Podcast Review: Beautiful/Anonymous with Chris Gethard

I started watching The Chris Gethard Show in late 2013 when I was finishing up my Masters degree. After spending 8-9 hours studying in the library, I was too exhausted to study at home in the evening, so I would watch at least two episodes of TCGS a night. It was exactly what I needed in the evening. TCGS  is funny, but Chris was also open about his depression, and they weren’t afraid to have serious discussions. It was also a live call-in show, and the interaction between the cast and the audience, which is what made the show truly special. The show’s transition from Public Access to cable meant that the format was changed slightly as it was shortened to a half-hour instead of an hour. There weren’t as many calls, which was a shame, but the new season (which begins filming next week) has gone back to an hour-long show. Produced by Earwolf, Beautiful/Anonymous, or Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People reminds me of what TCGS was like on public access. Chris Gethard talks to someone for an hour about anything he wants. He’s not allowed to hang up until after an hour, but the caller can hang up at any time.

Beautiful/Anonymous premiered this week, and at the time I’m writing this, there have been two episodes. Because of the way iTunes works, I’ve listened to the second episode, and it was fantastic. I love hearing people’s stories, and the person Geth spoke to for the second episode was fascinating. He called to tell the story of how he managed to get a passport in less than a week, but they ended up having a 40 minute tangent about the caller’s religion. I’m not going to tell you what it is, because you should listen to it. Chris is a great listener, and his desire to know more about this particular religion came from a place of curiosity rather than anything else. I normally take some time to make my mind up about a podcast, but I was sold after one episode. It’s great. If you’re a fan of This American Life or Dear Hank & John, this is definitely worth a listen.

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Television Review: The Chris Gethard Show on Fusion

I cannot stress how socially uncomfortable things are about to get – Chris Gethard

There are a number of quotes I could have taken from the first episode of The Chris Gethard Show that aired on Fusion earlier this year; many of them would be appropriate, but the one at the top of this post is TCGS in a nutshell. The Chris Gethard Show is special, which is why it had a large online following before it even aired on cable television in the United States. Starting out at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in New York before moving to a Manhattan Public Access station, The Chris Gethard Show, or TCGS, is one of the few television shows I’ve seen that is truly unique. Host Chris Gethard is refreshingly open about his issues, especially living with depression and anxiety, that when I decided to watch the first two episodes of this version of TCGS on YouTube, I was immediately annoyed that I didn’t include it on my “list” of respectful pop culture depictions of mental illness. It’s a late night show, so it doesn’t quite fall into what I was thinking, but it should be there, because Gethard doesn’t just discuss his insecurities, he embraces them.

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