Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Chris Gethard

Chris Gethard gets an EMT on the phone in this week’s Beautiful/Anonymous

Chris Gethard
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for New York Magazine
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People
EMT In The Epicenter

Illustration for article titled Chris Gethard gets an EMT on the phone in this week’s iBeautiful/Anonymous/i
Advertisement

Since 2016, comedian Chris Gethard has been taking calls from strangers, forfeiting his ability to hang up, for an hour straight. It’s become a project full of candor and insight, which Gethard takes to new heights with his compassion. This week’s caller is an EMT from Long Island, and the pair discuss her complex emotional response to being thanked for her service during the current crisis, as well as the survivor’s guilt baked into her line of work. As she walks Gethard through her new reality of transporting COVID-19 patients 15 hours a day while making less money than she would on unemployment, the two find common ground in their thoughts on mental health, relationships, and life in New York. There’s something vital about listening to the very human connection they make, especially when we’ve never had to work so hard to seek that kind of thing out. [Jose Nateras]


Desert Oracle Radio
Return Of The Wild Things

Illustration for article titled Chris Gethard gets an EMT on the phone in this week’s iBeautiful/Anonymous/i

Culture writer Ken Layne was decrying the country’s self-destructive tendencies long before an invisible virus forced us all to skulk around our homes. Here, he ignores that new reality to gape instead at what our absence has birthed in his beloved Mojave Desert: a return to the natural state of things, where the melting high desert snows feed scrappy wildflowers without the crush of the tourism industry. His musings drift from the native scenery, to the lives of the area’s visitors and its current inhabitants, and eventually wind to an endorsement of a mid-century writer’s idea for banning motor vehicles in Yosemite Valley and instead offering bicycles supplied by Uncle Sam. Even now, there are still too many people around for Layne’s liking, and he dreams of the day he can retreat to another, emptier desert. Desert Oracle Radio matches weirdness with weirdness; its themes are recited in rhetorical swoops wafting above guitar plucking that burns like a brushfire beneath Layne’s sing-song cadence. [Zach Brooke]


The CryptoNaturalist
Pep Talk

Illustration for article titled Chris Gethard gets an EMT on the phone in this week’s iBeautiful/Anonymous/i

When you break form and deviate from the world you’ve set up for your audience, you have to do it with purpose or you might lose your listeners. The CryptoNaturalist’s “Pep Talk” shatters expectations, but keeps its audience safe in its known and comforting embrace. Usually, these episodes feature Jarod Anderston playing the part of the CryptoNaturalist, a lively and curious Southerner who takes his audience on David Attenborough–like adventures through supernatural flora and fauna. These oddities are used to teach lessons in empathy, existence, and love. “Pep Talk” was Anderson’s first episode recorded in quarantine, and he’s dropped both the CryptoNaturalist’s voice and most of the show’s usual format and pretense, opting instead to deliver an inspirational talk to lift us up amid our current hardships. Although the curtain has been pulled back, this episode still has the series’ typical warmth, poetry, and sense of humor. [Elena Fernández Collins]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter