Chris Gethard was born in West Orange, New Jersey. Gethard is the author of Weird NY, a book detailing the ghost stories and urban legends of New York, and A Bad Idea I'm About to Do, a collection of stories from Gethard's life, which has been highlighted on This American Life. Previously, Gethard served as an editorial assistant for the popular Weird NJ and Weird US publications.
He is an avid fan of The Smiths and has two tattoos related to the band—Morrissey's signature on his right shoulder (based on an actual signature he got in marker on his arm), and "It takes strength to be gentle and kind," a lyric from "I Know It's Over," on his right biceps.
In addition to his books, Gethard is an improvisational actor who works largely out of Manhattan's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He began taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 2000 while he was a student at Rutgers University. He is in the longform improvisation team The Stepfathers. He organizes a monthly show entitled "The Nights of Our Lives". He has also been part of the UCB Theater's national touring company. An early noted work was entitled Darryl, a one-man show where he portrayed troubled baseball player Darryl Strawberry.
Gethard also wrote the web series The Most Awkward Boy in the World which starred fellow Stepfathers member Zach Woods. Gethard was featured on Variety magazine's "Ten Comics to Watch in 2010" list.
Gethard has appeared in multiple CollegeHumor.com videos. He has also appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Hope and Faith, Comedy Central's Crossballs, and Catie Lazarus's "Employee of the Month" podcast.
In April 2010, he was tapped as the lead, alongside Horatio Sanz and Chris Parnell, in the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake. In May 2012, during the collegehumor allnighter, Gethard announced he would be opening a strawberry farm in upper New Jersey. Gethard released his first comedy album, "My Comedy Album", on April 22, 2014 on New Jersey's Don Giovanni Records.
Until 2018, Gethard hosted The Chris Gethard Show, a talkshow that aired on New York City public-access and was streamed around the world on Gethard's website. The show began as a live piece at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in 2009. Gethard then went to Los Angeles to pitch a network version of the show, but ended up return to New York City to produce it for public-access because he wanted to retain the chaotic, cheap feel of early MTV talk shows.
The show grew to consist of both stage and filmed performances. It developed a reputation for outrageous spectacle, often featuring awkward viewer calls, high-concept group segments and Gethard subjecting himself to abuse, including an episode where he hired a kickboxer to hit him if he failed to answer simple questions about his friends. As a child, Gethard admired comedians who seemed to be able to do whatever they wanted, such as Howard Stern, Andy Kaufman and David Letterman. This interest influenced the style of The Chris Gethard Show and Gethard's comedic persona.
In 2013, Gethard was propositioned by the Independent Film Channel to write a pilot based on his book, A Bad Idea I'm About to Do. In addition to writing his pilot, IFC gave Gethard a year to market for them at festivals and produce web content. Gethard walked from Los Angeles to Bonnaroo relying only on the good will of others to help him. He has a series of YouTube videos that document his trip. The videos include trips in vans and driving a firetruck.
Gethard is currently the host of the podcast "Beautiful/Anonymous" where he answers one anonymous phone call per episode and is never the first person to hang up.
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