"You're gonna need a spoon."
A German guy sitting next to Nicole, assistant news editor, and I said that as we took our seats for the Chris Gethard Show at Esther's Follies March 12. Audience participation has never been my strong suit so we ignored the polite German and sat down.
Boy, I had no idea what I was in for.
What ensued over the next hour was something no one in the audience could have foreseen (not even the diehard Gethard Show fans who were chanting "class wars" when we badge holders and wristband wearers were let in early.)
I'll be honest, I didn't know much about Gethard, who is known for his work with Manhattan’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, or his show, which airs on public access in New York and on his website. Did I pretend to know more than I actually did when absolutely adorable cast member Andrew Parrish shook my hand while I was standing in line? You betcha. But I would go on to learn more than I would ever need to know (or see) of Gethard and his stage show over the next hour.
The show's theme was innocently named "remember the alamode." What followed was a strange chaos where a completely naked Gethard was covered in 20 gallons of ice cream while members of the audience gave bizarre instructions on how and where toppings should be strategically placed on the human sundae.
At this point the polite German excused himself, probably because he couldn't take this American display of lure stupidity.
Shockingly enough, I could not stop myself from laughing at the weird hilarity that came from this bizarre live comedy show. Many times I found myself shaking my head in disbelief while cackling at Gethard's shivering while his hair was styled with peanut butter by a character deemed “the human fish.”
The cast of regulars on the Chris Gethard show made an appearance at some point during the hourl-ong ice cream experiment, and were ushered in by random themes made up by the 'house band,' the Front Bottoms. Messenger Bag roamed the audience, giving kisses to those who desired one, and Vacation Jason threw a random assortment of nuts at the Gethard-ice cream mountain that was being formed after asking the audience for drug money.
After many chaotic intervals (an audience member asking if frontman Brian Sella
from the Front Bottoms could be a topping, show-goers getting on their feet repeatedly chanting "black guy" to celebrate the "one black member of the audience," and a mime almost falling down stairs next to us because he was shocked by a dog collar wrapped around his arm) Gethard chit-chatted with audience members and thanked them for coming as they ate the ice cream monstrosity on or around him.
So that was what the spoon was for.