I’m not even going to talk about the show just yet. Take my word for it, it’s amazing. For now I’m just going to talk about the audience, and how they convinced me this was going to be one hell of a ride.
I found the show thanks to music. That’s ended up being pretty relevant, I think, because the show does the same thing to me that a great bit of punky rock does. It makes me feel light, and active, as though I could get on my feet and actually maybe dance. Which is ridiculous, of course. I couldn’t dance, it’d be the most embarrassing thing in all the world. But when I watch the Chris Gethard show, I see people dancing. I see people like me dancing. I see weirdos and losers and geeks and nerds. I see people. The camera doesn’t shy away from them like in other talk shows, which is what The Chris Gethard Show essentially is. Where on most shows like this the lens is focused purely on the hosts and their guests, on the Chris Gethard Show the audience is just as much a guest as anyone else, and no matter how colourful their hair might be, they’ll appear on my little laptop screen, dancing and laughing away.
I’m an overweight spotty guy with messy hair and furry arms. I’m the farthest thing away from photogenic, I think it’s fair to say. Which is why when I first started watching the show, and first started seeing all these strange looking people having an amazing time, I instantly thought, huh. Maybe this show might be for me. Because I look at these people and I notice them, I notice them because I don’t see them anywhere else on TV. They’re the sorts of people I like. They’re not wearing suits, they’re wearing hoodies. They’re not spending all day making sure their faces are spotless and clean, they’re proudly wearing piercings, tattoos, anything they want. They’re people who aren’t dicks, basically.
And they’re dancing. They’re really, honestly dancing for god’s sake. I have no doubt that a bunch of the audience members are socially awkward introverts. This isn’t me assuming; they have entire episodes where people get to moan about their own strangeness. Yet there they are, jumping around, treating musical guests I both love and hate with the same unfaltering enthusiasm. I watch this show and I start to feel that thing I feel when a good bit of punk rock is roaring out my headphones. I start to feel light, and active, and honestly just happy. I start to feel confident, or rather I start to feel silly, and there’s a world of difference between feeling silly and feeling like a freak. I start to not take myself and my anxieties so seriously, because hey, look at that bunch of weirdos, they’re being ridiculous and they don’t care. If I was one of them, sitting there and laughing away, I think that maybe, just maybe, when the music starts and they all get on their feet… I might dance with them.
Which is ridiculous, of course. I can’t dance, it’d be humiliating. But hey, so what? We’re weirdos, and nobody cares. The camera isn’t ashamed of me. And we all look pretty awesome, leaping around like salmon. I feel pretty awesome, anyway. And that’s thanks to the audience. All of those sexy, strange looking people who spend their evenings watching the most terrifically bizarre talk show in the world. They made me feel welcome, and they let me feel silly. So yeah, thank you Chris Gethard audience members, you’re the best. If I ever get to sit among you, I might just start dancing as well.