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I want our listeners to always think that this when the show starts, that we're both just standing near like a picket fence and you're like walking by and yeah, hey, roar.
And I'm like, hey, how are you doing? I was like a neighbor. Yeah, I got a pot of soup on. You want to come over later, you know?
Have you ever left the house with, like, soup going. No, I picture you on the wall. I mean, like, I got some stew heating up. I'd be like, what? Where are you?
What? My house is in flames. I leave all the candles lit when I leave the house.
It's just something I do. So when I come back, it smells great.
I, I hate to admit it. I left a candle on the other day.
OK, the fact that you use the phrase I left a candle on that right there lets me know this is not the first time.
I think it's because I'm so well I don't want to make excuses for it. It was totally irresponsible and also like.
But it happens. It's that you do it's not like you were like, oh yeah. Just leave the camp.
Yeah, I wasn't. I like I'm going to leave now, leave the candle on like I was saying, leave the cave the candle and. Yeah, leave the candle lit.
Have you started several fires in the area by leaving a candle on. We're taking you away. I would be terrified the moment I remember that there's a candle going. I am. I've often been places and thought, oh God, I've left the oven on and you can survive that.
And yet still I was like, oh God, growing up like my mom is super triple check the house like it takes her like close to thirty minutes to leave the house. She's never she's a normal. No it is drives me.
I just know that she listens so I defend her no matter what.
Know you told me she was you know. You see I told you I like Rory and so she has to unplug everything and check this.
Check that, check the door, check the toilet. Seats have to be downs. The dog doesn't jump in them. The dog can barely walk. So why would the dog jump in the toilet? I don't know. Yeah. And then I'm like, well, I'll leave the house with the candle lit.
Oh, my God. But I said a reminder so that I also wouldn't forget when I get home, I do this all the time. I set reminders like I wouldn't know when I came in the house that the candle is still lit. And I came in and to my horror, it was still lit. And that's the first time I'd ever done that.
What did you think it would be? Here's the thing and correct me if I'm wrong. Wouldn't the candle either still be lit?
And you're like, oh, you'd be like, thank God. Or Wind blew it out and then you're like, so great. Or, you know, the candle was still lit because the house is burned down.
I was I was pretty nervous to drive up my street. I was like, please, God, no, you've made it this far.
And covid I got home and was like, I need to become an adult.
My folks were talking to Chris Geth there today. I've known Chris for a super long time. I knew of him from doing improv. Yeah. And then he got more into storytelling, standup stuff. And I got to know him in that arena. And we talk a little bit about that today. But and if you haven't seen the Chris Gethard show, I highly recommend watching it. We talk a little bit about. Yes, that as well. His podcast, Ruthie's a huge fan.
I am. I have heard other podcasts, even though it's horrible for business for us, but we still do beautiful stories from anonymous people from New Jersey. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Chris Gethard.
Chris, thanks for coming on. We're sort of one of the cooler podcasts.
I mean, we revoted coolest podcast.
Do you have to start by telling everyone it's cool because it's dad's stuff and. Well, how are you? I'm always telling myself I'm still cool.
I've never told anyone. It's cool because we hadn't we were nominated. We were only nominated then. We hadn't officially won.
And I just didn't want to, like, ruin it if we said we're one of the coolest and then we end up not winning that category.
Do you feel you're as a comedian and a dad, do you now feel that there's judgment when you when you make a joke that, you know, is bad? Because now when you make a dad joke, knowing it's a dad joke, people think you don't know and you're a dad doing a dad joke, but really, you're a comic who's very well aware that you're doing a bad dad joke and that the joke is that you're doing the joke. Yes, that's my Regis Philbin.
That's my best. Regis Philbin. All right. Rest in peace. One of the great entertainers is my mom's favorite. Truly, I do enjoy dad jokes more than I used to. I think I feel the insecurity as a comedian because I've always I've never been like a setup punch line guy. I just talk about stuff in my life. So now I'm just talking a lot about Dad's stuff. And I moved to the suburbs too. So I added in lawn maintenance, I open with a lawn mower in China.
So I used to be like the underground king of public access guy.
And now I'm up here like telling jokes about, you know, how bad I felt when I accidentally tripped my son. And it's so I can feel my audience going like, wait, like you're a lot of my audience are like punk rock kids with pink hair.
And they're like, is this. So I feel insecure about that. I'm trying to crack the code on how to make that translate.
Does that make you feel some sense of like, coolness is fading?
If you're like, oh, I got these cool punk kids and here I am mowing the lawn, which I'm not going to lie where I'm coming from. I'm wildly jealous of the fact that there's some lawn maintenance.
Well, you'll love this. This morning I spent hours cleaning the gutters and then my whole life is defined by leaves now. My entire life is defined by leave. So is my home taking leaves. I've already raked and putting them in a wheelbarrow and bringing them out to the front. And then I'm sitting here thinking about my HBO special that was literally about me, you know, getting addicted to Adderall and trying to kill myself, like all this exciting stuff.
And I'm like, yeah, that people who like me, you know what? I used to go on public to public access and like, kick boxers beat the shit out of me and. Yeah, cleaning gutters in New Jersey.
It's it's a it's a massive change, so. Yeah, well, I'm not ashamed of it. It's more just trying to figure out how do I speak to these people that have supported me for years when they're all like five to ten years younger than me and they always have been.
But I've never phased out to an area. They will not enter it like talking to talking to twenty three year olds when you're thirty is a lot different than talking to a thirty one year old when you're forty. I feel like I've made. That's interesting. You know, I've made that shift.
I think you're on a very natural course to continue to sell tickets and have wild success because you're the first version of, of that product you're talking about was, like you said, getting addicted to drugs and contemplating suicide.
And now you've moved to the suburbs to work on your yard, which causes a lot of people to still contemplate suicide.
So I think you've just stepped to the next rung on the ladder of what is an activity that motivates depression. And I'm proud of you for that. Yeah.
And an existential existence where you feel like I only exist to scoop mulch out of a gutter.
That's my hands and pray I don't fall off this ladder and all my there must be something that feels good about.
There must be something where you're like, I am a man. And I don't mean to sound sexist here, but as a man, I when I do learn things, I do feel like I am doing a man thing specifically because of, you know, if my dad got out and raked leaves, I was like, man, get out there and take care of the yard.
It's just something that's like it's not in our DNA, I don't think. But I think society kind of made you go, oh, that's what men do. They take care of the lawn.
Yeah, there's a certain sense of accomplishment when I've gone up on the ladder. I climbed up on my roof yesterday to clean out a gutter, like on the actual good.
It felt kind of great to, like, get back down the stairs, die.
Yeah. That was your barometer for success was just making it back to the ground. Well I will I. Up there, and it was such an unnatural fit for me to be on a roof that one of my neighbors drove by a speech to a hall and rolled down the window and asked if I needed help. So that's what it looked like, that someone in a passing car moving pretty fast. I was concerned enough that they expressed it.
Yeah, 12 year olds on bikes were like Mr. Gothard.
They were probably doing what I did when I was 12, which was just waiting for the tragedy so they could laugh.
I'm so out of the loop on doing those those things that we're categorizing as, quote unquote manly men activities that yesterday I put a new screw in a chair that just required some somehow the screw into a chair.
My wife goes, look at you. And it was she was right and condescending at the same time. It was complimentary and kind of like, look at you're doing something.
And also like, why are you capable of doing this?
My wife had to talk to me about something truly humiliating on that front where I screwed up my lawn, I mowed it too short and I got crabgrass, which is this weed that just goes within like four days. My entire life was overrun, so I became obsessed with fixing it. I researched all these products. They got a whole chart of what day of the year you're supposed to put down, which fertilizer's when you're supposed to see all this stuff.
And I found it super gratifying, kind of super Zen.
And there were a couple of areas where I actually like to build up, like it was just dirt and rocks.
And I tilled it up and planted it with an axe in the front yard. And I wish if I could rent an ox, it would be it would good. First of all, moved so much quicker. And second of all, I would have felt so much better about it.
But I was using a hand tiller and then my neighbor behind me saw that the grass was growing in our right. And he was like, is there any way you'd like, help me figure out mine?
And I was so flattered. And then also as like a 40 year old man to have like, oh, maybe I have a new friend, like to make a friend at 40.
I said so.
And so I was giving him all this advice. And then I was like, oh, you should do this and that. And then I went over there and I had like a couple of hours where I wasn't working and he was and I just went into his yard and watered down a big patch of dirt and started tilling his lawn by hand. And my wife came and got me and was like, he just wanted to know, like what fertilizer to use.
He did not want to look out his window and see you physically, like, what the fuck am I trying to run around to the neighbors houses acting like.
Do you think he was in the kitchen, looked out and he was just like, ha ha. Yeah, well, he's really guy next door and she's like, no, I just planted all the herbs. Yeah.
This kid and his kids and his wife were watching from the window. Yeah. And I was out there sweating, baiting, whether they call the cops.
Oh yeah. Yeah it was, it was bad but I like you know, I liked it. It was felt very satisfying to reshape.
Honey, what did you say to him the other day? I just asked him about fertilizer. I don't know what he's doing.
Well, he's building a deck. He's building a deck.
Now he's he's out there like groundskeeper Willie with his shirt off. Yeah. Going ape shit on our lawn does that.
We we we were saying to him, there's something very interesting about your your relationship with your own father and that idea of toughness. I relate to that. The toughness that you get bred up being like you're a man. And when this is what it takes to be a man, I wonder if there's any of that. Inherent in like new house, new neighborhood, a yard to take care of, this is the toughness. This is the style of toughness.
Yeah, I mean, that extends beyond even the new house stuff, because my brother and I, more of my brother than me, got horrifically bullied.
And when I was a kid, I mean, I was like prepubescent late bloomer. And I'd fight anybody just because I was like, you know, I saw my brother. And then my dad would come back to my house and be like, why didn't you fight back? Here's a transformative that my dad would actually hate if I told the story. But yeah, my my brother got bullied by some kid, this kid in the neighborhood who is a real jerk.
And my dad came home and he said to my brother, like, why don't you fight back? Why don't you hit him back? And my brother was I don't know, how am I my dad? I was sitting on our steps. My dad goes, you pick up a rocket, you bash his skull.
My God, I was like seven. I was watching on the steps and I was like, got it.
Got it. Yeah. So I was kind of a fighter as a kid. Got it. So what what were you guys getting bullied over?
I mean, we were just like young nerdy kids whose last name spells the word words get hard, like it was kind of inescapable, you know, like we're the first kids with glasses like Brace. And again, I'll reiterate my last name phonetically. Spells get hard like my for my entire life is going. But it's always been.
I mean, Rory, you've known me for years. I never had a good hairline, you know, like I never said.
So, yeah, we just got picked on.
But yours has been so wildly consistent that I have thought that you have a good one. You have one that knows what it's doing and it knows this job. I have one that's like a enjoy us because you don't know what you're going to do.
I don't know what tomorrow looks like.
I'm with you every day. So you have a toughness.
The how stuff doesn't make me feel stuff. It makes me feel satisfied. What worries me is, you know, we moved to this neighborhood and there's other kids and I do sit here and go, eh, if my kid gets bullied, I'm going to be in panic mode and heartbroken and be am I going to flip out and start telling him to, you know, behaving like Michael Douglas's character and falling down, you know, because that's kind of how I was.
I love that. Yeah.
What do you tell somebody now? What do you tell your kids now?
Like, obviously just from knowing your work and like and admiring it, you're not going to tell them to pick up a rock and hit the other kid in the face, you know, or like. But how do I know?
I don't know. That was your first lesson and you ended up being in a pretty good spot.
That is the first one. How do you navigate that with like. Yeah.
Teaching your kids about what to do with a bully because there's always going to be a bully and now it's like mostly online. And, you know, I have a friends kid who's like being tormented on ticktock by other kids. What a sentence. You just it's like. Yeah, what is that?
What does that mean? I mean, I was bullied too, but that was because I had braces and acne and I was like a foot taller than everybody else.
Yeah, but the real life, all the real things, I can't imagine if it was because my savage dance sucked, you know, like Rory.
Do you think are you going to teach your kid how to throw a punch? Like, is that a thing we still have to do in twenty twenty?
Actually, there's something really great about you asking me this question, because when I first started getting into improv in DC and going up and doing like the the Del Close marathon and just being around the UCB scene quickly finding out who you were and other like, you know, notable improvisers at UCB. And somewhere in there is when I found out that you did jujitsu, it was maybe through our friend Scott Moran, but that was the first time it kind of got in my mind.
And then comedians like Ben Roy, other other comics who had nothing to do jujitsu, but hearing about you doing it so long ago got me interested in it. And so I started taking lessons, classes. I've obviously since stopped for the pandemic and because I'm weak.
But you're taking the blame everything on the pandemic.
I don't want to pretend that I know all about. So I had a friend that that took it as a kid. But what separates it from karate?
Jujitsu is like submission holds like jujitsu is basically it looks like a high school wrestling, except when you get down to the mat, you don't stop. You start trying to choke each other and break each other's limbs. And then there's all these things. And who knows how much of this is just promotional material. But they say like eighty percent of fights, if someone tries to grab you on a subway platform in the street, that you're going to hit the ground at some point.
So they say it's one of the best ones to know because then you're comfortable on the ground when most people aren't. Yeah, yeah. I've been training it off and on for 14 years and I'm still a blue belt, so that tells you how bad I am.
Sorry you understand the context you are. I, I can't even tell you how bad that makes me. That makes you bad. I have so far below that. Can I say one more thing on jujitsu that I think you are? First of all, I plan on teaching it to my son. My wife has already spoken. We moved to, you know, it's a nicer neighborhood than where I grew up. So there will be less bullying.
But my wife has heard me go on rants where I'm like, if any of these rich kids, if any of these rich kids touch my ass, they're going to like definitely some some rage that I'm kind of out of there.
But yeah. And she's like, you'll do what till they're yours. Yes, you're right over their landscaping.
Yeah. How did you and your wife meet? So she was in a punk band that I was a very big fan of and there was a crossover.
There were a bunch of punk kids who used to DCB stuff in the very early days, which made sense if you know, you scb back then. So she would come see show. So I was aware of her music. She was aware of my comedy, but she eventually when my TV show was, was up and running, she became the bandleader when we were in public access. So we to through that because there's a bunch of punk kids in the band and the guy who wrote all the songs got a job in Canada.
So they needed a singer who knew how to write songs. So we brought her in and now we're married. Oh, there she is.
She claims it's true. We did. When my show is at UCB, it was really insane. It was I look back and it was insane.
Even it's it's for me, it's always insane. And that's come matter where you have that show that's coming from me. So much anxiety, like, how is this going to happen? How is this going to end? I was unplugged literally. Every step of the way is what is happening. What is going to happen.
Well, I'm glad that's actually hugely flattering because first of all, you're one of the great experimenters in comedy and I mean that genuinely.
And to hear that my show seems unhinged to you and I've seen videos of you doing stand up in a moving elevator, like on my break, I believe that was one from years ago.
Yeah, but I feel like to me there's a few. I appreciate that. Thank you. But to me, like whenever I get in an elevator or do something like that, I'm always like, all right, there's only there's just me and this microphone. There's no moving parts except for me. I love it.
You're this just seeing so many people like that are just a part of the experience of going, here's a show and we we we have this thing, but we're going to see it. To me, it's like, oh, God, what if I'm also the idiot that sits there constantly going, but what if it doesn't happen?
Knowing something will always happen?
I also feel like I'm at my best when I'm in the midst of a public failure. And that doesn't mean I like it or seek it. I would try really hard with the show to succeed, but people liked it best when they were watching me just panic on live TV.
But I have to say I was shocked. I am shocked because it's like you and Reggie Watts and Joel Firestone and a small handful of people who I watch and go.
People say that I'm doing risky stuff, but I need to do even riskier stuff because those are like the artists. So I'm shocked to hear that my show would make you nervous because you make me nervous. Your act makes me nervous. Oh, this is our bond.
We make each other nervous and every one about you make me nervous. Why we can never do jujitsu together.
But so we did a win together show. Is it Yaqub. It was midnight on a Saturday once a month. And it was really. It was, it was looking back on it I like it was fucked up and we did a fundraiser for the March time.
It was that era though. We raised nine grand, we raised nine grand for the March of Dimes. So I can that's the caveat under which I can justify all this. But like, yeah, a comedian ate a hot dog out of another comedians, but like Guy drank, he took out my friend Don, waxed his asshole on stage.
All this thing in the course of one show like happening.
And you look back and you think that was bad? It was it's like I think it was good and exciting.
And like New York was really talking about that show and it really like, you know, it was it's the reason my career did anything. But now I'm forty and I'm a dad. I look back, I go, who was that person that was even thinking of that stuff? Like, I don't even know.
And I wound up people paid money. If people put five hundred dollars towards it, I would I would a host of the show naked and that quickly happened.
I didn't think that would happen quickly. Like within the first ten minutes of the show, I was naked on stage just covering my front side and my wife her. That is remarkable. Yeah.
Her and her buddies in the band had invited her and there were no seats. So she was sitting behind the drum kit with the drummer. And I apparently just turned around, made eye contact with her, realized it was the singer from the Unlovable as this band I loved. And I just went, Oh, great, it's you. And turned back.
And she says, that's the first time we ever actually spoke. They get on stage expressing shame that she was seeing me like that. Oh, hi.
I'm naked. I have a baby because, yeah, it was a good reason. It was.
It was Wild's. It was. What did your did your dad know you were doing shows like that? My parents relationships, are they are they open to that stuff or.
They they've talked to me a few times honestly. Like I think in general they're really supportive. And my dad was really scared when I was twenty and I was like, I'm going to go for it. I want to be a comedian. I want to be a comedian. And he's like, you need a job with like a 401k and health insurance and like security.
But then I think when. He realized that I was going to work as hard at my career as he worked at his. I think he took some comfort in that and now he has a huge kick out of it.
But there's definitely been a couple of times where my my mom, more than my dad, have sat me down and been like, hey, you got it.
Yeah. This is like reflective of some mental illness going on. You got a cool, you know, so a little bit, but not much. So they're just proud that I made it work and I'm psyched that they don't worry about me too much anymore.
And it's good probability that during that era of those UCB shows, I never saw yours, but because I lived out here in Los Angeles, but I would go here's where at the New York UCB. Right. But there were shows like that at the L.A. UCB that were similar. And I think, like, I am so thankful that there were not smartphones.
Oh, my God. That area, like, you know, like, oh, that that actually made me more nervous than anything Chris was saying.
He's done a lot of someone film because I watched very similar types of shows happen.
There were giddy and weird about one where someone had sex with a dead chicken on stage. I at night and I thought about that one.
Yeah, I heard about that.
And I was like, OK, watch it.
But yeah, I look, I can't get behind that, but I can get by behind the and I think this is what so many people behind this specific that I couldn't do that.
Why you did it. That's why you went from. That's what I told Chris to not name names. I was like, look, he's not one thing.
We don't talk about him. He's not you.
I have a question about your career that sort of comes from the world of, like, my my own dad. Like, I know that my dad, like, looked at my career and was like, oh, OK. Yeah, it's it's working.
But the lot of the stuff that I make jokes about it, a lot of the sketches I do are like, you know, my dad couldn't understand the Eric Andre show to save his life or what I'm doing on there, anything. I've contributed to it.
But there there is a part of me that wonders it for there's a communication to it that I wonder if it's generational or if it's just personality based.
But like even what you're doing, not so much in your your standup, because the way that you your storytelling is, I feel like you're your dad probably can go, oh, I understand this. I relate to this. I get this. But when you are doing, you know, maybe improv or sketches, but like, you know, the Chris Gethard Show. Yeah.
Is that where your dad is, like, who the fuck are you and where is this coming from and why are you willing to to do it?
And I wonder if that generation of parent I know I'm asking a big question here, but I wonder if that generation of parent looks at and goes, oh, there's something wrong with my child or.
Yeah, because I'm curious of your dad's interpretation of like, well, my son's in movies and TV shows, but then he's also a lunatic.
Yeah, it's definitely when we were on cable, he would come once a season, maybe twice a season, usually once a season and hang out for a taping. And my my mom never wanted to I think she would always say it was too late at night or, you know, she's always been nervous in New York City. I think she also didn't want to kind of be around that and and have these feelings that her son was doing stuff that actually seemed like it reflected insanity.
My dad my favorite moment was, I think the reason our show managed to survive, even though it was incomprehensible to most of America and had terrible ratings, was because we got really good guests.
And I mean, like we got Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, all these people. And I remember my dad was asking what guests we had coming up, and one of them was Wanda Sykes. And my dad lost his mind.
My mom was like, oh, my God, he loves Wanda Sykes. And Wanda Sykes is great. But I did not expect my dad to be like fanboy.
So he would yeah, he would come down and he would hang out and he would enjoy it. And he liked seeing the gears of it turn.
My mom definitely was, I think a little more I wouldn't say embarrassed, but she's the one who, like, sends emails like like when I had a thing on HBO, a whole email goes out to all the aunts and uncles, like, I don't think her emails were going out.
And she was like, guys, tonight Chris is going to check himself in a cage. And if he can't escape for the episodes over 100 tons of humanitarian aid, also, he'll be like the best holiday letter.
Like I like, you know, those holiday letters that families write and send in. Jordan went skiing this winter and then it's like Chris has a show.
He's locked himself in. OK, yes, Chris has a show. I won't tell you the title or channel our time it's on, but I'll just say he's OK. He's broken, so don't try.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Chris got stripped down to a loincloth and covered in fake blood and pushed through a 50 foot vagina to. Be reborn. He's fine, he's good, he's fine, he's doing fine. So, yeah, I feel like my dad my dad know if I would say he was into it, but he liked showing up and he liked seeing the pace of how a TV production works, especially like a live show where you get closer and closer and people are sprinting back and forth and you're having like these like, you know, that you have to throw out a piece of writing because the guest goes, actually, no, I'm not comfortable doing that.
And he likes seeing the writers kind of just like round up in a corner and start pitching new bits. And you thought it was cool.
And I think he he I think he also saw that I I brought a lot of my friends along, like I always insisted, like, no, it will be the showrunner from my public access days.
It'll be like 80 percent of the crew.
So I think he really liked seeing that it had this sort of like family vibe and that I was the one kind of champion that.
So I think he was proud of those sides of it, though. He was never, like I said, like, it's hard, I think, for a dad to be proud of the actual content of that show.
I think you make a good point. There is something to about a dad seeing his son be a successful conductor of the chaos. There is something to going, oh, my son is like he's the percussion. He's keeping this thing in time. And it's and and whether you think it's funny or absurd or gross or whatever, you still have to sit there and be like he gets it in.
He gets that they start and he gets it in under the clock and all the trains keep moving. And I feel I'm sure there's episodes where he's like, I don't know. But the episodes where he's got to be like, I get it. I get to connect.
I'll tell you, you just made me think of it. When my parents moved out in New Jersey, which I think we were already doing the public access show, we hadn't jumped to cable yet. You know, they hired movers. But then there was like one truckload of stuff. They moved four hours away. My dad's like, I don't want to hire movers for another day when I can just rent a U-Haul. Can you come help me? And for some reason, I've always liked moving and helping move people.
I like it. I like lifting the boxes. I like I have like actual fond memories of my dad asking me to help him get air conditioners out of windows and carry them up to the attic like he and I always connected in that way, just like let's just spend a couple of hours doing that. And yeah, we loaded up this truck and it was like this crazy day. I was in the middle of that summer when I was addicted to Adderall.
He didn't know that. And I had actually, like, stayed up with a girl the night before on a date, like, I'm not sitting here like look like enough.
Like we just hung out the whole night so I hadn't even slept. And then we fill this van. And then before we drove to upstate New York, he was like, let's get dinner. And he took me to the Charlie Brown Steakhouse. If you remember the Charlie Brown Steakhouse, I don't know. I don't. Yeah, yeah. I don't know if it was just in the Northeast, but it was a chain of Applebee's steakhouses. And we sit there and we were both really exhausted.
So we weren't talking much. And then he just goes, I mean, I still get a little emotional when I think about it. He goes, I want you to know that I'm really jealous of you. And I was like, what are you talking about? And he goes, Well, I think about my career and then I look at your career. And it occurred to me pretty recently that you've never one time. Done a thing for money, he's like, you've only done things you loved and he's like and I really admire that and I really wish that I had spent a few more years doing that.
And as you can imagine, I was just like, wow, like stimming.
And then I just said, well, that's amazing to me because I I've always been jealous of you. He's like, what do you mean? And I'm like, well, I'm like 33 and I've never felt like I have my shit together anymore. You were twenty seven years old. You had two kids and a mortgage. My mom got sick. You had to support her. And then I found out at one point that when my parents got married between the two of them, they had four hundred dollars in their bank accounts, like that's one of my parents were at when they started.
And then twenty seven. You got two kids.
Like I think about it now that I have a kid and I'm like, man, if my dad fell down and broke his leg, we would have probably like my brother and I probably would have been sent to live with separate relatives until they could have figured stuff out, like I don't know where we would have been living all together in, like, my grandparents basement.
I don't know.
So when he told me he was jealous of my career and I had the opportunity to tell him how impressed I was by him, that's actually probably one of the more meaningful conversations I've ever had in my life, let alone with my dad.
That's so honest. It's such an honest thing. You know, I don't hear often of parents who will actually admit something so honest like that.
And I, you know, yeah, they're so beautifully vulnerable, which is not my dad's style.
My dad was born in nineteen fifty three like he acts. He's a stoic dude. Yeah. I think if you ask anyone who ever met him to describe him, like if you, if you said you have to come up with 100 adjectives to describe this man, emotional would be the last would be the one 91 on everybody.
It even made the top 100 things people would say. I don't know that emotional or emotionally vulnerable would be on many people's lists.
So. Right. What did your dad do for his career? What was his work?
My dad, he worked his way up in the pharmaceutical industry, which is pretty big in New Jersey.
And I remember when he started out, when I was a kid, he worked at this place called Graver. He wore a blue. Sure he'd come home. He stunk like fish. We always used to make fun of them. And then by the end of his career, he was like, they would fly him around the world to make sure that these like industrial plants for like these billion dollar companies were up to FDA code with all these international laws and stuff.
So, like, he really I was really impressed by him, you know, really impressed by him. And I almost dropped out of college. And I think of the idea of stepping back. And I still have nightmares about being back in high school, being back in college. My dad got his PhD maybe two years before he retired, like he was never going to use it towards his career getting hired.
He just he just likes working hard and he likes science and he likes knowledge and all these things that I am the opposite of him in so many ways. So I think you like knowledge.
I like knowledge. You should hang out with me. Yeah. So that you can fully see how much you like.
I think I'm a pretty smart guy and I like facts and I like minutia. But like, I don't need to be in a classroom breaking down formulas ever, ever, ever. Yeah, I don't know. Never. Never again. Yeah.
You you made me think about something when you talked about that with your dad and how that's such a great moment to have.
I remember the first time I performed in front of my dad, I had a lot of sex jokes and a lot of stuff that was like going to be questionable to say in front of him because he hadn't really didn't know that I you know, he didn't really know that I talked about those things or joked about those things.
But those were the jokes.
And I remember before the show I just said, like, you know, just this is going to be R rated.
I just want you to trust me. It's working. And this is what people are into. And I people have asked me throughout my career if I change any of my act when I'm performing in front of family.
And I I've always felt like I've always said no. And it's always been because I feel like that space is kind of the only space I know of where I can show them who I really am. Like this is where I am.
This is actually how my brain functions. This is actually stuff.
I think it's funny, but if I said or did these things off stage, I would be labeled a lunatic and know that I have to store this away for off the microphone.
I'm largely silent at family gatherings. When I became a comedian, my family was shocked because a lot of people in my family are very funny. And when I'm the one who went for it, they were like, but I'm like, yeah, just exactly like you said. I'm like, if I set these things out loud. You all would be very concerned. So I'm just silent, largely due to I have this fears your nightmare. Here's your nightmare.
I think a lot of comedians like that.
So I was doing a show for a while back at the CBD where I prepared about 25 different stories. And the whole bit was people could just draw an index card from a box, pick the name of a story. And I launched into it. And we do three stories tonight. So encourages people to come back like a big challenge for me to memorize all this shit in each story had a black outline. And what we do is we hit the back.
And then the interstitial between the stories was I went and filmed my mom and I give her the bullet points of the story so it would cut to my mom going, like, I wish you wouldn't tell me about that, you know, and then or like, hurt me telling her, like, I did a thing where my friends, the one of the stories is about like I had these friends in L.A. who thought I was a virgin in my mid 20s, and they took me to Tijuana and I didn't know they were bringing me to a brothel.
And then I cut I cut back. It cuts to my mom at the end of story and it's her going, well, I don't need to hear about your visit in a whore house. And I don't like that you made me say the word whore like that was the show. I was into it.
And some executives from IFC came and saw it and they really were excited about it. And they organized a night where they brought back like the guy like the head guy at the time, the dude who could give things the thumbs up or thumbs down, organized it, especially for them, like Anthony King gave me a slot just for that. Right. And I'm trying to talk it out. And I go out and I do the show and it went well.
They didn't pick up the show. They didn't pick it up. That's OK.
But so at the end of the show, I go, you know, I want to thank the tech in the booth.
I want to thank you for having me. And of course, I have to thank my mom. And from the seats, I just hear you're welcome.
And I was like, oh, my God. And Mom, I'm here I go, Mom, are you here? And the whole crowd is like, oh, and I'm like, this is not a stunt, guys like I legitimate. I say, can you turn the lights up?
It's not just my mom, it's my mom, my dad, my aunt and Uncle Bob, my Uncle Wayne and my dad's best friend, Sam Vitorino and his wife, Rosemary Vitrano.
And I said, Yeah, and that everyone you've ever known, my God, everyone who helped raise me legitimately, you can say most of the people who helped raise me were there.
And I had told a story that night about a time where I thought I had herpes, like pretty graphic details about the sexual experience that got me there.
Very graphic details about visiting a free clinic in Queens where they put a Q tip of the shafter my dick, like I went, oh, yeah.
And then the lights come up and I'm making contact with Karen.
Oh, good God. That's a nightmare, Karen.
But she's not free because she's she totally like the whole show by the like, surprised at the end.
And I was basketball. I still weren't sold there.
They're like, what? His whole family comes along. We can't afford the right.
Are they all sag? Do we have to pay SAG rates for Uncle Wayne?
My wife and I just watched Class Action Park now, so I didn't know that you were going to appear in it, I didn't know that you'd be so prominent in it if people don't.
Oh, it's an incredible documentary about a water park in New Jersey in the 80s that just like I wanted to go there so badly after seeing it.
But then I was like, I'm glad I never went there as a kid.
I definitely would have broken my leg or died.
It was so fantastic, especially knowing and being like, oh, someone I know. I directly relate to the experience of going to this fucking insane part.
Yes, it was it was wild. It was really wild. And those filmmakers, they just knew like I had I had written an article for a magazine years ago about Action Park and talked about it on stage a couple of times.
And they they'd heard that. So they reached out.
I had no idea I was going to be like I felt I was watching it. I was like, oh, I'm like pretty major part of this. Yeah. I thought I was going to have, like, two lines in it. I'll tell you, like everyone in New Jersey watched.
So what's the point where I was walking my new neighborhood? It's like I live in a suburban neighborhood. And then once you leave this neighborhood, it starts to become like farms, like we're right on the edge of the country. Yeah. And I went on a walk one day clearing my head and a Porsche drove by and stopped and backed up. And then this guy was like, class action park dude. And I was like, like, just get out of here, man portioning.
Why don't you leave me alone, Porche, man, get in. All right. Class action.
I was like, all right, man. Yeah, that park was I'm glad that doesn't exist anymore. My son actually.
True that that's what I want to ask about, because when we were watching it, my wife and I, she goes, what if our daughter what if it was like, I'm going to go with my friends to the park because I feel like I'm a little bit of a helicopter parent, a little bit.
And I don't my wife was like, I don't know, because I get it. I get the need to let the bird fuck and just go. Either you can fly or you can't. But I was like, I don't know, because even watching a documentary about how dangerous it was excited me to see if I could survive.
Yeah. Think. But I was like, I don't know.
She has my DNA. She's going to have that same feeling. I mean, you went and did it.
You're one of your kids like dad, I'm heading out to the bar like shit. He's already a daredevil, too.
And my wife is like my wife is a professional aerialist like she. Does that mean you have to just makeup and you mentioned on this podcast.
Oh, it's it's a real thing. It's have you ever heard of the shows De La Guardia and Fuehrer's. Yeah, I've been to that. Like that. Yeah. Yeah.
My wife was in. Oh. So she was sort of like.
Yeah. Like experimental theater dance shows where people are unharnessed is swinging around in the sky and running up the walls and oh my God, really wild stuff. So she's fearless and my son takes after her. It's really cute but terrifying. Climb up on the coffee table and my wife will go over and she'll go one, two, three and he'll jump some.
I thought you're going to be like, one, two, three, get the fuck off.
That's when you catch him. Yeah. Yes, exactly. Like, no exaggeration. And then the cute, scary part is for some reason, one, two, three. He doesn't get that, but he's latched on to two. He understands that too is a thing.
So I've now learned that, like, if he climbs up on our kitchen table and just shouts the word two, that means he's about to leap here and he skips one.
He didn't give a fuck. Yeah.
To know he went right to two and shortchanged me on three. So he's eighteen months old. He just knows a handful of words.
Get up there too. And I'm like, oh god. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.
And I know I have to run over and catch him before he eats it. Eats it.
Or do you let him eat and be like now you know now you know. But I mean. He eats it pretty often and he doesn't cry, and it's other other parents in the neighborhood have pointed out there, like we've never heard your kid cry. I once watched him fall off a rock and hit his head on another rock and then get up and walk away.
I know these kids. He did not think he to going to ask him for money. That's going to be a fun thing to witness. Yes. He's kind of like a little rough.
He's kind of ironic because what you're describing is like a lot of toughness.
And so, like, I might not have to teach him a thing about it.
He's going to be like, Dad, it's like, come on, Dad, why are you using the ladder to get down from the roof? You jump.
Yeah, he really does take after his mom on that did she is in very good shape from doing the shows and all her friends are these like chiseled cut gymnasts and dancers and everything.
She's got a bunch of ex boyfriends who are like Argenton.
So they just they just ride on the horses with people. It's just on one leg. The reality is better than that.
Her ex boyfriend, he's an Argentinean guy who he's a rock climber. But when he lived in Argentina, he was a fucking burglar. He was a cat.
And and that's something you put on a resume. I thought you just would never tell anyone that I knew.
Maybe she thought maybe he divulged the secrets to her, but like, he used to, like, legitimately rappel up the sides of buildings in Buenos Aries and steal things. He seems like the coolest person ever is like seven 11.
Just when you said Argentina, he is he is hot and Andy steals.
I'm sitting here like, yeah, yeah, he's a thief, you thief. What's hotter than that? I'm off. You're cleaning gutters. Leave your wife Serialist.
Why is she not cleaning the gutters?
That's her like space up there to talk with her about that. It sounded really strange.
Wait, Chris, I wanted to ask you just I know we're going to wrap up, but having a tough dad and then your experience and now is he like that as a grandfather? And do you guys ever clash when, like, he's trying to help you parent your like parent your son at a family gathering or something?
Do you guys clash on that is wild. One of the first times he came over after Carl was born, I was in the other room with my mom. My son was in a swing and I came out. My dad was on his hands and knees on the floor in front of the swing, just making baby noises. And I swear, the first time I saw it, I turned back to my mom. I said, Where has this man been my whole life?
Who is this? This is very cliche. He's a grandpa now. He loves it.
It brings out his sweetest love.
I had I did have to take a deep breath and go, you know, some real feelings of like, where was this guy's times? But he was a great dad.
He was the best, don't get me wrong. And I remember once we were a couple months ago, my parents were over and we were joking and telling. There's just a truly insane thing that my dad once said to a bully in our neighborhood.
And my dad was like, I never did that. I don't remember. And my mom just said, Mingo's, you know, there's a lot of stuff you don't remember because you don't want her. Yeah. And I said, yeah, that's the way it.
But I love it. I love it. Know that might be the way to be. Yeah.
Yeah, it's pretty great. And whenever my phone rings on FaceTime it makes to like FaceTime beeps. Yeah. My son starts yelling pa he's just going pa pa pa because he knows it's going to be his pa.
Yeah. That's great. I love it and I don't have bitterness and it's really cute to see him behave that way.
Yeah. And, and hopefully I can kind of split the difference. Right. Not, not have to be as tough as he had to be and kind of land in the middle of who he is. Of my dad and Calce. Yeah, yeah, yeah. If I could split the difference that would be nice.
Well I bet not only do you split the difference, I bet you do a fantastic, amazing job. You seem like you would be a fun dad. Whether you're on the roof doing gutters or not.
Seems like you'd be a dad. I think any dad who who listens and just kind of gets it and knows how to communicate, which is, you know, you've built a career on that, I would say is probably going to be a great dad. So thanks for, uh, for being on the show today, man. What a good time.
Thank you both for thank you so much for having me. Ladies and gentlemen, that's it, Chris Gethard right there, lovely man, and what a beautiful, beautiful story about his dad and him at the the restaurant opening up. That was absolutely fantastic for you listeners out there. If you enjoyed Chris and even if you didn't enjoy them, give him another chance, you know what I mean?
Go try to keep up with him. Visit his website at Chris Gath dot com, his podcast, Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. He truly talks to anonymous people on the phone and records it. And the only rule is that he cannot hang up first and that excites the shit.
It's an incredible love. I love that so much. It's so, so good.
And you've definitely got to check out Chris's Internet comedy show on Twitch. He launched it during the pandemic and it's called Planet Scum Live, which sounds awesome. I love that title.
And folks, before we go, we just wanted to say that this episode concludes season one of Dad's Ruthe. And I'm going to be taking a break for a few months and we're going to be doing some some plotting into the new year. But we'll be back with some bonus content to tide you guys over for for a short period of time. But for now, we just want to say a special thanks to every amazing guest that we had this season.
And to you, all of the listeners out there, it has been a blast hearing these stories. And we're so glad that you guys are here for it. Yeah.
One hundred percent. We're so grateful to all of you who've been listening and who make up this community of dads and non dads.
I never knew I wanted to be a non dad so badly.
We've laughed. We cried. I think we even learned something about ourselves. Maybe.
No, no, we did. You did. And also a sincere thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It's been rad, Ruthie, and I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season. We wish you all the good things in the New Year.
Yeah, that's right. Peace out. Twenty, twenty and hello. Twenty, twenty one.
And that's a wrap for season one of Dad's dads. The podcast is produced by Gene Samples. Nick Leao and me, Ruthie Wyatt are executive producers are Joanne Solotaroff, Adam Sachs and Jeff Ross, engineering by Will Beckton and Onions Ashik. Our theme song is by Strange Hotels with additional music by John Danek and special thanks to Sean Doherty.
Again, as always, you guys can keep up with All Things Dads. The podcast on Instagram follow at Team Coco podcast and you'll be the first to know when we're back. Give us a review on Apple podcast. Or you know what? Tell a friend or even better, do both of those things. Thank you guys so much. And Happy New Year to all you Deadheads. This has been 18 cocoa production.