I’m a fan of underdogs - really, is there anyone that’s into punk rock or comedy that isn’t’? So when Chris Gethard announced that he wanted a sad teenager to come be a guest on his monthly talk show, I was intrigued. And when Mitch Fesh (the lucky winner) was announced, I was completely fascinated (in part because admittedly, I saw a little bit of my younger self in him). The show really turned out to be one of those “once in a lifetime” moments, so I wanted to catch up with Mitch afterwards to see just how he felt about the whole experience, and life in general.
Joe: How did you first get exposed to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, as well as Chris specifically?
Mitch: I had seen the Upright Citizens Brigade television show, and while looking it up on the internet, I found out about the theatre. So, on my sixteenth birthday my family and I went to NYC, and stopped by the UCB. It was probably the best first show I could have seen; Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Dan Mintz, Baron Vaughn, and Wendy Spero. So, the next day we went back, and rather than stand-up, it was improv, which I found just as amazing. The next year, a few days after turning seventeen, I saw The Stepfathers. Chris stood out to me. Then when UCBcomedy.com launched and I was able to search by performer I was introduced to a bunch of Chris's hilarious videos, among others. Then after going to a couple ASSSSCATs, Chris became one of the various comedians I look up to.
Joe: What made Chris in particular stand out to you?
Mitch: I'm not completely sure. I think his range of vocabulary, and wrestling references. I mean, everyone was really funny, but I felt I would relate to him the most.
Joe: How did you first find out about Chris's offer, and what was your initial reaction to it?
Mitch: I had heard about his Magic Bus of Stories and I even entered the Magic Nissan of Stories contest. After he posted that only four people had entered I commented that I would if I didn't live in Ohio. He posted, "Dare to dream." So, I sent him a five hundred-plus word essay. Before the winner of that contest was announced, he posted the video for this thing;
When I saw it my first thought was, "This guy is so cool." I mean, a part of me thought it was a joke, but with the other stuff I figured, even if this is a joke, what's the worst that could happen? I send him something and he doesn't send anything back. Not that bad. So, without talking to anyone, I sent him something saying I wanted to do it, probably within five minutes of watching the video. Then within twenty four hours of that we were talking over Facebook chat.
Joe: Was The Chris Gethard Show your first experience performing in a "comedy show" setting?
Mitch: On January 18th 2008 I did stand-up for the first and last time at a Christian hangout in Michigan. The Christian aspect isn't really important, but I find it sort of funny. I had a sketch online and whoever was running the show saw it and said me and my friend who made it should come be a part of their first ever comedy show. We were the first comedy act ever to perform there. I did this whole bit about how most times I look like I'm thinking about something, intently, it's just something pointless, like the best way to kill a zombie in one kick; never a real issue, like banning the N-word. I don't care about that issue because I don't use the N-word, so it makes no difference to me, but I will get mad if they start banning adjectives, because then I couldn't tell you how awesome my zombie killing strategy is. And it wasn't abysmal, but, I haven't tried to do it again.
Joe: I also understand you performed improv for the first time.
Mitch: Yeah, the night before the Gethard Show, me, Chris, and a bunch of other nice folks, who do improv regularly, did a fifteen minute set at Gotham City Improv. This was my first time doing improv on a stage, or in any formal capacity and I had five minutes of training backstage. They tell me it went well for my first time. I feel much more confident about that show than I did about the stand-up.
Joe: Can you describe a scene from that?
Mitch: Chris addresses everyone that he is selling the family farm. Bridget Fitzgerald and Matt Nedostup discuss how they won’t know how to adjust to society, because all they know is okra. I ask what okra is, which sets up the game of them not knowing, guessing, and arguing about okra, when that's supposedly all they knew.
-- Joe Evans III