The Latter Day Johnson-Smith: Archie McPhee, purveyor of Funny Gifts, Toys, Novelties and Weird Stuff photo:M. Wilson

I killed them all.

I shook out my maroon dorm room rug (a perfunctory pre-Freshman year purchase that I really didn’t like) and knocked the home of my Sea Monkeys to the floor. My first, and only Sea Monkeys (gasping?) as they’re absorbed into my unwanted rug. They’d been growing. You could see them ‘swimming’ around, maybe 3/4” or a full inch. Living kitsch. Do you remember Sea Monkeys? I’m buying more Sea Monkeys, making up for a transgression almost 25 years past.

Johnson-Smith was the fine purveyor of the novel and exotic: chattering teeth, whoopee cushions, x-ray specs, get rich quick schemes, ancient…


Night time in the Bronx, slightly blurred image of a man wearing a petite red nose and black Buddy Holly glasses in the foreground as he schleps past the blurred neon lights of the Riverdale Diner. He’s a medical clown on the way to a bat mitvah.
Night time in the Bronx, slightly blurred image of a man wearing a petite red nose and black Buddy Holly glasses in the foreground as he schleps past the blurred neon lights of the Riverdale Diner. He’s a medical clown on the way to a bat mitvah.

I officiated a marriage at an assisted living facility in the morning and was the guest of honor at a bat mitzvah in the Bronx that night.

What’s unique about a bat mitzvah in the Bronx? It was for a child I visited as the supervising clown doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering for 5 years.

Then one day, you just don’t see them anymore.

Like so many of the families we work with, we do what we can to bring joy and delight amidst the suffering of illness. Then one day, you just don’t see them anymore.

5 years have…


Gifts from Me, for Me

Selfie of author wearing vintage spectacles, bowler and a black-and-white polka dot shirt sips coffee from a TED mug
Selfie of author wearing vintage spectacles, bowler and a black-and-white polka dot shirt sips coffee from a TED mug
Me @ TED

Do you find yourself incessantly doomscrolling in hopes that your finger will find light amidst an infinite deluge of disaster?

I do.

So allow me to ‘disrupt your finger of doom’ with a ‘sticky finger of fun.’

Introducing Monday Matt Picks: Gifts from Me, for Me.

Introducing Monday Matt Picks: Gifts from Me, for Me. Each week I’ll highlight a morsel of delight I’ve uncovered that would improve my life immensely and I think should be in your feed…or on your work desk…or breakfast tray…or nightstand.

Monday Matt Picks are the nudges I need to remind me that it’s okay…


The author holds a brain in the foreground while laughing fiendishly, as Dr. Suzuki laughs from behind.
The author holds a brain in the foreground while laughing fiendishly, as Dr. Suzuki laughs from behind.
Award-winning Neuroscientist and TED Speaker Dr. Wendy Suzuki let me play with her brain in her lab at NYU.

Not all play is created equal. Play for adults is most impactful when it’s pursued together. Thing is, most adults don’t know how to play. It’s not our fault. As we go about ‘adulting’, we learn the world is not designed to support healthful pursuits, like fitness, nutrition, sleep or play.

Numerous obstacles to health are incentivized such as working long hours in sedentary roles, the financial pressure to hold multiple jobs and the ease of access to low-cost/low-quality food. …


#LoveIntheTimeofCorona

photo: Stephanie Sine, Katie Kaufman

My friends went down to City Hall in New York City to seal the deal on their newly printed marriage license on Friday, March 20th. . . the day the Marriage Bureau shuttered its doors indefinitely. This devastating news wreaked havoc on more than their romance. One was about to lose their health insurance. An impromptu marriage would ensure continued coverage on their partner’s plan, coverage which could mean the difference between health and catastrophe.

My friends went down to City Hall . . . the day the Marriage Bureau shuttered its doors indefinitely.

However, there’s good news for folks…


“You’re an American. Say something. Say something in American.”

Author as a young boy in Barnack, England.

I don’t remember it as a taunt. More of an annoying request, repeated at lunch time and in the boys room on my third first-day-of-school. It never really bothered me. Not until I was cornered on the playground and held personally responsible for U.S. foreign policy by a couple of 10 year olds.

“It’s your fault, you Yank.”

This was my third first grade in 6 months. I attended three different first grades, with three different teachers in two countries before I turned 6.

It’s your fault, you Yank.

We had just moved to England, and before we found my…

Matt Wilson

Emmy Award Winner. TED Speaker. Former Medical Clown.

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