First off, please pardon the fact that our site has been hacked to shit by Russian and Chinese people. Our Twitter roll is hilarious right now and for some reason our Wiki is a living advertisement for different weird medications. I have no idea why medication dealers in nations with Communist associations think this site is the proper platform for their agendas, but I’m sort of flattered and also we’re working on fixing it as quickly as possible.
Hello! I am writing you from sunny Los Angeles, California. It’s really warm here. I miss New York. I understand that New York is freezing and apparently home to a relentless, unforgiving wind. I don’t care. I can’t wait to come back.
Post road trip life has been ok. I slept in a bed for the first time since January 13th last night. This itinerant lifestyle has been driving me insane. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed, even if that bed is currently located in Woodside, Queens, and even if Woodside, Queens is apparently coated in a layer of shitty ice.
When I get back, we’re hitting the ground running again by doing the second annual NIGHT OF ZERO LAUGHS.
Many people who were at the first Night of Zero Laughs last year have asked me “Why the fuck would you ever re-do the Night of Zero Laughs?” It’s a really valid question. Last year’s version of this show was unquestionably an unmitigated disaster. It was the least funny show in the history of comedy. Despite it’s name, I didn’t intend that. I mean, people stormed out. People were fake laughing in an effort to get themselves kicked out. I felt really, really bad.
My initial idea was that this show would really play with the psychology of a crowd. “If you tell people they can’t laugh, all they want to do is laugh,” was my thought. Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in that the crowd that attends The Chris Gethard Show is perhaps the most savvy and sadistic crowd in comedy. Everyone showed up ready to call my bluff. And they did. Hard. I was kicked out for laughing, but at the end of the night, over 2/3rds of the audience remained, sitting in angry silence.
The whole thing last year was that anyone kicked out for laughing would get a free drink coupon at McManus, the world’s best bar by the way, and that way you wouldn’t feel like you wasted five dollars. But since most people didn’t get kicked out, they felt like they basically wasted five dollars. My thought was that you’d pay to come to the show, but you’d get your money back via the drink deal, and the real experience would be sharing war stories at the bar. Not so much. The legendary statement that came out of last year’s show was “The longer you stayed at the show, the worse you thought it was.”
At one point I was sitting next to Will Hines last year, and wrote on a piece of paper “I can’t tell if this is amazing or awful.” He had no idea either. It turned out, most people thought it was awful.
Well, there’s a few reasons why I want to remount this disaster.
First off, we are coming off of DiddyGethard and the Road Trip and they were two huge events that got a lot of attention and goodwill. And that’s cool, but I really want to do something for the hardcore New York audience that’s dedicated themselves to the show, and to me, that means doing something that only the fucking lunatic assholes in our New York crowd would take another chance on. So in a weird way, I view this as a thank you to our hardcore fans, even if they pretty universally agreed last year that this was one of the worst experiences of their collective lives.
Secondly, I think we can get this right. After last year’s show, everyone was like “Joe Mande’s bit was the only one that hit the nail on the head.” I think we all learned from that, and I think this year we are going to attack the shit out of our audience. We made some structural mistakes too – leading off with a video in a show that was all about on stage tension was a mistake. And we were still figuring out the format of the show and had a guest like most shows do. This one needs to be its own event.
So here are the guidelines to this year’s Night of Zero Laughs. I hope you take a chance on us again and give us an opportunity to make you laugh/not laugh once more!
The Night of Zero Laughs – VERSION 2 RULES
- Anyone who laughs during this show, be they an audience member or a performer, will be ejected from the show. They will be given a ticket for a buy one get one free deal at the Peter McManus Cafe at 19th St and 7th Avenue.
- In the event that a performer is kicked out before or during their bit, they are to pass on a written copy of their bit to another performer of their choosing.
- The decisions of our laugh enforcers are FINAL. No exceptions.
- In the event of a person not enjoying the show, fake forced laughs are allowed and encouraged.
- The most important new rule – any audience member left at the end of the night will have their name taken down by show staff. These people will be declared the winners and will be taken out for a dinner by Chris Gethard. The quality of this meal will be determined by the number of winners – Chris can’t spend like two grand on this shit in the event that like 60 people make it to the end. In other words, the more winners, the shittier and more buffet style your meal gets. It behooves you to sabotage your fellow audience members through funny faces, tickling, and any other cheap tactics you can think of.