Upright Citizens Brigade’s Chris Gethard is climbing into an RV, heading out of New York, and embarking on a 12-day, cross-country tour that will end at the UBC Theater in Los Angeles. Thanks to the Richmond Comedy Coalition, Richmond gets to be a stop along the way.
The first rule of improvisation taught at the prestigious Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is “Don’t Think.” Influenced heavily by the guiding rule of improv to “say yes” to the suggestions you’re given, it’s a fine approach when talking about creating a comedy scene onstage. It becomes a much harder mantra to follow when you’re standing front of an audience of 200 people and faced with the threat of being shot by a paintball gun. However it is by doing so in these moments that Chris Gethard and the comedians who participate in his monthly live variety-talk show The Chris Gethard Show at the UCB Theater in NYC find the comedy onstage by living in the moment and freeing themselves from their inhibitions.
As a comedian and actor, Chris stars in Comedy Central’s Big Lake, appeared in last summer’s Will Ferrel hit The Other Guys, and was a former guest writer for Saturday Night Live. During it’s run at the UCB Theatre, The Chris Gethard Show has gained a reputation for its bizarre stunts and events. Past shows have involved: baseball legend Darryl Strawberry delivering a motivational speech at the UCB school; comedians improvising jokes at the risk of being shot by paintball guns; and a charter bus that brought 60 people to memorable sites from Gethard’s upbringing in New Jersey.
“People attending their first Chris Gethard Show should come expecting anything to happen,” Chris explained to us in an interview. “Don’t be squeamish. And most of all, if you see an opportunity to participate, don’t be shy! We’re real firm believers in the idea that nothing really gets going in our show without the audience getting involved. So that’s the main advice I have — have a few drinks and be ready to get up on stage. The show is always kind of a lovable shit show, and we’d love to have you be a part of it.”
As part of a Kickstarter campaign which successfully raised over $11,000, Gethard is banding together some of his best and funniest UCB friends, “Americas Favorite Band” Kung Fun Monkeys, and a videographer to document the mayhem. Following a show at the UCB NY theater featuring a much-hyped appearance by P.Diddy (arranged over Twitter using the hashtag #DiddyGethard) the crew will pile in an RV and embark on a twelve day trek across the country, landing in Los Angeles and performing at the UCB LA theater on Thursday January 27th.
“We are making very few preparations to survive. We all anticipate fights, both verbal and physical. Everyone on board sort of sadly agrees that probably we won’t all be friends at the end of it. But it’s worth it to us as long as we get to film it and make a lot of funny and/or screwed up videos based on that dysfunction” Gethard lamented.
Thanks to the folks at Richmond Comedy Coalition, Richmond will get to see that dysfunction firsthand. After hearing about Gethard’s plan, they put their money where there mouths are and helped fund the Kickstarter campaign, earning Richmond a spot on the tour. So, on Tuesday, January 18th, Gallery5 will play host as The Chris Gethard Show Cross-Country Adventure rolls into Richmond to take the River City by storm. We don’t know what’s going to happen but it promises to be BONKERS, and also, BANANAS.
“I’m really excited to go to Richmond. I’m a weird guy, and I’ve always heard nothing but good things about the city. I mean, anyplace that can be home to both GWAR and Richmond Lucha Libre is my kind of town. I know it has a reputation for being really welcoming to weirdo artist types, and I’m hoping I can fit right in to that,” Chris said, while finishing preparations for his tour. “Outside of that, all I care about is food. I just want to eat good stuff everywhere I go. So I plan on hitting the ground running and asking people what the must hit spots are in that area. And I’m sure we’ll try to get down there early to cause as much trouble as possible.”
The Chris Gethard Show Cross-Country Adventure will take place on Tuesday, January 18th at 8:30pm at Gallery5 (200 W. Marshall Street). Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Doors open at 8pm.