A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure
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A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  904 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Chris Gethard has often found himself in awkward situations most people, including you, probably would have safely avoided. The good news is now, thanks to this book, you can enjoy the painfully funny consequences of his unfortunate decisions at a safe distance. A Bad Idea I'm About to Do invites readers to join Chris as he navigates an adolescence and adulthood mired in...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Da Capo Press
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Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyOutliers by Malcolm GladwellA Bad Idea I'm About to Do by Chris Gethard
Millennial Reads
5th out of 60 books — 16 voters
Bossypants by Tina FeyIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingBorn Standing Up by Steve MartinMy Point... And I Do Have One by Ellen DeGeneresSeinLanguage by Jerry Seinfeld
Written by Comedians
12th out of 90 books — 40 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jennifer
I bought this book after seeing the author on Jimmy Fallon and finding him absolutely hilarious. Pretty quickly on I had buyer's remorse. I even tried to return it to Amazon, only to find out I was one day past the return date. So I decided I might as well go ahead and finish reading it since I wasn't going to get my money back.

The book isn't as awful as the two atar rating would imply, but I can't bring myself to say I "liked" the book. In all fairness, some of the stories were absolutely hilar...more
Nancy Martira
Mar 13, 2012 Nancy Martira rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nancy by: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Shelves: 2012, essays, kindle, humor
This collection will not be for everyone, but if you come from a place like New Jersey, and a neighborhood where entire families live down the block from each other; if your family's preferred method of communication is yelling and occasionally flames; if you are willing and able to recount for your friends the story of each and every time you shit your pants as an adult; if you love a story about hitting bottom and surrendering for help; this book is for you. I sincerely enjoyed how often Getha...more
Alex Firer
A book whose highs are so much more than its more middling portions, Gethard writes with such absolute honesty and star nakedness that it sets itself apart from all the carefully manicured memoirs that double as lectures from people who just kind of happened to find success. This one pretends to be nothing but itself. I kind of wish it went over his comedy career and decisions about doing the Chris Gethard show more, but what's here is good and I hope for a sequel soon.
Wendy
I had high hopes for this one. And while there are some funny moments, I was disappointed by the storytelling. Sigh.
Chasity
This book was honestly one of the best books that told the story of ‘my life’. It was truly enjoyable .The experience is Chris went through in his life are so unbelievable and funny. He seriously chose some bad ideas and got himself into some crazy situations. I found myself laughing at some of the things he did or what happened to him. Other things like his problems with anxiety and panic attacks. I could relate to. I went through my many years of suffering at the hands of my out of control, an...more
Lydia.walker
Gethard’s A Bad Idea I’m About To Do is a collection of stories chronicling awkward stories of poor judgment, my favorite of which entitled ‘My Father is not the Kindly Mustachioed Man He Seems’ is the story of a group of teenage miscreants repeated attacking of the new front door of Gethard’s father’s house. In Fletcher’s What A Writer Needs, the idea of creating a character references the tools a writer can use to allow the reader visualization and thorough understanding of a character. Gethar...more
Matt
A great book of nonfiction autobiographical short stories that I couldn't put down. The first brief story in the introduction had me laughing out loud on the train and I didn't stop from there. I'm a slow reader and I read it in less than a week, meaning I spent an ungodly amount of time reading. Gethard writes conversationally, the way a friend might tell you a story at the end of a long night of hanging out, where the conversations get deeper and deeper as you run out of more shallow things to...more
Heidi
I went into this wondering if people would care about this book and/or enjoy it if they didn't know who Chris Gethard was. (He's an Upright Citizens Brigade star) At times - like when he volunteered to visit a nearby prison as part of his school's "scared straight" program, or when he drove to a neighboring school in the middle of the night to threaten an Internet bully in person - it didn't matter. I was laughing my ass off. The stories stood on their own. BUT THEN, when I had to read about his...more
vizwrtsic
today I ate fish for the second time in my entire life and power-read this book in six and a half hours. the entire time in a state of like manic shock and joy. I have never read like that for any other book, ever. I'm now obsessed with the word 'diarrhea' as a verb. I think what it comes down to is this: chris gethard is like a colonic for all of your manic depressive/self-loathing amused self-reflection- like if you're the kind of person who kind of considers herself a huge loser right now, bu...more
Maureen
A most excellent book, guys. I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard while reading but it wasn't at Bossypants or Mindy Kaling's recent book. The Chris Gethard Show, shown on NYC public access TV (but can also be seen online), is also something that needs to be checked out by those who get hard over original comedy. Pete and Pete of Adventures of Pete and Pete were on it recently! You're joking, you say! Cringe mucho over the highly realistic awkward and manic (and with that - depress...more
Roadhouse
Druggies, misfits, alcoholics, and social outcasts have great stories. This book, by a social outcast, is about all the wrong decisions that he has made in life so far and they are entertaining to read. If you find the following excerpts from the book enticing, you will want to read the book.

"Doing diarrhea onto another person's hands.."

and

"My goat's name is Jeffry Timmons, World's Foremost Goat"
Lauren orso
We're from the same placed, went to the same school, both lived across the street from TaTas AND went to the same gay men's health clinic in New York! IT'S KISMET.


But, I never considered TaTa being sad before, and then that made ME sad, so in the spirit of irrational internet reviews, I am removing a single spited star.
Amanda
I decided to read this after reading Gethard's essay about Robin Williams on nymag.com. I'd seen him perform at UCB but that essay really interested me in hearing more from him. The book was great... he is a great storyteller who seems to have been drawn to having weird experiences since he was a little kid (he worked for the magazine Weird NJ for ages, starting at a young age). More than once I thought, "I can't believe a real person would actually do that"... But it's not just a collection of...more
Ben Dugas
One of the few memoirs I've read that actually reminded me of my late teens and early twenties. Not all of it but mainly the part about driving down the highway with the 3D cardboard Inspector Gadget display - that part was great.
Gabe
The early stories about his family and growing up are funnier than some of the later ones. The early ones were good enough to make me crack up on the bus and look like an insane person, so I have to give it a 4th star for that.
Margo
Chris Gethard is an insane story-teller. Very funny if you like dry, nerdy, self-deprecating humor. I really enjoyed it.
Meghan-Rose
Awkward tales of a guy from Northern New Jersey; I've laughed out loud a couple of times so far.
Lisa P
Laughed out loud.
Yola
Dec 25, 2013 Yola rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Yola by: Calstead
I am writing this review before I look at what other people say on Goodreads. In that way my opinion is not biased/tainted more than it already is. I did read a negative review from a patron of a Seattle area library. How her review got on the New York Public Library website I do not know. But I do know that she is obsessed with knitting books. Not sure how this makes her an expert in judging humorous coming-of-age books.

A Bad Idea I Am About To Do is a comic bildungsroman. At times his writing...more
Amber Lea
I started reading this because of an interview I heard with Chris Gethard on a podcast called Citizen Radio. As a New Jersey transplant I find his stories effing hysterical.

Now, I went into this book having no idea who Chris Gethard is, but I really appreciate honest, inappropriate stories so I picked up a copy. A lot of the time I either personally related to his stories, or I was like, "Oh man, that is so my boyfriend." I think it helps that he's only a few years older than I am, so my upbring...more
Cassie-la
REVIEW ALSO ON: http://www.dailyblam.com/news/2012/01......

Comedian and writer Chris Gethard has led a colored existence. This comedic look at his own life details his experiences from childhood to adulthood, with all manner of wacky adventures in between. From raising a goat for college credits to pursuing amateur wrestling, leading police on high-speed chases, and volunteering for “Scared Straight”, Gethard explores the best and worst of himself for our amusement.
A Bad Thing I'm About to Do.JP...more
Panphila
I had stumbled upon this book by accident, and just in the moment decided, "Why not?"

I had no idea what to expect when reading this, but I would soon learn that I'd appreciate it more than I thought I could. Perhaps it is because I have personal deep-seated issues of my own, but I feel like I could connect to Chris' feelings and experience. Though my self-loathing and depression is not as severe as is portrayed in this collection of stories, it is uplifting anyway, to see that there is possibly...more
Davie
I thought this was going to be in the same vein as Bossypants or Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Gethard was hosting Whiplash! at the UCB a week ago and was killing it, leading yet again to my impression that this book would be full of nonstop hilarity.

The earliest chapters about his dad, grandfather, and neighborhood crazy person, were my favorites, and made me laugh out loud. But probably I should have first listened to the segment on This American Life excerpting one of the chapters. It'...more
Jim
Summary: A collection of crazy stories from a top-notch comedian, told with a fascinating amount of emotions felt during the unfolding of the story and in retrospect.

I had heard of Chris Gethard and this book from a number of podcasts that he had appeared on (Bullseye with Jesse Thorn and maybe either Improv4Humans or Marc Maron's WTF?), but absolutely had to pick this up after seeing his appearances on IFC's fake game show Bunk and then finding his public access show The Chris Gethard Show. An...more
David Ferris
I found this series of autobiographical essays by comic Chris Gethard to be somewhat hit or miss. The character he creates of himself is for the most part likeable, if greatly flawed, but I somehow was never quite able to get myself into his corner. For these sorts of self-deprecating, humorous narratives to work, you need to really be rooting for the hero. But with a few exceptions, that just wasn’t the case for me. There were however, in my opinion, a few stand-out chapters. “A Bad Idea I’m Ab...more
Megankellie
Enjoyable, quick read, mercifully without a detailed description of masturbation. Still, some penis details that made me think I have yet to read a memoir by a woman where she describes the minuta of her genitals. Maybe because the minuta is harder to see? Or gals prefer the minuta of emotions? Just something fascinating I'm thinking about.

Another detail of mental illness that is dangerously relatable and makes you want a small pull out questionnaire at the back that will let you know if you too...more
Glen Carbon Library
This author is hilarious. The things that happen to him, the decisions he willingly makes, are funny in themselves but his delivery in text makes this a tremendous book. Each chapter is a short story, some from his childhood, others from college and so on. They are long enough to grab you, but not too long that you end up eager for it to be over. Some of these situations are truly sad, depressing, embarrassing, etc. but again, the writer applies a humorous spin.

I found reading this great in the...more
Ryan Johnson
This author is hilarious. The things that happen to him, the decisions he willingly makes, are funny in themselves but his delivery in text makes this a tremendous book. Each chapter is a short story, some from his childhood, others from college and so on. They are long enough to grab you, but not too long that you end up eager for it to be over. Some of these situations are truly sad, depressing, embarrassing, etc. but again, the writer applies a humorous spin.

I found reading this great in the...more
Kara
You will walk away from this book feeling good about being yourself. Each chapter is full of stories to make you laugh, cry, and cringe. It is a book with MANY laugh out loud moments. Chris opens up to his readers and holds nothing back. If you are expecting a joke book, this isn't it. Instead it is a genuinely funny look at one man's real, sad, and relatable life story. At times he is the victim, and at times he is the badass. Chris is an inspiration, an icon, and a superhero for all the prover...more
Ronna
Some chapters were very funny - laughing in public places funny. Others were quite profound as he unravels his manic-depression by asking his parents about relatives with mental illness, which opens up a Pandora's box of family history, both concerning and funny as hell.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Zac X Wolf

Chris Gethard is an actor, comedian, and writer, who most recently starred in Comedy Central’s series Big Lake. Longtime performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, he lives in Queens, New York.
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“As luck would have it, I happened to have a top hat that I previously wore to my junior prom.” 1 likes
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