Chris Gethard's new HBO comedy special: Career Suicide

By Vivian El-Salawy on May 17, 2017

Chris Gethard is a current comedian, actor, author and host of the “Chris Gethard Show”. He also hosts a podcast by the name of “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People”.

The “Chris Gethard Show”, according to its website, is “the most bizarre and often saddest talk show in New York City”. It is a call-in and variety show hosted by Chris Gethard, where every episode features the panel interacting with callers.

Image via Best New York Comedy

“Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People” has a completely opposite vibe. Also an hour long, it features one phone call with one anonymous caller where the caller shares interesting stories about their life. Every week, Chris opens up the floor for one anonymous caller and he is unable to hang up first no matter what. These episodes feature anything from shocking confessions to deep, life discussions.

Image via Chris Gethard

However, “Career Suicide” is pulling out yet another new side to Chris Gethard. Gethard’s early life was a difficult one – he struggled with depression and with medications and up until his mid-thirties, Gethard wasn’t feeling much better. For a full 90 minutes, Chris Gethard reveals his honest and funny life story through his comedy special, “Chris Gethard: Career Suicide” on HBO.

In this special, Chris talks about depression, alcoholism, suicide, and the other funniest parts of life. He dives deep into all kinds of personal experiences with psychiatry and mental illness and his highs and lows throughout those journeys.

Although his humor is painfully honest, it has brought in a huge audience and has been mentioned alongside Off-Broadway institutions in Playbill.com in several articles. The solo-written performances was also covered by the New York Times.

Image via Career Suicide Show

Charles Isherwood with the New York Times touches on his experience watching “Career Suicide” in a review:

“Mr. Gethard’s delivery often belies — thank goodness — the dark waters he swims through. With his proud-nerd glasses, slight potbelly and teen-boy striped T-shirt, as well as a tuft of hair that, for me, came to seem a symbol of his chipper resilience, he suggests a character from “Peanuts” come to life, or maybe a more angst-riddled Neil Patrick Harris.”

Many are thinking that suicide is a very sensitive topic and often, shows and comedy specials that feature jokes about suicide are typically under fire for “trying to make a joke out of it”. However, what Chris Gethard is brilliantly doing with his comedy isn’t making a joke out of it. It’s honestly confronting his previous struggles and depression in an honest, yet tasteful manner.

Chris Gethard touches on his point of view: “People have expressed to me that making comedy about depression is insensitive. I vehemently disagree. We need to start laughing about this stuff, so maybe we can finally be comfortable talking about it afterwards. I just try to make sure my jokes come from an honest place, and unfortunately for me being honest means copping to the fact that I once crashed a car on purpose.”

Image via Chris Gethard

While the live shows are no longer running in New York, you can stream the 90 minute program on HBONOW and subscribe via your device or through a participating broadband provider and through HBOGO. For more information on how to stream “Chris Gethard: Career Suicide”, you can visit http://www.hbo.com/comedy/chris-gethard-career-suicide.

Vivian El-Salawy is a senior at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and the Good Life Community magazine, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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