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Making It Up: The life of an Upright Citizens Brigade comedian

Rock Center

Author and comedian Chris Gethard has performed more than a thousand times at Upright Citizens Brigade theatres in New York and Los Angeles. 

After more than a decade in the comedy business, he reflects on the side of the business that's not always funny. Gethard makes a joke or two about the struggles of being a comedian.

"Coming up in comedy is a very tough business," Gethard said.  "I don't get depressed about saying this, but I've been turned down by every job in New York, but it's good, I mean, I've had the chance."

Gethard is the author of the newly released book, Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure.

Gethard frequently teaches at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) in New York.  At one time, he was even an academic supervisor. 

UCB has become a training ground for the comedy stars of tomorrow and its influence is felt in throughout film and television.  Famous alums include Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, Horatio Sanz and Donald Glover. 


The comedy troop was founded in 1996 by comedians Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh.  The UCB team brought the improv style, the "Harold," from Chicago to New York.  Since setting up in New York, they've opened a theatre and classes in Los Angeles too.

The theatres are dedicated to fostering both an appreciation and education of the arts through affordable and high quality comedic performances and classes.