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Actor / EntertainerI’m Chris Gethard and I host a TV show and do other things and am generally reeling at all times – AMA

Oct 30th 2017 by chrisgethard • 11 Questions • 815 Points

EDIT: Thanks for your questions, I really appreciate your interest. Its always good to know that there are many people out there who care deeply about the natural world. I think before we think about Mars, we need to look after Earth. Take care

Brent

Hey my name is Brent Stirton and I’m a South African photographer with a lot of experience in the documentary world. I currently spend most of my time working on long-term investigative projects for National Geographic Magazine, but my work has been published in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, and other outlets. I have a big passion for issues related to wildlife, conservation, global health, diminishing cultures, sustainability and the environment.

Last week, I was named the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year by the Natural History Museum for this piece I did on rhino poaching: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/10/dark-world-of-the-rhino-horn-trade/

Other projects: https://www.brentstirton.com/state-of-blindness/ https://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/13/brent-stirton-an-ode-to-nelson-mandela/ https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2016/07/questions-and-answers-brent-stirton/ https://www.brentstirton.com

Proof: https://twitter.com/NatGeo/status/923912301144571904

Q:

Do you regret coming to my apartment immediately after episode 1?

A:

I love Gamers Gift! What is the end goal for each of you outside of Gamers Gift? What skills do you bring from your other experiences into Gamers Gift?


Q:

What has been your favorite project to photograph?

A:

NEVER!


Q:

I want to do something amazing with technology, something that makes an impact on the present and future. This includes, but is not limited to, an evil death ray. I'm a really good Googler, so anytime we need something I always have a solution: 'Google it!' - Dillon

A:

It's tough to pick a favorite project, I tend to work on things I feel I should, that often means they're difficult and when I'm shooting I'm worried that I'm not getting it right. I'm also someone who once he has finished something, doesn't want to look back on it. I can say anything where I can make images with emotional content, that's what I am drawn to. As for favorite project, that would be the next one.


Q:

Hey Chris, thanks again for your jacket! It looks great on me.

What are the origins of Vacation Jason? I know the Human Fish crawled out of the Hudson, but we still don't know where Vacation Jason crawled out of

A:

I love Gamers Gift! What is the end goal for each of you outside of Gamers Gift? What skills do you bring from your other experiences into Gamers Gift?


Q:

Hi Brent! What is your favorite animal to photograph? Is there one that is particularly difficult to photograph?

A:

I loved that jacket! Do right by it!

Vacation Jason pre-dated TCGS! Riley was doing him when he was just a kid back in San Francisco.


Q:

Green! I have a green car. -Amber

A:

I think I like mountain gorillas, particularly the Silverbacks. They're really amazing to be around. Second would be elephants, they're always majestic. None of them are easy to photograph. I tend to photograph the intersection between man and wildlife, I don't often have the time to focus purely on the animal.


Q:

Hey Chris!

Thanks for everything you do. Your work has honestly gotten me through some really dark times in my life and you'll never know how much I truly and honestly appreciate it. But I have a question.

I was the caller on the Take a Chance episode of TCGS that decided to move to NYC. I'm taking the advice but I have a super important question:

What would it take for you to be willing to write one of my official letters of recommendation for my NYU application? I'm 100% serious and think it would be hilarious even if it doesn't work.

And bonus question in the style of the human fish: vacation Jason or Hintmaster?

All the best man. Keep up the good work and know how much you give to the world in all you do.

A:

What types of vr “experiences” do the groups you work with enjoy most?


Q:

What would be some of the less obvious steps you needed to take to get where you are today as a world-renowned photographer? Is there anything you would do differently in retrospect?

A:

Hintmaster. He was evil but at least he was honest about it.

DM me about the letter. The inbox will be nuts today because of this AMA, so maybe in a day or two. We'll figure something out.


Q:

TheBlu scuba diving experience is a very good introduction for most people. If they enjoy that, rollercoasters! After that we can begin introducing interactive experiences like snow skiing. -Dillon

A:

I think that I was very shy for a long time in my career so I did not market myself or go see potential clients. I didn't even go to World Press for the first few wins I had there. That was a mistake on my part. I think these days you can use social media to put out your work and still be a reserved person. As for world-renowned, those goal posts just keep moving. The better you get, the more you need to ask of yourself.


Q:

As someone who is unfamiliar with your work but had heard nothing but good things, where should I start?

A:

Nice. I brought my grandpa in to my college to use the vr set up in our library to show him Google Earth and walk around Rome. He liked it but got a headache after like ten minutes.


Q:

What was your goal in the beginning of your career?

A:

A lot of people love this episode of my show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwi_kE0gy94


Q:

Do you remember what hardware you used?

A:

My goal was to pay my bills through photography so I did all kinds of pictures. I found out about photojournalism after the first year and that changed a lot for me. I started working on anti-apartheid issues in South Africa and it became important to me to defend the good guys


Q:

Hey Chris! I just want to apologize to you and all your fans as I was the dumbo audience member at the Method Man episode who shouted "GETHARDD" right before you did the pre show commercial promo. I was there alone and teeming with excitement, anxiety, and awe and only wanted to show my support, of course. However it didn't seem to go over well, I immediately regretted it, and that was the only episode so far where you didn't take a selfie with the audience and I'm 100% convinced it's my fault. So to you and all the other audience members who were there that night, I am truly sincerely sorry for being an asshat.

Chris, you're a huge inspiration to me and have helped me deal with, or at least acknowledge and relax about my ownmental health issues, as I'm sure you've done for many of your fans and friends. Thanks for being such an awesome, great person. So my AMA question for you is, Chris, Can you ever forgive me??

A:

Who is your favorite Team GG streamer who streams on the Gamers Gift Twitch channel?

On a more serious note, what it the end goal for Gamers Gift, do you hope to eventually be a larger organization helping people across the US?

You all are awesome and keep doing the good things you do!


Q:

Hi Brent! Have you ever been in a shoot where you were personally in danger but stayed to get the shot? e.g. Paul Nicklen and the leopard seals

A:

The level of anxiety displayed in your post shows that you are indeed a true blue TCGS fan.


Q:

I'll in be in Central California next week, Bay Area the week after, and SoCal in December for visits. Every person in the world facing hardship deserves the escape VR provides. -Dillon

A:

The dangers I've had have come far more from people. For example, I have been in a number of situations with Rangers where we are being fired on by rebels who are poaching. I also worked in Iraq and Afghanistan where its normal to be under fire at some point. That said, I have had to run up plenty of thorn trees to get away from charging rhinos. Elephants too, and they are really scary as they can knock the tree down and they are really tall. I try not to agitate them when I'm working but sometimes I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. As for Paul, he's a genuine animal whisperer, I don't have his skillset so generally I have run faster than the guy next to me if the animal decides to charge


Q:

Hey Chris! I believe I have figured out who Big Man 6 is but you did not respond to my post in the shows sub this weekend... Are you afraid for me, Sarahflump, to reveal who THEY are? Respond to this post and I will comment back who I believe they are.

Edit: u/chrisgethard stop dodging me man. Maybe I was wrong and it's YOU behind this madness

A:

This sounds a bit like an episode of Black Mirror, do you get that comparison a lot?


Q:

Cannon or nikon?

A:

I'm terrified.


Q:

It's almost got a San Junipero vibe, huh? No one has told us that before but anything related to VR - especially towards groups that could become so dependent on it - has Black Mirror-level concerns.

Also, Ready Player One if you've read it.

  • Dillon
A:

Canon for me


Q:

There is a drawing on your set done by Abbi Jacobson that she did on the first episode of the fusion show. It’s her artistic representation of my penis as described by you and Iliana.

What do I have to do to get that drawing?

P.S. I’m sorry you had to see that.

A:

Yeah, but the detractors didn’t have a high enough rating and were cast out of society.


Q:

Hi Brent! Love your work, both photographically and in terms of raising awareness of pressing conservation matters.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring wildlife photographer such as myself on how to turn it from a hobby into a career? I'd love to end up doing wildlife photography like you do (especially with a focus on conservation) as my career, but i'm only just starting out (been going for a year now) and would massively appreciate any snippets of advice you're willing to share.

A:

DM me


Q:

I personally can't use any of the gear for more than a couple hours. Just kind of gives me a bit of a headache. -Amber

A:

I'd say be disciplined and find projects to work on. Try to shoot the A-Z of the issue and then use social media and targeted emails to try and publish. Don't neglect any other work that comes up, even if its weddings, its important to put some money away to finance your projects. Commit to this for the long term and you will be successful. Don't spend all your money on gear, buy used and get what you really need, don't be fooled by marketing. I can do my job with gear that came out 6 years ago for the most part. Spend your money on producing the story you care about.


Q:

What's Vacation Jason like outside of the show? Or do you not see him that much, as he's always on vacation?

A:

If Gamer's Gift were to receive more money over time, how would those funds be used? How should we expect our money to be used, if we were to donate?


Q:

How do you deal with all the bugs? Is it ever a concern to get bitten by bugs? Any tips to deal with mosquitoes, or other flying pests?

A:

Every encounter I've ever had with Vacation Jason has been worse than the last.


Q:

That's a good question! As a nonprofit we do not get paid so the money mostly goes to two things. Either it goes outreach for more headsets, game systems, and other outreach opportunities (like when we gave a refugee school chrome books). Or towards fundraising and advertising. With events we can foster a great community that gets connected with the cause and we can grow a bit. Some events are free for us to do like community game nights over the internet or art exchanges but for awesome events like the GG:WP, tournaments, etc we need money to rent venues, food and any other cost associated with that.

If you want any more information we do have a transparency page on our website you can check out that breaks down everything! Sorry for the formatting though I'm on mobile. http://gamersgift.org/transparency/

-Sean

A:

Bugs are inevitable, you want to avoid being bitten by mosquitos as much as you can but you're in their space. Wear long sleeves and pants at night, use an eco-friendly non-deet spray, and if its really crazy, use a hat with a net. I worked in CAR recently and was getting stung by bees more than 50 times a day so also check that you don't have allergies. Its a good idea to take an Epi-pen if you can


Q:

That's so googy.

Seriously though, this latest season on TruTV has been the best yet. It feels like the best of both worlds, "public access with a budget" ain't no joke.

A:

I am a environment modeler that is working with a VR startup based in Seattle. I appreciate your initiative in using VR as a tool to help people rather just as a form of entertainment for consumers. Is there any way I can help or get involved?


Q:

With shots like these, how difficult is it to deal with the emotions of seeing something like that? Does that at all impact whats going through your mind in terms of composition and other techniques you use?

A:

thank you!


Q:

On a basic level you can join us in our 24 Hour Livestream TODAY at 9am PST: http://gamersgift.org/gglp and join our community of people across the world.

Corporation donations and partnerships work wonders. Just some quick brainstorming, we could schedule a visit up in Seattle with your company or you could help us model certain programs, etc. Email me at [email protected] and we'll talk specifics!

  • Dillon
A:

Well, on this story I went to more than thirty sites with dead rhinos, I was looking for something that would have sufficient emotional resonance. When rhinos are killed, the carcass deflates very quickly and scavengers pull it apart. As a result, I needed to find an animal that still had dignity and was capable of arousing pathos in people. I also need to make the picture quickly so that I don't interfere in the forensic investigation. So truthfully, I only allow myself to be emotional after I have taken care of all those aspects which allow me to make the picture. I do feel very angry about these killings, there are good people on the ground who do not have the support they need due to a failure of leadership both in Africa and in Asia


Q:

Hey Chris! Huge fan of TCGS and Career suicide, but (like many), originally found you through B/A My question for you is it ever frustrating to you that BA has taken off the way it has, when it really isn't a comedy medium in the way your other work is? Not that there are never lighthearted/funny BA calls, but as a whole, its sort of gotten a life of its own. On the same vein, do you see it as something you continue doing for the long term, or do you see an end in sight? Curious because you've mentioned on calls that things are so busy for you now with the tv show. Also why do you think rabbits hate the sound of your voice?

A:

What are your favorite Dinosaurs?


Q:

Hi Brent, how do you choose your projects and do you have advice for creative people who also want to make an impact? Thanks!

A:

I do get frustrated that things I've worked so hard on have never met mainstream success, and B/A was met with it instantly. And non-comedically. It took a long while to wrap my brain around that, but I managed to remind myself that it's not about me. It's not about my ego. It's about sending art into the world and hoping someone gets something out of it. If people find one of my projects and they're not interested in it being comedic, I need to remove my own ego, get out of the way, and enjoy the ride. I am blessed and lucky to do Beautiful/Anonymous. I will do it as long as they let me.

Rabbits hate slight New Jersey accents.


Q:

Saurolophus because of Ducky from Land Before Time.

-Amber

A:

I choose my projects based on what I think is the greatest need. I am also asked to do projects which I feel I should do. Its a mix. As for creatives, I would say use any channel you can to get the word out. If you work for an agency, see if they can do some pro bono work on these issues. Try to help NGO's that deserve it. People like the EIA and the IAPF, but do your research first as to who is really effective. Creatives can be really valuable in raising public awareness, the biggest issue is ignorance on all sides


Q:

Will there ever be another Night of Zero Laughs?

A:

what about porn?


Q:

Hi Brent! Do you have specific communities you have established around the world, or mainly the places you travel for assignments, of people you trust and that can help you? You must have to work under the radar a lot and I’m wondering how you manage those uncertain human factors...

A:

I don't know!


Q:

The elderly joke about this more often than you'd expect. - Dillon

A:

I'm fortunate to have built good relations in a number of places, my contacts are really essential. I do prefer to work quietly and to do that I keep only a very small circle of people around me when we are shooting. I think if you treat people with respect and really make an effort to dignify and understand their jobs, you can make friendships based on mutual respect


Q:

Hi Hugh Jackman. What was acting in X-Men like?

A:

Lots of special effects.


Q:

https://www.sunshine-book.com.tw/product.asp?id=3078 Did you know that you look exactly like Norman from the children's book Imogene's Antlers??

A:

This is the first I've seen of this. Uncanny.


Q:

Who is Short Ghost?

A:

I WISH I KNEW!


Q:

What’s the #1 thing you’ve always wanted to do but never have, that is totally in your control/ability to do (i.e. nothing that relies on circumstances beyond your control)?

{Also, big fan of the show since the public access days. True Story: The last thing I said face to face with my long-term girlfriend before we broke up was quoting "Human Fish Loves Cock" from milkshake of death. It may have been a mistake, in retrospect)

A:

I am not surprised that was the last thing said before break up. Seems on target!

I've always wanted to be in a band and have never gone and gotten it together. I mostly just want someone to Johnny Marr me - show up and say they'll write all the music and I just need to do the lyrics.


Q:

Why aren't you in this meeting? -Royce

A:

Get to work, Twintern.


Q:

Hey Chris, big fan. I’ve watched you since I think around episode 50 of the MNN days, got locked in thanks to Tom Scharpling. Ever since I’ve been fully on board. I deeply appreciate your style of humor, and you’ve helped introduce me to some of my favorite comedians working today.

I also genuinely think that the current iteration of the show is the best version of all previous versions. Y’all have done an awesome job recreating the frenzy of the early days, and have pretty much eliminated what felt sort of “scripted” about the Fusion show. Congrats a million times over – you guys deserve all the success you can get.

That all being said, given the uptick in overall quality, when do you think the show’s gonna get canceled?

Also shoutout to Shannon O’Neill.

A:

Any day now, or maybe never? But if and when it does I'm glad we're going out doing it our way.


Q:

If YOU could call in to an anonymous show, what would you talk about? Please share on this very public forum.

A:

I would probably talk about how when you are young it is hard to embrace who you want to be, and how that can cause a lot of mental problems.


Q:

how much do you stand by the stance of EAT MORE BUTTS?

A:

100%


Q:

You've said before that if you didn't live in New York, you might live in Chicago. What do you love about Chicago/what are your favorite things here?

A:

At one point this was definitely true. But if we leave NYC and it's to someplace that actually has even colder winters, my wife would kill me.

Chicago is so great - the people are honest and kind, and the John G Shedd aquarium is one of my favorite places in the world.


Q:

You are honestly the most wonderful human being on the planet. What you do for people, including myself, is irreplaceable and important. You make us laugh, you inspire us, and with Beautiful/Anonymous and TCGS, you listen to us. I cannot thank you enough for being you.

That said......

What's the meanest thing you've ever done to someone (that you can talk about) and did it change you for the better?

A:

I wrote a mean song about a high school classmate and performed it with a friend's band at a basement show. It was not cool and I still feel awful about it.


Q:

Do you still keep in touch with Alyssa?

A:

Every once in a blue moon.


Q:

Hey Chris! I've got two questions:

  1. What's the best improv scene you can remember either being in or witnessing (UCB or otherwise)?

  2. Any chance you'd do another dumpster special? The Scheer/Mantzoukis one might be my all-time favorite TCGS episode.

Thanks for doing this! Love the show/hope you get a chance to go on vacation soon!

A:
  1. Fwand did a group game where no one spoke or moved. it was transcendent.

  2. Rumor has it Scheer and Zouks will be back this season...


Q:

Chris! Huge fan of Beautiful Anonymous.

Why do you call your mom Sally? That's your mom her name is mom! As a fellow New Jerseyan I know you know better.

Love the show and find you to be very relatable.

Quick edit: also it's pork roll you north jersey swine.

A:

TAYLOR HAM FOREVER, YOU SOUTH JERSEY HEATHEN!

I call my mom mom.


Q:

Hi, Chris. My wife and I love you and your show and everyone you surrounded yourself with for TCGS. You seem like the greatest guy and there needs to be more folks like you on TV, especially these days. During the Adam Pally episode when you were dunked into the ice water, you told Shannon "I am so mad at you and we are going to talk after the show." Can you reveal at all how that talk went? We are so curious as to just how angry you actually were.

Also, I tweeted you this weekend from a Dead Milkmen show in Philly (which I have to imagine you're a fan being from Jersey) saying you should try to get the Dead Milkmen on your show. That tweet currently has only one Fav...from Rodney Anonymous, lead singer of the Dead Milkmen! Just saying, if you're cureently looking for a great band to book, I think the DM are on board! Here is the tweet for proof. I'd love to see them on TCGS. Keep up the amazing work!

A:

I'd love to have the Dead Milkmen on! I'll let Kiri and Heidi and Zane know about this!

It's funny with Shannon, she is one of my nearest and dearest people in life and she has the best ability to walk me right up to the razor's edge for the sake of comedy. She more than anyone else knows how and why it's funny when I'm mad or put upon and can get me right there. After that bit, when I saw the video, I laughed so hard at her that I wound up not being that mad.

There have been some other bits on the show from people who don't know my rhythms as inside and out that did genuinely hurt my feelings though.


Q:

Holy crap Erik I was trying to think of a question and I was totally going to ask the exact same thing about Shannon

Anyway Chris we are big (new) fans and I think you seem like a very nice person! I hope TCGS gets renewed :)

A:

Thank you! Welcome aboard. Tell your friends.


Q:

When are we seeing Bridget Jones's Baby?

A:

Next Monday I think? Orlando is organizing it.


Q:

Hey Chris. I hope you are well.

How have the people at TRU been digesting the show? Has there been any feedback from the executives about their favorite parts of the show?

A:

They are champions and supporters and giving us every chance to succeed and rooting us on. I hope we can get the numbers up to make them look like geniuses!

They all really loved when Justin Linville, my assistant, came on live TV and tore me a new asshole.


Q:

I saw you in Toronto with Mike Birbiglia and doing Career Suicide and you were awesome! Do you see your next stand up show as being more of a traditional comedy show or as another show like career suicide? Also, what was different in the writing process for Career Suicide than with your more traditional stand up?

A:

I'd like to put out a special that's just a bunch of my hardest hitting jokes and stories. No theme or moral. Maybe it's insecurity, but I want to make sure people out there know that not all of my jokes are about sticking my head in an oven.

The writing process for CS was intense and long. Three years. Bombed all the time, just like you do with any new material, but bombing with that felt so lonely and so grim.


Q:

Are you going to bring the phone booth to Michigan? You have a lotta fans here!

A:

I wish! The live B/A show in Ferndale was so fun. The phone booth is done for the season though!


Q:

I've always had a theory that B/A was partially inspired by Suto's calls back on MNN, especially the "I don't hang up on Suto, Suto hangs up on me" part. Any truth to that?

Follow-up: If somebody actually did call into the podcast and make cat noises at you for an hour, what are the odds it'd get released?

A:

I'd release the cat noises in an instant. The fans would hate it. I would love it.

I never thought about the direct Suto connection, but yes, B/A was born out of me missing the long meandering phone calls of public access era TCGS.


Q:

What is the worst insult you’ve ever received?

A:

"You look like you were born after Willem DaFoe raped your mom"


Q:

Chris big fan here. Huge fan of Vacation Jason. What are your top 3 favorite pro wrestling finishers?

A:

I'm not psyched that you're a big fan of me but a HUGE fan of Vacation Jason.

Top three finishers? Off the top of my head - Jake the Snake's DDT, Flair's Figure Four, and the Million Dollar Dream.


Q:

hey christ! i had a question planned out but it got deleted (it was this )

hey, chris! I love you, also I watched a lot of your public access show but then I stopped so I could pay more attention to my boyfriend and I thought you had a real point with the alcohol thing, I think I'm like you in that I can't stop drinking once I start drinking and that's an issue for me because when I run out of alcohol I'll do anything it takes to get more alcohol. But if i do have enough alcohol i cry a lot and turn into a person who wants to die. So I should stop but in this moment I want more and might get more. I used to go on walks for hours at a time and just listen to your podcast all the time but I stopped because I am severely depressed and don’t like to go outside. The people you talk to are cool and I think you're cool too. There's also this one other podcast I listen to called Music City Podcast and the guy who hosts it just reminds me of you a lot besides that he's high and drunk all the time and I just think it would be really entertaining and revealing to see you guys interview each oqewrther. If anything has to happen, I hope it's that. Anyway, goodnight Chris Gethard at noon. I love you but I love my boyfriend more.

but my question is: how are you today?

A:

I'm good! Tired after Fest and also my finger hurts because I dislocated it in a jiu jitsu class. But good.

I hope you find the ways past the demons. Be careful with the drinking and I hope the depression gets under control soon. My heart is with you.


Q:

You're training again? at Renzo's?

Would love to grapple with you one day.

A:

Yeah back in the mix at Renzo's. Loving it. Already beat to shit a month back in. It's even more difficult at the age of 37. Do you train there? What belt you at?


Q:

What's your favorite snack?

A:

They got these Hershey's with toffee around the office sometimes, those have been getting a big thumbs up.


Q:

How many people call in for Beautiful Anonymous do you think? We try to call in a lot but never make it through! How do you determine what airs or doesn't? How many conversations do you have saved for future episodes?

Thanks for doing that show and talking to people openly! You're great!! <3

A:

To my knowledge, the most we've ever received is 14,000 call attempts off of one tweet.

Generally we get like 7,000 if it's early in the workday and work week and over 10,000 if it's later in the week or later in the day.

We have about three in the queue at any given time.

Thanks for listening!


Q:

Do you have a gut feeling on whether the show will get renewed or not? I love the show and I'm hoping TCGS has continued success, not just because I want the show to continue for years, but also because in a world that's gravitating towards streaming and binge-watching, it's super fun to watch shows do it live.

A:

I have a vaguely positive feeling? But that's I think mostly just because I'm proud of what we're making.


Q:

If you were asked to host The Late Show with Chris Gethard...but it was mandatory you make Vacation Jason your permanent sidekick for the duration of the show, would you do it? (And yes, you'd be making many millions of dollars a year in this scenario)

A:

As long as I was the host and he was the sidekick, and not vice versa.


Q:

Have you gotten fined yet on TruTV?

Can you share something that TruTV wouldn't go for, like is there something else like the Fuck Tent?

Do you have any weird stalker stories?

A:

To my knowledge we haven't gotten fined yet. I don't know how close we've come.

I had one idea that truTV wasn't into, which I totally get, which was - let me walk out there with no script, no plan, literally nothing, and see what happens. I was having a manic week when I pitched it. I think theoretically it's a good idea, but it cuts off the collaboration that I love so much from all corners of the show.

I have a few weird stalker stories. One is really intense and I shouldn't put details up here in case they're reading, but it was from about like 2002. I still get some stalkery stuff. It's why I've been less public the past few years - since getting married I open myself up a little less to stalker level stuff. When I was single and didn't care if I lived or died, fans used to know where I lived and stuff.


Q:

Hello! I first started watching your show because you had Sleater-Kinney (my favorite band) on. I loved the episode, so I went back to try and figure out what the show's "deal" was and I ended up finally getting to see the show in person a few weeks ago!

I know you love All Hands On The Bad One, but do you have any other S-K favorites or memories? Did you ever see them live? Do you think they would ever come back on as a musical guest? Literally anything at all you want to say about Sleater-Kinney? Thanks for doing this!

A:

I haven't seem them live yet! They'd be welcome back on my show in any capacity any time they want, but I reserve the right to be just as shy and intimidated as last time.

They were all so nice and so kind.


Q:

Hey Chris! Have been a long time fan of your work! A big part of TCGS has always been the callers. I'm curious about how much that screening process has changed now that you're no longer on cable access? What are the chances that someone like Suto could make it on TruTV? Also, will we see a return of Mimi on the Hoops?

A:

There's more screening on the Skypes because we need appearance releases. I think calls are more open game, but they still are a little less random just because we have so many more callers than we used to. That being said, a few weeks back we got two pranks/insane people in a row and I really loved it. Reminded me of the old days.

I met Suto in person a few years ago. He gave me a drawing. It was rad.


Q:

What happens in the Beautiful/Anonymous phone calls that aren't released as podcast episodes?

(I love career suicide and tcgs and everything you do. You were also so kind when I met you, and it meant the world to me, so thank you!)

A:

Mostly they wind up boring. More often than not because I am off that day and steamroll or force jokes or stuff. Sometimes people just have less to say than they thought. One time it was very funny, a lady halfway through the call said "This isn't good is it?" And I was like, "Nah, but who cares?" And we giggled about that for the rest of the call.

We have two or three that are just too disturbing to release.

Thanks for checking out and supporting my stuff!


Q:

Do you think young writers/comedians can find success outside of the bigger cities (LA, NYC, Chicago, etc)?

A:

That all depends on how you define success.

Can you make meaningful work that exceeds your own expectations and sets the bar high and is creatively satisfying? Absolutely. I think in some ways making something of true artistic value is more probably outside of the major cities.

Can you find success as in acting and writing jobs? Yeah. But it's exponentially more difficult. Both because you're not around the machines that make it happen, and because you're not around the other artists grinding it out and getting better in pursuit of conquering those machines.


Q:

Hi Chris! Thanks for making the mother land proud. Couple of quick questions:

Favorite place to hit up in Asbury Park?

Favorite Front Bottoms song?

A:

Silverball Museum

Lately, Flying Model Rockets, though historically it's been The Beers.


Q:

Hi Chris!

So I’m really envious of all of your creative endeavors that you have under your belt (your comedy/acting, tv show, podcast, etc.) I go to school for computer science and sometimes it feels isolating and boring. I would love to be creative but I just feel like…..I don’t know how to? I guess what I want to ask is, how do you get yourself in a creative mood and what inspires you in terms of creativity? Or if you have any advice any advice at all when it comes to creativity?

P.S. I’m really struggling with school and just went through a breakup and your standup, show, podcast are all helping me cope in the best way. So thank you.

A:

If I wasn't creative, I think I would die. Like a shark who stopped swimming or something. If you think you'd be happy with computer science and creativity isn't going to nag at you forever, stick with computer science. There are tons of jobs and growth and what not.

But if you think that you're ALWAYS going to feel this nagging sinking feeling that there's more out there, you'd better attack it now, so you don't wind up sitting around in thirty years with a ton of regrets and a whole lot of coding you were never that passionate about.

I bet there's a way to merge your creativity with your computer science.

The sad cold truth about "how do I get more creative?" is - "Stop worrying about if you fail or not, go make something bad. Then make something better. Then after many many years, you might finally manage to fart out something halfway decent."

Good luck. I believe in you.


Q:

Hey Chris! Hope you had fun at Fest, it was great seeing you (I was the obnoxious fat guy in the back who took a flash photo—so embarrassed)! Also saw you Judge the wrestling portion—super jealous :)

Do you ever have callers that you can’t stand/don’t like but obviously have to endure coolly? Or is it more of a “this person has there own experiences, I have mine.”

A:

Very rarely do I not like someone. There have been one or two times where someone has clearly not considered the world outside of themselves, or how their actions effect others, and those bum me out real bad. Still, I reserve judgment. It's not my job to judge.


Q:

two questions!

1) Top 5 sodas?

2) When is there gonna be a phone booth set up in Pittsburgh?

A:
  1. Mr Q Cumber, Ale 8 One, Virgil's Bavarian Edition
  2. Phone booth is done for the season!

Q:

I watched pretty much all of the 2017 Election live stream you put on with your friends. We were all having fun and laughing but then things started to get real dark, and ended with you alone in the studio reading news articles about what the fuck just happened.

Honestly, I don't know if I would have been able to get through that night with my sanity in tact if it wasn't for your show, as painful as I'm sure it was. There was something reassuring that I wasn't alone in feeling helpless and stunned.

What was it like being their live in the room? What did you do after the show? You did a great job being honest about your feelings but that couldn't have been an easy situation to put yourself in.

A:

It was as shell shocked as I've ever been, let alone on camera. It was bad. The whole thing fell apart.


Q:

Which up and coming comedians should people know more about?

A:

Jo Firestone is the future of comedy. And one day Anna Drezen will rule us all.


Q:

Do you worry about when Justin Linville's stardom will outshine your own?

A:

Oh that day is here. I pray he even remembers me when he dominates us all.


Q:

When are you coming back to Gainesville to do Karaoke again?

A:

I was in Gainesville literally yesterday.


Q:

Chris, last November, I sequestered myself away to watch your Election Day livestream, all the way to the bitter end. It was a weird night, and watching you react to those numbers was like watching myself in a mirror.

So my question is are you following the news today, dude? What the heck, right?

A:

Yeah, seriously.


Q:

You seem to still get a lot of hate messages about various aspects of your life and you always respond with something upbeat or you ask the person if they need any help but I wonder, do these messages still bother you personally? Or have you found a way to brush them off easier?

A:

They hurt.


Q:

Yo C-snap, what's for lunch today?

A:

SALAD


Q:

Hi Chris, I've been a huge fan of your work for years. You and I have met a handful of times and I've talked to you (and Jon Hamm, once) about how finding your show back in the public access days changed my life in such a profound and beneficial way. I almost asked you this question at High Dive this weekend but didn't want to bother you when you were just trying to see your wife's band play (they crushed it btw, danciest set I saw all Fest) so I'll ask now: how uncomfortable would it make you if I were to get your signature tattooed across my arm? You once wore a shirt that said "I want to be your Morrissey" and, as weird as it may sound, hearing you talk about Morrissey and what The Smiths mean to you reminds me a lot of when I try to describe you and your show and what it got me through. This is a genuine question, by the way, I will not be offended or upset if you aren't comfortable with it. Either way, thank you for everything.

A:

There is one person who had me write on their leg. They got it tattooed. It makes me so skittish! I just put a heart and the words Chris G. Couldn't brand someone with "get hard" for life.


Q:

I have a question about why you're comedy special was an off Broadway show. Was it because it seemed like a more appropriate venue for the content of the show?

A:

There's a tradition of comedy off-Broadway bubbling up in NYC the past few years. Birbiglia, Colin Quinn, Nick and John, Neal Brennan, Hasan Minhaj - they've all mounted shows off-Broadway. I'm happy to be part of that lineage. I think the content I was building leant itself towards going down that track and when I saw it was a possibility I took it as a real challenge and worked hard to make it happen.


Q:

Hey Chris! Big fan of CS and your Beautiful/Anonymous work. I know you've said you were raised Catholic, and you're now generally agnostic - how has your view on God changed as your relationship with depression has evolved? Have you ever found comfort in that concept, or does it have a different interaction with your depression?

A:

I haven't really thought about depression and God. Catholicism more has increased my guilt and anxiety levels, but that's cultural more than religious.


Q:

Who does it better? Iron Chic, RVIVR or Latterman?

A:

I have no interest in igniting some sort of Long Island based melodic hardcore war!


Q:

how far out do you plan TCGS episodes? do you know what the rest of the season looks like or come up with them week to week?

A:

We try to know the basic idea two to three weeks ahead. We have four episodes left and know the premises for all of them. That being said, we came in this morning and threw out the creative for this week and are now scrambling to figure out what Thursday is going to be. We fly loose around here!


Q:

Hi Chris,

Next semester I become a senior in university. My plan was to eventually get a PhD in History but that's becoming less and less likely and has set me into an existential crisis about what I should do with my life. What should I do, besides the whole "go for your dreams" thing?

A:

I say you try something knowing it will probably fail, then enjoy sitting in the stink. Around then you'll figure it out.


Q:

Hi, Chris! Big fan and recent TruTV convert here (Tim Simons was my first episode).

What's the most meaningful experience you've had doing TCGS? Biggest regret?

Most importantly, how do you stay googy?

A:

Most meaningful experience - meeting people, always. Taking to the road and meeting the people who watch the thing. It always wakes me up and reinvigorates me and reminds me what this is all really for.

Biggest regret - that we did too good a job on Metropass and people don't realize we did that set change live in less than three minutes. They all thought it was pre-taped. It wasn't!

I DON'T NEED TO BE GOOGY, I WORK HARD.


Q:

Hi Chris! I met you at your last B/A taping in Chicago and you were very nice to me and I appreciate how generous you are in interacting with your fans. I'm always creepily trying to meet comics I admire and sometimes they really do not wish to talk to strangers (which I understand, begrudgingly).

Anyway, I'm going to move to NYC from Chicago in 6 months with my sweetie and my question to you is: should we live in Queens? What are some good neighborhoods in Queens for a couple of soft midwesterners?

A:

If you are looking to creep on comedians, I'd avoid Queens. Please? :)

Just kidding. Astoria is the neighborhood you're looking for.


Q:

As a stand-up in NYC, I thought your argument for why UCB should not pay performers was by far the most convincing on that side. Now that years have passed and the theater is moving to a new location, have your thoughts on that changed at all? Also: thanks for making the show and all of your comedy and I hope you're having a good day.

A:

The incident with Nick Vatterott really bummed me out. That turned the tide and made me think that UCB should probably not host stand up shows. The theater was built for improv and sketch. While I think there are great intentions in trying to provide space for stand ups, there's not been an effort made to learn the culture of stand up. I also would love if house performers there had coaching and practice space fees covered so they could break even, though I know as an improvisor renting a space and getting a fire marshal puts you in the hole. So yeah. If they aren't going to learn the culture of stand up at UCB, they should probably not trifle with it. If they are going to do it, they should go all in and learn, which includes paying, yes.


Q:

Hey Chris,

What's the status on the Ice Cream Musical with Jeff Rosenstock?

Which Impractical Joker is your favorite?

A:

I continue to drop the ball on the Ice Cream Musical! Someday I will have time to write my half.

I like all them Jokers. I'm closest personally with Sal.


Q:

Chris, how close are you to convincing Tom Scharpling to host a Best Show/CGS cruise? This shit must happen!

A:

He is steadfastly against it. I would make it happen tomorrow!


Q:

Best and worst advices you’ve received?

A:

Best - TIE:

"Give yourself no other option" and "People will surprise you if you let them"

WORST -

"Comedy's too hard. You should stick to writing."


Q:

What's the worst thing you've seen a fellow comedian do that you've forgiven? What's the least worst thing you've seen a fellow comedian do that you've never forgiven?

A:

I am not in the business of judging other comedians.

If someone does something that seems unforgivable, but it's in the name of creativity and chance taking, I forgive. If it becomes clear that they go those routes as a choice and to make it their voice, I just avoid em. There's enough comedians in NYC that I don't need to regularly be around any that bum me out.

I'm sure there are many that say the same of me!


Q:

Why is sandwich night a week later this year? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of giving people with nowhere to go on Thanksgiving a place to come together and celebrate?

A:

I will remind you that you are venting stress about a holiday that I literally made up one day.