Chris Gethard

  • Season 3, Ep 5
  • 06/20/2014

Chris Gethard reveals the story behind one of his tattoos, describes falling off the wagon at Bonnaroo and explains why he hates public displays of affection.

Two, I had not done drugsfor five years.

You'll notice a differencein language there.

I have not had alcohol.

I had not done drugs.

And then I got bookedto perform comedy

at a music festivalcalled Bonnaroo.

Some of you have heard of it.

For anybody whodoesn't know Bonnaroo,

it's a three-day festival.

It takes place every summerin Manchester, Tennessee.

Hippies love it.They all live in a big tent city

that's attached to it.

Very liberal place.Easy to get in trouble.

I did a show there witha whole bunch of my friends,

and it went really greatand we were psyched.

We wanted to celebrate.Some of my friends

are the types of people thatdo drugs every once in a while,

and they were sayingto each other,

"Maybe we should get mushrooms,maybe we should find some acid."

And one of them turned to meand was like, "Gethard,

what do you want to do?"And I was like,

"Well, you know, I've alreadygot, like, depression

"and anxiety stuff, like,I don't think I should mess

with my brain chemistrywith those hallucinogens."

And they were like,"That's... weird.

"We were kidding, man.We thought you were gonna say

"you wouldn't do any drugs,'cause we know you,

and you don't."

And I went...


"I only did it a couple times

"when I didmess around with drugs,

but I remember Ecstasybeing a really great time."

And they went, "Oh, well,

there's thisnew super Ecstasy now."

And I went, "What do you mean?"

And they said,"It's called MDMA."

And I said,"I've never heard of that."

And they said, "Sometimespeople call it Molly."

And I went, "Jay-Zreferences that in his songs."

And they said,"Yes. Congratulations,

you understand Jay-Z referencesslightly better now." And I was

like, "Well, if it'sgood enough for Jigga..."

So we wandered offinto the tent city

where the hippies live,

and I saw hippiessitting in front of a sign

that had a pot leaf on itand the word "Ask,"

and I walked up to them,and I said, "Ask what?"

And he said, "You need weed?"And I said, "I need Molly."

And he said, "Two tents down."

And it was that easy.

It was the easiestdrug deal ever.

So we bought the Molly.We went into a field.

For about 35 minutes,nothing happened.

And then I threw up.

And then everything happened.

Everything just happenedall at once.

The sun felt like a substancethat was pouring down my skin.

I said out loudto a friend of mine,

"Air is a thing.

And it's inside mealmost all the time."

I started

kneeling downand touching the grass

and I was like,

"I never considerthe grass anymore.

"When I was a boy,I used to play in grass

"and roll in grass and now,even when I do step on it,

"I don't even thinkabout the grass.

"Which is crazy,

"'cause all lifeeither grows out of this

"or walks upon it.

"And we like to pave it over.

"We like to build buildingson top of it.

"And we do thatto convince ourselves

"that we're in control,but we're not in control.

"All we are is parasitesliving on the side of Earth,

"which is the only organismthat really matters.

"And I never stop to thinkabout any of that

'cause I'm too busy playingwith my phone."

I was having all these beautiful

Molly thoughts.

Thank you.

And then my friend Davewalked up to us and he said,

"Are you guys messed up?"

And I said,"Yeah, we're on Molly."

And he said, "Cool.

I'm gonna get someand join you."

And I said, "Great.

Can you get me some more?"

And he said, "How much more?"

And I took every dollarout of my wallet,

and I said, "That much more."

And he left. He came backabout 20 minutes later.

He handed me a couple pills.

I took them, I swallowed them,I stood up,

went to an ATM machine,took out $300,

and immediately bought$300 more worth of Molly.

And I found out,

when you buy that muchMolly at once,

they don't even give youpills anymore.

They give youa bag of white powder.

So I was walking around Bonnaroo

fun-dipping my Molly.

Remember Fun Dip?The powdered candy

in the pouch?

I was fun-dipping Mollyall over Bonnaroo.

I started walking upto random hippies,

and I'd go, "Hey."And they'd go, "What?"

And I'd go,"You want some free MDMA?"

And they'd go, "Yay!"

And I realizedthat I went from being

five years completely sober

to actually beinga drug distributor.

And not evenan economically sound one.

Just giving it away!

The worst my behavior got was Itook a bag of white powder

and I walked up to a guy whoseshirt said "security" on it.

And I went, "Hey."And he went, "What?"

And I went...(blabbering)

And then I ran away.

And at that point,

at that point, my friend Mattgrabbed me, he's like,

"Dude, you need to chill out."

And what you should knowis my friend Matt

is a recovering heroin addict.

This means thatwithin a few hours,

I went from being completelystraight edge for a half decade

to having a heroin addicttell me to chill.

And I said to him, "You'reright, I'm out of control.

I'll just use the bathroomand calm down."

And that's when I went

and ate half a gram of Mollyby myself

in a Porta Potti.

There's a sentence I wishwasn't on the résumé.

Once ate half a gramof Molly by himself

in a Porta Potti.

All told, I stayed up

for 36 hours

doing Molly. I went onthis really big bender.

And in the middle of it,one of my friends turns to me

and he goes, "Hey, man,

"that girl you're alwayshanging around with,

you think you guys areever gonna get together?"

And I said, "Oh, actually

"that's my girlfriend.

"And we've been datingfor eight years.

"And the reasonyou don't know that

"is we're not affectionatewith each other at all.

"And the reason for thatis at the end of the day

"what we are is best friends.

"And I think we both havethis romantic notion

"that it would be wonderfulto marry your best friend.

"And I bet it would bewonderful, but you don't have

"to marry your best friend.

"And we're not goingto marry each other.

"And I think we're bothjust a little too scared

and a little too sadto admit that and move on."

And then I paused,and I looked at him and said,


I can't unsay that."

So I went back to New York City,

I broke up with a girl whoI'd been dating for eight years.

I had a roommate I livedwith for almost ten years?

Just moved out one day.

Just left. My whole foundationwas just gone.

It was out the door.I started staying up all night.

I started partyingall over New York City.

I started sleepingwith tons of girls.

Trust me, I don't gethow I pulled it off either.

I guess lookinglike a member of Weezer

goes further in New Yorkthan any of us knew.

And I make jokes about it. I do.I make jokes about it now.

But it was kind of a scary timein my life.

I was really livingin ill-advised fashion.

And it got scary.I was having panic attacks.

It was really scary at points.

So I kept tryingto tell myself, like,

"Remember that thisis good stuff ultimately.

"Like, I'm feeling a lotof positive momentum

"I haven't felt in a long time,like, these are good changes.

"I can't forget that.I need to do

something permanentso I never forget that."

So at the age of 32,

without thinkingabout it at all,

on a total whim, I wandered

into a Brooklyn tattoo parlor,

and had them tattooon my right bicep

the words

"It takes strengthto be gentle and kind."

(crowd claps, cheers)

Now, that's a song lyric.

Does anybody knowwho wrote that lyric?

MAN: The Smiths!The Smiths.

That's a Morrissey lyric

from when he waswith the Smiths.

For anybodythat doesn't remember,

Morrissey, the front manof the Smiths,

the British quartet,

kind of like fey,sad-sack icons.

I cannot be gettingMorrissey lyrics tattooed

on my body at the age of 32.

That is not acceptable.

I'm not a sad 19-year-oldcollege kid anymore.

I can't be gettingMorrissey tattoos.

And I can feel this whole roomsaying to themselves,

"It's a cheesy tattoo,but it's not the worst one

I've ever heard of."

But what you don't know

is I already had the word

"Morrissey" on the same arm.


Unacceptable behavior.