The Chris Gethard Show Cross Country Adventure: Not Fit to Use Chainsaws


I’m very happy to say that I went the entire day today without any failings of the five major senses. This whole day went better.

First of all, I got a whopping six hours of sleep. Part of this was because I took a Unisom sleeping pill. But most of it had to do with the fact that our friend Michael Kayne arranged for us to stay at his family’s home in Connecticut. Michael was not there, and I am the only one on the tour who had met his folks before, so it was really awkward. But, they let ten weirdoes sleep on their floor. I got a bed because I hadn’t slept at all, and it worked.

The Kayne family are indescribably wonderful people. It’s like hanging out with a less pretentious version of The Royal Tennenbaums. They’re nice, creative people, and I have always really enjoyed my time with them. When we woke up in the morning, his family had fresh squeezed juice and fresh baked muffins waiting for us — because they were planning to break us.

The reason Michael sent us to his parents’ home was because a huge tree limb had fallen in their backyard. It was about fifteen feet long and thick. Mike’s mom rented a number of hand saws for us and a cart to remove all the logs with.

Unfortunately, when you are trying to destroy a huge chunk of a 200 year old maple tree, six hand saws aren’t gonna cut it. I don’t mean that in the colloquial “not gonna cut it” way. I mean it in the “these saws aren’t gonna fucking cut through this thing in a million years” way. It didn’t help that the tree was covered in ice, and that just to get to it we had to shovel through about twenty feet of solid New England snow.

Originally we were going to use a chainsaw, but when Shannon went with Mrs. Kayne to rent it, they said “Not happening.” Probably because they saw Shannon and thought something along the lines of “This cracked out chick looks like she’s been crammed into an RV for two full days not getting sleep.”

After about two hours of trying to saw the tree and smash it with a crowbar, I finally said fuck it and headed to a Home Depot. I knew that as a major corporation, they wouldn’t have nearly as much concern for human life as a mom and pop shop, and they rented me a chainsaw without hesitating. I’m pretty sure that if they said “Why do you need it?” and I said “Murderin’,” they would have given it to me anyway. The chainsaw came with a safety outfit too, which was nice.

I thought we were gonna fuck up the tree with the chainsaw, but I’ll admit it — the tree defeated us. We lopped off like two chunks of it and we were all exhausted. Michael never really wanted to laugh at us anyway — he wanted to laugh at our failure. We gave him his money’s worth.

We went back in, where JD and Jon loaded up footage and used the internet. Getting our videos made is difficult, but coordinating a cross country trip and uploading them is a real pain in the ass. So we used their net access. But then we were all getting too comfortable in the warmth and the delicious home cooked food and I had to round up the troops. I guess I was kind of harsh about it, because Erika the Intern later told me she was really scared of me. This is the second day in a row that I’ve almost brought her to tears. I don’t know if I feel horrible or great about this.

We posted tweets letting people know we were heading from New Haven to Baltimore on 95, and a whole load of people got in touch with us. Katie Lynch invited us all to her house in Philly. She wasn’t the only Philly person to speak up.

A bunch of dudes were asking me to get down there, and one guy named Daniel Eastman jumps in like “This kid doesn’t have the balls to come to Philly.” And I’m like “Fuck that, I’ll be there in three hours so you can say it to my face.” Then he said something about fighting me and I think I threatened to murder him. I was really tired and not in the mood for it.

So it turns out that this dude is a comedian. And by a stroke of dumb luck, I find out that he is appearing at a show my brother organizes that night. I assume that’s how he found my twitter in the first place. So we fight through the Philly traffic and make our way to park the RV. We are kicked out of a Wal Mart and instead take refuge at a Home Depot. We jump into cars and get over to the venue of the show.

The timing couldn’t have been better. When I walk in, there’s two dudes on stage and my brother Gregg runs over and is like “Yo, he’s on stage right now!” People in the back see that I’m standing there and they start pointing and whispering, and I realize that my brother has told his entire crowd that I was on my way to fight the guy.

So the sketch this kid is in ends with him running off stage down the center aisle… where I am standing in my hoodie. He says “Oh shit” and starts walking backwards. It felt so fucking cool. It looked staged, but I swear to God, it wasn’t.

We make our way to the stage and I take off my coat and me and this dude square up to wrestle. The crowd starts yelling anti-New York shit, but they shut up when pretty quickly I get on top of this dude and choked him out. I am able to do that because I am a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and THAT’S THE SECOND WORST BELT, BITCH.

I heard the guy had a bloody nose later. I feel bad about that.

So then I call out these other dudes who were talking shit in Twitter and four guys jump up on stage. Since they yelled all this anti-New York shit I started yelling a bunch of anti-Philly stuff into a mic. Shannon and Will joined me on stage to fight these guys, and at the last minute, Joe Evans stepped up and got in on the fray. It was, no exaggeration, a fucking brawl. A four on four wrestling match. Cheap shots were thrown. Joe got body slammed. Will pushed a dude off the stage. None of this is a joke.

Then, we fucking bounced. It was tight as shit.

Day one of our trip — 911 call. Day two — onstage eight person brawl at a show we weren’t even supposed to be at.

NOT BAD.

We ended the night by going to Katie’s house. She and her lovely roommate Jaime served us spaghetti and meatballs. There were no forks, so we all used plastic knives like chopsticks. I ate a bunch of cupcakes. They let me take a shower, so that was cool. The only bothersome thing was that they had this sheet of paper that took up a whole wall that they wrote shit on and I saw one part where they’d written the word #diddygethard and crossed out the word Gethard. That shit hurt my feelings.

We’re trying to crash tonight in Baltimore. I’m writing this from the back of the RV. We’re driving through an alternating snow and rain storm. I was terrified of Hines driving during the day with no rain. I am going to try to sleep but I have a feeling Hines is going to kill me by driving into a bridge again. Hines is the kind of dude who would drive off a cliff and be like “My bad. There was no sign,” on the way down.

One of the coolest things going on is that kids in the cities we are visiting heard about the Diddy stuff and are trying to organize their own campaigns. Boston tried to get Shaq, but he never replied on Twitter. We aren’t asking them to do this, and aren’t picking the people. Kids are just trying to get random local heroes to partake in The Chris Gethard Show.

I’m super psyched that in Richmond tomorrow, there’s a slim chance I may meet GWAR. Those guys always ruled and their weirdness and sense of humor was a big part of my adolescence. Meeting them on a crazy ass trip like this during a crazy ass stretch of my life would feel like some sort of validation.

Ok. So, I’m not dead yet. That’s good. In fact, I’m probably farther from death than I was the last time I wrote to you, Splitsider. Let’s hope I live through the driving of Will Hines so I can say the same tomorrow.

Chris Gethard is a comedian from New York and the host of the Chris Gethard Show.

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