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When the buildings were alive the place was called Overbrook. Once they sat dead, the local papers obsessed over the future zoning status of “The Hilltop”, addressing where they were but never what. We called it the Bin, because that’s what it was, a loony bin sitting abandoned at the top of a hill, no longer living but not yet dead, much like the people who once called it home.

I wasn’t surprised when Josh disappeared. He’d been gone for some time already.

I noticed some things were wrong shortly after his family moved, just a few towns away. Close enough to still visit, often enough to notice that this town rejected him. We went to a park and a kid spat in his face. We went to a street fair and some kids chased us into a local diner. They lingered outside. We waited until they were gone. He’d been fine in West Orange, but here in West Caldwell he was rejected like a bad kidney. …


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Me and Nick rolled into Vegas. Neither of us had been before. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, which is to say it felt like someone had a vision of the future, and managed to build it in the desert, and then it failed.

Nick and I rolled out from LA, both of us 24, both east coasters (he of deep Queens, me a fierce defender of North Jersey), both of us unstable in a way that would be proven disastrous later in life. …


I started working on some stories late last year. I don’t know if the project would have gone anywhere. The premise of the project was that I still love America, because I’ve traveled it by road, seeing it and feeling it, and most importantly I’ve met people along the way who really seem to represent the places where I met them. Specifically, I was going to claim that we are not as divided as Facebook would have us believe.

Obviously that premise needs re-working. I was wrong, we are divided.

That being said, I’m trashing that intro and throwing up some of these essays, because I haven’t done a show in months and if I don’t put something creative out into the world I’m going to lose my mind. …


‘Career Suicide’ is unapologetically honest about my struggles with depression — and the lessons I learned fighting it

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Illustration: kbeis/Getty Images

I have a son named Cal. He’s three months old and I don’t think it’s hyperbolic at all to say that he is the most perfect being to ever live on earth. He’s adorable and kind and he can already slap things with his hands, which I am pretty certain makes him very advanced. When he wakes up he looks sleepy, until he makes eye contact with me or his mother, at which point he breaks out into a bright, huge, toothless smile, which leads to a rush of euphoria that is the most addictive feeling in the world.

He’s also redefined all of my priorities. My life used to be about any number of things, but now it is only dedicated to one: making sure he has the best life we can provide for him. …


Our fear of having hard conversations only makes us more afraid

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Photo: Lincoln Beddoe/Getty Images

Let me just say this right out of the gate: I never wanted to give a fucking speech at my old high school.

That being said, I’ve had a public career, and this has led to some of the people I grew up with taking pride in me. It feels really nice. I run into people from my hometown and they tell me they’ve seen and are psyched about the stuff I’ve done. It’s cool. Flattering.

We’re all adults now. Any sense of high school drama is way behind us. It’s good to see that those of us who are still around grew into functioning human beings who got through the tough times we may have had. And to realize that the work I’ve put in over the years gets the respect of those I grew up with really means a lot. …


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In 2016, I started a podcast where the premise was I’d tweet out a phone number and talk to whomever called for a full hour straight. I forfeited the ability to hang up. I figured it would be a funny podcast where I’d get prank called by weirdos.

Instead, this project has transformed my life by becoming a weekly tribute to empathy, openness, and honesty. People have shared their lives, one by one, in a way that truly makes me feel like the world is a smaller place, and that people are people, and that everyone has a story worth telling. Some people share experiences as mundane as “I am currently walking around in the aisles of a Target” or “I am currently on a SEPTA train outside of Philadelphia”. …


Preparing for my first child gave me a whole new understanding of the man who raised me

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Photo: Vasyl Dolmatov/Getty Images

Having never had a child, the thing about parents that’s most impressed me up to now is the “you’re okay” thing they pull off.

I am of course talking about a scenario we’ve all seen some version of. You’re sitting at your friend’s kitchen table, catching up. Their kid, barely able to walk six steps without falling over, careens by and trips, stumbling headfirst into a glass sliding door.

The kid’s neck bends at an angle that would make a physical therapist start counting his money. The impact makes a noise that triggers you to instinctively pray. …


Hi everyone -

One of the comedians around NYC I’ve always tried to watch and learn from is Gary Gulman. He’s fantastic, and if you haven’t watched his bit about the people who abbreviated the states, please do so now. I’ll wait…

Gary’s incredible, and he’s been posting daily tips on stand up comedy writing and performance for months now. They are invaluable and I if you’ve ever wanted to be an artist, I encourage you to just bail on reading this and go read his at:

Seriously, his tips are worth way more than mine. So if you’ve only got a few minutes and you’re looking for actual advice to get your gears turning, his thoughts on this are way more valuable and I bow down to them.


“Chris Gethard to mat nine.” The frazzled man shouts it into a microphone. He’s been doing it all day, so I know that hearing my name called over a loudspeaker means I’m about to be disqualified for no-showing my match. I’ve been waiting hours for this moment. There is no hesitation. There is no thought of bailing.

I sprint to mat nine. I had been zoned out on the other side of mat ten, stretching, wondering when my match would take place. It was scheduled for shortly after 3:00 PM. We are now well past five, but this is how these things go. There are ten mats, each of which feature two people trying to strangle one another — if they’re being nice about it. …

Chris Gethard

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