As part of her splashy move to Netflix, late-night host Chelsea Handler launched a four-part docuseries in January titled Chelsea Does where the unapologetically abrasive and blunt comedian tackled the topics of marriage, racism, drugs and Silicon Valley with her incisive curiosity and Sahara Desert dry wit. The Silicon Valley documentary found the self-proclaimed tech-illiterate comedian trying to understand just what the heck streaming is, since, you know, her new show will be streaming on Netflix, epically and hilariously failing to keep up during a coding class for children and pitching an app to developers and angel investors in Silicon Valley.
Despite barely knowing how to work Skype, Handler stuck to her guns and got her app made. “Gotta Go!” was the idea Handler presented to San Francisco-based development firm Yeti to bring her hilarious and extremely brilliant vision to life. The idea behind “Gotta Go!” is quite simple and universal: all of us, at one point or another, find ourselves in a situation we desperately want to get out of, be it an awkward first date, a snooze of a party or some sort of asinine function. It’s easy enough to make up an excuse to leave, but that raises suspicions. “Gotta Go!” is an app that will help get you out of every situation you don’t want to be in and provide you with fabricated proof to substantiate your excuse or need to leave.
Fueled by the emotions conveyed by different emojis, users of the “Gotta Go!” app who are itching to get the hell out of dodge will open the app and select the emoji that corresponds with the kind of excuse they want to provide for abruptly departing. This will access a narrative story bank of excuses that you generate yourself, sort of like an archive of reasons to flake out on something or someone. Really, you’re only limited by your imagination for the types of excuses you can generate.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate, full-proof excuse, you’ll enter a contact number and information, and then set an alarm that will cause the app to send you that excuse as a text or a phone call from your selected contact at the time you’ve scheduled. Poof, you’ve got an actual fake excuse to show off and no one can question your need to leave. As an added bonus, Handler herself narrates the excuses if you decide to get a phone call. For those maybe not as creative, the app does come equipped with some built-in excuses, but the possibilities to avoid and get out of awkward social situations are endless with “Gotta Go!”
Chelsea Does Silicon Valley revealed the behind-the-scenes process of bringing an app into fruition from conception to development to launch as a free download in the App Store, which coincided with the documentary’s release. It provided a decent look into what it takes to make an app, all through the humorous lens of Handler, who suffers and moans through annoying and glitchy Skype meetings with a team of developers, hilariously skewers their sample excuse narratives as not sounding like anything a real human, especially a woman, would say (a moment of biting social commentary on the predominately male tech industry) and even a pitch meeting to investors where she brings in a techie kid to translate and articulate the tech behind the app because it’s decidedly out of her wheelhouse. Through the combined power of that kid, Yeti and Handler, “Gotta Go!” is now a weapon in all of our arsenals that will help us flake out on people and places to our hearts content.