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.