The Chris Gethard Show Cross Country Adventure: Schizophrenics and Las Vegas


Above, the conclusion of the mutiny that was discussed here.

Yesterday was an illustration of how sad and desperate America can be.

We had a very late night that involved Don and Will driving as the rest of us slept. I woke up to the sound of both of them losing their minds. I guess they’d found a WalMart on Google and spent an hour in the middle of the night driving to it only to find that it no longer existed. Then, they went to an RV park that was closed as well. I heard Fanelli screaming his guttural Jersey scream as he lost all hope. It was pretty scary. There is a reason the New York Times recently referred to him as musclebound.

Anyway, the next morning we were all still tired and decided that since we were right there, we’d go to the Grand Canyon. Most of the people on the trip hadn’t seen it before. Before we went, we decided to eat at a diner alongside old Route 66. This diner almost single handedly brought my depression issues to the forefront.

The old towns along Route 66 look and feel like classic 50s car towns, but the interstates have killed them. There’s never anyone there. So the ones that survive are like weird ghost towns that remind you of how cool and small America used to be. The waitress at our diner clearly hadn’t spoken to many people before us that day. She was tripping over words, and it was clearly because the muscles in her mouth were atrophied due to a lack of usage caused by a lack of human contact ever.

I left her a 200 dollar tip, because it seemed like she had a rough day. This seemed like one of the best ways I could spend the money people contributed to our fundraising. I know this is a sad thing to say, but I will literally wonder forever if this woman is OK. Welcome to the comedy blog!

The Grand Canyon was cool as shit, as it tends to be. I remember before the first time I saw it, I was like “I’ve seen this shit on TV. Big deal.” Then I saw it in person and I was like “I’m fucking dumb, there’s a reason people have been blown away by this for centuries. I am one arrogant east coast prick.” It was just as cool the second time.

Afterwards, we proceeded towards Vegas, because we had to pick up our friend JD there. He’s one of our tireless video directors, and had to get back to New York for a few days. Since we had no idea where we were going to be, I told him “Just go to Vegas. Even if we are a day late, you can kill time in Vegas.” Turns out, JD isn’t a Vegas kind of guy. Almost immediately after he landed, we started getting texts like “Holy shit this place is depressing,” and “I just saw three of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen,” and “Guys seriously where are you? This is depression in city form.”

We ignored his texts and took our time. We stopped for dinner at another Route 66 diner called the Roadkill Café. The food at this place was fucking delicious. But the food was not the highlight of the trip. That would be the sad insane woman who joined us.

As we pulled up, this woman with a huge glass mug of beer danced towards the RV in the parking lot. The guys from the band got out first and she started assailing them with questions. They were like “Talk to this guy,” and pointed to me. In my head I was like “Oh this trip is all about meeting strange people and seeing strange things all over America. This woman could be the VIRAL INTERNET HIT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!” I invited her to come eat with us.

It became very apparent very quickly that this woman had some major problems. She told a few people that she was getting divorced from a major NFL star. She told me thirty seconds later that she was getting divorced from a major country music star. Halfway through the conversation she mysteriously claimed to be deaf. Moments after that she started speaking in a lower register and repeating the words “This is my real voice.”

I was sitting there trying to eat my fried chicken as we slowly came to realize that this woman was at the very least schizophrenic. Like, on her best days, her problems ended at “The most extreme paranoid schizophrenia anyone will ever see in their life.” Needless to say, we didn’t film her. It wasn’t funny.

Weirdly, she recognized me from my show on Comedy Central. So at the very least, I was happy to see that we were reaching our target demographic of human tragedies along dying desert highways.

She gave us her email address and as soon as I heard it I was like, “Oh, I get it.” To verify my suspicions, I punched her email address into Google and endless amounts of escort reviews popped up.

I am both saddened and happy to say that this trip has now involved us paying for the dinner of an insane hooker.

We got to Vegas and rescued JD. We pulled up outside of The Tropicana and he literally sprinted off the sidewalk into the still moving RV. He started screaming immediately, as Vegas had clearly broken his brain. The thing that put him over the edge was the fact that comedian George Wallace has been apparently named the new king of Vegas and posters of his face are everywhere. Endless exposure to George Wallace imagery killed JD’s brain. Or maybe it was that he saw a woman in a casino get put into an ambulance because she wouldn’t stop gambling after her oxygen tank shut off. U-S-A!

We met up with our buddy Matt Donnelly and he let us know that when we were in Vegas, Fremont Street was the place to go to see real weirdness. It’s the old strip, and in a last ditch effort to save it, they enclosed it in a giant tubular TV screen. People dress up like Elvis, Rick James, pirates, Batman, all sorts of shit like that, in the hope of getting money. They’re all sort of nice but sort of cracked out. We filmed a video with some of these guys, and the fake Bret Michaels got real mad that we tried to film him, so we had to leave.

I have never seen anyone more in his element than Don Fanelli on Fremont Street. Something about being on the most desperate street in what’s already known as one of the most desperate cities in America, put Fanelli completely into his comfort zone. I won’t spoil a future video, but I will say that in the next day or so you will be able to see why Don Fanelli was known as “The King of Fremont Street” for at least one night, and possibly forever.

The weird thing is that for as much depressing shit as we saw throughout this day, it was also super fun. The weather is warm, people in this area of the country are generally relaxed, and no one is in a rush. I guess everyone around the American southwest has just decided to own the fact that there’s a lingering cloud of human pain covering this area at all times.

That being said, I’m about to cheer myself up by renting an M-16 and firing it at a cutout of Osama Bin Laden. U-S-A.

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

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