**** (out of 5)
The popular podcaster, improviser and storyteller makes his return to the Fringe for the first time in six years. If you haven’t seen him in while, you’ll quickly notice something different about him. The beard, obviously. His midlife crisis, not as noticeable. But Gethard claims that having a three-year-old son and moving with his family back to New Jersey in the pandemic, he now feels decidedly out of the comedy loop. In his head, he’s no longer the cool kid of the NYC alt-comedy scene.
Is that just a bit of imposter syndrome, tho? Or merely just a function of physically not existing within the loop of the city’s mass transit system to shuttle in and out of clubs and theaters as he once so easily could?
Either way, Gethard already has found that his toddler son is teaching him life lessons rather than the other way around. The experience also has prompted him to reassess his dad’s love for him, and how he demonstrated it through actions, not words. Gethard also openly questions why, as a father who misses his son, he’d travel all the way to Edinburgh for a month to perform so far away from him? The answer turns out to be a simple one: Showing love through action and service. He wants to make strangers feel better about themselves. That lies at the heart of his comedic storytelling. It explains why he signed up to be a volunteer ambulance driver. It definitely explains the one thing Gethard didn’t mention during his hour, even if it was staring us in our faces the moment we found our seats: Leaflets for his other Fringe show. Gethard’s popular podcast in which he answers anonymous phone calls: Chris Gethard’s Beautiful Anonymous.
Though he may feel more anonymous now, Gethard still has a beautiful ability to connect with audiences.
Chris Gethard: A Father and the Sun runs through Aug. 28, 2022, at Gilded Balloon Teviot (Billiards Room).