My Favorite! Storyteller and Comedian Eric Riley Moore on Helmets and Teakettles

The My Favorite! column is a weekly celebration of all things joyful. The parameters are simple. I asked some creative friends to write a few sentences about something that gives them great joy. Could be anything. An album or painting. A gourd. The shoe. Or in this case, a TV show about values.

Eric Riley Moore

I turned 50 this year. I don’t feel much different; although one noticeable change has been that I’m more inclined to not give a fuck what people think about me. And it’s in that spirit that I share this: I get enormous joy from watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS. It’s a simple show: random, everyday folks bring in some old thing from their house and antiques experts tell them what it’s worth. It sounds like the worst idea ever for a show. But the non-experts on the show get such happiness, whether finding out Aunt Gloria’s teakettle is worth $200, or the steel helmet they found in the attic is worth $200,000, that it makes the show compelling. And the experts (apart from the one or two who seem like douchebags) always share in the happiness they’re spreading. What’s best about it, though, is that nearly every guest who gets a value placed on an item isn’t doing so because of a desire to sell: most of the objects are family pieces that will never be up for sale. Most of the guests really want to see if the monetary value, the worth others ascribe to a thing, is on par with the emotional value they’ve set in their hearts. The brief interactions (each evaluation takes about 3 to 4 minutes) between guests and professionals are very personal and revealing, and this is what I love about the show. The guests may be happy to hear of monetary equivalence to sentimental value; or they may be a bit sad, with a “who-cares-because-it’s-worth-a-million-bucks-to-me” defiance. Either way, it’s a look into how we as people hold onto our memories and our stories, and memories and stories, to me, will always be invaluable.

Eric Riley Moore writes about all the records he’s ever loved at the website On September 28 he will be a finalist at The Moth GrandSLAM, Boston, a storytelling competition.




Want to share your joy?
You can participate in the My Favorite! column. Just send me a paragraph or two about something that makes you delightfully happy, a short bio, and a photo of yourself. If you have a photo of the happy-making thing, that would be great to. Get in touch at

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