A week or so ago, I received a message from a college friend, Kevin Feldman, who now lives in Austin, TX. He said he would be in town and that I should join him for a filming of The Chris Gethard Show. I was a bit familiar with Gethard (a 30-something comedian originally from Jersey) but I was not familiar with his show (which started at UCB and then moved to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network).
I looked through the archived hour-long variety shows, complete with call-ins, characters, and musical guests. I was instantly drawn in to this offbeat sort of humor. I contacted the audience list email and was signed up. Awesome.
Walking into the MNN (where the show films from 11-12 on Wednesdays) was a bit jarring as it seemed though everyone knew each other and I was just a first timer. But that is just the kind of community that the show (and to my understanding, Gethard) has.
Last night’s show, which was the 100th, was a gratitude-fest from both the perspective of Gethard, his friends, and his fans. People called into to express their appreciation for the show, what it represents and what Gethard as done. One of the people on stage said it best when she mentioned how the show was a place where people could actually be themselves. This resonated with the entire crowd and those listening, watching, or just thinking about the show.
Of course there was comedy and laughs as well. Each person who spoke on stage was forced to wear headphones attached to the Speech Jammer iPad app.
The thing that stood out to me, as a first timer, was how the show started. Gethard began with a poignant monologue about how each person needs to find “their own Chris Gethard Show,” meaning that if you have a dream, do it. Even if it is weird and you don’t think you can, you should. People may laugh at your idea, whether to be a YouTube show, a comic book, a screenplay, or (in my case) a blog with an eventual podcast. But that is no reason not to try things.
The video for last night’s broadcast isn’t on the site yet. But for a little taste of the action, here is a video of episode 60, “Truth or Dare.” This episode features a viewer submitted game of Truth or Dare and musical guest The Shivering Brigade (which just happens to be the band of my friend, Jonathan Zuckerman – who I saw at the filming yesterday [They currently have a Kickstarter to raise money for their new album. Here is their bandcamp site.]
So seriously. If you like funny, quirky comedy and just generally cool people, check out the show. Check out Chris and his Weird NJ/ Weird US series and his collection of stories about his life called “A Bad Idea I’m About to Do” (which he was gracious enough to sign for my boyfriend).
Edit: As promised, here is a link to the “Hundo” episode.