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

Sarah Rodman
·2 min read

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

Related content: