Quote1 We want to start the show with the Chris Gethard Show guarantee, which goes like this. Uh, we hope this is a good show, we want it to be really funny, if it's not, we promise that it will be a disaster of such a high level that it will be more enjoyable than it would have been if the show went well. That is our promise to you. Quote2
--Chris Gethard

The First Episode is the debut episode of The Chris Gethard Show on the public access channel MNN. The show had been successful on-stage at the UCB Theater for two years prior, but this episode marks their transition to live television.


The show opens with The LLC playing the opening theme, then Chris Gethard and his assistant Bethany Hall greet the audience. Bethany remarks that the show is going to be a mess, and Chris tells her not to say that because it will make people change the channel immediately. Chris delivers the Chris Gethard Show guarantee, promising that the show will either be a success or it will be so much of a failure that it will be more entertaining than had it been successful. They give the number to call in to the show, and The LLC plays a new song Why Don't You Give Us a Call? which Gethard was not expecting. Gethard explains the call-in topic for the night: If you, the caller, got into a fist fight with him, the host, what would your strategy be?

The First Episode 0002

Chris Gethard & Bethany Hall

Chris Gethard introduces The Human Fish, and The LLC plays an introductory song titled Human Fish. Gethard explains that the Human Fish is trying to figure out how the world works, and has a lot of internal battles. He asks the Human Fish what is on his mind, and the Human Fish replies "Chips vs. Nachos." The winner is "Chips. Gethard encourages anybody to call in and ask the Human Fish what is on his mind.

Chris Gethard next calls up Diana Kolsky, whose face has been painted. Gethard explains that Kolsky is a very talented face painter, and anybody watching the show in Manhattan can come down to get their face painted. They are hoping a total stranger will come down to the studio.

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The Human Fish

The show receives its first live caller, and an unnamed man asks The LLC to play the Slayer song Raining Blood. The band plays a couple of bars, and Chris Gethard cuts off this caller by saying "I'm done with that maroon."

George Kareman and Jesse Lee are brought onto the stage. Chris Gethard explains the next segment will be titled "Trash Hunt." They have brought a real bag of garbage from Chris Gethard's actual kitchen, which Kareman and Lee must hunt through to find a single dollar. The winner will get to keep the dollar. Both men trash talk each other. Gethard asks what each of them are planning to spend the prize money on. Kareman says that he will buy gifts for his friend Jesse Lee, and Jesse responds that he will buy a pack of Orbit gum.

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Don Fanelli

Don Fanelli is the next person brought on stage. The LLC plays a new song titled Don Fanelli. Gethard explains that Don Fanelli is incapable of backing down from a challenge, so he has planned a surprise for Don. A crew of stagehands bring wood onto the stage, and Gethard bets Fanelli that he cannot build a "man-sized birdhouse" by the end of the show. Fanelli must build the birdhouse entirely using the tools provided, and it must be "from the inside out." Fanelli will also be accompanied by Fran Gillespie, who is there to translate everything Fanelli says into Spanish. Gethard is very mean to Fanelli, continuing an old bit from the TCGS stage show. Fanelli utters the first swear word of the show when he says "Fuck you, man."

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Atamanuik & Gemberling

The next caller asks for someone named "Mad Dog" and then says he wants to talk about the Islanders. This man complains that they are being too loud and his mother is sleeping. The caller also asks how much money Chris Gethard pays for the movie channel, then repeats that he wants to talk about sports. Gethard requests that they hang up on this man because he is "insane." The next caller is an unnamed woman who asks "what is the point of this show?" Gethard replies "what you just asked is a truly fantastic question, and as the host of this show, I have no idea."

The next bit is titled "Anthony Atamanuik Cooks Appetizers for John Gemberling." The LLC play a song titled "Appetizers." Anthony Atamanuik, a very accomplished home cook, prepares fancy appetizers to be critiqued by his friend John Gemberling. The first item is an arugula salad with quick-pickled radish, rice vinegar, scapes, plum vinaigrette, and applewood-smoked bacon. Gemberling finds it too salty, but the Human Fish seems to enjoy it. The next item is a cheese puff filled with sour-cream/bleu cheese/chive/truffle oil filling. Gemberling once again says that it is too salty. Atamanuik agreed that the first one was too salty, but insists the second one was fine.

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Mikey Erg

The next caller is a man named "Terrance from New York" who complains that we are "the most pussed-out society in the history of mankind." Terrance says with the elections coming up there is not a single good candidate, and America needs someone crazy to come out of left field. The man asks "whatever happened to Hammurabi's Code?" and Gethard asks him if he is advocating an all-out revolution. The man says they have to listen to Megadeth lyrics that he finds very important, and reads some on the air. Gethard thanks him for his call, and requests that the audience stick to the topics already mentioned on air.

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Chris berates Don Fanelli

There is a musical interlude and guest Mikey Erg plays a song called Introducing Morrissey that he says he wrote for Chris Gethard. When the song is finished, Gethard asks what Erg thinks of the show. Erg says "it's a mess" and Gethard says "thank you." Erg then elaborates that it is a mess "of the best kind" and Gethard is sad because he initially misheard Erg as saying "it's the best." Gethard rescinds his thank you.

Gethard criticizes Fanelli for making noise by hammering during Mikey Erg's song, and forbids him from using nails in the rest of the project. Fanelli is given a roll of duct tape, and Chris continues to chastise him for being in the way of the rest of the show. Bethany remarks that it looks like Don does not know how to use a hammer. "You're not even worthless, you're having a negative effect on the rest of the show." Fanelli begrudgingly takes this abuse.

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The Lone Cornmeal Machine

There is an animated segment developed by The Lone Cornmeal Machine, a group that makes short films based on viewer suggestions through Twitter. Their first short is a stop-motion video based on the suggestion "Testicular Torsion" that also uses real surgery footage.

Gethard remarks that not one person has called in to talk about fist-fighting him, which makes him feel like everyone in New York is scared of him. Bethany says that she would hit Gethard in the knees first and then hit him in the balls, and she thinks she would win. Gethard replies that he would destroy her, and Bethany suggests they have a real fist fight at some point.

There have still been no calls for Diana Kolsky, so Gethard suggests that someone in the audience gets their face painted. Friend-of-the-show Omar is called up. Diana asks Omar to tell her about his dreams for inspiration. Omar says he honestly cannot think of anything and Diana says that is okay. Gethard calls the Human Fish up to ask what's on his mind again. The Human Fish replies "Andrew Lloyd Webber vs. Andrew Jackson" to which the winner is "Andrew Lloyd Webber." Kareman and Lee are brought up to "trash talk" each other again now that they are both wearing scrubs. Terrance calls in again to play a Megadeth song over the air, and Gethard hangs up on him a second time.

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Diana Kolsky paints Omar

Atamanuik and Gemberling are brought on stage again, and they squabble over whether or not Atamanuik's cooking has suffered because he is stressed. Atamanuik has prepared roasted tomato with garlic, white balsamic vinegar, basil olive oil, coriander, and a little truffle salt. Gemberling once again calls it salty and Atamanuik says that he is "legitimately pissed." Gethard yells at Fanelli again for making too much noise with the duct tape. Fanelli replies that if he could fist fight Gethard he would punch him right in the face. Atamanuik also serves asiago cheese with truffle honey and homemade candied orange rinds. Gemberling says this one is actually his favorite so far.

The episode is interrupted while the crew has to swap tapes, which they did not realize they had to do. There are 10-15 seconds missing and we will never know what happened.

There is another musical interlude with Mikey Erg, who plays the song Song Against Ian Raymond.

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"Trash Hunt" with George & Jesse

Chris berates Fanelli again, saying he will never finish on time. The next caller describes himself as a "big Don Fanelli fan" and requests that Fanelli do the rest of the show with his shirt off. Don obliges, showing off his muscly glistening physique. Gethard asks how this caller would fight him. The caller replies that he would take Gethard down by the legs then shove his armpit in Gethard's face. Gethard says he hopes this person calls every week because he is the first sane person he has talked to. Gethard also says he feels like this is someone he knows using a weird voice, and the caller replies "yeah probably." Diana is called up again to show Omar's face painting in progress.

George Kareman and Jesse Lee are brought up onstage to finally do "Trash Hunt" and The LLC plays a song called "Trash Hunt." The garbage is laid out on a tarp. Neither of them are able to find the dollar after searching for a ridiculously long time. Gethard awards the dollar to Jesse for experiencing racism on the show.

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Don Fanelli's Bird House

Mikey Erg performs the song Pray for Rain.

Fanelli finishes his bird house, which Gethard calls a "shitty lean-to." Don says "it looks like a bird house to me!" The writers tell Chris that it is time to wrap the show up, and he finishes by thanking everyone. The LLC plays them out with the Closing Theme. There are still several more minutes left because this was timed improperly. Omar is called up to show his finished face painting. Gethard brings his head writers Dru Johnston and Noah Forman on air to take responsibility for misinforming him about how much time they had left. The LLC interrupts their argument to play them out a second time, and the first show concludes.





  • The Human Fish (First appearance)
    • There is very little explained about the Human Fish at this point. Gethard explains that the Human Fish has "got a lot of stuff on [his] mind" and is "always trying to figure out how the world works." He also says the Human Fish has "got a lot of internal battles." The Human Fish seems to only speak in battle format and Gethard remarks "You don’t explain yourself, Human Fish, you just go with your gut instinct."


  1. The first caller EVER asks The LLC to play some Slayer, and they play a few bars of Raining Blood.
  2. An unnamed man calls in asking for "Mad Dog" and says he wants to talk about the Islanders.
  3. An unnamed woman calls in to ask "what is the point of this show?" and Chris Gethard responds "I have no idea."
  4. "Terrance from New York" wants to talk about how we are "the most pussed-out society in the history of mankind." He promotes the Hammurabi Code and Megadeth.
  5. "Terrance from New York" calls in again to play a Megadeth song but Chris cuts him off.
  6. A "Big Don Fanelli fan" requests that Don Fanelli do the rest of the show with his shirt off. Don obliges.


This episode did not feature any special guests.

Studio audienceEdit

  • Omar gets his face painted by Diana Kolsky.



This list is incomplete, as there were no end credits for this episode.

  • Dru Johnston - Writer
  • J.D. Amato - Director
  • Noah Forman - Writer
  • Rob Malone appears as a helpful stagehand, and Gethard remarks that Rob Malone is "one of the only guys on the ball tonight." Gethard would later describe Malone as the "MVP" of this episode.[1]


The LLCEdit

Members of The LLC present during this show are:

The songs performed by The LLC include TCGS Theme, Why Don't You Give Us a Call?, Human Fish, Raining Blood, Don Fanelli, Appetizers, Trash Hunt, and Closing Theme.

Mikey ErgEdit

  • Introducing Morrissey
  • Song Against Ian Raymond
  • Pray for Rain




Quote1 It's gonna be a mess. Quote2
--Bethany Hall
Quote1 We want to start the show with the Chris Gethard Show guarantee, which goes like this. Uh, we hope this is a good show, we want it to be really funny, if it's not, we promise that it will be a disaster of such a high level that it will be more enjoyable than it would have been if the show went well. That is our promise to you. Quote2
--Chris Gethard
Quote1 We haven't had one person call in yet to tell me how they would fist fight me. Frankly it makes me feel like everyone in New York is scared of me. Quote2
--Chris Gethard
Quote1 You're not even worthless, you're having a negative effect on the rest of the show. Quote2
--Chris Gethard to Don Fanelli
Quote1 Birds should be free man, no doors. Quote2
--Don Fanelli


  • Chris Gethard has mentioned that the first episode was haphazard because they did not have enough time to prepare their set. The crew was yelled at by another public access host named Ger Stevens, which would go on to ignite a popular feud. They also could not light the show, and none of the TCGS crew members were allowed to touch the cameras. This episode also has 10-15 seconds missing from the final recording because they didn't realize they would have to switch tapes. We will never know what happened during those 10-15 seconds.[2]
  • Chris Gethard tells Anthony Atamanuik that he does not eat tomatoes. This will become relevant in the later episode First Times where Chris finally eats a tomato.


  1. The Episode Where Everything Started
  2. Intro on YouTube

Where Can I Find This Episode?Edit