Chelsea Peretti on writing standup and talking to creepy podcast callers

Categories: Comedy, Q&A

What do you like about doing standup?

I like the immediacy. I get to do essentially whatever I want and I think that's also why podcasts and twitter are appealing to me. There's just very few middlemen and you basically just get to make something. I think I'm influenced by my brother--he's in technology--and basically if you make something and it's useful to people you can instantly be selling it or innovating with it. And I feel the same with standup. If you have a joke, you can instantly go on stage and if people are laughing then it's so immediate.

You wrote for Parks and Recreation--do you think the process of writing for television influenced the way you write standup?

I wrote for Parks for two seasons, and I don't do that anymore because I wasn't able to do standup or anything else. Any time you're around a group of funny people it influences you in some way or another. I'm not sure in terms of literally how I write jokes if it has impacted that. But you can't sit in a room with people for twelve hours a day for two seasons straight and not have their influence have some impact on you. I like to have jokes and I like to improvise stuff, especially if the audience is really on board. I like to go on tangents and things like that, and I think new experiences help you write new jokes.

What's a recent experience that inspired your comedy?

I just went and traveled -- I think travel is useful. I just think getting out of your normal grind. That's the tricky thing about standup, especially when you start getting more professional and doing it more and more frequently, the weird thing is that if all you're doing is standup, what life experiences do you have to write about? That's why I feel like for me it's been an important thing to try to have a full life and do random things like travel or hang out with people where I might feel uncomfortable, like the podcast. It's like, well, let me interact with people I might not normally interact with because it will be funny or interesting. I went to one of those pop up food things where you go to a house and eat with random people and people cook dinner. I don't know, it could be anything. I've learned from a young age to put yourself in experiences where you might be the odd man out or uncomfortable. I try to force myself to do it. I'm not always consistent about it, but when I do that I feel like my mind is more alive.

What are you working on next?

Well, standup. I want to do an hour special so I'm working toward that right now. I wanna write and sell a show that is my voice, which is something I've been working on. I'm gonna sell an app for my podcast that has the sound effects in it that I use on my podcast.

What can people look forward to at your Denver show?

Just constant mirth and merriment. A feeling of family. Just whatever you feel like your life is lacking, it's gonna happen that night. [Laughs.] If you're looking for love, you'll probably meet a lover in the audience. And if you're hungry there's food there, and if you're hungry, like, on a spiritual level you'll probably be fed spiritually. Silliness. Sarcasm. Intellect. Dumb jokes. It's really just all there.




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Comedy Works

1226 15th St., Denver, CO

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