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

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,186 ratings  ·  134 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 (first published January 1st 2012)
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Bossypants by Tina FeyIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingBorn Standing Up by Steve MartinYou're Not Doing It Right by Michael Ian BlackYes Please by Amy Poehler
Written by Comedians
19th out of 100 books — 59 voters
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 58 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,488)
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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
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.
I had high hopes for this one. And while there are some funny moments, I was disappointed by the storytelling. Sigh.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.."


"My goat's name is Jeffry Timmons, World's Foremost Goat"
Ian Mathers
As my wife and others who have heard me talking constantly about it know, I'm in the middle of a pretty significant marathoning of The Chris Gethard Show, which I love. I love it enough I bought Gethard's book! So why not five stars? It IS very funny and it does touch on some of the stuff I really love about TCGS and Gethard's approach to life in general, but there's one thing that bugged me a bit and another thing I think I missed. Gethard is clearly a pretty welcoming/all-embracing dude, but t ...more
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.
I decided to read this after reading Gethard's essay about Robin Williams on 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.
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.
Chris Gethard is an insane story-teller. Very funny if you like dry, nerdy, self-deprecating humor. I really enjoyed it.
Awkward tales of a guy from Northern New Jersey; I've laughed out loud a couple of times so far.
You see more and more of these books by stand-ups, comedy writers and what have you, in which they write about what it's like having grown up "mental," or with serious substance abuse problems or both. I've reviewed at least three or four of them here, if not five or eight of them. Chris Gethard, who wrote for some obscure New Jersey magazine for years and wrote at least one other book, might be the best pure writer of the bunch, but he might also have the least interesting story. I feel like I ...more
My gal gave me her copy of this book to read not too long after we started dating, I kept starting it but never commiting to reading it. I finally pushed myself to really start this book and it was so good. It's been a while since a book has made me laugh out loud, some of these stories are just that funny (see the story of his colon cleanse, volunteering to go to a "scared straight" trip, and "Koozo" to list a few). Honestly I want to give this book 5 stars, but it's hanging out at a 4.5 becaus ...more
Lisa P
Laughed out loud.
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
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

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
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
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'
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
3.5 stars rounds up to 4. I was a little taken aback at the anger in the first half of the stories (taken aback at the fact that it was scary to me, not that Chris Gethard was/is an angry person), but by the second half of the book I was enjoying the journey. I may have powered through the last 60 pages in 40 minutes instead of going to sleep at a reasonable hour. Somehow fitting.
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
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
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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.
More about Chris Gethard...
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