According to a Deadline exclusive, powerhouse director and producer Judd Apatow has attached his name as co-producer on Chris Gethard‘s off-broadway show Career Suicide.
If you know me in real life, you might know that (thanks to some close friends of mine) I was tipped off to Chris Gethard’s variety show The Chris Gethard Show and became thoroughly addicted to it. Like many of the show’s die-hard fans, the show also found its way into my life at a peculiar time; I spent a lot of Thursday nights alone in a sweaty basement, drinking beer and watching the show’s live-to-tape streams on YouTube. I felt like I had stumbled upon an alternate-universe Nickelodeon show (as my podcast co-host Greg had so aptly described it,) where the weirdos prevailed and it was OK to admit that you were struggling. Around that time, I was coming to a realization that maybe I was, in fact, avoiding dealing with my own issues with anxiety and depression in favor of succumbing to bouts of alcohol and isolation in the aforementioned basement. Again, like a lot of people, this coincided with my discovery of Gethard’s work and ultimately, his comedy and television show helped me come to terms with a lot of things in my own life.
OK, so this fun little news article has gotten pretty out there, but I suppose I’m trying to articulate how excited this news has me. I’ll defer to a quote from Gethard as posted in the Deadline article:
“People have expressed to me that making comedy about depression is insensitive. I vehemently disagree. We need to start laughing about this stuff, so maybe we can finally be comfortable talking about it afterwards. I just try to make sure my jokes come from an honest place.”
I believe this to be, at the core, why Gethard’s comedy output – from his show, to his brilliant podcast – has touched so many individuals. Judd Apatow seems to agree:
“I think the show is hilarious but it is also about a topic that a lot of people are struggling with and are ashamed to talk about,” Apatow told Deadline in an email. “I had an instinct that what Chris is doing will have a big impact on people as well as entertain them. As soon as I saw it I asked Chris if I could help in any way.”
The stage show saw first light at the Upright Citizens Brigade, unsurprisingly, and has since been developed at a number of other locations – including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. According to a spokesperson, the show will dive “into [Gethard’s] experiences with mental illness, ethically questionable psychiatry and finding hope in weird places” – sounds about right. I especially enjoy the latter part of the description – I think we can all relate to finding hope in weird places; like, say, a weird internet variety television show.
Performances will begin October 4th at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in East Village, New York. Let’s hope it has a long and fruitful run ahead of itself.
Apatow is co-producing Career Suicide with Brian Stern of AGI Entertainment, Mike Lavoie and Mike Berkowitz. It will begin performances October 4th at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in the East Village and open October 13th. Kimberly Senior (Pulitzer prize winner Disgraced) is directing, with scenic design by Brendan Boston, lightning by Jen Schriever (Eclipsed) and Trevor Dewey and sound by Ryan Rumery (Fool For Love).