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Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

Members say: Funny, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Resonant
84
Critics
79
22 reviews
Members
84
116 reviews
 

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').

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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.

 

Cast & Creatives (8)


Reviews (138)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

85
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

85
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

85
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

85
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

10
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

90
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

85
BroadwayWorld

"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

85
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

90
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

70
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

90
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

90
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

85
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

85
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

90
Chortle

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

90
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

80
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

90
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

90
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

95
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

85
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

85
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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Profound, Great writing

See it if Brilliant Baker exploring archetypes, myths, creation,identity as group begins work on a "project" that depends on stories we tell ourselves

Don't see it if need a linear tale that doesn't require theater participation through active listening and interpretation - this one really makes u think

85
Funny, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing

See it if a funny humane take on suicide

Don't see it if 90 min stand up comedy

85
Funny, Clever

See it if You like stand up. This is essentially story style stand up. Made for a fun evening.

Don't see it if Don't like one man shows. Don't like stand up.

93
Funny, Absorbing, Masterful, Relevant, Resonant

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

95
Funny, Absorbing, Profound, Quirky, Great writing

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

85
Funny, Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if Experience the ups and downs of a person struggling with major depression while pursuing a career in comedy. Moving and insightful.

Don't see it if You prefer lighter material, or don't like solo shows.

78
Funny, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Improvisational

See it if You are a fan of improv comedy and dark comedy

Don't see it if You don't like stand up, Upright Citizens Brigade, or Comedy Central

93
Funny, Absorbing, Must see, Resonant, Great writing

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.

75
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Anxiety & depression

See it if You are a fan of the stand-up/monologue/theatre genre. Like dark comedy. You enjoy and get northern New Jersey cultural references.

Don't see it if You avoid the discussion of difficult, deeply personal issues. Need action and struggle with slowly paced wordiness.

Also The matinee audience was into this performance more than I (and the el... Read more Read less

100
Funny, Poignant, 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

70
Funny, Refreshing, Engaging, Intimate

See it if you're a fan of Chris Gethard.

Don't see it if you're not into one man shows.

92
Funny, Ambitious, Edgy, Profound, Great writing

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

85
Funny, Clever, Touching, insightful, compassionate

See it if you want to see serious subject matters (depression, suicidal thoughts & drug dependence) handled with humor, delicacy & compassion.

Don't see it if An autobiographical stand-up performance about the above subjects does not appeal to you, regardless of how well handled. Not for everyone.

95
Intelligent, Must see, Profound, Resonant, Riveting

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.

82
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Hilarious

See it if You want to go inside the head and heart of depression while laughing along

Don't see it if You are not ready to confront issues head on

80
Funny, Honest, Resonant, Great writing, Sweet

See it if you want to hear a smart, funny comedian talk about his life and depression for a little under 2 hours. It's a great night out.

Don't see it if You can't find the humor in mental illness and depression. Also, if you sit in the first row, he may make eye contact or engage with you.

Also Full disclosure, I'm predisposed to like a show like this. I like stan... Read more Read less

88
Poignant, Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Heartfelt, Heartbreaking

See it if you enjoy simply-staged one-man shows and understand the human impulse of finding humor in serious, life-or-death situations.

Don't see it if the idea of making fun of depression and suicidal impulses is offensive to you.

90
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing

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

79
Funny, Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you're interested in solo work, the very funny, smart Chris Gethard, or the fine line between "theatre" and standup comedy.

Don't see it if you want something uniquely theatrical. This is standup with enough confession and self-reflection to warrant a theatre and some light cues.

79
Funny, Poignant, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a funny show about a man's struggle with depression.

Don't see it if you don't think mental illness is a good subject for comedy.

80
Touching and funny, in equal measure., Tough subject, movingly explored, Absorbing, but a bit too long., Thoughtful and well-written., A different kind of stand up act.

See it if You like standup and find quirky, nerdy personalities appealing. Chris handles his personal demons with charm and grace. It's absorbing.

Don't see it if You would find the subject matter too triggering/depressing. Not for everyone-some walked out. Some parts are uncomfortable or squirmy.

87
Relevant, Resonant, Hilarious

See it if Poignant and funny. Deftly provocative re: dark but socially pressing issues (suicide and mental health), with humanity, respect and humor

Don't see it if This is a great one-man, autobiographical show. Sensitive subject matter handled delicately and masterfully.

50
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if You like one-man shows about dark & edgy subjects like suicide! [or] seeing a comedian make fun of the wonderful world of psychiatrists 8~O

Don't see it if If you'd have trouble with an 80 minute rant about bad shrinks, impotent-inducing prescription pills, and a story involving the N-word :(

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a semi-autobiographical, well-delivered, thought-provoking performance,

Don't see it if If you do not like one person shows or do not like "stand up" shows.

58
Quirky, Relevant, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if Courageous attempt to deal with the shadow side of life. Could have been more penetrating. Bringing mental illness out of the closet worthy

Don't see it if Humor about alcoholism, depression, failed suicide attmepts don't appeal Gethard doesn't go deep enough and tries to cover too much ground.

Also Disappointing stand up routine about 15 years in the life of a sufferi... Read more Read less