Chris Gethard is a testament to the potential of new media. At 2:30 in the morning on Christmas Eve 2009, the actor and comedian made an amateur YouTube video, pleading with rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs to make an appearance at The Chris Gethard Show, a live variety night at the 170-seat UCB Theatre in New York.
“I want to live in a world where something like that is possible,” he said on the video. And last month, Diddy did the show.
“We spent 13 months trying to get Diddy to do the show,” said Gethard, just a few days after Combs’ appearance. “He said he would do it after only the first month of tweeting, and then it took well over a year after that for him to actually appear. So it had become this sort of monumental thing in my life, so when it was actually happening it was this insane adrenaline rush.”
Gethard has had ups and downs in his profession, including a stint on Comedy Central. At one point during Diddy’s guest spot, Gethard asked him about how to make it in show business.
“He was so charismatic and so cool,” said Gethard, “and it just made you realize, ‘Oh, this is why this guy has had so much success. He knows how to just step up to the plate and deliver.’”
Diddy’s advice seems to have given him a renewed belief that anything happen if you believe in yourself and use the technical tools we have at our fingertips.
“That’s one of the things that the Internet has come to represent more and more for me,” said Gethard. “I think it expands what the world is and what the world can be.”
“Initially it was Al Roker, and that was a joke, and he turned me down,” said Gethard about his first campaign for a celebrity guest. “But what I saw was that all these people got behind it and all these people online saw what we were going for and supported it. And I was like, ‘We might actually have a method at our disposal that I was kind of using as a joke.’ So I thought, ‘Who is someone that should be really unattainable?’ That way if it did happen, it would be a miracle. If it didn’t, no one would judge me for that.”
So who’s next?
“The person I would really want to interview would be Morrissey from the Smiths. He’s my favourite singer, but he’s not a Twitter guy. I’m also obsessed with the New York Knicks, so if anybody wants to help me get Amar’e Stoudemire, I would not hold back on that either.”