Where/when: Pleasance Dome, 22.00
Chris Gethard has made quite the name for himself in the states, appearing on the Office U.S, Parks and Recreation and Louie, and releasing a book of essays, as well as having his own self-titled show. Now his brings his debut fringe show to Edinburgh.
And what a show it is. Not the most laugh heavy, it is an enthralling and emotional hour that delivers big on the punchlines to make up for the exposition.
Telling the story of his struggles with mental health and suicidal tendencies, with some alcoholism thrown in, it shouldn’t be funny but it is. His constant references to Morrissey and the Smiths, as well as stories of his seemingly ineptly unprofessional psychiatrist are hilarious, and the narrative so engaging. Part of what helps this show is that Gethard is a singularly skilled storyteller, his voice keeping the audience so rapt that even in the quieter points of the show there is nothing but complete attention. Then a punchline hits and the place explodes.
This is the kind of show you wish you could keep to watch over and over or show to those affected with similar issues. You find yourself willing Gethard to succeed or find help, and legitimately worrying and thinking the worst might’ve happened even though he is standing right in front of you. It’s clever and silly and everything you could want from stand-up.
The high points include stories of his psychiatrist helping to sell his book or asking to jointly write the show, as well as a fantastic, if somewhat horrifying, story of blackout drinking, but there is no lull. Every part of this show, that comes in at just over an hour, stands up well on it’s own and it finishes wonderfully. Without the cliche success that most shows of this ilk end with, Gethard simply points out that his struggle is on-going and ends with another laugh, perfectly bringing the show together.
I can’t recommend this enough, go see this show. A certain contender come awards time.