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Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

From 22 critic and 119 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

About the show

Judd Apatow presents Chris Gethard's new solo comedy about depression, alcoholism, suicide, and the other funniest parts of life. Directed by Broadway's Kimberly Senior ('Disgraced'). More…

Actor, comedian, and writer Gethard holds nothing back as he dives into his experiences with mental illness, ethically questionable psychiatry, and finding hope in weird places…even northern New Jersey. From devastating lows to manic highs, 'Chris Gethard: Career Suicide' is a painfully honest journey into the mind of one of the most original comics at work today.

Front Row Center

"Gethard simply tells us the real absurd truth about himself, his longtime companion, Clinical Depression, and the rather unconventional, often scary dark, sometimes slightly scandalous, truly silly trip they have taken together...Director Kimberly Senior employs a raw method of storytelling that is without overly theatric distractions. Nothing feels contrived...Gethard is an excellent host who will make sure you have a good time." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"This show packs comedy with pathos and tragedy with laughter in a masterful mixture...Gethard has a vibrant ear for telling description...This narrator is someone you grow quite fond of as the show proceeds...He’s ready for anything, in the moment, in control of the room...This show manages to be a sad, funny, full-throttle, honest, life-giving journey...Timing is everything, and Gethard is a master." Full Review

The Interrobang

"'Career Suicide' is the live equivalent of a book you can’t put down. His stories are not just strung together end to end, they’re seamlessly choreographed...This is vulnerability at its barest, and his story is riveting, it’s compelling, and it’s also really, really funny...There are heart-wrenching moments in Chris’ stories that may bring you to tears, but be assured, the laughs are equally powerful." Full Review

Village Voice

"The taboo-smashing honesty he brings to the stage may well save his audience...Never maudlin, he wrenches hilarity from snippets of his life...With a performer this prolific, it's easy to believe you know his story. 'Career Suicide' goes deeper, breaking open the places Gethard kept hidden for years by staying so frenetically busy that he wouldn't have to face needing help...Gethard gives us permission to bring our own demons into the light." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The short, bespectacled, seemingly serene Gethard proves to be an expert guide to his own personal Via Dolorosa, never playing his suffering for an easy laugh, yet never losing sight of the absurdity of his situation...It's a high-wire balancing act, and his director, Kimberly Senior, must share the credit for seeing that he never puts a foot wrong...'Career Suicide' becomes surprisingly moving as Gethard finally begins to find an equilibrium that allows him to flourish professionally." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"In a sense, the show is a freeform therapy session in which the audience serves as proxy therapist. It’s clear that there can be worse things than laughter as a way of confronting one’s demons. I wasn’t consistently on his comic wavelength but I appreciated even those moments when I didn’t howl along with everyone else...Although much of what he says is poignant, he maintains an upbeat charm, avoiding pathos by seeing everything as comic fodder." Full Review

The New York Times

"While solo shows about tough times and garden-variety depression are not exactly rare flora on the theater scene, Mr. Gethard, who confesses he’s been depressive since he was a preteen, confronts with a bruising and sometimes hilarious frankness his longstanding urge to pull the plug on himself...Mr. Gethard’s delivery often belies — thank goodness — the dark waters he swims through...He definitely qualifies as significantly funny." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and graphic descriptions of the horrific side effects of psychotropic medications are not normally the stuff of which comedy shows are made...Fortunately for both him and us, he does it so entertainingly that the show's title, 'Chris Gethard: Career Suicide,' is unlikely to prove prophetic...That he manages to be simultaneously funny and moving while doing so is the key to the success of the show, sensitively directed by Kimberly Senior." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Gethard comes across as incredibly genuine and sincere, in his desire both to tell his story and to provide comfort to others who have gone through what he has and continue to fight the good fight every day. Although not everyone will relate to references to medications and their side effects, Gethard does a service by opening up...He shows the pitfalls of remaining silent about one's struggles, and also how much better it can be through humor and hope." Full Review


"Gethard is part stand-up comic and part poignant storyteller, moving seamlessly between self-deprecating jokes and heart-wrenching moments...While suicide attempts, alcoholic blackouts, and graphic stories about pharmaceutical side effects don't seem like fodder for comedy, Gethard skillfully makes them funny without ever losing sight of the seriousness of his subject matter. He pulls this off partly because he's talking about his own life, but also because he is unflinchingly honest." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"It is a delight to spend any amount of time in his thrall. Yet I can’t help but marvel at how closely 'Career Suicide' hews to every stereotype of one-man shows, right down to Gethard reenacting conversations by taking a step to the side and turning his head. He’s an incredibly skilled improvisor, a thoughtful conversationalist and a wholly fearless dismantler of form...For all of 'Career Suicide’s' soul-plumbing honesty, there’s still a tangible barrier between performer and audience." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"'Career Suicide' is neither funny nor theatre. It is stand-up which would best be served at a comedy club...Hearing about bouts of depression, alcoholism, OCD and anxiety, treated by an incompetent therapist, who enables these illnesses, is not funny. It’s sad and a little unpleasant...The problem with this show is we are, in a strange way, asked to be Mr. Gethard’s enablers...Director Kimberly Senior doesn’t help the piece as she makes it seem interminably long." Full Review

Young Perspective

for a previous production "Gethard is a singularly skilled storyteller, his voice keeping the audience so rapt that even in the quieter points of the show there is nothing but complete attention. Then a punchline hits and the place explodes…This is the kind of show you wish you could keep to watch over and over…It’s clever and silly and everything you could want from stand-up…Every part of this show stands up well on its own and it finishes wonderfully...I can’t recommend this enough, go see this show." Full Review


for a previous production "Few manage to combine laughs, emotional heft and compelling stories in quite such a classy way as this quietly captivating American…'Career Suicide' is more than a collection of candidly funny stories from the dark moments of his life, leavened by larger-than-life personalities...Serious threads that run through the hour tie together in important messages that avoid the pitfall of mawkishness simply by being true, while adding to the rich and satisfying narrative structure." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "A show that has near universal appeal…It’s a brutally earnest show…In less capable hands this could have been mawkish or solemn, but it’s tackled with enough humor and detached irony that it really works. It is funny and poignant in equal measures. Gethard isn’t a bombastic comedian, he is a considered storyteller…It’s a show that resonates with people and at times I could hear sniffling…It’s hilarious and moving, and a hour that many will really get a lot out of." Full Review

The List

for a previous production "There can be few comedy shows which have quite nailed the minutiae of despair and the bottomless black holes which those affected find themselves in than Chris Gethard's ‘Career Suicide…Gethard has managed to find not just the funny in his life story, but the truly hilarious…It's unlikely that full-blown praise from critics will do much to ease his pain. But acclaim is certainly the least Gethard deserves for psychologically digging out a movingly funny debut hour." Full Review

The Skinny (UK)

for a previous production "Miss it and you’ll be missing out on one of the most vital, heartfelt and affecting hours at the Fringe this year…Each story is packed with an unsettling mix of horror and pathos…Compelling yet still discouraging, engaging yet emotionally fragile, Gethard is brutally honest about living at the mercy of mental illness...Stand-up comedians are sometimes called 'brave' for doing what they do – this is perhaps the only time that is true.” Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Even by the standards of today’s mental-health-conscious comedy, Gethard’s show is intimate and explicit…Gethard’s openness and frankness are affecting, and he has built a comedy set around them with considerable skill and good humour…What is bleakly funny – and beautifully articulated by Gethard (with help from the Smiths) – is how broken we become, how far from dignity and capability we fall, when depression takes a grip." Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production "A revealing and personal account of living with depression. One of the great things about his show is that he gives us both a happy ending and no easy answers…With great wit and presence, he takes us through living with a depression that he first noticed when he was 11...Gethard makes it all add up to a gripping, beautiful hour. It’s amusing rather than hilarious, but its openness and its vividness leave you with a happy hum of connection." Full Review

The Reviews Hub

for a previous production "Gethard manages to bring the audience to the edge of the seats with his unique vulnerability and has the whole audience waiting with bated breath before he delivers punchlines with an ease and swagger that immediately relieves the tension…Gethard manages to connect with the audience with his honest, direct and disarming manner…This show tackles a tough subject in a great way...'Career Suicide' is alarmingly dark and brilliantly funny in equal parts." Full Review

Edinburgh Festivals

for a previous production "It is hard-hitting, but stays subtle and honest throughout, without ever straying into the self-indulgent…The audience are onboard, patient and rewarded consistently for their devotion. It may not be entirely humour-driven but his material is delivered with the consummate ease you’d expect from an alumni of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Worth the admission for his description of his shrink alone, it deserves to be a deep and honest sleeper hit." Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "The flyer promises depression, alcoholism and attempted suicide...As such, with grim scatological summaries of the side effects of certain medications, this won’t be for everyone. It is still a comedy show, however, and on that level it’s a success, with Gethard’s easy stage manner leavening the confessional moments, with entertaining anecdotes about some of his excessive behavior and his various attempts to address it." Full Review

Hilarious, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You've been affected by depression or mental illness; you like comedy; you like one-man shows; you like comedy that deals with dark themes.

Don't see it if You dislike one-man plays/autobiographical theater, aren't interested in the subject matter or dislike Chris Gethard's style of humor.

Also I thought this was a great show, and related to it a lot. Really funny... Read more Read less

Poignant, Funny, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if just see it, it's an incredible whirlwind of emotion

Don't see it if you can't possibly get to the theater before January 8th

Funny, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if I've seen this show 3 times. Twice when it was at Union Hall. Love Chris! This show is better than therapy. Truly a joy!

Don't see it if you are judgmental of mental illness issues.

Funny, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant

See it if You like contemporary comedy that deals with neurosis, like Woody Allen or Maria Bamford. It has depth and pathos and great humor.

Don't see it if You dislike one person shows that are story-telling.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Masterful, Must see

See it if You love classic tales

Don't see it if You don't like retellings of classics

Great writing, Intelligent, Hilarious, Relevant

See it if you're looking for profound shows about the human experience. It's a non-cliche way to talk about mental illness. Everyone should see it.

Don't see it if you are easily triggered. Even so, Chris writes the show in a way where it never gets TOO intense to cause panic attacks.

Absorbing, Funny, Great writing, Profound, Quirky

See it if You like solo shows that are deep and insightful.

Don't see it if If you want a classic stage play with all the trimmings

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Smart, Hilarious

See it if You like great storytelling and comedy

Don't see it if Laughing about something painful worries you

Intelligent, Must see, Riveting, Resonant, Profound

See it if Raw, honest. So important! Everyone should see it. Not about being entertained... and self and truth.

Don't see it if You want a traditional show or are expecting guffaw comedy.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Profound, Relevant

See it if You want a good laugh but aren't afraid to get real about the topic of suicide.

Don't see it if You can't deal with depression and suicide.

Hilarious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if You're a Chris Gethard fan, & appreciate laughing off serious topics. You don't have to suffer from depression or anxiety for it to resonate

Don't see it if you find it inappropriate to laugh at serious topics. But really I think everyone should see this. heartwarming, heartbreaking, hilarious

Absorbing, Funny, Resonant, Relevant, Masterful

See it if you want to see a great example of engaging and honest storytelling

Don't see it if the topics are too personal or resonant for you

Absorbing, Great writing, Funny, Must see, Resonant

See it if You enjoy deeply personal performances told with honesty and humor. What a privilege to see this show!

Don't see it if If you are uncomfortable with depression, then you definitely must see this show to remove those fears. Everyone should see this show.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if You like intense yet funny one man shows

Don't see it if You prefer "Big" productions over real and moving one man performances

Ambitious, Edgy, Funny, Great writing, Profound

See it if you can handle a very funny , brave young man tell of his struggles while delivering a Tour de force performance .

Don't see it if you don't want to see a show based on a man's learning to live with depression and suicidal thoughts

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great writing, Moving

See it if you like a well-written one man show that combines comedy with compassion.

Don't see it if You don't like solo performances, you have no sympathy or interest in mental problems.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Insightful, Brave, Encouraging

See it if You're not sure how to feel about mental health issues. The comedy is just the vehicle for a very personal journey through his life.

Don't see it if one doesn't feel mental health issues to be relevant. It's the kind of comedy that might bring tears.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Masterful

See it if You like "real-life" comedy. This show is intense but is also comedic. It will leave you thinking. Highly recommended.

Don't see it if Talk of mental health or suicide is not something you want to see

Refreshing, Intense, Funny, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to hear someone share their darkest moments and deepest struggles in an incredibly intimate, serious but funny, way.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with talk of depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, or would be offended by talking about these things in a humorous way.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Funny

See it if Sensational, humanistic, funny handling of taboo topic of personal depression. Gethard's sly, engaging persona eases discomfort level

Don't see it if If mental illness/addiction issues strikes to close to home. Still, serious yet empathic & at times hilarious tone yield upbeat results

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like stand-up. You or someone you know suffers from depression. You want to see stand-up in a non-drinking atmosphere.

Don't see it if You have no empathy. If you believe that all a person needs to do is "snap out of it".

Also I foudn myself absorbed in his story. At one point he told an anecdote... Read more Read less

Clever, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Funny

See it if You're comfortable with digging into some heavy topics and being able to laugh about them. Or you love Chris Gethard's comedy.

Don't see it if Talking about suicide and depression makes you uncomfortable. Or you're looking for a heavily scripted, more traditional show.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you suffer from depression, or know someone who does, or just want to understand depression better.

Don't see it if you dislike shows about mental illness.

Also Despite the topic, the show is not a downer. Instead, it holds out hop... Read more Read less

Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Hilarious, Resonant

See it if you like personal, one-man shows + appreciate finding humor/growth in painful, uncomfortable experiences and wacky yet wise shrinks

Don't see it if colloquial/conversational shows or difficult subjects – depression, alcoholism, suicide, therapy – make you uncomfortable

Also Intimate, hilarious, brave, sobering (pun intended), uplifting. He pep... Read more Read less

Edgy, Funny, Honest, Thought-provoking, Well-crafted

See it if you like seriously funny solo shows addressing seriously unfunny topics; if you want to see a beautifully crafted solo show

Don't see it if you find frank discussion of suicidal ideation, depression, addiction, ocd, etc to be triggering; if you need conventional plot/characters

Cast & Creatives (8)