>>Chris Gethard: My name’s Chris Gethard and these are my friends from the Chris Gethard show, which we’ll explain a little later. We’ll specifically explain this guy, making his way up to the stage, a little bit later, I just wanted to say first of all thank you for having us here today. I also wanted to say thank you for having us as part of the Authors at Google New York program, and apparently we’re very popular at your Ann Arbor office who is watching right now. Why? What’s? >>female #1: I am just cheering for Michigan. >>Chris Gethard: Oh, you went to Michigan, so you’re cheering the concept of Ann Arbor, not the fact that they’re–. We’re apparently streaming to their office right now, so whoever is responsible for all the enthusiasm coming out of the Midwest, thank you so much. I’m quite surprised by it, and I have no idea how it happens.
I think it’s sort of ludicrous that I’m here. I’m not note, I’m not a very impressive man, or notable person. It is my birthday today. It is my birthday so that feels good. Thank you. I turned thirty-two this morning, and if you told me that, um, when I was a kid that I would one day be talking to Google, I’d be very surprised. Because “a”, Google did not exist then. and also I am sort of a not that smart, semi-border line white trash Irish Catholic guy from New Jersey. So,it feels like a victory to be here. Just to explain, I’m a comedian, I’ve been working at a place called the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater here in New York for twelve years, and I’m the author of a book that came out this year, and I’m also the host of a public access TV show that gets, like it’s a buzzed about thing right? It’s sort of like a cult thing in the comedy world.
My book is called “A Bad Idea I’m About to Do”. And when I was thinking about things I could do here, I was thinking I could just come and sort of like read stuff from the book or whatever, but that didn’t seem that fun to me. I’d rather kind of merge the idea of the book, the title, “A Bad Idea I’m About to Do” with the vibe of the show we do, on public access TV It also streams on the Internet and we do podcasts and all that good stuff.
But I wanted to maybe talk today about, the premise of the book is about it kind of I continuously throughout my entire life have entered situations knowing that it’s not a smart way to behave and knowing that I’m about to do something that is definitely a bad idea, and then I opt to do it anyway. And that’s become a sort of defining quality in my life, and some of that’s rooted in clear cut mental and emotional issues, but some of that is just because I enjoy it. I think that bad ideas are some of the most productive ones and I would actually argue that everything I’ve done that anyone has ever enjoyed, someone told me it was a really bad idea first. So I wanted to talk about that and to kind of put my money where my mouth is I wanted to invite some people from the Chris Gethard show so this is my friend Shannon O’Neal >>Shannon O’Neill: Hello.
Hi! I want you all to know I let my sleep cycle style my hair. >>Chris: You did? So that’s bed head? >>Shannon: This is bed head. >>Chris: You have bed head. >>Shannon: I woke up at eight A.M. and I didn’t do anything about it. >>Chris: Okay, and also, and before we can get into any of that, my friend Bethany Hall is here. Thank you for being here Bethany. >>Bethany: Hi. >>Chris: And Bethany and Shannon, would you agree with that while everyone at Google is very nice, this office and environment is somewhat terrifying to people who don’t come here every day? >>Bethany: Absolutely. >>Shannon: Feels like my brain was stolen as soon as I walked in. >>Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Everyone, we were told six different times today that everyone we’ll meet today is a Type A personality, and I was too scared to say that I’m not sure what that means. >>Bethany: I keep feeling like I’m going to do something wrong and we’re secretly being monitored, so I’m like can I really take this water.
>>Chris: Yeah. We’re outwardly being monitored. >>Shannon: See, there are cameras recording this. >>Chris: There’s cameras outward monitoring >>Bethany: Wee, >>Chris: So, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to give a talk about this idea of bad ideas and why I think a lot of times they actually are very productive, to go through on bad ideas to follow your gut instinct even when you know something’s probably not productive. And to sort of is somehow make today a bad idea. What I’ve invited Shannon to do is Shannon has a number of tools and implements that are going to be a physically not pleasant for me to experience. She’s got a small whiffle ball bat that we often use on our show to hit each other, and she’s got a vuvuzela that can be very loud and in can be in my ear at any time. >>Shannon: >>Chris: you’ve got to play that like a trumpet. >>Shannon: I don’t know how to do it >>Chris: No no no.
Do you know how to do it? Like this, Do you know how to do that? >> Shannon: Do I have put my hand like this? >>Chris: We should have clearly practiced first.. >>Chris: Oh God, this is already horrible, horrible, >>Chris: Like that. >>Shannon: I just have to put my lips in make out form. >>Chris: Yes, yes like a trumpet. We’ve also got an, she’s got a device it also involved that will electrocute me which we don’t need to demonstrate before it’s done. But this is a small low level Taser. >> Shannon: You don’t want me to demonstrate it? >>Chris: Not right now. No no no no. We’ll get to it later please. >>Chris: So as you can see, what’s going to happen is I’m going to be giving my talk and Shannon’s going to be tormenting me the entire time.
That’s definitely a bad idea, but in the style that I know and my way that I think bad ideas are good ideas, what I hope is that it will make things more entertaining, and engaging, and watchable, to know that it is not just some guy rambling on for forty five minutes. It will also involve torture, and physical pain, and all the other stuff that I think is funny. >> Shannon: You have to look straight ahead. You keep looking towards me. >>Chris: I know. I’m so nervous. And Bethany has a conscience, that’s why Bethany was invited today. Bethany is a very sweet, nice person and my hope is she’ll calm Shannon down things go too far. Although, what are both of your opinions on that? >>Shannon: It’s not going to happen. >>Bethany: It won’t. I’ll try. >>Chris: Okay, Try your hardest Bethany to keep me safe when Shannon goes crazy.
And this odd gentlemen right here, is a character from our show known only as the Human Fish. Our understanding is that he’s a half man half fish creature who recently emerged from the sea I invited him primarily because it is hilarious to me that I’m explaining this at Google Headquarters. That’s hilarious that I just got to say this. So the human fish, he hasn’t completely mastered English yet, But he does have these internal battles where he figures out the world. Likely any given time, You can say “Human Fish, what on your mind?”, and he’ll tell you what he’s internally struggling with right now. So, he Human Fish what’s on your mind? >>Human Fish: Ann Arbor versus Anne Bancroft. >>Chris: Ann Arbor versus Anne Bancroft, who wins that battle? >>Human Fish: Anne Bancroft.
>>Chris: Anne Bancroft?!?! >>Shannon and Bethany in unison: Ohhhh! >>Chris: I want to apologize to everybody watching in Ann Arbor. Personally, I disagree, but the Human Fish is apparently a huge Anne Bancroft fan. Then you can also ask him specific things, like you could say, “Human Fish, Google vs. Facebook. Who wins?” >>Human Fish: Google. >> Chris: Google. Thank God you said that! Thank God you said that! Because it would’ve been very awkward if you gone in the other direction. So I do encourage everybody in here at any given point feel free to interrupt us, if you just want to know what’s on the Human Fish’s mind, he’ll tell you, or if you have a specific question. I don’t know if anyone wants to yell anything out but please feel free to interrupt literally at any given point.
It will be the most enjoyable portion of the afternoon, I believe. You can always ask, Human Fish, what’s on your mind now? >>Human Fish: Trampolines versus Lady and The Tramp. >>Chris: Trampolines versus Lady and The Tramp. This a tough one, those are both enjoyable things. who wins? >>Human Fish: Lady and The Tramp. >>Chris: Lady and the Tramp wins, okay. >>Shannon and Bethany, together: We have a question in the front row. >>female #2: Do you have to like, is it a versus thing, one versus the other? >>Chris: Primarily yeah.
But thank you for getting the– >>female #2: the rules of it. >>Chris:Yeah, getting the rules of it right. But you can–. I mean we can phrase pretty much. Did you have something specific? >>female #2: Well it was not a versus >>Chris: Okay, that’s fair. >>Shannon: Let’s try it though. >>Bethany: What is it? >>Chris: We can try it. >> female #2: I just want to know what he thought about sharks. >>Chris: sharks okay. So the way to do that would be to gauge it versus other animals. Like sharks versus dolphins who wins? >>Bethany: What if we just tell him sharks? And see what happens.
>>Chris: We don’t know what’ll happen but he probably has a lot of opinions on sharks ’cause they’re his natural enemy. He lives in the Hudson River. We found out recently that he is a fresh water being. He’s a freshwater not a salt water being. >>Shannon: Dirty fresh water being. >>Chris: Sharks versus dolphins? >>Human Fish: Dolphins. >>Chris: Shark vs. an octa- A sharks versus an octopus? >>Human Fish: an octopus. >>Chris: sharks versus a squid? >>Human Fish: a squid. >>Chris: sharks versus starfish? >>Bethany: A shark versus anything? >>Chris: anything a shark versus anything else. >>Human Fish: anything else. >>Chris: He doesn’t like sharks. That’s his feeling on sharks he doesn’t like them, but thank you very much for your contributions to this very important talk. Um so dumb, right? So dumb.
Okay, so like I wanted to talk about, let me just explain a little bit about my book because I feel like that is why I was asked to be here, and I should just explain some of the things that I’ve done in my life that led to me writing a book. So, some of the stories, there’s one where a guy in college, when I was in college, this guy from, I went to Rutgers University, OW! That was horrible, that was really horrible. So this guy, I went to Rutgers University, the state school of New Jersey, that’s who I am, and this kid who went to Princeton who I didn’t know, managed to sort of quasi-hack, hack into my computer, and cut of my access to AOL’s Instant Messenger program, and my response was to drive to Princeton, break into his dorm room, and threaten to fight him. In his dorm room, I broke into his house.
Said at one point, “I am in your house, and there is nothing you can do about it.” And he started crying. That’s something I did in 1998. I also, in 1998, signed up for one night to be a manager in a pro wrestling league. When I was in high school, I volunteered to go on the Scared Straight Program. I was the only volunteer. It didn’t go well, it wasn’t pleasant. I thought it would be funny, it wasn’t funny at all. There’s a story in there how when I was in college, I signed up for a class on animal husbandry where I had to raise a goat for an entire semester. At the end, I competed in a goat show, a competitive goat show. That also didn’t go well. There’s a story in there about how I decided one time, instead of fixing my diet, what I would do is get a colonic. That one went about as you think it would go. There’s other ones in there.
There’s, I signed, I once entered a jujitsu tournament. Me! That’s ludicrous. You guys have known me for five minutes, that’s so stupid, right? It was stupid, again, didn’t end well. The stories in the book, that’s just a small sampling. A lot of things in there where all of those, I knew they were bad ideas. I knew they weren’t going to end well, and they didn’t end well, but they did lead to this book. And like I said, every, pretty much everything that I’m proud of, is something someone told me was a bad idea. All the stories I have, and all the other things that have happened in my life, and I hope that by sort of talking about that, “a” I can kind of make sense of it for myself and also maybe put out the idea, into the world, that bad ideas, if your gut tells you to do them, do them. And hopefully it will also help me validate my own poor life decisions.
So, for example, this book that I’m talking about, that exists, that I’m very proud of, that’s been met with pretty much positive reviews, there’s been a couple bad reviews and a couple, you know, we’re all Internet people here, you’re never gonna get all positive Internet commentary, right? I never do. I once had someone say on the Internet, not about my book, about a video I posted ” you should advertise your need for parental love on that billboard of a forehead.” That was once something that was typed about me. We did a show in North Carolina a few months ago, and someone after the show went on Twitter and at Chris Gethard said, ” Chris Gethard is heroically ugly, like Abraham Lincoln. He is so ugly it takes bravery for him to continue living.” So that’s the Internet. So that’s how the Internet responds to me.
But by and large, people have liked the book. They think it’s funny, they think it’s engaging. A lot of people seem to identify with it. I talk pretty openly about how I struggle with depression, For a lot, you know, probably not gonna try and go fight an innocent Princeton kid unless you’ve got some issues, and people say they can identify with it. And that’s nice, but even that, the book, when I first decided to do a book, I had a manager because I was doing comedy for a long time, and my manager came to be my manager because he liked the web series that I made and posted on YouTube, which you guys are all familiar with, because you own it, and that’s crazy. That’s crazy. When Kate, who organized this, said you have to sign these things for our YouTube channel, which we own, I was amazed to realize you don’t own your YouTube channel that you post these on, you own YouTube. That’s crazy. That’s really crazy. I put videos up that get eight hundred hits on YouTube.
You guys own it, that’s nuts, why am I up on the stage? You should be filling me in on what I can do. Anyway, I had this manager and he liked this web series that that we did and we sold it, we sold it to this company, and he gave them the rights, and then he said we should keep doing that, that we could build stuff on that. He said we’ll get agents out of that, and I be able to talk to all the agents, and I said I want talk to the agencies that have a book department because I’d really love to write a book.
I have this idea for a book. He put it off, and and put it off, and then eventually, I kept bringing it up. I said “I don’t know how long we wanna make this web series for. It’s getting kind of old and kind of stale, and I’d really love to talk to somebody who can help me write the book.” And he said, and I quote, “Chris, no one wants to read your dumb stories.” And he explained to me why was such a bad idea for me to not continue this web series and instead focus on a book.
So I fired him in 2006, and now, six years later, I have a book that people like, and that’s something that I like to sort of talk about, and brag about. Here’s another thing. Here are some of the things we’ve done together. Human Fish, what on your mind right now, before we continue? >>Human Fish: Shelley Duvall versus Mr. Peanut. >>Chris: What did they even have to do with each other? >>Human Fish: Shells. >>Bethany: Oh! >> Chris: Mr. Peanut has a shell, so Mr. Peanut versus Shelley Duvall. Who wins? >> Human Fish: Shelley Duvall. >> Chris: That’s good, that’s really good. So something that we all accomplished together with our show, in a, right before Christmas in 2009, I decided that what we needed to do to get our show more attention was book a celebrity on our show. We were doing our show at the UCB Theater at this time, which is really small, if you’ve ever been there.
I decided why don’t we aim big, why don’t we go for someone completely unattainable. So I went on Twitter, and I asked Sean “Diddy” Combs if he would appear on our show. Which is ludicrous. A guy like me should not be hanging out with “Diddy” Combs. It doesn’t make any sense, it’s Puff Daddy, he produced “Ready to Die.” He and I have literally nothing in common, there is nothing that Diddy and I have to talk about with each other. I can’t imagine there’s anything about my life >>Bethany: Shannon! Shannon! >>Chris: Oh God, Oh God, what is it? Okay. That wasn’t hard, you held back on hitting me there. >>Shannon: Yeah. >>Chris: Okay, because Bethany got in your way. >>Shannon: I stood up and she– >>Chris: So like I said, what does Diddy have to talk to me about? Nothing, but I asked him, and I kept asking him. And for six days, I kept asking him and other people on Twitter saw what I was doing and thought it was funny, and, um, helped us ask him.
And then, for some reason, on New Year’s Eve, the leading into 2010, Diddy said “Who is Chris Get Hard?” because that’s what my name spells out phonetically, that’s the word Gethard is phonetically that. And all these people are like he’s trying to get you on his show and then minutes later I got a phone call that came up as unknown number and a guy said, “Mr. Combs would like to speak to you.” And then I picked up the phone and, um, Diddy was on the other end and he was like “What’s up?” and I was like “Not much “Diddy, what’s up with you?” And he was like, “so what’s your show all about?” And I explained it to him, and he was like “Yes,it sounds cool.
It sounds really positive. I’d love to do it.” And then I was freaking out, and I was like,”That’s really amazing.” And then at one point, when I was hanging up, I said, “Thank you so much. People aren’t going to really believe this is happening. I think this will be like a really positive, cool thing for people to see. I think it’s going to do a lot, thank you. I can’t believe you would do it.” And he paused and said, ”Ask and ye shall receive” And then hung up on me.
He hung up on me. And it was amazing, it was pretty incredible to realize that a human being feels like he’s allowed to behave that way and can pull it off. That was really a pretty great moment, and then eleven months later or was it fourteen months later? Fourteen months later he did our show. It took him fourteen months to find a date that worked. >>Shannon: It was a year. >>Chris: It was a year? >>Shannon: It was January to January. >>Bethany: It was January. >>Chris: Oh yeah, it was January 14th, 2011. It took him a year to find a day he had open, that’s how busy he was, and it was a pretty fun night. It was a pretty fun night. Again, not the smartest idea, not a great idea but an idea that paid off pretty well.
Oh what’s going to happen behind me right now? I don’t know, I don’t know. Another thing I wanted to talk about on this topic of bad ideas was that a lot of times the things that people have told me, that things people have told me are good ideas wind up not being worth anything at all. And what I have found continuously is that when I follow my gut instincts t they lead me to good places like hanging out with Diddy for one night. And begging him on stage to invite me to the White Party, which he refused to do on stage in front of hundreds of people. That’s a bad idea that turned into something I’m very proud of, that we accomplished. But I also wanted to talk about the fact that I’ve had people tell me certain things are good ideas, that didn’t turn out to be enjoyable experiences. Like for an example, I was briefly the star of a sitcom on Comedy Central, and it was supposed to be my >>Chris: Oh God >>Shannon: Bethany, I will wrestle you down! >>Chris:Oh Bethany, you’re asking for it.
You can let her do it, just when it gets too far, you don’t have to stop it. >>Bethany: Okay. >>Chris: That was never the point. Let it happen, Bethany. You’ll know in your heart when >>Bethany: You’re trying to talk to these people >>Chris: Human Fish, why did you blow that? What’s on your mind right now? >>Human Fish: Walt Whitman versus Walt Disney. >>Chris: Walt Whitman, the poet, the bard, versus Walt Disney, the animator and also Nazi sympathizer, who wins? >>Human Fish: Walt Whitman. >>Chris: Walt Whitman, that’s good. That’s good. You understand that Walt Disney had a dark side. Good, you figured that out about the world. So, I did this show on Comedy Central, and everybody said it was going to be my big break. It was produced by Will Ferrell, and that was cool. And then, uh, it didn’t turn out well, to say the least, it didn’t go anywhere, and it was kind of a public flop, and that was hard, and everybody, it was very funny to see how everyone behaves when they’re about to make some money off of you, in a sense that I would get, for example, knocks on my dressing room door and I would open the door, and this happened three different times that I would open the door, and the guy would be like ” Chris, man, how’s it going?” and I’d be like “Pretty good.” And he’d be like “What’s new? Is there anything you need me to take care of?” And I’d be like, ” I don’t really know what you mean by that because I’ve literally never met you in my entire life.
I have no idea who you are or why you’re behaving this way.” And he’d be like, “I’m one of your agents.” I was like “Really?” And he was like, “Yeah, I work at your agency. I’m one of your agents.” Then I’d be like, “Then how come you’ve never ever called me on the phone even one time, and I’ve, this is the first time I’m hearing your name?” And they were all so nice when they thought they were gonna make money, and then the show failed and not one of those three guys has ever spoken to me ever again. And the reason I bring that up. AHHHHH! That was really loud and also physically painful. Okay. >>Shannon: You have to fight pain with pain. >>Chris: So my emotional pain that I was bringing up you wanted to dissuade it with physical pain.
Thank you, Shannon for doing that. I’m really glad to hear you laughing and having fun right behind me. Oh God. >>Bethany: I’m having a great time. >>Chris: You are? You’re enjoying that? Good. So after I did that show, every one told me that the good idea I could do was to move to Los Angeles, and go and try to get more sitcom work. And that sounded like something that was probably smart, and probably like something I could do, I’d just been a lead on a sitcom.
In my heart, what I realized was that the experience of being a sitcom wasn’t pleasant and I shouldn’t do it, and even though there’s more work for comedians in L.A., it wasn’t really interesting work to me and I’d rather stay here and be poor, and work with these guys and let them hit me on stage. And sit shirtless on stage while they debate Mr. Peanut versus Shelley Duvall. And that lead us to the Chris Gethard show, which I think is the worst idea I’ve ever had. The worst idea I’ve ever had. Would you agree with that Bethany? >>Bethany: If it’s the worst idea? >>Chris: There are many aspects of it that are by far worst idea >>Bethany: Yea, um, I, I, I think it didn’t make a whole lot of sense when we started. >>Chris: Yeah, especially when we did it on public access. >>Bethany: Yeah. >>Chris: It was horrible. >>Bethany: It was really terrible. >>Chris: It was really terrible, and horrible and an unwatchable show. And I have to think, I don’t know exactly how to research this, but I have to think that I’m the first person in the history of television to go from starring in a sitcom to hosting a public access TV show, within one year’s time.
That’s a really bad sign of your career trajectory, right? To go from starring in a sitcom produced by Will Ferrell, to hosting a show on a dying, antiquated form of media? That’s probably not a good sign. But I felt like it was worth doing and we do a lot of fun stuff with the show. Just last week we had eight different people make cardboard robot suits, and fist fight each other on the air. And we’ve had a kick boxer come on and beat me up. We had a show called “ruin this show” where we said literally anyone who wants to can show up and do what they can to ruin the show, while the show was on.
It’s a live show, we don’t edit it. They can come on our live broadcast and ruin the show, and, man, did they. If it was not watchable. We thought that would be a really fun charming thing, it was not at all. It was really horrible. And we had gotten a huge break, I had appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show the night before and promoted it and said, “Everybody watch this show, ruin the show.” And was it, it was really heartbreaking to see, on our live stream, the numbers shot up real big because of Fallon, and as the show was progressively more ruined, you could just watch viewers leaving. Just you could see the numbers getting down to, by the end, there was about one-tenth of the people watching as were watching at the beginning. And that was heartbreaking, but I was glad we went for it. We did a show recently where a man, there’s a guy in Sweden who watches our show. He’s a real good guy named Skellen.
And it’s pretty cool to get calls on a public access show in Manhattan from Sweden, and Australia, and Wales, and also from so many depressed teenagers. It’s pretty, it is fun. It is fun to just get a call from a guy who’s like “Hi, it’s me from Kentucky.” And I’m like “What do you want to talk about tonight?” And he’s like “I’m just sorta sad and watching your show.” And I’m like, “Cool, I’m glad you felt like you could reach out.” But this guy named Skellen sent us a tin of fermented herring, and he claimed, he said this, this substance is the most putrid smelling substance on planet earth, and I don’t think you guys have the guts to open it in your studio.
And I said frankly, there’s no way I’m going to let a Swedish man challenge American grit and know how, not that I have anything against Sweden, but I would like to think that America has a reputation at least for being tougher than Sweden right? George Bush was our President a few years ago, so what happened was we opened the can, and he was right and I was wrong. It was really bad. It was really, truly horrible. There’s no way, it smelled largely as if you stuffed a bunch of cigarette butts inside a dead cat’s carcass, is what I would describe the smell as. Human Fish, you didn’t like that smell, right? It wasn’t good and I saw a member of our studio audience honestly crawl out of the studio and I was told at least one person vomited outside.
>>Shannon: Can I ask Human Fish a question? >>Chris: You can ask Human Fish a question. >>Shannon: Sharks verses, what is it, fermented? >>Chris: Oh, verses Surströmming? >>Human Fish: Sharks. >>Shannon: Oh. >>Chris: You like sharks better than Surströmming? I wonder if you knew, Human Fish, sharks versus regular herring? >>Human Fish: Regular herring. >>Chris: So it’s only when you ferment herring that you don’t like them. Okay, fair, thank you, Human Fish, for your contribution. So again, I feel like, opening that can of fish, was a really horrible idea, and led to a bad stretch of our life, but hopefully it led to watchable comedy, and fun television.
And, um, the other thing that I’ve realized, that I wonder, I would even love to pick your guys’ brains about this afterwards, is everyone keeps telling us that, um, no one’s going to put our show on TV, on like real TV, and the sort of area where they’ve kind of got us on that is that the TV networks have all the decision making ability, and all the money, but where we’ve got them is we legitimately don’t care ’cause we’re doing something really fun, and really interesting.
And one of the things that I think I would love to know from your guys’ perspective is, are you guys, and some of the big Internet companies, planning on murdering network TV? Because it seems like something that could happen, seems like TV and the Internet could just happen there, and as someone in the entertainment business who’s sort of struggled to do his own thing, and have any sense of integrity, I would love it if you did. I would just LOVE if all of you guys got together, you and the other big one or two companies, and just murdered it.
Just killed it. Just say, why doesn’t, why don’t we just make the technology so the sound and the picture, which you’re getting there, is good enough that people can just download what they want to watch and maybe pay a tiny sum for it, and not be barraged with advertisers, and then have it dictated to them by companies. This is being recorded, and these companies could potentially see me say this, companies that don’t know what they’re talking about, and make really , uncreative, uninspiring decisions all the time. Which is a hard truth. But I would beg you, Google, if there’s anything that gets across please, I hope your YouTube one hundred channels initiative turns into the new cable, and just crushes them, and gives people like us, and a lot of the other creative people in New York in particular, who don’t want to go to L.A. because that’s where you have to go to make it happen, a chance to make even a somewhat decent living via the creative output we want >>Chris: Oh God, you’re the worst human being I know! You are literally the worst human being I know, but I asked you to do that, so that’s okay.
>>Shannon: I am your puppet. >>Chris: You are, um, that’s not true. That’s not true. >>Shannon: I know. >>Chris: But I would ask you very legitimately if that’s in the cards, because it will keep people like me going in creating our own content, on our terms, in the way that we want. >>male #1: If we do, it will have advertising. >>Chris: It will have advertising. Thank you for being honest about it. But it’ll at least be, like, you can click “skip this ad.” It at least it comes up on the bottom, right? At least you don’t have to, right? At least you guys are doing it in a way that no one’s going to eventually create a device so you can fast forward through it, right? At least you’re doing it in a way that is somewhat kind to the consumer, I would like to think.
But it’s really, I think, so exciting to see things like podcasting take over in the comedy world. There’s so many podcasts where people are managing to make their living doing stuff that they really believe in, and it’s because of people like you creating devices that make that palatable, and make that doable and the technology to create those things at a quality level if you want to put in harder work than you would have to if it was on a radio station or a television network someday, hopefully, is really inspiring. So thank you guys for doing it, legitimately. I feel like you guys probably hear a lot of jokes about being a scary corporation, and we had those at the beginning, but also things like YouTube and things like tablet devices give people like us hope that we should keep going. And I want to say, as far as being in Google, Google New York, and sorry Ann Arbor that I’m about to say the good things about New York.
I don’t really know how it works being here versus being in your California offices, but being an entertainer in New York means that you’re constantly told, “You’re not gonna make it. You’re not going to make your living off of this.” There’s less people who want to read your writing, there’s less auditions to go on. But what I would say is that New York is still a place where you’re challenged the most, where there’s so many people we’ve met through our show. One of the things that I think we all love about our show is that it started out with a bunch of comedians, but the other people we’ve met are film makers, and musicians who do the weirdest stuff, and there’s no place for them.
There’s bands on our show who are so creative and so cool, and you can dance to their music, and they wear masks, and like there’s one band, Bad Credit No Credit, who’s so awesome but they have a trombone and a saxophone as their main two instruments, and they’re never gonna get a record contract because no one is going to make money off a trombone and a saxophone. But, man, would it be nice if they could. And, man, is it nice that New York is just sort of full and brimming and teeming of people like that. And I’m glad that our show has become a place where they can come and hang out and do their thing and I’m glad that our show is a place where we’ve manage to promote it in some cool places that made people actually see them. So, I’m sort of rambling and up on a soapbox, and not saying anything revolutionary to you guys, but I hopefully wanted to explain some of the stuff that I do, some of the stuff that we do, some of the stuff that led to the book that got me here and to being in existence.
And to some of the stuff that we do on the Internet, and maybe let you guys know a little about the perspective of someone who’s creating and really struggling and really opting in to struggle because he believes in doing it in his own way, and on the Internet. And, uh, I do, I live in a two bedroom apartment in Queens, and I don’t have a closet in my room. Like that’s how I have to live as a thirty two year old man if I want to do this. And there is the temptation to just go out there and just try to make money, but it’s not an inspiring thought to go out there and act on another show that no one’s going to like. And then even, you see, like, I worked ten years to get that show, our friends, we have two, we have a couple friends all of us who just work ten, fifteen years to get a show on NBC, and they worked so hard, and the show was so good, and it was so funny, and heartfelt and smart, and it was great, and that’s not just because they’re friends of mine, and then it got put up against Survivor and they pulled it after four episodes, and there’s just really no point in working that system.
There’s no point to working that system, and to me, all the people who ever really inspired me are people who gamed the system, who twisted it around like Howard Stern took radio and did something totally different with it and was constantly told “What you’re doing is wrong, and it needs to stop,” he just did it anyways. David Letterman, in his early days, just did stuff that was really so weird, and he kept doing it. And Andy Kauffman, and Jackass, and then things that aren’t even in the world of comedy, like punk rock. Eventually it got to a point where people didn’t need to get real record contracts, they made their livings. It’s an inspiring thing. And then even in the world of the Internet, I’m just sort of a sup, I’m a nerdy guy who just wants to read and consume information and I read about things like the phone freaks back in the day and how that was a bunch of blind kids playing with the phones, and then they started doing stuff cool enough that other people started to notice, and then those people started making computers, and now, here we are, at an office that, literally, reminds me of the Death Star.
>>Shannon: We have a question in the front row. >>Chris: Oh yes! Please >>female #3:Human Fish, Punk rock >>Chris: Punk rock >>female #3: or pet rock >>Chris: Or pet rock? That’s a great question, Human Fish. >>Human Fish: Pet rock. >>Chris: Pet rock beats punk rock?!? An outdated gimmicky toy from the, you really believe, NO this is a punk rock thing >>Human Fish: Pet rock. >>Chris: I think you have mixed up what a pet rock and punk rock are >>Human Fish: Pet rock. >>Chris: Oh, he is a pet, is that >>Human Fish: Pet rock. >>Shannon: I think he’s thinking rock, yeah, rock and roll for pets. >>Chris: Oh, rock and roll for pets? >>Human Fish: Pet rock! >>Shannon: So he’s into rock and roll for pets. >> Chris: You’re into rock and roll for pets. >>Shannon: He probably doesn’t understand the concept of a rock that is a pet.
>>Chris: Okay, so let’s put it this way. Short, maybe three minute songs traditionally filled with maybe an angry vibe done on independent music labels versus a stone that you pay eight dollars for and claim it’s a toy. >>Human Fish: Pet Rock!! >>Chris: Okay, how can we rephrase this? The Ramones and The Clash versus something you would find in your garden. >>Human Fish: Pet Rock!! >>Chris: Okay, okay, Human Fish, I think we just have to move on. I think we just have to move on. So, I just wanted to put that stuff out there, say thank you for having me and hopefully my book is funny and hopefully my show is funny but also to sorta be Oh my God, what is that? Which one is that? What are you doing? What are you doing? If you’re going to do it, just get it over with. If you’re going to do it just get it over with >>Shannon: Lower >>Chris: It’s not working >>Chris: Ahh, that was my >>Human Fish: Pet rock!! >>Chris:Ah ha ha, you aimed for the kidneys >>Shannon: Yep.
I wanna make sure they’re working. >>Chris: What is that? >>Shannon: You’re thirty-two, you gotta check your kidneys. >>Chris: You’re not doing me a service by any means. Bethany, you did nothing to stop her, you have to find the middle ground where you’re too protective and not protective at all. >>Bethany:Well, now I’m just sitting here, like, cringing, and trying to let it happen. >>Chris:Cringing at what? The violence or the quality of this presentation? >>Bethany: Mostly, mostly allowing violence to happen and trying to act comfortable about it. >>Chris: Yeah, that’s fair. I would say that’s a fair gauge of where we’re all at. Right, Human Fish? >>Human Fish: Pet Rock!! >>Chris: So, I’ve been rambling long enough, it just felt important to me on some sort of level to come here and say this is the perspective of a creative person who writes, and acts, and specifically to sort of say, this is the perspective of someone who’s trying to make it happen on the Internet.
Almost all the promotion that my book company wanted me to do was via the Internet. So much of what is asked of creators right now, you guys would be amazed at how much people, like managers and agents in the entertainment world, are like “So, we want to get this thing out so, uh, just make a YouTube video and it’ll go viral.” And that’s just what they tell you, “go make a viral video, that’s how we’ll get your project off the ground.” That’s what people think of it, they don’t know exactly how it’s going to work.
They don’t understand that it’s a hard process, that you have to put a lot of work and effort into it, and have a game plan and a strategy. You would be amazed how many times people are, I don’t have that many Twitter followers relatively, but how many times people go, “Hey, so, this guy wants you to, like, tweet this thing for him. Will you do that?” It’s like, wow, people just really don’t know, so we’re trying to make a TV show, and we’ve basically found out that the Public Access Network of New York will give us a three camera studio, and the only thing we have to do for it is fill out paperwork and deal with all the lunatic maniacs who have public access shows. Like the guy who follows our show some weeks, who his entire show, no joke, is just him grinning while putting dollar bills into ladies’ thongs.
That’s his whole show. That’s his entire television show. There’s another one where a guy sets up a camera on the passenger seat of his car, and just drives around without speaking, and they let him do that television show. That’s a television show that he does. That’s the network that we’re on! That’s the network that we’re on. But we also put it out over a streaming service, and we also archive the whole thing and allow it for download as a podcast. And, uh, hopefully, the technology will continue to develop where, um, video podcasts are something that can get people’s attention. And our hope is that our hour long show is something that, as technology changes where the attention span of the Internet becomes more and more of a TV level and less of a watch two minutes and fifteen seconds of this guy getting, you know, kicked in the genitals by an adorable squirrel or whatever. Whatever the videos are right now.
So hopefully, someday the technology is there, so that’s where we’re at, and that’s who we are, and that’s why we dress up in these outfits, and that’s why we hit each other with stuff because we want to be creative as much as possible so that’s in the book, and that’s on the show. And I hope you guys will check it out, and I thank you for listening to us ramble, and I was told that we should take some time at the end in case there’s any thoughts, or questions, and like I said, I’d love to pick your guys’ brains about that, and if there’s anybody who works in those areas, or is just interested in knowing like what idiot comedians think the Internet is good for.
We’re happy to be here and we’re happy to answer anything, and we’re also happy to throw as many questions as you want at the Human Fish, cause he always has an answer. >>Shannon: I have a question. >>Chris: Sure. >>Shannon: Why is there dog hair all over this stage? >>Chris: Why is there dog hair? >>Bethany: Yeah. >>Shannon: Do you see it? There’s like a pile of dog hair. Is there a dog that roams the Google offices? >>Chris: Was there some kind of dog show? Was there some kind of recent dog show? >>Shannon: Or a cat, was a cat murdered on stage? >>Chris: Cat murdered? >>Shannon: Did Deepak Chopra murder a cat? >>Chris: Deepak Chopra? It was Tina Fey’s presentation, How to Groom Your Dog.
Hers had to be better than this right? >>Shannon: Well, I watched it, it was immensely better. >>Chris: It was immensely better. >>Shannon: Yeah. >>Chris: This was just me like nervously rambling. >>Shannon: This is great though. Only one person left, that I saw. >>Chris: Yeah, but there’s like four dudes who never shut their laptops, but that’s okay. >>Shannon: That’s only four dudes though. >>male #2: I shut mine occasionally. >>Chris: You did shut >>male #2: I have a question actually. >>Chris: Oh great. Yes. >> male #2:It’s a really weird one and it’s really specific. >>Chris: Okay. >>male #2: So, I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible. Is there a section in the book that talks about like a woodshed where some unpleasant activities happened? >>Shannon: Were you molested? >>male #2: I searched for every variation on the word woodshed that I could and I couldn’t find it so I think I merged memories from another book with your book.
It sounds like there isn’t, or I should say, it looks like there isn’t. >>Shannon: I think he’s confusing your book with the lonely, uh, The Lovely Bones. >>Chris: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold? >>Shannon: I think you read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. >>Chris: Which I believe is a fictional novel, whereas my book is a series of non-fictional short stories. No, I don’t think there’s anything with a woodshed. So did you read, you read the book? >>male #2: I read the book, yeah. >>Chris: And you were like, man I want to read that woodshed thing again. >>male #2: My band mate used the phrase, time to hit the woodshed, in an email that also mentioned your book, which I had told him about. >>Chris: Okay. >>male #2:And I was like, Whoa he must have read it because he’s like totally referencing that woodshed moment. and I asked him later and he was like, no, that’s just a saying that people say, and I just said it >>Chris: And you still didn’t trust him, you still didn’t believe him? >>male #2: I didn’t believe him.
I was looking for shed, shack, like you know, like shanty, you know every single word. >>Shannon: You should >>Chris: To my knowledge, there’s no stories about sheds, shacks, or shanties in my book. >>Shannon: You should check your friend’s woodshed >>Chris: Yeah, it sounds like he has some deep secrets and you have some blocked memories regarding a woodshed that are very important to you. >>male #2: He said it wasn’t in the book, so what’s going on there? >>Chris: I can tell you my best story about a shanty, that’s not in the book, if that would make you feel better. >>male #2: It would make me feel amazing. >>Chris: So I worked for many years at a magazine called Weird New Jersey, which is all about haunted places and odd things in the state of New Jersey, which was definitely the best job I’ll ever have.
Riding around New Jersey looking for ghosts. And we got a letter, we got a letter once that was like, you gotta to this place, Buttonwood, which is in the swamps of this one town. There’s this river, and down by the swamp, there’s all these shacks. And back in those woods, there’s all these cars buried vertically in a circle and no one knows who’s doing it or why. So we were like, we gotta get a picture, we’ll call it ‘Carhenge’, and it’ll be great. And we drove back there and we had to drive past these shacks and now, most of them had been abandoned because of flooding from a hurricane that had come through a year or two prior, but there was one where there was all this like stuff, like old washing machines, and car engines just spread all over the lawn. And we were driving and it was me and my boss, and we got down by the river, and realized, like it was kind of a confusing area, and I was turning around my car, and this pickup truck rolled in front of us, and I was just like well, this can’t be good at all.
And it wasn’t, it wasn’t good. The guy, uh, we went to drive around him, and his truck blocked the whole, it was a dirt road we were on, and then he put his hand out the window and just went like that at me. And his hand, no joke, it looked like a catcher’s mitt, it looked like a catcher’s mitt with a bunch of Italian sausages on it. And then I saw the guy, and he was huge. He had on this t-shirt that was like tearing, and he was the biggest man I’ve ever seen, and then um, the crazy, the scary thing about him was all his hair was white, except he had a lump on his head and all the hair growing out of the lump was jet black. Like this weird lump with all jet black hair growing out of it. It was really odd, and I was like “What’s up, sir?” And his response, honestly, his response was . And I was like, well, what do I do, how do you, how do I even handle this? And he started yelling at me, and as I calmed him down, I could understand him better.
He was going “you come back here, you’re stealing things, we know there’s this redhead kid coming back here stealing things”. And I was like, “I’m not stealing anything, man, we’re lost. We’re like looking for Carhenge, man. Like chill out.” And he was like, “No, you’re coming back here and stealing things, and we’re gonna teach you a lesson.” And then he went, “Do you know what the Second Amendment is?” and I was like, “Yeah, I’m aware of it.” And he goes, “It says that I’m allowed to shoot you.” And I was like, “That’s not what the Second Amendment, that’s not what the Second Amendment is.” And he’s like “Yeah, I stole guns from the Wayne Township’s police Department and if I shoot you with them, it will trace back to the police and that’s okay because of the Second Amendment.” And I started to get into it, but I was like I don’t think this guy, I don’t think I really want to debate Constitutional interpretation with this guy.
So he started yelling at me, and at one point, he brought up the Jerry Springer show,and I was like, just out of, for no reason, I was like “I love that show.” And he was like “Really? I do, too.” And I was like, “I love it when they get in fights, and Steve has to break them up.” And he was like, “yeah, Steve, man.” And then he goes, “I love when they have the KKK on. I love the KKK.” and I was just like, “Me too. Yeah. Me too, I love the KKK. I love it.” And he calmed down a lot and then we were just like joking about the Jerry Springer show, and I was just faking that I loved the KKK. I DON’T love the KKK, just to be clear. And then he started laughing, and the whole time there’d been this other guy in the car with him, who was a smaller guy who’d pulled his hat down so we couldn’t really see him.
And then once the guy started laughing, it felt like the tension broke and I was going to get out of there, and the skinny guy leaned over to the big guy and whispered something, and the big guy laughed, and I was like “What’s up man, what’s so funny?” And he goes, “I’m gonna have sex with you now.” And I was like, “Nah, I don’t think. I would really prefer that we didn’t.” And he goes, “I’m gonna give you twenty dollars, and then I’m gonna have sex with you.” And I still don’t know why he thought the twenty dollars was necessary, like, it’s not like, there’s no reality where I’d be like “hmm, twenty, great.” And then he started to get out of his truck, and I drove into, I was like, well, I’m just going to drive into the swamp. And I drove into the swamp, and luckily managed to make it back out onto the road. I didn’t know how deep the swamp was and if my car would make it through. And then I realized, too, I was like, those cars, I think, are probably the cars of all the people this guy has killed, and he’s so big he just picks them up and does that and we drove away and got out of there.
And as soon as we got back to the office, my boss was like, “Write that down” and we published it and it was one of our most popular stories. And we started getting letters about this dude, and we got letters, we got a letter from a cop who said “I once had to arrest him, and I put handcuffs on him, and he was so physically strong that he just went like this and broke the handcuffs.” And then we got a letter from someone who lived there, and she’s like “it was a strange little area, but I liked living by the river, and it was peaceful, and then I had to move because that guy killed my dog with his hands.” And I was like, this is nuts.
We had gotten away, and he had chased us a little bit, but just to sort of the border of his area. Then we got one letter from a kid, who was like, “We went back there and that guy chased us, as well, and he didn’t stop. He chased us for an hour, and I eventually had to go the wrong way on Route 80 to get away from him.” And if you know Route 80, that’s the road that starts at the George Washington Bridge, and ends in California, it’s like America’s mega-highway and he had to drive the wrong way down it to get away from the guy. But then, the letters died down, and after another year or so, we got one last letter about the guy, where he was like “I’m a cop, and I’ve dealt with that dude, too. He’s strangely enough, a good guy in his own way. He was a troubled individual. The other guy you dealt with was his brother, they had rough lives, and they were definitely problematic people, but they had good hearts.
And I wanted to let you to know he died of a heart attack, the guy who tried to assault you, and I figured you’d want to know just for the story to come full circle, but also, he was a huge fan of Weird New Jersey, and he loved reading about himself, and he’d been a subscriber for years before he ever showed up in it.” And I was like “Oh my God, I’ve been writing about this man, and he’d been reading the whole thing.” And apparently just laughing about it. So, that’s my story about a shack, but it didn’t make the cut for the book, so >>male #2: Do you think that he knew you were involved, that he was trying to, no, >>Chris: No, I don’t think so. It’s not like, when you work for a company called Weird New Jersey, it’s not like you have a company car with like a logo on the side. It was just, at that point I was driving a 1986 Chevy Celebrity.
So he just, we were just two people back there. I don’t think he was messing with us to try to get into Weird New Jersey magazine, and plus, that means every time he killed a dog, he was like maybe they’re an editor at Weird New Jersey magazine. So I don’t think so. So that’s my shack story. >>male #2: Excellent shack story. >>Chris: Oh thank you so much. I should have just told stories the whole time, huh? Wow that got applause, oh no, all I’ve done is wasted everyone’s time! Yeah, you agree, huh, Human Fish? Um, but I don’t know. I wanted to put that other stuff out there. Um, but yeah, that’s a shack story. >>male #2: You came here to convince people to get the book, right? To either purchase it, or you know, >>Chris: Yeah, I guess so, but as you can tell, I’m not, I’m sort of allergic to money.
I’m sort of allergic to money and success, so by all means, I hope people read the book, and the stories in there, I hope are funny. But I also felt like, I don’t know, it’s dumb, and it’s a soapbox moment, but to get a chance to talk at Google, I’d rather talk about the stuff we do that is Internet driven, as well as the book, ya know? Were there any other thoughts, or questions, or questions for the Human Fish? >>Shannon: You guys keep motioning to your friend over there >>Bethany: Yeah. >>Chris: Yeah, you’re also the only crowd that’s reacted… >>Shannon: You’re like .
>>Unknown female speaker 3: Ashanti? >>Chris: What’s that? >>Shannon: Ashanti the singer? >>Chris: Oh, okay, these are some people who know >>Shannon: you heard a shanty and you disappointed them because your story was not about Ashanti. It was about a shanty. >>Chris: What they’re referencing. First of all, thanks for coming, because you’re people who clearly follow me, at least one of you follows me on Twitter.
What they’re referencing is I’ve fallen into a situation lately where someone made a Wikipedia page for me, which is nice. That feels like an accomplishment of some sort to have someone write a Wikipedia page about you, but then other people have taken to altering it. And recently, no matter how many times the editors of Wikipedia go in and change it, someone insists on going in and saying that I’m romantically linked to the R and B singer, Ashanti. Which is not, which is not, although she’s a lovely, from what I can tell, she’s a really lovely woman and a really talented person, and easy on the eyes, but those rumors are untrue. And not only do they keep saying I’m romantically linked to Ashanti, they keep going to Ashanti’s Wikipedia page and linking to her that she’s linked to New York comedian, Chris Gethard, which I have to imagine, if you’re Ashanti, feels so bad.
That has to feel so bad. Apparently, she was dating, I forget who she’s really dating. >>Female voices: Nelly. >>Chris: Nelly. So then I’m a really neurotic, paranoid guy, and I have all these fears that at some point, I’m going to be walking down the street and Nelly’s going to be like “Yo,” like, “Yo.” Like he’s going to see me across the street and he’s’ going to be like “That’s Gethard!” And I’m going to be like “How do you know who I am, Nelly?” And he’s going to be like “Cause there’s rumors that you’re sleeping with my girl, Ashanti.” And I’m going to be like, “What’s the likelihood that that’s true, Nelly?” And he’s going to be like, “Slim to none, but it makes me nervous.” And I’ll be like, “Nervous, nervous, you got nothing to be nervous about man.
You’re Nelly, you’ve had three successful songs in 2002, man. Chill out. Chill out. All I did was star in a failed sitcom. You’re still way ahead of the curve on me, Nelly.” And then Nelly’s going to punch me in the face and be like, “That’s in case you’re lying.” And I’ll be like, “This is just my luck.” >>Shannon: I liked that when you asked who she was dating, all of them answered at the same time. Can we ask them another pop culture question? >>Chris: Yeah. Are you guys Gethard fans or are you Ashanti fans? >>female #4: We were just talking about it before we came. >>Chris: But are you aware of the whole thing through Ashanti’s Wikipedia, or through mine? >>female #4: Your Wikipedia. >>Chris: My Wikipedia. I’m hoping that you guys came to this event being like, “We get to meet Ashanti’s boyfriend!” That’s my hope, is that that was your impulse when you came here. >>Shannon: So you Googled him before you came here to figure out who you were going to see? >>Chris: You’re not familiar at all with stuff.
>>female #4: Um, no. >>Chris: Fair. Fair, thank you for cutting me down a peg, Shannon. >>Shannon: Yeah, yeah. I just want to make sure. >>Chris: I thought there was a small handful of people in here who enjoyed what we do, but we remain underground completely. But I’m glad that’s what you linked on to, out of all the things to talk to on that, to talk to me on that Wikipedia page. I’m glad it’s a fictional relationship with someone way out of my league. Thank you for that, thank you for that. Um, I don’t know. What else should we do? >>Shannon: There’s a question.
>>Chris: Okay, yeah. >>male #3: In reference to your Wikipedia entry, Human fish versus Wikipedia editors. >>Chris: Human Fish versus Wikipedia editors. >>Human Fish: Human fish. >>Chris: Human Fish. He thinks that he can take down all the Wikipedia editors. >>male #3: I think you have the culprit. >>Chris: Okay, okay. You think he’s the one changing it to say Ashanti. I don’t know if he knows how keyboards or computers work. I don’t know what he thinks he’s inside right now.
But I don’t know if he knows about computers enough. No. >>Shannon: I’d be surprised if he knew who Ashanti was over a pet rock. >>Chris: Yeah. >>Shannon: He didn’t know what a pet rock was. >>Human Fish: Pet rock! >>Chris: Human Fish, Google versus pet rock. >>Human Fish: Google. >>Chris: Wow, the only thing that has beat pet rock so far is the concept of Google. >>Human Fish: Google. >>Shannon: I think that was fear >>Human Fish: Google! >>Shannon: I think that was a fear based answer.
>>Chris: You’re so scared you’re going to have to talk to some of these people on the way out. >>Bethany: There’s a question over there. >>Chris: Yeah, just yell it out. >>male #4: Human Fish, Ashanti versus a shanty. >>Chris: Oh, tying it all together! >>Bethany: That’s what I was wondering. >>Chris: Ashanti versus a shanty. >>Human Fish: A shanty. >>Chris: A shanty?!?! Ashanti’s so talented, You’re not a fan. Ashanti versus Rihanna? >>Human Fish: Rihanna. >>Chris: Wow, okay. So you know what you’re talking about, and that seems like your real opinion, actually.
>>Human Fish: Rihanna. >>Shannon: Sharks. Sharks versus Chris Brown? >>Chris: Okay. >>Human Fish: Sharks. >>Chris: Okay. >>Shannon: Good answer. >>Chris: Good answer. Is there anything else we’d like to talk about today? I don’t know how much time, should I tell another story, that went well. >>Bethany: Yeah, tell a story. >>Chris: Which, what one should I tell? Another one, one that’s in the book to entice people to buy it, or one that’s not in the book? >>Bethany: Do you guys have a preference? >>Chris: The way that this book came about is I just kept telling stories on stage until I had about forty stories, and then I had editors yell at me for five years about how the whole thing read like a guy talking on stage.
>>Shannon: Have them throw a suggestion out, that’ll–. Do it the old school way. >>Chris: Is there any sort of topic of interest? >>female #5: Sharks. >>Chris: Sharks? Do I have a story that involves sharks? >>male #5: Rap music. >>Chris: Rap music? Well, the Diddy story I already told. >>male #5: Well, he’s an entrepreneur. >>Chris: He is an entrepreneur. I’m trying to think of some of the other… Oh! You want to hear something crazy about Diddy? If, now we’re literally just talking about someone more successful and interesting. Before he came and did our show, his assistant kept calling me, and she got a kick out of the whole thing, and I was like, “It must be pretty crazy to be Diddy’s assistant sometimes, huh?” And she’s like, “Yeah, the weirdest was we stayed up for five entire days, and eventually I had a physical break down and started crying. And he was like, ‘Oh my God, what’s the matter?’ And I was like, ‘Diddy, I need to go to sleep.’ And he went, ‘Oh, I don’t have to, so sometimes I forget other people need to sleep.’ ” Diddy, apparently, can just stay awake endlessly and only sleeps when he chooses to.
And then, I’m honestly convinced that he is a magical being, akin to like a unicorn, I’m honestly convinced. Because then, his assistant called me right before the show like the day before and was like, “Does your theater have any computers or TV’s?” And I was like, “Yeah, we have a computer in our tech booth, and TV monitors out on stage. Why?” And she was like, “Ah, it might be a problem.” And I was like “Why?”, and she goes “Well, there’s this thing that happens with Diddy where when he looks at a computer or television monitor, he breaks the device.” And I was like,”This is weird.” And she was like, “Yeah, when he does his reality shows, he can’t even be in the room when they’re editing it because he breaks all their computers, and they do all this work and then he breaks the computers when he looks at them.” And I was kinda like,we’re already doing this event, and everybody’s, there’s already so much buzz about it, why is she trying to like convince me,like you don’t have to convince me Diddy’s cool.
I get he’s cool. Why are you throwing these BS stories at me? And then, on the night of the show, we were backstage, and they came and got us, and they were like,”Okay, alright, Gethard, Diddy, time to do the show.” And we had made this video package of like the videos where I had asked him to do the show, on Fallon we had talked about it a little bit, and we made this video package, and it was playing. We had tested the video and it worked, and then we got to the tech booth, and it was airing on a little monitor there, and he was like “Oh, what’s this? Oh, this is funny. That’s funny.” And he walked away, and the sound was like thirty seconds off after he looked at the screen. Diddy, he did it, he broke it with his mind. How could I ever doubt Diddy? So now, honest to God, if anybody ever comes up to me and says, “Oh, you met Diddy once, I saw him walking in the sky.” I’d be like, “Yeah, sure.” I will never ever doubt anything that Sean Combs says he can do, ever again, like ,yeah, if he told me, like.
If I ran into Diddy again and he was like, “Hey dude, I used my ability to travel into the future, and everything’s going to be okay.” I’d genuinely feel better, because I think he can probably do that. So, there’s a story about rap music. I’m still trying to think about one about sharks. I don’t think I have a shark story. I have a goat story, that’s the closest one. Why don’t I, should I tell the Princeton story, that’s the best one. >>Shannon: Yeah. >>Chris: Can I tell you guys one more >>Shannon: Mike Bramski >>off screen voices: White magic’s pretty amazing too. White magic, white magic >>Chris: Oh, you like White Magic? White Magic is weirdly more embarrassing.
I like the Princeton one because >>female #5: Three minutes. >>Chris: Three minutes. >>female #5: You’ve got three minutes for White Magic. >>Chris: Got White Magic. So I grew up, I was huge into pro wrestling. >>Shannon: That sounded very racist by the way, for White Magic. >>Chris: Three minutes for White Magic, it did sound racist. It wasn’t racist. You’re not racist at all. So, I grew up, I was huge into pro wrestling. It was like an obsession of me and my brother, and we had this friend named Eddie who grew up across town, and he loved wrestling, too. And when I was a freshman in college, I hadn’t heard from Eddie in a while, and then he called me up one day. And he was like, “Hey, man.” Long story short, he basically goes, “This is going to sound weird but I took pro wrestling classes, and I’m not good at it, but I met a lot of contacts. One of those contacts is an agoraphobic man named Carmine.” And I was like, “He’s scared of the world?” and he was like, “He never ever, ever leaves his house, but he owns a wrestling league called the Stars and Stripes Championship Wrestling League.
We’re having an event at Seton Hall University and I was wondering if you would want to come be a manager and manage a wrestler?” And I was like, “This is amazing. Yeah, of course, of course.” I get to be a wrestler, in my head, I was like I finally get to be a pro wrestler, that’s always been my dream. So he told me to come up with a character, and the character I came up with was called “White Magic”, and in my mind, I’m like, I’ll be a pimp. I’ll look like this and then I’ll walk around being like “oh, man” and being like, “I got hoes in all the zip codes” and I’ll yell that at people and they’ll hate me. The next night, I had a conference call with the agoraphobic, and he sounded very agoraphobic, and he was like, “Chris, I’ve heard a lot about you, Eddie has described to me what you look like, what’s your character?” and I said, “Character’s White Magic, and I’ll wear a smoking jacket, I’ll wear a top hat, I’ll have a cane, and I’ll got up to people and say, ‘like I’m going to take your girlfriend out back,’ and all this stuff.
And he’s like, “Oh that’s great, that’s great.” So we went to the event, and oddly enough, there was like a few wrestlers I had seen growing up in this dressing room. The Iron Sheik, who wears the curlicue boots, and he showed up in those, I don’t know how he drives with those. King Kong Bundy was there, if you’ve ever seen King Kong Bundy, he’s like this five hundred pound scary guy. He had like a big feud with Hulk Hogan back in the day.
I was like, man, King Kong Bundy. So, we go out to have our match, Oh! Even before that, very important, the guy I was managing was brand new, the guy he was up against was named Flash Wheeler. Flash Wheeler, they told me that I would have to hit Flash Wheeler with my cane to end the match, and I was not comfortable with that, and Flash Wheeler was not comfortable with that. And he came up to me and he said, “I don’t know what you’re doing here, you’re not trained in this, if you hit me with that thing wrong, and uh, hurt me, I’m gonna beat you up.
Like, I’m just going to beat you up.” And he was this huge pro wrestler. And I was like, “Okay. That’s fair.” And they were like, your match goes out to start, and I went out, started telling all my schtick to people, telling them. At one point, this guy started yelling at me, and I was like, “Don’t make me slap those last two hairs off your bald head.” And all the crowd booed. There’s another guy started to talk to me, and I was like, “Don’t make me hit you in front of your daughters.” The whole crowd was like booing and I was doing a good job. So the match happened, and it was really really bad, and the kid who I was managing was nervous. And Flash was hitting him really hard, every time the kid would mess up a move, Flash would hit him really hard, and you could see like red hand prints all over him, and it was scary. And all I could think about was, if I do this thing with the cane wrong, he’s gonna beat me up. So Flash gave me the signal, and he ran across the ring, and I jumped up on the edge of the ring with my cane, and I froze completely.
So he looked at me, and he just kept running, so now he had to pretend that one throw from Vicious Vin meant that he had to run three, that Vicious Vin is so strong that I just have to keep running. And he ran back to me, and I raised, I was like you have to do it, you have to do it. And I hit him largely like this No joke, like orchestra conductors hit the stand harder. I was like, “uh.” And he looked at me, and he was like, “Ahhhhhh…” and he sold it and then Vicious Vin pinned him. And in my head, for a brief moment,maybe he’ll just, maybe this crowd will just think like I’m amazingly strong. They didn’t. They started booing me, and yelling at me, but it wasn’t like booing like a wrestling, like you want from a wrestling crowd anymore, now it was like, “You are horrible at what you do.” And they were booing me, and chaos erupted around me, and I was like filled with fear.
And I went to walk back towards the dressing room, these thirteen year old kids, they must have been like twelve or thirteen, jumped out of the crowd, and over the barrier in front of me, and one of them pushed me, and I was like, “Oh my God, what’s going on?” And one of them reached up and grabbed my top hat off my head, and where before I was like, “in front of your kids, don’t make me slap you, old man.” This guy, this kid, not guy, kid grabbed my top hat, and the best I could come up with was, “Hey, I need that.” And the whole crowd just started booing me and throwing trash at me and stuff.
And it was like the most shame I have ever felt in my life, which is saying so much, so much. And a wrestler, I had forgotten that because we cheated, these other wrestlers were supposed to come out and fight and defend Flash Wheeler’s honor, and one of them grabbed me and he threw me back towards the dressing room, really hard, kind of clearly as a “you messed up the whole match”thing, and the dressing room wasn’t an actual room, they had built these, set up this big partitions that were almost floor to ceiling, and then connected them with curtains. And I hit it, chest first, and it went like this, and then back towards me, and then it collapsed inward, and it brought down all the curtains, and all the partitions, and there were all these like naked wrestlers who were like “Uh, what?” like this whole crowd looking at them.
It came about this far, no kidding, this wall I knocked over came about this far from crushing King Kong Bundy, who is like three quarters naked at the time. And, a wrestler named Skull Von Crush, grabbed me, as they, his whole gimmick was that he was like a Nazi, and he kind of seemed like he was into it, he kind of seemed like it was born out of his real life. He grabbed me and threw me in a corner and said, “You almost killed Bundy, like we’re gonna mess you up.” And I was like, “I didn’t, Dude. It was an accident. I can’t kill Bundy. Bundy’s Bundy!” And he’s yelling at me, and Bundy went out to wrestle his match at that point, and then, thankfully, at one point, King Kong Bundy, the fire alarm just went off, and we were all like what happened? How can this be more of a fiasco,and someone said, “Bundy got body slammed, and he’s so big he shook the foundation of the building,and the fire alarms got set off.
And all the wrestlers went that way to look, and I grabbed all my stuff, and ran out the back door. I was like “I’m out of here! This is horrible!” And I ran out, and I ran to my car,and as I ran to my car, I saw another emergency exit get kicked open, and my brother came running out, he instinctively knew that I would be fleeing in a panic. And he came out, and he had my top hat, and we got to the car, and he was like,”That was a complete disaster!” And I said, “I know, how did you get my top hat back?” And he said,”They were little kids, I took it, I went up and I took it from them, they were little kids.” So that’s the abridged, the version of the White Magic story in the book is much longer, but that’s the abridged version. It’s mostly how I signed up to live a dream, the dream quickly turned into a nightmarish reality, and then I got chumped by, literally, a bunch of prepubescent children.
Ah, you jerk! You jerk, that hurt so bad. Thank you, guys very much, I hope the rambling was okay, and I hope that the boring parts weren’t so boring. And I’m glad that we got to tell a few stories, and I’m glad that we got to talk about some of the Internet driven stuff that we do. So thanks for putting up with us, it really means a lot. >>Shannon: Thank you. >>Human Fish: Pet rock! .