After four years of grinding it out as an Upright Citizens Brigade stage show and Manhattan cable public access cult sensation, The Chris Gethard Show has landed on Comedy Central. The network has ordered a pilot for the call-in talk show, which has built up a slavishly devoted online following of misfits and dispossessed weirdoes. The pilot is being produced by Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and the rest of the Funny Or Die crowd, along with Zach Galifanakis and Brillstein Entertainment. It’s many of the same producers behind @midnight, which recently got a 40-week pickup.
Gethard announced the news himself last night, alongside a cavalcade of the sort of panelists and weird characters representative of the beautifully strange work the show has done over 117 episodes now. Wearing one of his usual homemade T-shirts bearing the scribbled phrase “Find A Way,” Gethard began by telling his loyal studio audience that the show couldn’t last forever without evolving, saying its days on public access were on the wane.
“I’ve always said that if I get the opportunity to go to L.A. at some point, I might get tied up in a job where I don’t have the time to put into the show anymore,” he told the deathly quiet crowd. “That’s just a reality that we’ve all known about. But fortunately that’s not the case with this announcement, because the professional opportunity that’s come is not going to replace TCGS. At long last, it’s going to be TCGS.” Pandemonium ensued.
It’s unclear as yet what the show will look like on Comedy Central (although it will likely be a half an hour), when it will air (maybe in a dormant Friday slot), and if it will even advance to series. But on his Tumblr, Gethard admitted he was amazed he’d even gotten this far: “No regrets either way,” he writes. “We’ve all taken this thing further than we thought we could. You aren’t supposed to be able to get a public access show on to ‘real’ TV. We’re about to see if we can. And if we do, the fun really begins.”