There is a lot of excitement on the British comedy scene this year regarding Chris Gethard, not least because he is due to be making his Edinburgh Festival debut. He is already a big name in the US, having hosted The Chris Gethard Show since 2011, as well as starring in Parks and Recreation and America’s The Office. Chris brings his show Career Suicide to the Fringe, where he proves there can be a funnier side to difficult topics such as alcoholism and depression.
To learn more about the man behind the show, I asked Chris these seven questions…
1) Does making your Edinburgh debut this year scare you?
Making my Edinburgh debut is actually terrifying. I have no idea what to expect, but one thing I have been told over and over again is that there is a lot of competition to get people in seats. I am a pretty shy and not aggressive person in real life and have no idea how to convince a Scottish person or tourist visiting Edinburgh how to come see me. So I’m hoping the strength of my show leads to the good old word of mouth and maybe that will help? I am so scared of having people mad at me and if I don’t sell enough seats a lot of people will be bummed with me. In America those of us who grew up Catholic refer to that as “Catholic guilt”. We just feel guilty about everything. This is getting rambly and religious and a little too revealing, I think? Short answer: yes, it scares me.
2) Are you very forgiving?
In general, yes! But on rare occasions, someone has crossed me wrongfully enough that I’ve held grudges for years. My longest running grudge is about 13 years old. But that is rare! Seriously, I swear most of the time I am extremely understanding and forgiving.
3) What are you sceptical about?
I try not to be too skeptical or too cynical in life. That being said, I know this makes me sound like a crackpot conspiracy lunatic, but if the American government someday reveals that they faked the moon landing to stay ahead of the Russians, I won’t be surprised in the least.
4) Are you good with directions?
When it comes to a director working with me on artistic stuff? Definitely. Real life? Not at all. I can’t cook, and generally when I clean my house it somehow winds up dirtier. Plus I once tried to hang some curtains and it was such a disaster that my wife’s mom made fun of me about it to my face.
5) How does performing comedy improve your life?
In all ways! It gives me confidence and a platform to feel less alone. It allows me to connect with other people out there who maybe feel a little put upon or down and out sometimes. Connecting with those people makes me feel like comedy’s allowing us to unite.
6) What is the best part of your week?
My wife is a musician with a schedule equally bonkers to mine. So any time we get to actually cook food at home then.
7) Would you like to see into your future?
No, thanks. The past has been such a train wreck that I rather enjoy the future remaining a pleasant surprise.