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Joe Pera chats with us: Comedian explores calming aesthetic ahead of CT show

Joe Pera, a New York-based comedian and writer known for his alternative comedic style will be making a stop during, “The Peras Tour”, at the New York Comedy Club in Stamford, Connecticut on March 6th.
Mindy Tucker
Provided by Joe Pera Comedy
Joe Pera, a New York-based comedian and writer known for his alternative comedic style will be making a stop during, “The Peras Tour,” at the New York Comedy Club in Stamford, Connecticut, on March 6.

Joe Pera, a New York comedian and writer, is recognized for his gentle and wholesome style.

The comedian’s calming aesthetic explores the beauty of the ordinary things in life and has been described by The New York Times as tapping into “a child’s view of the world.”

In October, Pera released his first comedy special, “Joe Pera: Slow and Steady” on YouTube. “Joe Pera Talks with You” ran for three seasons on Adult Swim. Other projects include “Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep” and a monthly podcast called “Drifting Off with Joe Pera.”

He is currently on The Peras Tour (named after Taylor Swift), a comedy tour of the United States. His next stop is the New York Comedy Club in Stamford, Connecticut, on Wednesday, March 6. He spoke a few days before the show.

So, you’re roughly a month into your tour, how is it going? 

I'm putting together the show as I go, and it's been a lot of fun. It has been a little bit more hectic than my last tour, but in a good way. I've been learning a lot about the places I've gone and incorporating it into the show. Talking with the audience a little bit more and learning about the areas has become a bigger part of the show.

I don't want to repeat any jokes. I want to make sure it's all fresh for anybody who comes and sees it. I think the audience is excited to hear new stuff, too. It may not work, but at least we're in it together a little bit, or at least that's what I'm hoping.

This is your second time coming to Connecticut — what made you want to come back?  

New Haven was the final tour show before I recorded the special. It was a great show, it made me feel like I was ready. I really liked the College Street Theater, they have a lot of history. That's one of the things I like about touring — getting to the shows early and getting to wander around the theater and thinking about the other shows that have been in that spot. It makes every show different.

It’ll be fun to do part of the beginning of the tour at the New York Comedy Club in Stamford. A lot of friends have played there, so I think it'll be a good night.

Have you tried the pizza?  

Yeah, I have. I think it was maybe during the first ever time I performed in Connecticut with Chris Gethard. Me, him, and another comedian, Joe Rumrill, went outside of New Haven and performed in somebody's house, and then we had pizza. It was very good.

As you said plenty of times, the characters you portray on stage and in your show are somewhat based on your actual personality. Why do you think so many people are in disbelief?  

I don't know. When I went to make the TV show [“Joe Pera Talks with You”], I had to fictionalize it a little bit and make him a middle school choir teacher because I didn't want to do a show just about myself. I had to kind of change some details and build another life for him ... if I had stayed in Buffalo, as opposed to moving to New York and doing stand-up.

I had a lot of friends that I went to school with who became music teachers, so I thought I could have ended up doing that instead of on stage.

You mention in your special about someone bringing their coworker to your show, clueless of who you are. Is it obvious to find those people in the crowd?  

It's different now, after the TV show came out, things changed. I think a lot of people found it during the pandemic because it was a relaxing TV show, it had a lot of quieter moments and a slower pace. People found out about me through the television show and began coming out to the shows knowing who I was.

Before that, I would be performing for people who I knew had no idea who I was. So, it's a little bit of a different approach now, it's always fun when the people have no idea who you are, and you get to either win them over, or not.

Can I ask about your tomato obsession for a second? It’s all over your Instagram.


I saw this one theory online saying you're a big Buffalo Bills fan, and Bills fans allegedly hate Tom Brady. Tom Brady doesn't like tomatoes for certain reasons. So is there something along those lines of football, and superstitions – and stuff like that? 

A couple of things. I will say that Bills fans don't allegedly hate Tom Brady. They do hate Tom Brady, and rightfully so. You see your man spinning out right now. He's doing cryptocurrency commercials, getting the fat sucked out of his face. We knew it all along.

Secondly, that has nothing to do with the tomatoes. One of the interesting things about doing comedy and seeing some of the stuff, the theories, that people have online is it just makes you realize how much people like to make stuff up on the internet with no basis.

Joe Pera performs at New York Comedy Club in Stamford, Connecticut on Wednesday, March 6.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of comedian Joe Rumrill.

Shanice Rhule is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut where she has written for her school’s newspaper and radio station. She has previously worked with Connecticut Public as a Social Media Intern and is currently their Dow Jones Digital Media Intern for the summer of 2024.

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