Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

How To Be Perfect with Michael Schur and Todd May of “The Good Place”

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0452
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

Michael Schur (Photo: Marlene Holston)

Most people think of themselves as good, but it’s not always easy to determine what’s good or bad—especially in a world filled with complicated choices and bad advice. Fortunately, many smart philosophers have been pondering this conundrum for millennia and they have guidance for us. Drawing on his new book How to Be Perfect, Michael Schur, creator ofThe Good Place,” as well as co-creator of “Parks and Recreation,” and “Brooklyn 99,” explains concepts like deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, ubuntu, and more so we can sound cool at parties and become better people.

Schur takes on easy ethical questions like “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (Answer: No) and works his way up to more complex moral issues such as “Can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people?” “How much money should I give to charity?” “Why bother being good at all when there are no consequences for being bad?”

In conversation with Todd May, philosophical adviser for “The Good Place,” Schur offers plenty of funny and practical wisdom on tough issues we face every day and thought-provoking guidance on living an ethical life based on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world.

Copies of How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question (Simon & Schuster) are available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.