- Random ramblings
- Cultural dissections
- Awards season coverage
all come together to form a gigantic blob of nothingness and ZOMG!
Watch this... AGAIN!
A bit of background is necessary for this one, as it's my favourite in this burgeoning 'series' of blog posts and a bit of context goes a long way.
At the end of last month, in and around Thanksgiving, I went to the US for just over a week to visit some friends out there (one in New York who is from there originally, the other in Virginia who's doing an internship at NATO for 6 months). I'm lucky enough to have been to NYC a number of times, so have done most of the touristy things like the Empire State Building/Statue of Liberty etc. So I needed some things to do while my friend was at work: general exploration of the city could only get me so far! Then it hit me: why not try and be on one of those late-night talk shows that shoots in New York? I love TV (although I prefer my late-night talk shows to be more of the Graham Norton-vibe than the Jay Leno-vibe) and I
I went to the David Letterman studio but was told that he didn't record on that day (Wednesday), then went to the Jimmy Fallon studio and was told that there would be tickets available, but that he records his show at 4pm (at which point, I would have been seeing Twelfth Night on Broadway with Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry). Not to be disheartened, I tried the only other show I knew would definitely be on that night, and this was the result:
I started watching The Chris Gethard Show a few weeks ago based on a recommendation of The A.V. Club and it's honestly like nothing else on television at the moment. It began as a stage show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York in 2009. It quickly gained a cult following and a reputation for pulling off some bizarre stunts, including using Twitter to book Diddy as a guest. In 2011, it moved to public access television (as well as live-streaming across the web, allowing people like me to watch it) and became what it is today: the self-described "most bizarre and saddest talk show in New York City". Featuring a cast of fictional and non-fictional guests (such as Bananaman, Random Messenger Bag and The Guy Who Likes Cream, BUT NOT TOO MUCH CREAM), call-ins from people around the US (and sometimes world, which I'll get to below) and a can-do spirit of anything goes despite the severe limitations of the public access medium, TCGS is one of the most off-the-wall yet genuinely heartfelt shows around.
If you look closely (and have a vague idea of what I look like), you can sort of see me lurking around the background of the above clip looking alternately bemused, concerned and delighted (sometimes all at the same time). If you want audio, however, that came next week:
Around the 35 minute mark (after the first musical performance and video), I managed to get through and call-in to the show. Why I decided to do this is a bit of a mystery to even myself. It involved getting up at about 4am (the show is filmed and broadcast live at 11pm EST, which is 5 hours behind UK time) and calling an international number on my mobile phone (we don't have a landline in our house), and I ended up embarrassing myself live on air, but it was completely worth it. There's no feeling quite like being involved - no matter how tangentially - in a creative endeavour such as this, and while I'm probably not going to stay up and watch the live broadcast tonight, the fact that they're archived and put on YouTube here a few days afterwards means that my now regular dosage of insanity is shortly down the pipeline.
So, yeah, this is my call to get people to watch this show. If you like the look of the above, check out "Caller Critiques", where callers-in get their calls critiqued by a professional comedian; "Checkin' in with Alyssa", where the TCGS team collude to help a teenage girl meet her comedy idols; and "The Genuine Sadness Episode", which is exactly what it sounds like, but in a fun way! And then just pick some episodes and start watching. That's what I've been doing for the past month or so, and it's been great!
If you're in New York, you can watch live on MNN, if you're awake when the show is on, you can watch live by going here at 11pm EST. So yeah... consider this recommended! :D
Posted December 11th, 2013 at 4:09 PM by Kura