Natasha Rothwell shares her pop culture Must List, from Hamilton to When Harry Met Sally

Rozette Rago

She first won our hearts as the uproarious Kelli on HBO’s Emmy-nominated Insecure, and as a writer on the show, she delivered one of this season’s most buzzed-about episodes, “Lowkey Happy.” The 39-year-old Kansas native is keeping the streak alive with appearances on the also nominated A Black Lady Sketch Show and in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. For our latest Celebrity Must List, here’s a sampling of pop culture she loves.


MUSIC: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella and Louis (1956)

I was that annoying girl in college who used Napster to do deep dives on Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, and the essential E’s: Etta, Eartha, and Ella. I’ve rediscovered my love of jazz lately, and I’ve found it to be straight-up medicinal with everything going on. Ella and Louis, take the wheel!

Joan Marcus

STAGE: Hamilton (2015)

It might seem like I’m throwing away my shot, but I really want to say no to this question. I love Broadway too much to pick a favorite show. I’m sure my answer doesn’t leave you satisfied, but I’m helpless. If I picked just one, I’d constantly ask myself, what’d I miss? And I don’t want to doubt myself nonstop.

Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

MOVIES: When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

When it comes to rom-coms, it doesn’t get better than this. On the surface it’s a story about timing, but it’s much more than that. It dares to celebrate the all-too-common painfully circuitous route to finding love. You end up not only rooting for Harry and Sally to get together, you end up rooting for love.


TV: I May Destroy You (HBO)

I’m not a jealous person by nature, but watching this show turns me into the Hulk. It's just so damn good. [Michaela Coel] is incredible. Her acting, her writing, her vulnerability­ — and her skin?! Come on. She absolutely destroys me every episode.

Knopf Doubleday

BOOKS: Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby (2020)

If Samantha Irby wrote a book that was just the alphabet written over and over again so that it fills 300 pages, I’d buy two copies. If she did a coffee-table book explaining doodles she made whilst on the commode, I’d buy 12 — keep two, and gift the other 10. She is perfection. Know. Her.

BONUS: Face Masks

The pandemic has necessitated the use of masks to prevent the spread of infection, which has given idiots a unique opportunity to self-identify. These folks are basically shouting, “Hey! I’m dumb and selfish! Stay away from me!” So, shout-out to masks. They keep us safe and tell the truth.

—As told to Sarah Rodman

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