Comedian Chris Gethard loves stripes and strangers.

Comedian Chris Gethard loves stripes and strangers.

Hey, pals! Comedian Chris Gethard’s star is on the rise. His HBO special, “Career Suicide,” has been lauded by critics. And his television show, “The Chris Gethard Show,” got picked up by cable outfit truTV for a third season. All that, plus a successful stand-up career, means that Gethard’s celebrity is growing.

But that increased fame means that Gethard is less able to move through the world as an anonymous guy. And that’s why he loves his podcast, Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People, so much.

The conceit of Beautiful/Anonymous is that a listener calls the show and can talk about whatever he or she wants. But Gethard can’t hang up first. On the show, he can just be a normal guy talking to a stranger on the other end of the line. It’s grounding, he says.

Sometimes the conversations are light and breezy. But sometimes they veer into intense territory. Like the episode “Love Is Everywhere”, where the caller was a mother ringing from the waiting room of a hospital where she was awaiting her sick daughter’s test results. The conversations are beautiful, in large part because Gethard’s empathy is on full display.

Tell Me More Stuff To Check Out!

  • Versify — If you’ve ever had a poem written about you, it was likely penned by some puppy-eyed suitor extolling the virtues of your love. But it was probably not written by a stranger. On Versify, a stranger is exactly who’s writing the poetry. It’s a show that pairs a storyteller with a poet to create an original poem inspired by the storyteller’s tale. The show charts the creative process and the connection between poet and storyteller.
  • Where Should We Begin — Esther Perel is a renowned psychotherapist whose TED talks on love, intimacy and infidelity have inspired millions. Recently, she opened her office to microphones to capture the therapy sessions of couples she was working with. The result is an intimate, if slightly uncomfortable, show about the inner workings of coupledom. Relationship tips abound.
  • Mürmur — Three years ago, Uluç Ülgen started a podcast out of his New York City apartment. The show invited total strangers to come to Ülgen’s home studio for a chat. Since then, around 250 people have come to record. But recently, Ülgen’s landlord caught wind of his operation and put the kibosh on it. He said Ülgen would have to stop podcasting or he’d get evicted. But Ülgen is pressing on.
  • Very attractive listener recommendations: Black Joy Mixtape and Ben Franklin’s World

Call Me!

Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and you’ll be famous.

Thanks for listening, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.

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