This post was originally titled "The Chris Gethard Show is the Future of Television." While I completely believe that, it also doesn't quite encompass the gravity of how important this show actually is now, and (hopefully) will continue to be. It'd be really easy for me to do a history report on the show. It'd be really easy for me to create a listicle of all of the great moments and characteristics that make The Chris Gethard Show so amazing, but that wouldn't be true to the spirit of what Chris, the crew, and the fans have created.
As a huge fan of the podcast "How Did This Get Made," I find a lot of videos featuring Paul Scheer and/or Jason Mantzoukas suggested to me via YouTube. As I was browsing through YouTube's fine wares, I stumbled upon a title that grabbed my interest: "S2E9: Paul Scheer & Jason Mantzoukas in "One Man's Trash""
I clicked, and the let video autoplay. What I began to experience was one of the funniest and most unique "television" experiences I have ever had.
The set was elegantly unkempt. There was a shirtless hairy man wearing goggles. All the audience members were sitting on the floor. The house band sounded like something I would have found on a mixed CD that I made when I was 13. Scheer and Mantzoukas seemingly hijacked the show from a somewhat timid host that seemed both annoyed, yet aware of how brilliant and beautiful this disaster was.
The premise of the episode was simple: there was a dumpster, and something was in it, and people could call or Skype in with their guesses. That was it, but I loved every minute of it.
The call-ins reminded me of MTV's TRL or various talk radio shows. The humor felt like Upright Citizens Brigade, which makes sense, being that the show began as a live show at UCB in New York City. This would be enough to make a pretty interesting television show, but there is something else that makes this show truly special.
After watching a few more episodes, I landed on "The Diddy Episode." I had quickly grown to feel a connection with Gethard as a host, and began to understand the almost cult-like community. With that being said, it wasn't until I saw "The Diddy Episode" that I truly understood this show.
Opening up the episode, Gethard announces that there really isn't a plan for the episode, and that no guests have been booked. Gethard then proceeded to go to the phones/Skype in order to connect with fans of the show. A young lady named "Grace" Skyped in. Grace is in the transition into university, and at this point in her life, has never "kissed a guy." She, in such a vulnerable and real moment, asked Chris how to get guys interested in her. Gethard began to praise her for her honesty, openness, confidence, and grace, and that with all of those things "why would they not want to be with a person of [her] caliber."
Moments like this are spread throughout the shows first two seasons on Fusion, and really separate it from anything else comedic on television right now. These moments of poignant introspective thought and conversation give the fans, and host alike, a vulnerability that is so endearing. This is so refreshing in this strange hyperbolic world of mass and social media.
That's not to say that there aren't crass and goofy bits. The show even goes as far as to have the hosts and guest (Pete Holmes) use homemade bidets amongst the audience. (Yes, that actually happened.)
If The Chris Gethard Show were a sandwich, it'd be a healthy serving of honesty and vulnerability sitting firmly between slices of nostalgia and ludicrousness.
You have made me a believer Chris Gethard. Thank you.