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.
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