UPDATE 9:25 AM: First preview has been moved to October 5 from October 4, per producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Trainwreck and Girls triple-threat Judd Apatow is presenting the off-Broadway debut of Chris Gethard: Career Suicide, an edge-of-the-envelope pushing comedy written and performed by the stand-up comedian. The show initially was presented in New York at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and developed at other venues including, most recently, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It ranges across subjects from depression and alcoholism to suicide as the comedian “dives into his experiences with mental illness, ethically questionable psychiatry and finding hope in weird places,” according to a spokesman for the show, “a painfully honest journey into the mind of one of the most original and exciting comics at work today.”
Gethard hosts Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show and co-stars in Mike Birbiglia’s film Don’t Think Twice. He also plays Ilana Glazer’s boss on Comedy Central’s Broad City. The stage piece “is about some dark stuff, but I promise you I work to make it as legit f##king funny as possible,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“I think the show is hilarious but it is also about a topic that a lot of people are struggling with and are ashamed to talk about,” Apatow told Deadline in an email. “I had an instinct that what Chris is doing will have a big impact on people as well as entertain them. As soon as I saw it I asked Chris if I could help in any way.”
Apatow is co-producing Career Suicide with Brian Stern of AGI Entertainment, Mike Lavoie and Mike Berkowitz. It will begin performances October 5th at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in the East Village and open October 13th. Kimberly Senior (Pulitzer prize winner Disgraced) is directing, with scenic design by Brendan Boston, lightning by Jen Schriever (Eclipsed) and Trevor Dewey and sound by Ryan Rumery (Fool For Love).
“People have expressed to me that making comedy about depression is insensitive,” says Gethard. “I vehemently disagree. We need to start laughing about this stuff, so maybe we can finally be comfortable talking about it afterwards. I just try to make sure my jokes come from an honest place.”