humor of their audio interactions. Still, these two are as unabashed in their appreciation for things like The Staircase (a bottomless pit of true-crime speculation) as they are for self-help books like Daring Gently, and it’s a unique combo that works.
As Kilgariff and Hardstark see it, “don’t get murdered” means a lot of things. The world is a killer.
IF YOU GO:
My Favorite Murder Live
7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19