Last night, it was announced that Comedy Central has ordered a pilot of the long-running and much-beloved Chris Gethard Show. The pilot will be produced by Funny or Die, with executive producers Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, Owen Burke, and Adam McKay alongside Gethard. Gethard made the announcement on the latest episode of his show, a special edition which was devoted to big announcements. Wearing a homemade t-shirt with the slogan “Find a Way,” Gethard welcomed a parade of recurring cast members and characters, each of whom had their own major announcement to make, ultimately culminating in Gethard’s big news for TCGS.
The Chris Gethard Show began as a stage show in November 2009 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. For the last two and half years, it’s aired live on Wednesday nights on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a public access channel in New York. For the uninitiated, check out our primer on the show from back in 2011 and have a look at some of Gethard’s favorite moments from the first 100 episodes. Because we got the news a little early, I got the chance to talk to Gethard a couple days ago about moving the show onto a real set, potentially being the redheaded stepchild of Comedy Central’s late night, and why he thinks his show will surprise a lot of people.
How are you feeling?
We’re all obviously super thrilled about that. It feels pretty good. It feels like we pulled off something that we weren’t supposed to be able to pull off, or that maybe even we were feeling like the boat had passed us by. So I’m really psyched to see it happen and hopefully it goes well and we can bring this weird thing we’ve been doing to the next level.
Marc Maron, who debuted a book and a TV show this past spring while still maintaining his wildly popular podcast WTF with Marc Maron, has had a more productive year than most. Amazingly, he’s also found the time to tape a new special — called Thinky Pain — released today on Netflix. Thinky Pain, shot at the intimate Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, is Maron at his storytelling best: Perched atop a stool, he reminisces about performing with Bill Hicks, stresses about discovering Captain Beefheart years too late, and stages a riveting psychodrama in which he counsels “Fat Marc,” his Pee-Wee Little League self, through a humiliating ballgame.
I talked to Maron on the phone last week about his new special, the upcoming second season of Maron, and his hard-earned success. True to form, at the end of the interview, he asked, “Are we good?”
Happy belated birthday, by the way.
Thank you. That’s very nice of you.
How are you coping with turning 50?
The whole 50 thing, it doesn’t seem to be a bad thing. I don’t think I’m freaking out about it. I think some part of me thinks I’ve got to get things in order, but I don’t think I’m freaking out about it. Maybe I haven’t thought about it enough.
The Tonight Show typically isn’t the place where hip, young New York comics make their late-night TV debuts. They tend to go the Conan or Fallon route.
Credit Barry Rothbart for breaking the glass ceiling.
Things have been going pretty well for Rothbart ever since his first Tonight Show set two years ago. He co-directed a documentary, was recently named one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch, and has a role in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Rothbart at Just For Laughs in Montreal, where he was one of the festival’s stand-out performers. We talked about performing the day after 9/11, working with Martin Scorsese, and pissing off Major League Eating.
John Oliver has been killing it as the guest host of The Daily Show this summer. He’s tackled major intelligence scandals, game-changing legal decisions, and untimely power outages so perfectly that it’s hard to believe this isn’t his full time job (…yet). Undoubtedly, part of the reason he’s such a natural is his length of time with the show – he joined the cast of The Daily Show in July 2006, and the writing staff the following year. He’s now beloved in the US, hosting his own Comedy Central standup show, recurring on Community, and co-hosting the excellent satirical podcast The Bugle. But when he crossed the pond seven years ago, the British standup was almost unknown in the States.
In many ways, all of Oliver’s career seemed to be setting him up perfectly for a turn at The Daily Show. At a 2001 show at the Edinburgh Fringe, he played the part of an “oleaginous journalist,” a character he has since inhabited frequently as a Daily Show correspondent. Along with his Bugle co-host Andy Zaltzman and The Thick Of It’s Chris Addison, Oliver was often cited as part of the resurrection of political comedy in the UK in the early to mid 2000s. He and Zaltzman performed live as a double act, with elaborately-titled shows like 2004’s “Erm… It’s About The World… I Think You’d Better Sit Down”, and 2005’s “John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman Issue a List of Demands and Await Your Response with Interest,” titles not too far off from the classic run-on names for Daily Show segments.