Since June 2011, “The Chris Gethard Show” has been broadcast live every Wednesday night on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a New York public access station that’s also home to such programming as “Atheists Book Club” and “Talkin’ XBox.” Gethard’s a gifted comedian, actor and writer whose most prominent role to date has been as the relative unknown cast in the lead role alongside Horatio Sanz and Chris Parnell in the short-lived Comedy Central sitcom “Big Lake.”
“The Chris Gethard Show,” which began as a performance at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, has grown into a cult hit, reaching beyond the borough of Manhattan via live stream. The show is an indescribable, interactive combination of talk, games, bits, surreal plots and calls from viewers who are sometimes invited on to become random cast members. In addition to musical guests, Gethard’s joined by an array of panelists, some of whom turn out to be famous, like SNL’s Aidy Bryant or Amy Poehler, and episodes manage to show both a great, odd sense of humor and a lot of heart.
On last night’s episode, Gethard promised some big news, and delivered. “I’ve talked about this on the show — that it might go away at some point if it doesn’t continue to evolve. And a professional opportunity has come up, and that means that things do have to change,” he told the anxious crowd and the cameras. “I’ve always said that if I get the opportunity to go to L.A. at some point, I might get tied up in a job where I don’t have the time to put into the show anymore, and that’s just been a reality that we’ve all known about. But fortunately that is not the case with this announcement, because the professional opportunity that’s come is not going to replace ‘The Chris Gethard Show.’ At long last, it’s going to be ‘The Chris Gethard Show,’ because in January, we are going to be filming a pilot for Comedy Central.”
On his Tumblr, Gethard added:
The way I feel right now is – Comedy Central is handing us the ball, putting us on the foul line and saying we get one shot. That’s more than most people get. The next few months come down to us figuring out how to train for this, how to master those shots, and how to make foul shots in our sleep. We’ll see if we can. No regrets either way. We’ve all taken this thing further than we thought we could. You aren’t supposed to be able to get a public access show on to “real” TV. We’re about to see if we can. And if we do, the fun really begins.
According to Deadline, Brillstein Entertainment Partners is co-producing the pilot, with Gethard and Zach Galifianakis executive producing alongside Funny Or Die’s Will Ferrell, Owen Burke, Adam McKay and Mike Farah. While last night’s episode isn’t up online yet, here’s last week’s: