Bill Lynch Published

A KY Comedian Ducks A Flying Bottle And A Talk With The WV Poet Laureate

West Virginia Poet Laureate stands smiling in front of a bookshelf.
From a seemingly random phone call from the governor's office to now, Marc Harshman is celebrating 10 years as West Virginia's poet laureate.

For working comedians, mean-spirited hecklers are part of the job. But what happens when someone gets angry enough to throw a beer?

And, West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman had his own experience with an intimidating gig.

We also hear some advice for people caring for aging relatives.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Kentucky Comedian Ducks A Heckler And Catches Fame

Catching a break in comedy can take years, decades — sometimes never. Usually, stand up comedians slowly work their way up from open mics and local bars — to the grind of touring on the club circuit.

But getting a spot on a late night talk show? That could be a career launcher — leading to a better spot on club shows, national tours and — every once in a while — real stardom.

Kentucky comedian Ariel Elias recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — but not in the way she expected. She went viral after a video emerged of a heckler in New Jersey chucking a beer at her.

It missed Elias’ head by inches. What happened next ensured her place in standup history. Elias picked up the can — and chugged the rest of the beer.

WFPL’s Stephanie Wolf recently spoke with her.

More Questions About Elder Care Answered

Caring for aging parents is hard — especially here in Appalachia. There’s not always support for caregivers who provide the day-to-day needs of loved ones. Inside Appalachia Executive Producer Eric Douglas is exploring issues around elder care.

He recently spoke with Teresa Morris of the West Virginia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

West Virginia Poet Laureate Looks Back At 10 Years

Marc Harshman is West Virginia’s poet laureate. Harshman has published more than 15 books over his career, many of them for children. His 2017 book “Believe What You Can” won Appalachian Book of the Year. Producer Bill Lynch recently spoke with Harshman about his long tenure, his current collection, “Dark Hills of Home,” and what it was like when he found out he was chosen to follow Irene McKinney as West Virginia poet laureate.

Miss West Virginia Champions Appalachian Agriculture

Miss West Virginia Elizabeth Lynch finished as third-runner up in the Miss America competition. Lynch used the moment to promote Appalachian agriculture. WVPB’s Shepherd Snyder spoke to Lynch about her advocacy.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by The Company Stores, Mary Hott, Paul Loomis and Montana Skies

Bill Lynch is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.