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Chris Gethard Interview

Before his time on cable, public access and the Upright Citizens Brigade, Chris Gethard was a student at Rutgers University. An admittedly anxious man, the unforgiving city of New Brunswick may not have done him much good in the moment, but it produced a famous comedian and actor with a recent HBO special and a beloved, unique talk show, The Chris Gethard Show, that is soon to continue its run on truTV.

Gethard came back to Rutgers in late March to perform stand up, where he shared some now-funny memories of his time spent at the State University of New Jersey. After, he graciously sat down with The Medium for a quick interview.

He was nervous at first, because The Medium, which is now generally filled with socially awkward introverts, had a bit of a rough-and-tumble reputation back in the early 2000s.

With Gethard’s show to debut on truTV this Thursday, we proudly share our conversation with him.

Note: While The Medium publishes quality satire for your enjoyment, we promise this interview is completely real.

Chris Gethard with some aforementioned socially awkward introverts

Chris Gethard: A friend of mine freshman year, The Medium did some really harsh stuff about Jesus, and he was really Christian. He went to a meeting to try to say something and they were like, “You wanna fucking fight, bro?!” There was almost like a fistfight in The Medium.

The Medium: Oh no, we’ve changed.

Do you still have those classified ads?

The personals?

Yeah.

Yeah, but then like Yik Yak came out, so now we’re only down to one page of personals. The internet affects us, too.

Ah, the personals was classic.

Yeah people used to submit personals…

And you’d send messages to other people.

Yeah now we just have one guy on the computer just typing, just talking to himself on the computer. It’s kind of sad.

If you were in a class with someone and you thought they were cute you’d be like, “Uh, whoever’s always in the third row James Reed’s history class, I think you’re cool and I like your hair.” You’d always get stuff like that. It was the best.

Who are your comedy idols?

The person I obsessed over the most was Andy Kaufman. I think mostly because as a kid I was really obsessed with pro wrestling, and there were a lot of specials of him doing pro wrestling in Memphis, and I thought that was the funniest thing in the world. He also did a lot of appearances on Saturday Night Live in the first few seasons, so then I started going back and watching all those. It was Andy Kaufman, David Letterman. Growing up in North Jersey, I don’t agree with a lot of the stuff he did morally, but Howard Stern. I look back and realize that a lot of people who were East Coast people who did whatever they felt like doing were kind of the big influences. Those are the big three. And then Eddie Murphy was big for me.

Have they influenced your work?

I think so. Like with Kaufman, he would go super deep into characters. I feel like I’m someone who overshares on stage, which is different, but I think the thing I always admired about him–which I try to emulate–is that his stuff is funny, but it always had something else. It was funny, but it might make you really mad. It was funny, but it also might make you really sad or break your heart. There’s always this other layer. Like funny is the baseline, but he’s also going to poke you in a certain way. Do you know his Great Gatsby bit? He’d just read The Great Gatsby on stage to an audience. It was really funny, but also just boring. The idea of not just giving an audience what it expects, but give them something that pushes them a little further and challenges yourself as well, I always really admired that, and I try to do that in my own stuff.

What was it like  writing on Saturday Night Live?

I was only there for two weeks, so it was like a whirlwind. Basically, if they have extra money in the budget they’ll bring people in at the end of the year for two or three weeks at a time, so I did that. It was cool. I wound up writing a sketch that went to dress rehearsal and I got notes on it from Lorne Michaels, and that was terrifying because he’s like a terrifying man I’ve been watching since I was a kid. I came up at UCB, and Amy Poehler was on the show and she owned UCB, so there was a lot of crossover between the communities. I tried to show up, not be intimidated and have fun. It was a real kick in the pants, too, in the sense of like, I kind of realized that I could actually make a career of this. Up until then I was just happy to be on the periphery. I was like, “Oh, I actually did okay there. I should actually try.”

Any updates on your show?

There’s so much stuff that’s gone down behind the scenes. It will be back in some fashion. It’s still being nailed down exactly what that will entail. It’s been like a very dramatic few months of me getting a lot of stressful phone calls. I’m really very appreciative of the fact that not many people know about the show, but those who do love it, which is so nice. I get asked on Twitter every day when the show is coming back. You have to believe me, if there’s anyone who’s more anxious about that than you, it’s me. Trust me, trust me. I think I should be able to have news within the next few weeks.

So you got me and my group of friends really into the Smiths. We were arguing over who we prefer, Marr or Morrissey, so do you have any opinions on that?

I think at the end of the day I’m a Morrissey guy, just because I love lyrics so much. I think all of the music I listen to, at the end of the day, it just boils down to if it has good lyrics that’s usually what’s hooking me in. The Smiths are one of those bands where people either really love them or totally make fun of them. Sometimes I think people say like, “I just really like Johnny Marr,” as there way of saying they’re not really a Smiths fan. I kind of feel like it’s a little bit of a cop out. You have to like the whole package. I’m a Morrisey guy myself, which is no offense to Johnny Marr, but it’s the lyrics that do it for me at the end of the day. But I have friends who are like guitar nerds, and I understand he’s someone–like they worship at the altar of Johnny Marr, but I don’t think of it that way.

Which episode of The Chris Gethard Show was your favorite to film?

It’s interesting because we did the dumpster one, and magazine wrote about that and said it was the best hour of TV this past year, and that’s crazy. We’re such a tiny show. I think it was Vulture or The Atlantic. I forget. They both wrote–I think that one was Vulture. It’s just super nice to feel like we’re this show that nobody knows about or cares about and we’ve just been fighting to survive. It was nice to do that one. I don’t want to spoil what’s in the dumpster because that’s the whole bit, but sneaking what was in the dumpster into the studio without anybody knowing was very, very fun. And what was in the dumpster was like–hint, it was a human–was like, “If they don’t guess what it is, you’re wheeling me out of here. I will not reveal it if they don’t figure it out.”

How much talking into it did it take to get him into the dumpster?

Not much. He actually came and hung out a couple times in the studio audience when we were on public access, so he was down. But it’s funny because when you ask me which ones I had the most fun filming, our public access days the episodes were so up and down, but filming them was always fun. There was such potential for disaster. There was one episode we had where the lights kept turning off during the show, and I was like this is pathetic, but in a way that made me so happy. The idea that we’re broadcasting this live. At that point we had really caught like the cult momentum and probably had like a couple thousand people watching us online, and we can’t even figure out how to get the lights to turn on. That’s like so sad, but it makes me laugh so hard. I really enjoyed some of the disaster ones from back in the day. Like the human crane, which just like never worked. Just like failing on live, public access TV when I’m like 33-years-old. Like what am I doing. You know those gravity boots that you can hang upside down? I went and bought those boots, and chains and poles, and had to fit them in my car. I spent like $400 and it didn’t even work. I think back and I’m like that was so pathetic, but pathetic to me has always been one of the funniest things in the world. I really stink, I really feel humiliated right now, to me that’s always been my creative sweet spot.

Alright, I think that’s our time.

It was really nice talking to you guys. I was definitely scared when I heard it was The Medium.

5 Pieces of Advice from a Guy Struggling to Open a Jar of Pickles

1) Take it easy on yourself
“Congrats, you got through college. Whoop tee doo. So, yeah go ahead and take a break. Just remember that things will catch up to you, and if your biceps aren’t prepared you could be caught in unfortunate situations. *hugh*

2) Work hard
*grunt* “Look, life won’t take it easy on you. In fact, your life is just going to get harder from here. The trick is to always look at the future and the benefits that your work will eventually achieve, like a nice juicy pickle.”

3) Work out biceps
“You had a free gym membership for 4 years and I can bet my prized horseshoe crab that you didn’t take that opportunity, you sad sack. Well you better get to work, son.” *FUCK!*

4) Prepare for disappointment
“There will be times when you will be working hard and nobody will appreciate what you’ve done. But you gotta keep at it, because someone has to put pickles on the table for the family”

5) Keep your mind open to alternatives
*HUUUUURGH* “Sometimes, things just aren’t going to work out. You have to learn to let things go and try something else” *FUCK!* *DICK!* *ASS!*

Man With Crippling Sunflower Seed Allergy Makes Baseball Team

BY Stephen A. Smiff
Underground Failure

FREEHOLD, NJ — Calling it a dream come true, 15-year-old Jessie Holdermann overcame his crippling sunflower seed allergy to make the Freehold Township Travel Summer League B Team.

Holdermann had not played team baseball since 2004, when his allergy was first discovered.

“We first realized he was allergic when he nearly passed out in left field,” said his mother, Annie. “We thought he fell down after chasing around a butterfly, but it turned out he was eating sunflower seeds while playing. Who knew you were allowed to eat a snack mid-game?”

sunflower
SAFE FOR NOW Jessie thinks he won’t break out in hives in about five minutes.

Since, Holdermann had only practiced with his father in backyards and batting cages, fearing any accidental contact with any combination of salted, unsalted or ranch flavored sunflower seeds.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life,” a semi-intelligible Holdermann is assumed to have said in the dugout, as the dusting of sunflower seed shells coating the floor caused his cheeks and tongue to swell. “Making the Travel Summer League B Team is a big accomplishment. We get to showcase our skills in towns like Colts Neck and Wall, and I get to do it with a great group of guys around me, who still enjoy eating sunflower seeds all game.”

The season begins on June 15, but practices have already begun, giving the rest of the team a chance to get comfortable with Holdermann’s allergy.

“In no other sport are you eating something all game,” continued Holdermann. “I don’t really understand why we do it in baseball, but it’s part of the game. Baseball has a rich history, so who am I to interfere with it. If all it takes for me to play the game I love is to suffer in pain and struggle to breathe, than that’s fine with me.”

David Sunflower Seeds has yet to comment on the situation, but as of now the company is still supplying its product.

Here’s An Opinion: I’m Drunk

BY Devindevin.png

No no no no no, I got this. You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. No no no no, I’m fine. Really I’m fine, just let me talk. I study this stuff in school. Yeah I got to class, shut the fuck up, Rachel. The media covers this all wrong. It’s all just one big cover up. Yeah I actually believe that. Damn it Rachel just let me fucking talk–wait yo Adam are you going into the kitchen? Can you get me another beer? Hey, no, I was talking. I know I’m drunk but I still know what I’m talking about. As I was saying: this has been a problem throughout history. I mean look at the Civil War. Things don’t change, just you don’t hear people talking about it all the time, that’s why you don’t think it’s a problem, Rachel. Hey. I said I’m fine. It’s just one more beer. Fucking Rachel, am I right? You just don’t get it Rachel. You think all of the world’s problems will go away by just batting your eyes. Well that’s not how it works, Rachel. The media, Rachel. Read between the lines, Rachel. Things are not what they seem to be, just read a textbook. I just learned about all of this. Am I not making sense to you? This is cut and dry. I am drunk. I am not wrong, but yes I am drunk. Hey, no, don’t discriminate. You’re discriminating. That’s discriminating. I’m allowed to drink this beer. It’s all your fault, Rachel. Look at what’s happening here, Rachel. Look at what you’re making me do, Rachel. It’s all a big cover up. I’m out!

Class Too Small to Go Without Acknowledging Professor

BY Dale
Just Wants a Hula Hoop

NEW BRUNSWICK — Just before walking into class, junior Adrianna Canillo was forced to put on a half-smile and wave uninspiringly as she passed her professor of Sports Writing and Reporting, a class of only 25 people.

Canillo arrived to class early and walked by her professor, Allen Roberts, sitting outside class. The two made eye contact, and because the class is so small, were forced to make light of each other’s presence.

“Yeah this is the only reason why large classes are better,” said Canillo, who is majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. “In those classes I can walk by my professors and ignore them without a problem. But in these small classes, I feel so awkward if I do that.”

According to multiple student reports, there is always a moment of hesitancy when seeing professors of small classes outside of the classroom. Students usually first analyze their relationship with the professor, physical distance from the professor and whether or not the professor is interacting with other people.

“I usually try to go on my phone or put my in earbuds,” said Canillo, who is now too deep into her major to take large classes, which would negate this issue. “But in this case, I didn’t have time. He was like right there. I’ve only spoken up in class like three times, so I didn’t know if he recognized me or not. I panicked.”

Canillo apparently felt incredibly uncomfortable during her awkward greeting. Her relationship with the professor is neither too distant to warrant ignoring him, nor close enough to demand a friendly gesture.

“Honestly I wish I just ignored him,” added Canillo. “What was I thinking. Now he’s gonna expect something from me in class. I just sit there and go on my phone and search for internships. This wave is gonna change everything.”

Fraternities Promoting Sexual Violence Awareness Still Require Ratio

BY Walter Cronkite Jr
Greek Life Insider

NEW BRUNSWICK — Not seeing the explicit irony, fraternities at Rutgers continue to advocate for the prevention of sexual violence while forcing all male, non-guest list partygoers to have ratio.

“Hey bro, I only see three girls and one of you,” Beta Rho Omega brother Arnie van Jaaran reportedly said, whose fraternity was enforcing a 6-to-1 female-to-male ratio Friday. “I can’t let you in unless you got more girls, yo. But while I have you here, would you care to make a donation to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization?”

This is not an isolated incident, as reportedly every fraternity that is not guest-list only continues to use ratio at parties year after year. The reported minimum ratio is 4-to-1 at Tau Iota Tau, yet the reported minimum amount of service hours per brother at Rutgers is 10 a semester, though the message and actions do not seem to resonate.

ratio
RAINN IS LUCKY TO HAVE ARNIE Hey man equality is just the right thing to do

“Yeah we do a lot of work with The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, which provides an amazing service on campus that I really recommend people use,” said Sam Young, president of Alpha Sigma Sigma. “At the same time, though, we can’t be throwing sausagefests every weekend. Frankly, girls should see it as a compliment. They’re desirable. As a reward, guys that pull get to party, and girls are given free drinks and get to swat away unwanted advances.”

When asked about the apparent hypocrisy, Young did not see it.

“Nah we have inter-fraternal meetings all the time, and we always congratulate each other on the positive impact we have on the culture of sexual violence prevention on this campus.”

The office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs did not make an official comment on the issue, but did note fraternity contributions to the cause, both monetarily and through volunteer hours.

When asked, most independent students on campus were indifferent on the issue.
“It’s whatever,” said senior Jessica Hernandez. “I go to the bars now.”