The Best Chris Gethard Jokes, Stories and Moments for the Comedy Hall of Fame
There’s nothing traditional about Chris Gethard’s approach to comedy. The man has an innate ability to connect with people, whether telling a story from his life, diving into absurdist improv or revealing overlooked observations on human behavior. For Gethard, it’s not just about finding the joke; it’s all about the journey and the people you encounter along the way. And no topic is too silly or too deep for him to get laughs out of, even if the subject is himself.
That’s why we’re inducting 14 of Gethard’s best jokes, stories and career moments into our Comedy Hall of Fame.
Telling the story of getting “It takes strength to be gentle and kind” tattooed on his arm: “I cannot be getting Morrissey lyrics tattooed on my body at the age of 32. That is not acceptable. I’m not a sad 19-year-old college kid anymore. I can’t be getting Morrissey tattoos. I can feel this whole room saying to themselves, ‘It’s a cheesy tattoo, but it’s not the worst one I’ve ever heard of.’ But what you don’t know is I already had the word Morrissey on the same arm. Unacceptable. Unacceptable behavior."
The Power of Storytelling
It takes an inordinate amount of skill to start a set talking about someone saying you look like Drew Carey with AIDS before ultimately tying it into a story about your mom’s episiotomy.
During an anecdote about fooling around on a first date: “She walks over to me, starts undoing my belt and asks me a question I haven’t heard in eight years: ‘Are you clean?’
“I wasn’t sure what she meant. Cause she could’ve meant, ‘Are you STD-free?’ She could’ve meant, ‘Have you showered today?’ It’s the middle of the summer; it could get swampy down there. She could’ve been referring to a criminal record. Who’s to say? So my answer was, ‘Yeah. Wait, what do you mean?’ Which is not the answer. That is never the answer in that situation. And here’s the really messed up thing about that, the answer to all the options was, ‘Yes. I am clean.’ I’m STD-free; I had showered that day; I don’t have a criminal record. I’m just so neurotic that I needed to make sure I was answering the intended question. That’s how my brain works.”
On Riding the Bus to School
A childhood tale about chucking ice at strangers from a school bus and choosing the wrong guy to target.
The Chris Gethard Show
Beginning as a live show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, before making its way onto public access television and later Fusion and TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show was what you’d get if you put a talk show, variety show and an absurdist fever dream all in a blender and smashed the Frappé button. The dumpster episode below, with guests Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas, is television comedy at its finest.
The birth of Gethard’s child and the no-bullshit nurse who helped prepare him for the moment.
“I told that bullying joke, and then the woman in the front row yelled, ‘Hey, take it easy on yourself!’ That’s how I get heckled. That is how you heckle a Chris Gethard performance right there. Some comedians, the crowd gets too drunk, and they’re like, ‘Fuck you! You’re not funny!’ With me, they’re like, ‘Fuck you! Learn to love yourself!’”
Gatorland v. Disneyworld
Gethard makes the case for a better vacation destination in Orlando.
Gethard’s one-man show was adapted (and marketed) as an HBO comedy special, although it’s best to not go into it thinking of it wholly as such. It’s a brilliantly self-aware monologue about his lifelong struggles with depression, and Gethard’s gift for storytelling highlights all of the humor of the situations with hilarious honesty.
On the Apocalypse
The perfect question to ask to check the vibe of the people in the area: What is your plan if the apocalypse comes?
On Teenage Rage
“Every time one of these incidents happens, I wish I could grab these kids individually beforehand and be like, ‘Hey, I remember the feelings you’re feeling. I respect that you’re feeling that way, but you gotta trust me. I was once like you. You’re gonna grow out of this, I promise you. You are going to grow out of this.’ I know that when you’re a 16-year-old boy, it might seem like a cool idea to just lash out, but you know what else seems like a cool idea when you’re a 16-year-old boy? Having sex with a couch just to see what happens. And I know that that may sound like a fictional punchline that I came up with for a joke... Nope!”
Gethard provided a perfect performance as the inept hitman Angela and Dwight hired to take care of her cheating husband.
On the Saddest Moment of His Life
Seeing an old man get run over by a hipster food truck is sad, yes, but there’s always a way for it to get sadder.
The concept behind this podcast is simple: Gethard talks on the phone with an anonymous caller for an hour. There’s no telling where the conversation will go, what secrets will be revealed or how crazy it will get. It’s an incredibly addictive look into the human condition.