Chris Gethard is comedy’s favorite underdog. Stars like Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler, and Will Ferrell count themselves among his fans. A talented improviser and storyteller at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, Gethard is known for wearing his vulnerabilities on his sleeve. His book A Bad Idea I’m About to Do hilariously chronicles everything from Gethard’s experience adopting a pet goat to his struggles with depression and suicidal thinking. And yet despite more than a decade in New York’s comedy scene, Gethard has mostly stayed under the radar. That all seems poised to change. Since 2009, Gethard has been at the helm of The Chris Gethard Show, a live show and public access television program where Gethard hilariously hosts bands, answers calls from strangers, and performs some of the most daring comedy bits around. During their second episode, a woman named Jean called in, confused, to ask what was happening. Gethard immediately invited her to come to the studio and she became a fixture at every subsequent taping, a character known as “Random Jean.” Gethard’s fiancée, Hallie Bulleit, also stars in the show, singing quirky theme music for the show’s many recurring segments and playing her ukulele. TCGS has garnered a cult following and Galifianakis and Ferrell signed to executive produce a Comedy Central pilot, which taped in January 2014. Comedy Central also just announced that Gethard is one of 15 standup comedians to get a half-hour comedy special on the network. All in all, Gethard seems to be on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream — or not. Wag’s Revue contributor Chris Duffy chatted with Gethard at a Thai restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Chris Duffy, Wag’s Revue: This year you’re getting married, you have the pilot — it feels like things are really coming together for you.