IFC is "adopting" Chris Gethard as part of their "Adopt-A-Comic" program. The program is meant to highlight comedians who fit the comedic brand of IFC. For Gethard this means hosting on-air programming and developing exclusive content for IFC.com. Most importantly, IFC will be working with Gethard to develop a comedy series based on his memoir, A Bad Idea I'm About To Do. Let's pause for a moment to revel in how exciting this is… Ultimately, IFC is taking exactly what they did with Scott Aukerman over the last two years and turning it into an official strategy. As Scott put it in our interview a few months back: "The thing about [the interstitials] is that they were good for IFC to see that I could be on camera, that I wasn’t a monster." Gethard is also not a monster. Though he is an extraordinarily respected member of the comedy community, he is still an unknown to much of the country, so hopefully IFC will effectively help him build a rapport with their audience that will then translate into viewers of his show.
Gethard's response to the news:
“When I told my parents I was being adopted by a television station, they said ‘Why do you need to be adopted? You are 32 years old. We gave you a pretty good, easy suburban life.’ They don't get how much of an opportunity it is for me that a hip cable network wants to raise me like a human baby.”
What is really exciting about all of this is that IFC has shown a commitment to letting their creatives be the creatives. Just look at the Comedy Bang! Bang!. IFC, to their credit, believed in Scott and let Scott make his show. As he told me:
"If I feel strongly about anything and they give a note that says, "No, this doesn’t work" and I say, "No absolutely, it has to be like this" they have backed me 100% of the time. I came into it saying I want to do the show that I’ve always wanted to do and IFC supported it. That’s not to say we didn’t change a few things along the way, but it really is one of the most pure artistic visions that you’ll see on TV."
When you read Chris Gethard's recent post "The Chase Is the Thing and the Thing Is the Chase," you see a comedian somewhat disenchanted by Hollywood who was reborn by instead looking inward and making the art he always wanted to make. Chris is probably freaking out right now, worried that he might fail. However, at least it will be on his on terms. And as he writes:
"Failure isn’t something to be terrified of. You should only be terrified when you’re not scared…The trick isn’t to eliminate those feelings of fear, the trick is to understand that they are the feelings that come about when you’re taking risks that might lead to creative growth. They’re the feelings that spring up when you’re broadening your horizons and getting to a level you haven’t known before. Fear is like the bloodhound that sniffs out all the cool shit that you should be learning how to do, that you should desperately and zealously be pushing yourself to do."
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