Vacation Jason has kidnapped Chris Gethard’s pal the Human Fish, and the talk show host won’t stand for it. At least, that’s where we begin during The Chris Gethard Show’s finale on June 1, in what becomes an epic showdown of good vs. evil, saving Human Fish vs. not saving Human Fish, pro wrestlers vs. tropical fruit. Gethard’s rivalry with Vacation Jason (Riley Soloner) comes to a head in a WWE-style match, complete with a giant wrestling ring, ref Shannon O’Neill and some aggressive smack talk from both sides. If Gethard wins, then the Human Fish will finally be returned to his TCGS home. If Vacation Jason wins, however, then the Human Fish is his —
and Gethard is erased from existence forever.
In Gethard’s corner, pro wrestlers Cold Cabana, Rhino, Sean Waltman were hyped up and ready to take on their opponents. In Vacation Jason’s corner, a coconut and a pineapple. Seriously. The leisure-loving villain created his own wrestling minions out of his favorite tropical fruit. But wait! He calls out another surprise guest on his team, none other than Mad Men star Jon Hamm. We’ve seen the Emmy winner flex his comedy chops before, during hosting gigs on SNL and as the villain Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But making an appearance on a lucha libre-themed Chris Gethard Show is in a whole other league. Luckily, Hamm fit right in. He’s been a fixture at the UCB theater in LA for years, and has been friendly with Gethard thanks to his association with the comedy community.
When Jon Hamm entered, he was “100% certain he was in the wrong place.” As he played up his faux surprise, the pro wrestlers revealed they didn’t want to “beat the shit” out of the handsome actor, which put everyone in a weird place. The show continued with some light smack talk (courtesy mostly of Vacation Jason), and took Skype calls from viewers. For the finale, it was only appropriate that most of the callers expressed how much they love and appreciate the show for being open, honest and accepting. A funny juxtaposition with all of the violence and smack talking that was to come.
After the typical show pleasantries, the host and his nemesis finally get in the ring, and were joined by their chosen teammates, all of whom were in traditional WWE leotards and gear. When Hamm made his grand entrance, however, he seemed to have missed the memo, and showed up wearing an inflatable sumo wrestling outfit. “I was told that we were wrestling,” he responded dryly. As a blown-up Hamm hangs out outside of the ring, Gethard, Vacation Jason and their teammates go at it.
Performing a fully choreographed WWE-style wrestling match is ironically the perfect fit for TCGS stage. Pro wrestlers are known for being silly, over-the-top, and at times witty. Through the overly dramatic body slams and aerial techniques, the wrestling match is unpredictable and shocking, yet overall enjoyable, just like The Chris Gethard Show.
The match takes a shocking twist when Hamm betrays Vacation Jason, and joins the good guys by tying up Pineapple and Coconut. But he’s not the only traitor; Rhino turns on Gethard, hitting him with his signature move known as the Gore, and letting Vacation Jason pin him for the win.
Spoiler Alert: Vacation Jason is declared the official winner, despite ref O’Neill’s attempts to get Gethard up. Cue everyone’s depression. When they return from commercial, the host hugs audience members goodbye, and prepares to be erased from existence. As a final declaration, he thanked everyone for watching season two of the show, thanked Fusion for allowing their crazy antics, and told his wife Hallie that he loves her.
“This show has always been about being a fighter and making it happen,” Chris said before he entered the chamber (a souped up dumpster) that will erase him from existence. After Chris is erased, Vacation Jason promises to take over the host’s slot with a new morning talk show he’s calling “Vacation Jason Can Help.”
Whether Gethard returns from the void for season three of The Chris Gethard Show next year or not, the comedian has managed to push so many boundaries already when his show was at UCB, then on public access, and especially during his two years at Fusion. In the meantime, we’ll have to subsist on the Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People podcast, Gethard’s books, and his stand up ─ assuming his work isn’t erased from existence along with the comedian himself.