One phone call. One hour. No names. No holds barred. These are the opening lines to the podcast Beautiful Anonymous.
Hosted by New Jersey born comedian Chris Gethard, who is also the host of his own eponymous show, speaks with one stranger for one hour. He cannot hang up first, and when the hour is over the phone will hang up. So far, 13,000 people ring in every time but only one is chosen.
Beautiful Anonymous is great to listen to with the lights off in the middle of the night when life’s important questions swarm our minds. The show becomes an informal therapy session as Gethard gives advice on the person’s problem or situation in life that they may need help with.
As a side note, the podcast even has a Facebook group where people discuss each episode after its release. Gethard has an easygoing character and it’s funny to hear his commentary on people’s routines of everyday life or when he throws in a reference to his home state of New Jersey. Gethard always knows how to get to the heart of the people he is speaking to.
Topics could range from love, drugs, abuse, or feeling stuck in life. One of my favourite episodes was of a man who called in from work and he told Gethard that he hated his job. The man explained that he wanted to be a comedian, which was his dream, but he would scare himself into quitting every time he tried to. Gethard implores the man to leave work during the conversation. As a mode of catharsis, Gethard advises the man to run through the city streets and to scream—so that he may release any built-up anger. It was an inspiring episode that showed the listener that no matter what stage you are in life, you are still capable of achieving your dreams.
Other episodes focused on abuse—some from a spouse or a teacher. All callers came in with one goal: to be heard.
Gethard provides a judge-free environment that allows people to have a few laughs, a few cries, and to hear beautiful stories from anonymous people.