The New Jersey native and Rutgers alumnus has built up a comedy following and strong reputation by being hysterical. A UCB regular, Gethard’s schtick revolves around telling his mother illicit, inappropriate anecdotes from his childhood, tales from the bayous of the Garden State, and geeking out on everything from X-Men to amateur wrestling to Daryl Strawberry. If you’re unfamiliar with Gethard, you can wait to see him star in Comedy Centrals upcoming new TV series, Big Lake, or check him out on Comedy Central’s just launched web series, Portable Lounge.
Sponsored by Sobe, Portable Lounge is a roving online talk show featuring “rising, as well as established, comedians riffing on technology and pop culture.” The producers set up a portable set in everyday venues (bowling alleys, laundromats, barber shops), two funny people sit across from one another, sip on cocktails, and have free-flowing, hopefully hysterical conversations. Pre-planned segments like ‘Tweet of the Moment,’ ‘Whodya Rather,’ and ‘Delete a Friend’ break up the small talk and give the comedians material with which to guide their conversations.
The first episode features Gethard alongside SNL‘s Bobby Moynihan inside a Bronx bowling alley discussing Star Wars, Rowdy Roddy Pipper, and non-sexual fantasies. The premiere has it’s moments, for sure, but this type of material isn’t going to attract too many viewers outside of UCB’s 9:30PM Sunday Night (aka Free Show) regulars and those that have The Apiary on their RSS feeds.
If Comedy Central wants to garner attention for Portable Lounge and promote up-and-coming comedians, the network’s going to have to pull in some bigger talent. Individuals like Gethard and Moynihan are definitely funny and featuring them will give you cred in the comedy scene, but they’re not big, mainstream draws. At least not yet.